/ blogging

Blogging for consistency

I’ve written a few blog posts now and I try to get feedback each time. The feedback has been great and helps me to improve. I’m building up a list of things to think about as I’m writing. In this blog, I want to focus on the feedback and highlight some of the small things that are really the big things.

Quality

It might seem like I should start with content, but I’ve found the experience of your reader has little to do with the content of the blog. I mean, yes, content IS important, but there are things that will lose you readers before they have even started getting into your content.

Fix the broken bits

If there is something that doesn’t work, and you know it doesn’t work, fix it. This might seem obvious, but I have overlooked it a couple of times now. It’s just embarrassing to ask for feedback and be given a list of things that you already know aren’t up to scratch.

Meet expectations

There is a baseline for features that you need to consider on your blog.

  • Comments (give your readers a place to interact with you and your content)
  • RSS
  • Email subscription
  • Links to easily share posts on social media
  • SEO - Your readers deserve to find you.

Consistency: Make a checklist

Of course, you should have your own checklist. Here’s some of the things I have been getting feedback on:

  • Filenames should be highlighted
  • Specify your code block types (hint: html is markup and command line is bash)
  • When writing command line code blocks, begin each command with $ and split across lines for long statements. Identify the line break with \. If adding a comment, use #.
  • Make sure your posts have an introduction and summary.
  • Think about your titles. You will have them for a long time. I don’t like clickbait, but you should still try to get people to click. (So.. Cloudflare… is a good example of a bad title)

Content

Finally! It’s time to talk about content and yes, content is important. But it’s also not. Of all of the advice I’ve been given on content, the common theme seems to be to write about something you are actually interested in. If you’re interested in what you’re writing about, it will show in your writing. People will FEEL it when they read your blog. This ties back into the experience of your readers. Even if I don’t understand or am uninterested in a particular topic, I may still read if the writing style takes me on a ride; if I can be put in the shoes of the writer. Convince your readers that you are invested and they will invest as well.

Do you already have a checklist that you go through before posting? What else do you find important in a blog?