1. DO write about what matters to you.
This is the first commandment of blogging. The most successful blogs are written by people who are passionate about their subject matter. When you write about topics that excite you, your writing will communicate a sense of energy that will attract like-minded readers. You'll also be more likely to keep on blogging, and won't abandon your blog after a few days or weeks.
2. DON'T take a too-formal tone.
Blogging is a more informal medium than print, and your writing style should reflect that. Blogging allows you to write in a casual, face-to-face tone, as if you were sitting down for a cup of coffee with your readers. One way to begin to develop your blog "voice" is to read blogs that resonate with you and study the ways in which those bloggers choose words that maintain a professional tone while still being warm and accessible.
3. DO edit yourself.
Hey, it's your blog, right? You can write a 2,000-word essay on what you had for breakfast, or wax eloquent about everything that is wrong with retail customer service. Don't do it. Once you draft your post, read through it for redundancies, irrelevant anecdotes or anything that isn't vital. You might find that you have enough material for 2 or 3 unique posts. Your blog isn't a book; make it lean.
4. DON'T use tired clich�s.
A clich� is a phrase that has been coined for so long that it has become boring. An easy way to turn off readers and make them move on to another site is to pepper your posts with clich�s like "right as rain" and "easy as pie." Take a minute to prune those phrases out and replace them with something fresh and original.
5. DO spell check your posts before you click "Publish Now."
TypePad offers a spellchecking function that makes it easy for you to have typo-free posts. Whenever you see a red line beneath a word, double check the spelling. Watch out for common misspellings that won't show up on the spellchecker, such as "your" versus "you're," "their" versus "there," and "principle" and "principal." For extra spelling help, use www.dictionary.com.
6. DON'T forget basic principles of good text layout.
Readability is one of the most important aspects of good blog copy. Use line breaks between paragraphs. Use sub-heads, preferably in bold type. Use italics for emphasis. Your goal is to draw the eye and create a smooth sense of flow throughout your post. Make it easy to read!
7. DO use lists. Most blog readers skim copy rather than read it all the way through.
One way to maximize your copy impact is to use lists. Bullet lists or numbered lists call attention to important points, and ensure that readers who are skimming will catch the most vital part of your post.
8. DON'T use the same format in every post.
Mix it up a little! Some might incorporate lists, while others might be more narrative. Some posts might include a lot of images, while others will be more copy-heavy. Don't do the same thing every time.
9. DO create descriptive headlines that let readers know what to expect from your posts.
One of the best things about blogging is that it allows you to be creative. Problem is, what is clever to you might be confusing to someone else. The best way to encourage more people to read your post is to write a compelling post title, and use subheads throughout your post.
10. DON'T sweat it.
Don't let these guidelines keep you from blogging � the most important thing is to keep writing. If you write with passion and conviction, you'll be able to connect with other people, and your writing will improve every time you post.
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