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How to blog Tips and Tutorials For Blog Beginners Things You Can Do to be a Better Blogger

How to blog Tips and Tutorials For Blog Beginners Things You Can Do to be a Better Blogger

Recently, on my Formspring page, someone asked me a simple question with a complicated answer: How can I be a better blogger?
I generally hesitate to play expert, but I've been a professional writer for almost 15 years and a blogger for about nine. I'm not the best, I'm not the most popular, but I'm damn good. Here are my words of advice; take 'em with a grain of salt. I hope they help.
How do you start a blog Take a writing class.The vast majority of bloggers are terrible writers. And even if you're a good writer, you could always be better. Do what you need to do (community college, iTunes U, online classes, free tutorials) to get your grammar, critical thinking, turn of phrase, essay composition, and general literary mindset in top form.
How do you start a blog Read books and magazines.We bloggers have disgusting reading habits. Day after day, most of us read nothing but other people's blogs. Blog writing is uneven across the Web, and a lot of it just sucks, even if the ideas expressed are valid. Nonfiction in the form of really great, high-end-magazine essays is your best friend. Even fiction will give you a leg up in terms of storytelling. Just put down the laptop and go to the library. It'll change the way you write.
How do you start a blog  Don't blog unless you have something important to say.Some bloggers could stand to blog more. But a lot of us need to blog less. There's a lot of chatter and noise out there; the Web is hardly a vacuum waiting to be filled. So pick and choose your battles ... uh, blog posts, that is. Think of each one as an eternal (for Webpages never really die) expression of your personality, something you hold dear to your heart, and blog accordingly.
How do you start a blog Take twice as much time to write as you do now.Posts should take hours, even days.They should be well-researched (even if they're just your personal opinion); they should reference other sources; they should be more than a few hundred words long; and they should be artfully crafted according to principles of literature (and/or journalism) and painstakingly proofread. Blogging is to email or Twitter as a slow-cooker is to a deep fryer. Things that nourish the soul take time to create.
How do you start a blog Write with your adversaries in mind.Imagine you're a troll. Imagine you're an outsider whose opinions are 180 degrees opposite from those expressed in your post. Then imagine you just hate the blog author for any irrational reason. Reread your post with this antagonism in the forefront of your mind. You'll start to see errors in logic or the need for more background information as you go along. This type of reading will improve what you write, how you are perceived, and the level of vitriol in your comments section.
How do you start a blog Pay attention to formatting.As the sole proprietor of an online publishing house, you're responsible for the quality of the writing and editing (and you DO need to edit yourself as though you were an angry and bitter third party), but you're also responsible for the design and visual elements of your post. Learn some HTML, and make sure that your posts are well-organized in a way that divides information for clarity and directs the (often harried and hurried) readers' eye to the most important parts of your post. It's your job to be a bit of an information designer. Translate the Inverted Pyramid (most important text goes at the top) to a visual format (most important information gets flagged for reader attention by design), then combine both techniques.
How do you start a blog Be truer to yourself. 
Don't dilute your personality for anyone. If you're an asshole, be an asshole who writes well and publishes important posts -- people will love you for it. If you're an introvert who loves data, be an introvert who loves data, breaks it down carefully, explains it thoroughly, and publishes his conclusions for the world to see. There's so much homogeneity and imitation in the blogging world. Don't squander your best asset -- your entirely unique point of view -- for any reason, including self-censorship or the fear of pissing people off or boring the less erudite in your audience.

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