Apr 012009
 

These blogging tips from the Huffington Post will help you blog better – and perhaps elbow your way into a HuffPost blogging job! At the very least, these tips will help you attract more traffic to your site.

Remember, fellow scribes: the more you read and practice tips like these, the better you’ll write. The better you write, the happier your editors and publishers will be. And behind every happy editor is a happily published author.

Before the tips, a quip:

“I went for years not finishing anything,” said Erica Jong. “Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged…I had poems that were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.”

One tip for great blogging is to blog often – which means you can’t pull a “Jong”, and re-write instead of publishing your posts or pitching your magazine article ideas. If you’re not a happy blogger, read The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging. I’m currently reading it for the second time, and am learning things I missed the first time!




Here are the Huffington Post editors’ tips for great blogging…

The Huffington Post’s Blogging Tips – How to Blog Better

1. Own your blog niche or topic. Think of your blog topic as your “beat”, like reporters or cops have their beats. “Know who the key players in your area are,” write the Huffington Post editors. “Read their books. Interview them. Have them guest blog.” The more information you provide on your blog — and the more solid it is — the more readers you’ll attract and keep.

2. Perfect blogging or writing? Forget about it! Let go of the compulsion to write or blog perfectly. “It’s fine to write a bunch of OK posts,” write these editors. “In fact, a bunch of OK posts is probably better than a perfect post that took so long to compose the event that was old news by the time you hit ‘submit.'” If you struggle with blogger’s block, use the “tried and true” tips for overcoming writer’s block.

3. Write short blog posts, about a single topic. “A good post is a single thought or observation or anecdote, clearly expressed and directly conveyed,” says David Bromwich, a professor of English at Yale, in The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging. “An essay may cover several topics; a post easily grows tiresome if it aims for more than one.”

4. Respond to your readers’ comments. Knowing your audience and readers will ensure you keep posting entries they’ll read and appreciate…and one way to get to know your readers is to read and respond to their comments. Of course, this is if you’re lucky enough to get comments! Only 1 in 10 readers make comments – so if you get a few comments on every post, you’re doing good.

5. Study blog posts and web articles that you admire. How do other bloggers draw you into their posts? Why do you want to comment on them? This blogging tip is just like learning how to be a better writer. You learn by studying what works, by scrutinizing the writing of authors you admire. Don’t copy other bloggers; learn from them.

6. Blog often – but not just to increase your readership! “Blogging is like anything else: you get better the more you do it,” write the Huffington Post editors. “Writing often will help you figure out what your authentic voice sounds like an dhow you can access that voice every time you sit down to type.”

7. Blog like you speak. Whether you’re blogging or writing for a national magazine – write naturally. Let your voice shine through…it takes practice, and you’ve probably heard it before, but it works! Don’t have a blog voice yet? Read How to Find Your Blogger’s Voice – 8 Tips for Bloggers.

8. Focus on specific details. This is another tip for writing well that leads to great blogging. If you absolutely must blog about your breakfast, don’t say “I ate breakfast.” Instead, say, “At 5:14 am, I devoured my warm banana nut chocolate chip bran muffin, dripping in golden, melted ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!’ topping.” Like that, but better.

A bonus tip for blogging better: If in doubt, write it! This wasn’t one of the Huffington editors’ blogging tips, but I like it: “If you think something is news, post it.” Don’t agonize over whether or not you should write about something, just go for it. Many bloggers are surprised at their most popular posts – which aren’t always the ones they spend the most time on.

The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging is a worthwhile read, fellow scribes. These editors and bloggers have found blogging tips that work, and they’re willing to spill their secrets!

If you have any questions or thoughts on the Huffington Post’s eight tips for great blogging, please comment below…




And if you want to make monetize your blog, read 75 Ways to Make (More) Money Blogging.

  10 Responses to “The Huffington Post’s Blogging Tips – How to Blog Better”

  1. I think that some of the above posts are right, there are no rules for writing! I think a good mix of being informative, news related and having a few word plays and a good twist help. But above all, each post should have a message for people to want to come back. Do come and have a read on my blog, I write daily, Monday to Friday, and the regular schedule really helps getting visitors returning. Best regards, Erik van Geest

  2. Thanks for your comment, Katrina. I agree — reading blogs similar to your own is a GREAT source of ideas and inspiration! And, the best way to build a better blog is to turn it into a joy, like you said…not a chore.

    That said, however, I find I don’t have enough time to read blogs about writing. I read books about writing all the time, but not blogs….

  3. Number 5 really hits home. I enjoy reading other well written blogs on subjects I am interested in. Usually something I read will get me thinking and that will lead to another subject and a new topic and so on. It just really seems to spark inspiration for my own work and then writing becomes a joy instead of a chore.

  4. I believe in point 1 and am trying to work that out for my own blog.
    .-= Japinder´s last blog post ..Anjali gets a reality check =-.

  5. Set and follow a regular maintenance schedule for your blog, and keep up-to-date records.

  6. Your comment reminds me of learning the rules for writing: it’s important to know what they are, but you have to know when to break them so your own style, voice, and content can break free!

    I think it’s important to learn the rules of great blogging from successful people like Huffington, and then play with the rules until you find what works for you.

    Good luck with your soft launch, Raul!

  7. What works for Huffington Post bloggers won’t work for other bloggers. It depends on many different factors, including the topic and blog readership. I don’t read the Huffington Post but I know how popular that blog is. There’s alot to learn there, but the best way to build a popular blog is to try different things until you find what works for you, I think.

    Raul — who will soft launch his first blog soon

  8. The same goes for writing! There are “rules” for writing – but many successful writers break those rules. They may not break them in every novel or article they write…but they do sometimes, and it works.

    And that’s what I love about blogging – there are no rules! Except for those self-imposed ones, of course…

  9. I think one important “rule” for blogging is that there are no rules, just tips. I know very successful blogs where a single post may span thousands of words. Almost any style, structure or posting schedule can work for some type of a blog or a particular blog.

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