Part of what we do at 411 Voices Media is teach others how to blog. While we are not the only “bloggers in town”, we do know a few things about the process of writing informative and entertaining missives with humor, candor and a touch of educational value. This type of writing is far different than the writing for research or academia that many have known for years. Let me explain…
What is a blog?
To first understand the differences one must know what is a blog? Technically a “blog” is more than just one writing but a portfolio of entries. Often it is a live journal, meaning that people tell their thoughts, opinions and reviews related to various subject matter. The evolution of the term “blog” has now come to mean one article OR a compilation.
What is the difference between a blog and more academic writing?
Simply, academic writing is filled with citations linked to research. While writing a blog doesn’t have to include a single link to any outside source. Although, adding a few to your blog is considered a good thing to make it more thought provoking, search engine friendly and also engaging.
Academic writing usually serves a purpose. For example, to explore a theory or to compare and contrast important figures in history. And while blogs may do this, too, a blog will often have much opinion and conjecture with various degrees or even no “data” to back it up.
Can the lines be blurred between blog and academic writing?
Of course! It has been my experience that teachers, scientists and those who have written for academic or professional purposes often tend to be less “emotional” in their blog writing and more straight forward. They “tell the facts” and let the reader come to their own conclusions.
Writers, like myself, tend to explore questions in the world with humor. I also like to add my fair share of photography and images in my blog.
See a list of popular photography blogs here.
What is essential to know about writing a blog?
First and foremost, write about something that interests you. A blog shouldn’t be “homework”, but written from the heart. There should be some intrinsic value for you to take to your computer and type. If you are bored by the topic so will your readers.
Use an easy place to upload your blog, such as WORDPRESS. User friendly blogging sites make the experience much more enjoyable.
Add interesting quotes, images or infographics and be sure to give credit where credit is due. Don’t yank an image from a search engine such as GOOGLE. It is better to buy an image from a credible source such as Graphic Leftovers.
Be sure to hyperlink to websites that you mentioned, such as I did above with the names of where to buy images. Also, give credit to quotes and where you got them. That means even if from Wikipedia!
When you finish your blog you still have some “work” to do! Add categories and tags so that they can be found. Be sure that there are “share” buttons so that a reader can let others know about your great blog by pressing SHARE THIS. A featured image makes the sharing better. And, consider using a blog amplification services such as TRIBERR to get more buzz going.
The last difference is that when you finish your blog and press PUBLISH you will have no dissertation to defend or a long series of editors to tear apart your work (unless you are a paid blogger). You only will need to bring a “good read” of about 500 words to an audience willing to take their time to give a few of their moments to read your thoughts.
Bio: Louise Masin Sattler is the co-founder of 411 Voices Media Group and an avid blogger. Read more at LouiseSattler.com