Tuesday, April 19, 2011

LIFE-LONG BLOGGING: How to Make Your Writing Reader-Friendly - Robin W.

Did you know:
• 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
• 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
• 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
• 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
• 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
• 70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.

Source: Jerold Jenkins, www.JenkinsGroupInc.com

With statistics like this, how do you get people to read your blog? How do you get supporters, not only your grandmother, to check out and read your entire post from top to bottom. Well, I am here to tell you some simple writing tricks that will assist you in getting a steady increase in your reader-base forever.

FOREVER? Yes, I am confident that as long as you write you will have readers, if you follow these simple steps in your writing:

1. Format: Forget what you learned in high school. Throw the five-paragraph essay out the window, and NEVER think about it again. Paragraph breaks should be short, 4 lines MAX. I give you permission to write an introduction using the word “I,” [he/she is too formal]. Relax, and write. Let the thoughts flow. Organization should be clear, yet recognize the fact that you aren't graded.

[QUESTION: Does this downgrade my writing? ANSWER: No, how many professional writers do you know write only in a stream of complex sentences and long paragraphs. Emerson? Right, that's it. How many of you frequently read Emerson?].

2. Thesis: Numbers and bullets are allowed. Have points? List them. However, your entire post should not be a list. Spread it out, try not to have more than 5-10 points.

3. Fonts: Bold, italics, changing colors, and underlining. Do it more often, but remember if you bold everything it loses its effect.

4. Pictures: Don't have one? Google it. You will be surprised by what kind of pictures you can find on Google Images. However, be original, think of more creative pictures—what relates yet is eye catching and can draw curiosity. Text-wrap your pictures. Slide shows are good; however it is best if you are showing-off photos to pick no more than 4 pictures per post and incorporate them within the writing.

5. Title: “My Trip to Israel” might get a lot of clicks; however, something like “Following Jesus's Steps: Holy Land Adventures” might catch more eyes. Again, be creative.

6. Content: Have a lot of thoughts? Break your posts into parts. For instance, last week I traveled to Um Qais and have a four part post. See:

Keep a post under 500 words.

7. Be you: Whether funny or serious, Be you. Funnies will come.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
... A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;
A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
... A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
– Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

Stay-tuned for:
Technology: Keeping an Up-Beat Blog
How do Readers Know when you Post? Simple Improvements and Comment-Etiquette


Jamie Jo said...

Thanks again for your pointers. I particularly appreciate the "Be yourself" part. For me it's hard to shift from funny to serious to mundane, but that's how life is.

I've actually gone back to my earlier posts to add photos and change format. That's the fun part. It's never too late to edit.

Robin W said...

Jamie Jo, ME TOO! But a week's worth of mundane posts is life. Hayk (as they say here)---just the way it is.

However: when I do switch back and forth I wonder if my readers think I am Bi-polar.

TOO FUN! I haven't had the time to do that yet, and the more and more posts I am doing...the more I dread going back. High-five for doing it.

Thanks for the comment.


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