Q&A:The Art of Blogging

Q: How is a blog post different from an essay?

A: Blog posts are generally shorter—anywhere from 250 to 1,000 words, or 1-4 double-spaced pages. Posts are written for a specific audience, usually anyone interested in the themes or topics the blog covers. Though the tone of blog posts tends to be informal, this does not mean that they should be poorly written. You should use the spellcheck (you know, the icon with the check mark and “abc”) and proofread, because spellcheck won’t catch errors in usage, like the difference between “to” and “too” or “there” and “their” and “they’re.”

Q: I’m bad with titling my posts. Any advice?

A: A good title both summarizes the gist of your commentary and is eye-catching. Simply titling a post “My post” is lazy and no one will want to read it. For example, if this was a post, I might title it: “Don’t know much about blogging?”

Q: What are “tags”?

A: Tags are a way to organize your posts into categories so that readers can more easily find the kind of content they’re interested in. For example, if you were to write a post about how Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor caused you to think differently about the film Philadelphia, the tags for the post might be “Susan Sontag” “metaphor” “film” and “Philadelphia.”

Q: What about those cool hyperlinks things?

A: The medium of the Web allows you to do many things, but perhaps the most important is being able to link us to many other places on the Web from one page.

Hyperlinks are especially useful if you are writing about complex issues, because you can create links to sites that provide definition and context that the reader might lack. In this way, hyperlinks provide readers with the opportunity to engage with an issue in increasing depth. If at all possible, try to include hyperlinks in every post.

Q: The blogs I admire always have photos, music and video that I can click on and watch or listen to. How do I do that?

A: What you’re describing is a process called embedding, and it is very easy to do if you have either the url address of a photo (the “http://www.” stuff in the browser window) or the html code for a music file, image, or video.

For example, here’s a photo:

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats and Piglet

 

Google mapsGoogle booksYoutubeVimeo, and many, many other sites provide you with ready-made html code that you can copy and paste into your blog post.

 

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