I’ve been blogging since early November. Here are some of my impressions about the medium:
- Blogging is time consuming. No wonder Twitter is gaining in popularity for personal expression online. Blurting out 140-character tweets is a lot easier than trying to compose your thoughts and say something meaningful in a longer composition. I’ve been watching less TV and getting less sleep in the six months I’ve been blogging on Tech-Media-Tainment. I don’t blog during work hours, so something has to give in my personal life.
- The shorter, the better. When it comes to posts, no one wants to read something long. The Internet is about quick hits, saying what you need to say and getting done fast. Some of my posts on big issues and topics have been a little long. But I’ve learned to break up the text with subheads and bold face type for emphasis. Lists and bullets also break up longer pieces into easier to read chunks.
- Photos and art are a big plus. Photos, screen shots and graphics really liven up blog posts. Some of my earliest posts didn’t have any art, but I went back and added art to them later because I liked the results. Occasionally I’ll use photos I’ve taken, but most of the time they’re screenshots or photos I’ve lifted off the Web. I’m relying on the principle of “fair use” to do this. I provide credit for these low-resolution photos and links to the owners’ Web sites.
- Successful blogs need a laser focus. There are a lot of blogs out there where people post family photos, discuss their personal lives and anything on their minds, but I’m not interested in those. The sites I frequent are those about specific subjects I find interesting. And they can get pretty granular. (Blogs about a single company, entertainment niches, etc.) They have news, opinions, photos or videos that I can’t find elsewhere or that is organized in a useful manner.
- Must update frequently. Blogs must be updated at least a couple times a week or chances are I’ll never come back. I’m sure other people are the same way.