WriterAccess Weekly Round-up: Best and Worst of Blogging

Welcome back from the weekend!

What I am going to talk about today is … how not to start blog posts incredibly boringly. (Step one: Don’t say “What I am going to talk about today is ….) People have short attention spans. People on the Internet have even shorter ones. If you don’t start off your blog in a compelling manner, it’s likely that all that great content you have stuffed in there later will never be read at all. Luckily, those at For Bloggers, By Bloggers have advice on the importance of your first 50 words. Don’t allow the blog you have spent so much time and energy on—if it actually is a great read—be relegated to a click-away because you can’t capture the fickle attention of the masses.

Of course, just having that great content doesn’t mean your content will be read anyway—that assumption is another dangerous mistake of bloggers. What content is king, exactly? Your blog shouldn’t be and isn’t your diary, unless you have a tremendously interesting and unique life story with a killer writing voice to boot, or unless you’re Leonardo Dicaprio and that diary includes pictures.

This month on this very blog, one of our amazing Featured Writers created a blog post called “Writing Formula Advice from a Newspaper Reporter.” He discussed creating a concise, complete content asset based in long-standing rules of the newspaper industry. ProBlogger totally digs this idea, too, because this week they created a blog post called “A Journalist’s Approach to Blogging.” Both posts discuss the dogged reporter’s goal of getting the whole story, of not being sloppy. It’s an attitude many bloggers would be remiss to push aside.

Don’t you hate it when you’re reading a book or movie review and the content is almost completely summarization? Then at the end, the writer tacks on “oh and I thought it was good/bad.” Book reviews have the power to showcase opinion, values, and voice, but often do not. Social Media Examiner discusses the power of book reviews, but I say until we see more authentic, honest reviews, I might be against this one. Maybe some of you can take to your own blogs to dig in! Whatever you do, if you’re an author yourself, never respond immaturely to a negative review (if this one is even negative!). This author incited web mania with her horrible, hilarious, and never-ending retort against a borderline-negative review. File it under: How Not To Comment On Blogs. Didn’t her mama teach her any grace or poise?

OK, so he may not have been Leo Dicaprio, but Derek Miller created a “diary-like” blog that all blogs should aspire to. Salon.com profiles Miller’s heartbreaking, funny, and honest blog detailing his life with and death from colorectal cancer. Blogs should be about building community and sharing information, especially information on subjects unknown to those on the outside. His universal, but incredibly intimate blog is an inspiration to all bloggers—and all humans.

What about you? If you come across any interesting links over the course of the week, post them in the comment section and maybe I’ll feature them in next week’s Round-up.