I started to realize that formatting a well-structured, professional blog post might seem elementary to a technophile, but it’s a daunting task for those who are not web- or computer-savvy. With this epiphany came the inspiration to write our first tutorial: How To Blog (For People That Hate Computers)
The official definition says: “A blog (a contraction of the term “web log”) can be described as a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.” Well, the blogosphere, as it were, has evolved significantly over the years into 8-9 distinct types of blogging, which brings me to the first question people ask me:
What is blogging?
1. Blog: A traditional blog is a web page usually driven by a CMS platform (like WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, Joomla! or some other web based content management system) that serves as an accessible journal of sorts for an individual or organization. Traditional blogging usually involves detailed postings on a particular topic or subject matter.
2. Miniblog: A miniblog is a blog made up primarily of posts from third parties. This is a very different form of blogging, as it is not based on generating your own content, rather it serves as a curator for certain topics in the larger blogosphere. More often than not, these types of blog posts are shorter than the original post.
3. Microblog: A Microblog usually contains brief entries or short text messages based on an individual’s daily activities. It can also be related to a company or professional organization. Microblogs can include audio and video clips, as well as small images, etc.
4. Podcast: A podcast is an audio recording, primarily in MP3 format that is usually served via RSS feed enclosure.
5. Linkblog: A linkblog is just what it sounds like: a collection of hyperlinks in a blog format.
6. Moblog: A moblog can be described as a blog that receives content from a mobile phone or other handheld device that connects to the Internet.
7. Videoblog: A video blog (also called “vlog”) is a blog that contains primarily video content. The video content is usually produced by the blogger with a webcam or other external video recording device. The video is uploaded to free video services like Youtube, Vimeo, etc.. then embedded into the user’s blog.
8. Liveblog: A liveblog is a blog that gives up-to-date information about current events, graphics / video. This can help people looking for day-to-day events and other latest information.
9. Tumbleblog: A tumbleblog can be defined as a scrapbook. Tumbleblogs are great for people who don’t have time to maintain a traditional blog. Tumblr is a perfect example of a tumbleblog.
Where do I get a blog?
Now that we have an idea of what blogging is, and the different styles of blogging, the next thing you need is an actual blog. For that, please reference my earlier blog “How To Set Up A Blog.” Once you do that, you will probably ask yourself the following questions:
What do I write about?
Assuming you have your shiny new blog all set up and you’re ready to actually start posting content, what do you post? Following the different styles of blogging above, you have a lot of options. My answers usually lead to two more questions:
- What style of blogging works best?
- What will generate the most traffic?
Let me cut this off at the pass. These are very relevant questions, but before we can really answer those, we have to answer a few other, even more important questions:
- What do you have to say?
- What do you do best?
By answering these questions and applying them, you will answer your first two questions. The best style of blogging is whatever works for you. Find a style, or a mix of styles and stick with it. Whatever style it is, make sure what you post is genuine and something you are interested in, because that is truly the key to connecting with your users.
If you have the time and resources, I highly advise developing consistent, useful online content relevant to your business. Not only does it serve as a resource, but you will also increase your visibility in organic SERP’s.
How do I format a blog post?
This is by far, one of the biggest questions my clients ask once they have a blog. It’s an entirely different animal, and there is no way I could break down every parameter of this topic in just one post. I will say because of WYSIWYG, editors integrated into most web based Content Management Systems like WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal, you can format your media (photos, video, etc.) and text to look professional without any knowledge of code. Having a professional who can optimize the code, text and images of your blog posts and web pages would be ideal, but if you can’t afford it, you can do it yourself with a little research and a lot of time!
Formatting a professional, engaging blog post is pretty easy when you follow a couple of simple rules.
- Post Useful Information
- Incorporate Images and / or Video
- Composition & Consistency
- Organize Your Content
- Spell Check!
There is a Star Wars universe of resources on this subject. I highly recommend researching Pro Blogger. The WordPress Codex on this topic is also very informative and the resources are well structured.
The irony of blogging about blogging is starting to get to me. I have to leave this alone for now. I will go into more detail on this topic in another post, until then, stay righteous.