What Should A Blog Look Like?
In this regard, a blog should be asthetically pleasing and cutting edge. Blogs with large files and many graphics take a long time to view over modem connections. Blogs with too “cutesy” a font style or difficult to see color combinations compound the reader’s ability to view the text readily. Blog readers look for clear, concise, and crisp fonts. They look for wide margins, not-too-small pictures or text boxes. They look for blogs where one can easily scroll and click to view all the details.
Clear tabs, labels, and strong and enticing titles make viewing blog entries more user-friendly. Likewise, an appropriate title for a blog is essential, both so readers can find a theme-based blog (i.e. a sports blog, a politically-based blog) through a web browser or blog directory search, and so that the audience knows what is included in the blog. Humorous titles can catch attention, but one must weigh humor against practicality, memorability, and the possibility of offending against the pros.
What Should A Blog Include?
Blogs need to include some personality, in order to foster a connection with the audience, but at the same time, should practice some restraint when it comes to full disclosure. Many bloggers post under pseudonyms or partial names, maintaining some privacy. If one blogs to get a job, it would be apropos to include a contact email address, but it is not necessary to put phone numbers or home addresses. Jace Shoemaker-Galloway discusses some of the other things to consider with blogger identity and disclosure of personal contact information in the Suite 101 article, “Writing an Excellent Blog: Important Elements, Suggestions and Tips for Successful Blogging.”
It is ideal to put in some jpegs or similarly computer-friendly graphics to add visual appeal as well. It could be pictures of one’s artwork or a headshot. It could be pictures of products or hyperlinks to other websites of interest.
Lastly, blogs should include current posts of short length. Most blog readers skim posts, and often will ignore very lengthy tomes. Blogs with short paragraphs, bulleted lists, and links to other articles do well. If one has a long blog post, it is better to post it as a two-part blog, with two posts rather than a solo post. If posts are done infrequently, they risk losing a regular following. Things like RSS feeds help make readers aware of new posts.
How Can Blogging Help?
Ultimately, blogging can help an individual showcase his/her writing talents. It makes a substantial work of writing over a short amount of time available to the public. Blog writing does not take as much time or effort, and if one makes it a habit, makes for quite a piece of writing.
Blogging shows one is current on Internet and computer technology. There are both blog programs/platforms out there for those with little advance knowledge of blogging technology and ways one can build a blog from computer coding too. In fact, as DJ Nelson discusses in the Suite 101 article “5 Things to Consider Before Starting A Blog: Understanding the Basics of Blogging,” this requires serious consideration before one even starts a blog, and is something bloggers gain from the experience.
Likewise, one can eke out a niche in the blogosphere (Internet world of blogs). Picking a topic one knows well, enjoys, finds interesting, etc. makes one known as an informal “expert.” Careers can be created from such interests, from speaking engagements to teaching classes to writing articles for publication based off blog posts and subsequent dialogues with readers (for more on the idea of a blog as a dialogue or discussion, consult the Nelson article on Suite 101 for excellent elaboration on the topic).
Therefore, it is productive to blog on a professional basis to help create, enhance, or jumpstart one’s career. If one pays attention to presentation and adheres to what blog readers desire (frequent, short posts in a reader-friendly color scheme), companies and hiring officials see the blogger as a self-starter, with strong computer skills with a handle on what customers want and need.