Thursday, September 06, 2007

What's in a Blog?

This blog will never amount to much. The competition is just too good. I have neither the time nor the imagination to produce something of a similar standards to the blogs I read day in and day out. I'm sure there are lots of published lists about how to blog well, but rather than look them up I thought I'd have a go at writing my own top ten list of what constitutes a good blog.

1. Write about something you know. That may simply be yourself but the ill-informed blogger will soon run out of steam trying to talk about something they are not passionate about.

2. Post regularly. At least daily seems to be the norm. This is where I fail the test. People get hooked on the minutiae of what you have to say and hang on your every post. It's a voyeuristic thing.

3. Answer all comments personally. This is a tough one - but the best bloggers always answer each and every comment. I wish I was smart enough to have an answer for everyone.

4. If you get an abusive comment, be polite or be funny in your response. Online abuse between two people can be funny for a while but it gets boring. The best bloggers defuse the abusive commenter with humour. They seems to realise answering abuse with abuse just doesn't work but a witty put-down will almost always subdue your protaganist.

5. Have an understanding of grammar, punctuation and spelling. Blogs are usually read by other bloggers or people who have an interest in reading - slovenly writing will lose you your smarter readers. The occasional mistake is acceptable, but persistent poor work will not be tolerated.

6. If you're going to write about yourself, include a good degree of self-deprecation. Nobody likes reading about what a smartarse you are.

7. Be honest. The best blogs are clearly written with complete honesty. Maybe it's a cathartic experience for the blogger. I try but I always bottle it at the last minute.

8. Link to other blogs you like and comment regularly on other people's blogs. They will appreciate it and come and visit you in return.

9. Sorry, single issue blogs about your triumph over a terminal illness just don't do it for me. You may think you have a story to tell but it will have to be exceptionally good to sustain a regular readership of people who have not had a similar experience. Writing about your illness may help you through your experience but don't expect everyone else to be interested. For the passing reader, these blogs are just too self-analytical and bleak.

10. Read and/or comment on my blog and I promise to comment on yours and link to you. All abusive comments will be answered by me personally in a civil and humourous manner.


Ladybristol said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog.
After reading your tips on good blogging I thought I would see what blogs you read and went off in search for your links. I looked high and low, at the top and at the bottom, but couldn't find any to click on. Where are they?

King of Scurf said...

Thanks for commenting your Ladyship. I'm working on putting up a blogroll - you will, of course, be on it.

Ladybristol said...

Why, thank you, your majesty :)

Rob said...

Hi. I've been a sporadic reader of your blog from its beginnings. I must say I did wonder how long you'f keep up the naming of posts after Bonzos tracks! I've just linked to the Colin Read story (yecch) and credited you with the link.

I don't suppose my blog's ever going to be a star in the blogosphere like Dooce or Little Red Boat, who are both simply more talented than I am. I agree, though, that ploughing your own furrow is the way to go. No point trying to write someone else's blog, because someone else is already doing it better than you will. So - rather like yours - my blog's a mix of things from my own life, things in the news that interest me, links to other people's posts if I really like something, reviews of gigs amd general rants. Some people seem to like it. And I like yours.

King of Scurf said...

Hi Rob. Thanks for your continued support. Like all bloggers I want to be read, despite my irregular postings and scatalogical subject choice.......I wanted to keep up the Bonzo references but I thought I'd try a more direct approach for a while instead. But ultimately, a blog that is successful is simply down to hard work and good writing - two things I've never been particularly good at.