Monday, October 16, 2006

[writing] 11 tips for managing a good blog entry

Thought I'd share these blog writing tips from Vicent Maher of Media in Transition, a blog about media and the Web. Although not specific to food writing, I'm sure there's something we can all learn from his tips.

This post was written by Paula from mango&lime

10 comments:

Liz said...

Interesting. Apparently my habit of editing myself is a no-no.

ParisBreakfasts said...

Did you see the response in the comments by Stephen Downes ? Contrasting and comparing a journalist's viewpoint w/ the blogger's viewpoint- a much less pandering attitude there..

Rachael said...

everyone has a different approach, you know?

Take that with a grain of salt...

Vincent Maher said...

Just a note on the point about not deleting anything: obviously editing grammar, spelling etc is necessary. What I was referring to is chaging the meaning of the original post after people had read and commented.

nika said...

Vincent: I like your splash page you used for your link here..

I put your newzbubbles on my blogs and some people cant see the content.. I am guessing its a java-blocking problem with some browsers.. any suggestions? It would be great if the bubbles linked to the hits but they dont when deployed on my blogs.

Owen said...

First off - congratulations to Vincent for dropping by here just to follow a trackback link - it shows he takes feedback seriously.

Second - re paris breakfasts and Stephen Downes. I think Stephen Downes gets it less than Vincent. I wouldn't even have followed his link if you hadn't commented on it here - and he is at least as much wrong (IMHO) as Vincent - plus he takes a didactic tone - his way is the right way - even more than Vincent.

There are good points in both viewpoints but I take issue with Downes' manner of response. Rude is rude and the world is not black and white.

Anyway - just highlights the need for good constructive writing/editing tips...

paul said...

Strangly enough, Stephen Downes wrote a post last year on how to be heard, which I felt was more about becoming a popular blog and I had some comments about it - "I' wish there was more emphasis on becoming a 'successful' blog, not just a popular one... If you learn something every time you blog, you've created a successful blog."

The comment post Downes linked to from Vincent's page may seem to contradict his post from a year ago, including "Don't just say, "Read my blog for a comment." (I could take that completely out of context for effect but he's really talking about doing that on mailing lists). And the post has a link to a printable version of the post in MS Word when he's now telling us not to do it in PDF.

Perhaps the changes in Stephen's techniques are actually lessons he's learned over the past year, but this really isn't the place to discuss it. In any case his earlier post, Vincent's article and Stephen's response is all valid advice and reading them will help your form your own opinions and your own voice.

What it does bring that applies to us - how many of us do any work on cleaning up how our pages print? Most bloggers never need to worry about people printing their posts, but I'm sure most of us print recipe posts from our fellow food bloggers so we can put it on the kitchen counter as we follow it, and a few have devised nice CSS for print. Eventually I'll try to do a post on this.

paul said...

Oops, that comment went out without a proper proofing and editing, but I think it makes just enough sense to understand. Besides I wouldn't want to delete anything ; )

Liz said...

Out of curiosity, how is a successful blog different from a popular one? I would say that popularity- ie people actually reading and commenting on your writing- is the mark of a successful blog.

My $0.02.

paul said...

We all measure success in different ways. For some, it's earning enough from Google ads to afford a Viking stove, for others it's a book deal. For others it's compiling a knowledgebase that will help you cook (or find where to eat) anything at a moments notice.

For some it is the popularity, but popularity means different things too. Some of us (or most of us for a period of time) habitually check stats and ranking, and feel like they've created something successful when they can say they serve up more than a thousand pages a day.

What about the popularity makes it successful? The pride of your rank? The new friends you've made? The satisfaction of passing on your knowledge and passion to more and more people?

Stephen Downes writes: "What you will notice is that, in all successful blogs, there's something in it for the author."

Why would you spend countless hours on something you wouldn't get anything from? I'm not talking about advertising revenue, or even publicity for your business, I'm talking about what getting something out of the actual act of blogging - reading, thinking, learning, writing, communicating (and in our case cooking and eating). And getting better at those things by doing them while you blog.

I personally measure success by longevity. If a blogger does this for more than a few years, they've created something that continuously inspires them to learn and get better at all the myriad crafts involved in food blogging. Popularity isn't a factor in that kind of success.