When viewed in total, your blog is essentially a production. It’s a mashup of words, topics, and perhaps pictures that tell a story about who you are and what you think about. Whether you write for yourself or for your audience, your blog is part of your life’s work. Let’s face it – your time here is finite, and since you’re choosing to spend some of it blogging, don’t you want that particular contribution to be as good as it can be?
A little effort goes a long way
Here at Pearsonified, I’ve been spending a lot more time on the production side of things. In some ways, I want this site to read like a magazine, and I accomplish this by involving the use of pictures, section breaks, quotes, lists, and other stylistic elements. As a result, my site metrics are up across the board, and I get the sense that people are both enjoying and respecting the site (and thus me) a lot more than they used to. Also, I’m getting about 3 times more emails regarding design work than I got before I really began to focus on the presentational aspects of my blog posts.
The underlying lesson here is pretty simple. If you want to enhance the quality of your blog right away, then all you have to do is put some effort into making your posts more dynamic.
Don’t just hack out four or five paragraphs and call it a day. Instead, institute a common-sense checklist to make sure you’ve gone the extra mile with your blog entry. Some things to ask yourself before hitting that “publish” button are:
- Could I include some pictures to help further illustrate my point? People love stories with pictures. Don’t you flip through the magazines while you’re in line at the grocery, looking for anything that catches your eye? The masses read blogs in much the same way (scanning for goodies), so give them something that will grab their attention! Pictures talk, even when people don’t want to listen.
- Did I make points that would be clearer if presented in list format? Information contained in lists is easily-digestible for most internet readers, so if you can involve one of these in your blog posts, I highly recommend it.
- Is my topic clear at all times? Perhaps you can use section headers (like mine above, entitled “A little effort goes a long way”) to help refocus your readers on the topic at hand. These mini-headers can be especially helpful in longer posts where you need to make two or three smaller points to convey a larger message.
- Read your posts. Read them. Read them again. Do you like it? Did you say what you wanted to say?
Remember, your blog is a production, and you’re the executive producer! You call all the shots, and you make it what it is, be that mediocre or extraordinary. If your blog really matters to you, then I would encourage you to look at it in a different light. View it as a production, as part of the legacy that you’re leaving during your time here. You might impact hundreds; you might reach hundreds of thousands; you might touch millions. I would argue that ultimately, the reach of your site is entirely up to you.
Every day, the internet grows more and more democratic, and the cream rises to the top. With that in mind, make your site great, and put your best foot forward every time you hit the “publish” button!