This is something I wrote back in 2004. I am not sure if it ever made it up on the blog, but I found it and thought it was worth re-posting.
Anatomy of a Good Blog Post
- Make the title as clear as possible. In general avoid inside jokes, or using specific information which people might not be familiar with.
- Make the first sentence as clear and informative as possible. Include the usual when, what, why, etc kind of information here. Consider making the first few words or the first sentence bold by inserting a before and a after the bold section.
- Break up large blocks of text into paragraphs with one line in between. There’s nothing more daunting than text everywhere – dividing it up makes it more manageable. To easily format a long quote, use < blockquote > before and a after indents it and inserts a vertical line.
- Create hyperlinks when referring to Books, Companies, Organizations, Bands, or any other specific thing your readers might not be familiar with linking to official websites or websites with more information.
- Link to all of your sources of information. If you read four news articles, list them all at the end of the post. If you got the information from an email, quote part of the email or acknowledge where it came from. If you spoke to someone in person, identify them either in general (an eyewitness, a participant) or give their name. This make us seem more legit and also allows the reader to investigate further: this is one of the unique advantages of the web.
- Use photos efficiently. Photos should always add to the post and give the reader more information. Use paintbrush or other graphics software to keep them to be a small size. Avoid multiple large photos most people have already seen. For more advanced work like graphics editing and allowing the text to wrap around the photo, ask for assistance.
- Link to related past stories. If you are covering an ongoing issue, take a few minutes and make a list of previous posts on your site related to the issue. This helps new readers find related content, and makes the site easier to use.