Ben at Inside Firefox has written a great little post on how to write for Busy People (and lets face – most of us fit the category).
I think the six points they make are great advice for bloggers also. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t break the ‘rules’ and still have a worthwhile blog – but they are worth keeping in mind.
- Making important points up front
- Clear taxonomy of headings, and lots of them
- Writing clearly and succinctly
- No long, unbroken paragraphs or tracts of text.
- Preferring bulleted lists with clear points to paragraphs.
- Use of emphasis in formatting to make important things clear
I particularly would echo Ben’s sixth point. I know that when I go to a blog and see long unbroken paragraphs that it’s a major turn off. I don’t mind reading long article but am much more likely to do so if I can see it’s well organized, not too overwhelming and if it gives me some hints at a glance as to what it’s about and what I’ll get out of it. First impressions count for a lot.
The only extra hint I’d add to Ben’s list is to think carefully about your main title. He’s mentioned headings which could include this – but I think if a title is designed well it can communicate a lot and be the thing that gets people reading or turns them away from your post.