Blog creation and writing tips

I know that it’s highly unusual to have a post like this on Friday, but here’s the deal. This was supposed to go up yesterday but because of some dental work, I could barely do much more than hold my head in my hands and whimper.

I’m feeling better, so you’re getting it today.

These are more notes from a blog writing class I’m teaching. The blog I reference is one I’ve created to demonstrate what I’m talking about in real life – Fit to Food. I may kill this blog at the end of the class or I may not, haven’t decided yet.

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Header:

As I write more and more in my blog – Fit to Food, I’ve realized that I’m really writing about recovering from my chronic illness of Lyme disease. I went back and edited the tagline from “On a quest to feel bulletproof again” to “On a quest to feel bulletproof again after Lyme disease.”

You are allowed to do all the refining you want on your blog. I discovered that the people who were following and commenting on my posts were most interested in the Lyme aspect. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I will lose other chronic illness readers, but it does mean that I’ll probably gain more Lyme disease readers.

Twitter:

We’ll talk about Twitter in more detail later, but every time I write a post, I tweet it on Twitter. I have it set up so that wordpress automatically does it with the blog post title, but then I usually go in later in the day and send out a new tweet with a more exciting headline.

For example wordpress will send out today’s post with “Thursday – inspiration and tools”

I might send one out later that reads “damn, I forgot – dealing with Lyme memory issues.

If you are going to write (and promote) a blog, you’re going to need to understand a little bit of how to write marketing copy. Voice and excitement sells.

Post:

Don’t make your posts too long and don’t cover too many topics in one post. This is one of the biggest mistakes blog writers can make. They give too much away.

This morning I was going to write a blog post on inspirational jewelry. I found myself in the post’s introduction talking about a specific problem, so I decided to stay with that problem.

I was very tempted to bring in another example of the problem, but decided to focus on what I already had. I can use that other example for another post.

It’s extremely important as a blog writer to focus on and explore a tiny aspect in each post. If you write generally about a great many things, you’ll run out of things to write about very quickly.

Today’s post was about memory loss and using a notebook. Now that I’ve introduced the topic I could also write posts on:

  • Frustration with regard to memory loss
  • Recognition of memory issues
  • How to talk to your doc
  • Memory issues in children
  • Coping strategies for remembering names
  • And let’s not forget – Inspirational jewelry

And there you go, I’ve just come up with post ideas for the next 6 Thursdays. Of course, I wouldn’t have 6 posts on memory issues in a row, but remember that master list of ideas you should be keeping to write about? All of these topics are being parked under my topic of – Inspiration.

Blog decluttering:

It’s a good idea when you write a blog post to create a “read more” break on the previous one. Some people have the break on the current post (which is a pain in the neck and they are clearly looking for site clicks) but I don’t do it that way.

The current day’s post can be read without clicking. All previous posts have a “read more” break so that people don’t have to scroll through a lot of text.

FYI: The “read more” break option is in the wordpress editor. It looks like a square that has been bisected by a dotted line.

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Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.

Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.

17 thoughts on “Blog creation and writing tips

  1. Great post! I’m just starting out and had to re-read my post over and over to make sure I didn’t just start rambling and lose focus — probably something that will take some practice at.

  2. Thank you! The click to read more line break made a world of difference in how clean my blog looks. I would never have found it without your help.

  3. Ah, the read more break option for older posts! Excellent idea! I’m in the process of changing and updating my blog, so I will add that to my to do list.

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