Anatomy of a Blog Post

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Today, I’m going to do something special*… I’m going to let you in on how I put together a blog post.

This isn’t the way I always do it, but this is what usually works for me. This is what gets comments and retweets on twitter. And, if we’re being completely honest, isn’t that what we’re all going for here with the whole blogging thing? For just a few people to read it and love the things we have to say?

  • So, I start out with something random witty. It doesn’t have to be a whole lot of words, we’re talking like a sentence here. Maybe add in a bold word or an italicized one, just for coolness.
  • Then comes the graphic. I either draw it myself, or find some really great free clip art on the internet somewhere and jazz it up with Picmonkey.

Admittedly some days my graphics are better than others. What I love about Picmonkey is that you can make a plain ‘ol picture tie perfect into your blog post, and I’ve got to where I can navigate it all pretty fast and know what I’m doing with it. In the beginning it took me a while, but now it’s quick and easy. I’m all about the quick and easy.**

  • Now we get to the meat of the blog post. And by meat, we’re not talking like five paragraphs. Two, maybe three, if I really have a point I want to make. But, keep it quick. People have like 99 blogs in their feed readers, if you want them to read yours, then keep it under 500 words.

Anonymous sideline person: Did she just say 500 words? But we’re WRITERS? How can we do that.

You can do it anonymous sideline person. I promise. This is a classic case of less is more.

  • Then, you need to wrap it up. You can do this a couple of different ways. One of my favorite ways is with a question to my readers. This gives them something to DO in the comments. (Which makes them more likely to LEAVE comments.) Or if I’m feeling particularly avant garde, then I finish it off with a witticism, a thought to ponder, a tidbit of knowledge, you know–something dorky.
  • When you feel like you’ve built a great blog post, go back and make it better by adding some formatting. Nothing fancy, just a few bullet points, the occasional highlighted word, etc. People like things that catch their eye–hook them up.
  • And finally, before you hit that publish button PREVIEW it. It takes two seconds, and can save you from going out to RSS feeds looking all craptastic.

Because, dude… nobody likes a craptastic blog…

*Okay, by special I mean not really all THAT special. Shut up.
**There’s no joke here, I just wanted to make you think I had one.

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  1. Thanks for the tips. I’ve never heard of Picnik–looks like fun.
    .-= Myrna´s last blog .. =-.

    1. @Myrna, I LOVE me some picnik. I actually bought the year subscription. I heard google just bought them, which makes me HOPE they combine it with picasa. That would be SO awesome!
      .-= Jamie Harrington´s last blog ..Anatomy of a Blog Post =-.

  2. what a fun post!! great idea and so helpful!
    thanks for the tips! i need to remember that WC thing, too. 😛

    great blog!!

  3. I *am* new here, and you are so right, I DO want to subscribe to your RSS fed!
    Awesome post, followed you here from twitter:)

  4. It’s a constant struggle for me to keep my word count down (blame it on a long-ago journalism job where I was actually paid PER WORD!) But you’re totally right — people don’t like to read or comment when we blather on for 1000 words or longer, so I do know less is more.

    Love the blog!

    .-= Tawna Fenske´s last blog ..Brainstorming makes my butt feel good =-.

    1. @Tawna Fenske, Yeah, I am the same way… I SO want to write and write and write some more. But every time I do, I get like two comments… people don’t even read them to the end!
      .-= Jamie Harrington´s last blog ..Anatomy of a Blog Post =-.

  5. Well, that was fun. I think I have a similar process, except I manage to pull it off only once a week and usually have a few photos in my posts. Acutally that’s my favorite part, matching the illustrations to the words. And I shoot for a max of 250 words. Thanks, Jamie. Your blog is definitely fun. It has a voice!
    .-= Paul´s last blog ..From The Woodpile =-.

  6. I try to keep my word count under 500. 250-400 is considered the sweet spot to most online magazines. At least that’s what I’m told when I write for online stuff.

    .-= Jeannie´s last blog ..Writing Exercise: Love Letter =-.

    1. @Jeannie, Is it really? I didn’t know that was like the standard haha! Here I thought I’d stubmled on something all smart like. 🙂

      1. @Jamie, haha you did stumble on something smart like!

        I know on my blog it just depends on the subject matter. And since it’s a lot of writing exercises they expect it to be longer.

        But for a blog post, I’ll admit I don’t read more than 400ish words.
        .-= Jeannie´s last blog ..Writing Exercise: Love Letter =-.

    1. @Linda G., I did one earlier this week that was like 1,500 words long… spent HOURS on it and got like one comment… that’s when I did some word count research 🙂

      1. @Linda G., it’s tough though… I even had to trim this blog post down… it was at like 550, which normally I’d do, but I was actually SAYING to keep it under 500 so I didn’t want to like NOT do what I said haha!
        .-= Jamie´s last blog ..Anatomy of a Blog Post =-.