Create a blog that cannot be ignored
Welcome to the blogosphere. A web log (blog) is a website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order. A blog engages a conversation with readers and is regularly updated with text, images, and links to other sites. Since they first appeared blogs have become a popular medium for uniting people into online communities. They are effective at identifying emerging trends among groups with similar interests. As such, they hold great potential for outreach and Extension.
In addition to their use for education, blogs have been credited with the power to break news stories and influence public opinion.
Tips when starting a blog
The following are tips to help you create a blog that cannot be ignored. In the blogosphere, everyone’s a writer. The success of a blog depends on the same elements that make for successful writing, successful websites, and successful conversation.
Like good writing, good blogs:
- use catchy headlines, short paragraphs, and easily scanned content;
- make a point clearly, without jargon;
- develop a distinct voice (write as if you were talking);
- tell stories that show your message in action;
- are edited for spelling, grammar, and clarity of thought.
Like good websites, good blogs:
- keep a clear sense of purpose and audience;
- keep the topic limited for better focus;
- are searchable within a few keywords;
- link to other blogs and websites;
- incorporate other media, including photos, podcast, or video.
And like good conversations, good blogs:
- encourage two-way interactions, reply to those who post responses;
- contain credible information as well as room for debate;
- inform, entertain, but don’t just complain;
- commit to a daily, long-term relationship with your community in conversation.
Blog entries typically consist of a title, content, date and time of posting, and a permalink (the URL of the posting). A permalink (or permanent link) remains unchanged indefinitely to boost the blog’s popularity as it is linked to or cited by one group of readers to the next. A permalink in a blog entry makes your entry trackable on other sites.
The best blogs focus on a particular topic and are updated every day. It takes time and thought to create a blog that “cannot be ignored,” but the possibilities for community outreach are endless.