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Ever had one of those days where the words just refuse to behave? Where it feels like every word you use is the wrong word? And you continuously rewrite the same sentences.

Worse Still! You finally finish the post believing it’s your best ever only to find no-one comments.

The unfortunate fact of blogging is writing good blog posts is more than just the words. Spend time observing probloggers and you’ll see they use various strategies to make each post count. If you want to use blogging for your personal learning you need to be effective at engaging and having conversations with readers.

So here’s my first 5 tips for better blog posts:

# 1 Use Short Paragraphs

Image of toes and fingersI can’t count on all my fingers and toes the number of posts I’ve tried to read that are just one paragraph! One incredibly long paragraph. What The? And many of these were written by educators.

Posts with really long paragraphs are really hard to read making it less likely for your post to be read and/or your readers to miss the point of your post.

Very simple:

  • Break your posts up with paragraphs
  • The more paragraphs the better!
  • Short paragraphs are better than long
  • Make the first sentence of each paragraph make me want to read the rest of the paragraph!

Photo adapted from Flickr photo uploaded on December 14, 2006 by wiccked licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0.

#2 Use Headings!

Use headings and where appropriate bullet points and number lists to break up the post into manageable bit size chunks.

WordPress, which Edublogs uses, provides Heading Styles. Use them! Which you use will depend on your theme.

Trial each heading style to select which visually looks the best:

  1. Write a test post
  2. Use each Heading Style
  3. Click on Save and Continue Editing
  4. Click Preview to see what each looks like in a post

Heading 3 works the best with my blog themes.

#3 Remember to Hyperlink

Image of LinksIf you write about an article or another blogger’s post link to it! Why? Because your readers often want to check it out in more details.

When you link to someone else’s post it’s good practice to mention their name, link their name to their blog, and then link to the post you’re referring to (it’s also a good way of getting people to visit your site).

Photo from Flickr uploaded on February 13, 2006 by Rigmarole licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0.

Here’s an example of hyperlinking (click on each to see why I used):

Larry Ferlazzo says Scribd is a great tool for English Language Learners (he’s voted it fourth best tool for 2007 for ELL). Why? Because he gets students upload their papers and illustrations, and Scribd immediately also converts it into audio so, in addition to seeing their story, they and others can hear it, too.

Check out this example Larry created for how Scribe can be used for Talking Stories (press the play on the Listen toolbar on the bottom right hand side below categories and tags).

Here’s how to add hyperlinks:

AVOID using underlining when writing posts because your readers expect all underlined text is hyperlinked.

#4 Always Comment Back To Readers On Your Own Posts!

Image of I love commentsIf readers have made time to comment on your posts the very minimum you should do is respond back to your readers (ideally each reader) in the comments on your post. This is very important for building your blog’s community; it demonstrates that you value your readers and their input.

Commenting back also increases community interaction. Look at how Lee is interacting with her readers on “What Posts Stimulate Readers To Comment?” and while you are there make sure you leave your thoughts on what makes readers comment.

Photo from Flickr uploaded on March 26, 2008 by Morbit Photography licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0.


Image of Shame on youThere are well known edubloggers who almost never respond or acknowledge their readers who take time to write comments or link to them. Sorry but I have to say this! Shame on you. Not good enough! Your readers are part of your personal learning community and you should be showing you value them.

Please don’t interpret my words to imply I’m saying all well known edubloggers are like this! There are ones that do and the ones that don’t comment back. You also get to see some incredible well known edubloggers who spend considerable time helping and mentoring others!

Photo adapted from Flickr uploaded on November 7, 2007 by Minds Move (Mountains) licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0.

#5 Subscribe To Your Own Blog Feed!

Always, always, always subscribe to your own blog feed using your feed reader (e.g. Google Reader, Bloglines, NetVibes)!

Your blog has two main audiences:

  1. Those who read your post on your blog
  2. Those who read your post via a feed reader

Your blog posts have to look good, visually, for both audiences. Subscribing to your own blog feed means you’ll see your posts how they are seen by your subscribers. This allows you to troubleshoot issues with font sizes, image size/alignment and removal of content (e.g. embeds like SlideShare, Voicethreads and videos are often removed by feed readers).

You’ll never know about your blog feed issues unless you subscribe to your own blog (check out this example of what can happen when your blog feed goes astray and you don’t realise).

PERSONAL RANT!Never ever, ever set your blog feed to partial feeds! With the number of posts I read do you honestly think I have time to click on READ MORE?


This post was in response to a request from Darren Draper and Robin Ellis to follow up on to provide blogging tips and etiquette for their Open PD session on using Edublogs.

It will be part of an ongoing series and since we each have a different definition of what makes a “good blog post” I would love you to share your thoughts.

So can you please tell us about:

  1. What are your 3 most important tips for writing better blog posts?
  2. What blog post recently has made you want to comment and what was it about this post that engaged you?
  3. Has a post recently inspired you to write your own post? What was it about the post that made you take action?

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About Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter


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  1. Pingback: Cathy Nelson’s Professional Thoughts » Blog Archive » December reflections

  2. My three suggestions for a successful blog:

    1. Choose a specific theme/central concept and stick to it (or close to it, at least).

    My theme is “library musings”, so at least 75% of the time that is what I offer–my random thoughts on being a librarian. The remaining posts include the occasional library rant and posts about books in general.

    2. Post something to the blog everyday. I found that when I wasn’t doing this I would leave it untouched for weeks at a time. Terrible for traffic!

    3. Make it easy for newbies to figure out how to post a comment. It’s been awhile since I’ve been an active commenter on anyone’s blog, and I almost gave up before I finally found the comment box way down here at the bottom of the page. Of course, that speaks well of the number of comments you’re getting, but it would be great if the box was above the other comments.


    The blog post that has most inspired me recently?

    This one! I’ve drifted away from following others, and to be honest I’m not sure how I ended up here today, but by posting the questions at the end of the post, you gave me somewhere to go with my comment. I’ll have to start doing that at my blog.


    Since I’ve not been following any blogs lately, most of my posts have been more inspired by bits from books and happenings in real life. I do feel that what you have said here will be a motivation for me to change the format of my posts a bit.


    Thanks for blogging this. I’ve subscribed!

  3. Pingback: How to Write a Better Blog? | Library Musings

  4. @librarymusings Thanks for sharing your tips. I used to try blogging daily however having two blogs does make it hard. I’ve now found that 2 posts a week work well for me and ensure that I keep the routine.

    Agreed about making it easier to comment. Just the nature of comments that the oldest is at the bottom.

    Best of luck with your blogging

  5. Two posts a week does sound like a good compromise stance between posting too often (and therefore having nothing to say) and not posting often enough (and losing your readers).

    I’m going to continue posting every day for the rest of my personal six-week challenge, just to make sure I form the habit. After that I’ll probably ease up quite a bit.

    Thanks for the advice!

  6. What a wonderful introduction to blogging!
    I attempted to set up my browser to follow this page, this comment will update this page, and then I will know whether or not I have done it correctly.
    In terms of how often I *can* blog, I wonder if I am capable of even once a week, as I generally have very little to say – I expect I will be much more active in commenting on other people’s blogs.
    Thanks for the tips!

    • @Phil we will have to wait and see if you get this comment. How I approached blogging is I write about what I’m learning. My attitude has always been if I don’t know something than my readers also probably don’t know it.

      That way it’s win/win. It reinforces my learning and my readers gain.

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  11. Hello What a great post and lots of wonderful tips and ideas. I have just started blogging. I have been reading lots of blogs, however making few comments – always rather nervous to provide my thoughts; similar to speaking up. Anyway I just recently created 2 blogs – one is a family blog that is very easy to post to. It is simply journaling about our family as a way to remember my children as they grow up. The other blog is one through edublogs for my teachers at our school. I have had trouble deciding what to post about; but decided I wanted to post about what I was learning. The difficult part is that my PLN is the people who I have learned from so they already know this information. I’m trying to get an audience for my blog so my posts will have some meaning. Need to find a way to get my desired audience to actually read the posts. But again I’m just starting. Thanks for all the great tips.

    • You’ve given me lots to think about Bonnie regarding the aspect of starting to blog and readers.

      For me, blogging started as a way of reflecting on my thoughts and sharing my learning. Readership and audience weren’t necessarily what I thought about — but saying that as a blogger it is important to consider that aspect. For me it was just something that happened as I created connections, read other people’s blogs and started commenting on other people’s posts.

      Whether people from within the organisation I work for read or didn’t read my posts, has never concerned me, as I’ve always focused on the global aspect of what I do and hope that perhaps some of them might read my blogs.

      There is a group of people starting the 31 Days Blogging Project – that is a good opportunity to create connections while improving your blogging if you are interested?

  12. I am creating classroom blog for the students and parents in my classroom. Thanks for the good advice. Hopefully I will try to keep many parents and kids interested with lots of short spurts. Thanks again.

    • Best of luck with your classroom blog – if you want you can add it to our list of class blogs.

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  17. My advice is to get the reader incorporated in your blog. Asking them questions.. or having them do something seems to get them more interested.


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  20. I just joined the blog couple weeks ago!

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  27. Sue,
    As an intern at a non-profit in charge of blogging I thank you so much for this post. I’m sure its helped a lot of people already, and has encouraged me to start commenting on other blogs.


  28. I think thanks for the tips :)

  29. I’ve been looking for tips like these for a while! Many thanks!

  30. Pingback: Five Tips for Writing Better Blog Posts | Teaching in the 21st Century

  31. I really like this post Sue, and have found it very useful in developing my own personal blog…something that I am invariably new to and hopefully will improve upon as time goes on.

    I am definitely thinking of incorporating blogging into my classroom practice as a way for students to continue to develop their writing and recieve feedback on their thoughts and I will definitely use these tips to help them get started.

    Would you perhaps have any suggestions as to what you might encourage students to write in their own personal blogs, or would you encourage them to write whatever they feel like? I am hoping that they will get feedback…even if it is from each other as I think that some of them may become discouraged if they do not get responses to their posts. Any thoughts from you or anyone who reads this reply are appreciated.

    • @geordieexile, the best advice I’ve read on what students should blog about was written by a student.

      I strongly recommend you read Lauren’s post and tell others to take the time to read it. Excellent advice on student blogging from a student who has been inspired by how their teacher encourages them to blog.

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  38. I have read and will follow the blog rules.

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  40. What is the most challenging part of your job as a teacher?

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  42. This has been useful to me, but, I really have to say this; you need to include something about proper grammar and punctuation. At the same time, however, you need to check yours. I see a grammatical mistake. Do you?

    • @greenmile96, proper grammar and punctuation is an interesting topic with blogging.

      Blogging is more conversational than traditional writing and it’s often common to see bloggers break every rule to make a blog post more conversation and read better.

      A grammatical mistake — I’m surprised you didn’t find more 8-)

      I suggest you read the last two comments on my personal blog here – http://suewaters.com/2009/09/18/heres-my-blogging-story-whats-yours/

  43. Sue, this is really great advice. I enjoyed the tips, and will make sure to have my blog follow these guidelines. Thanks!

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  46. You don’t need to be a professional writer in order to create a blog post. All you need to do is just follow good steps in order to create a good write ups. :)

  47. I am a progressive, political blogger who uses Edublogs through my school (I’m a thirteen-year-old), and I find that for opinion blogs like mine, a important thing is to sound emotional. I am more interested when I listen to someone angrily tirading a issue that they disagree with than someone just giving a bland summary with no emotion. I try to write how my emotions take me.

  48. I agree with the tip about breaking the post up into paragraphs, I see so many blog posts that are just one long dribble of a post , it makes me leave the blog.

  49. Pingback: Great Tutorial for Beginners on Edublogging (via @suewaters)


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