Blog writing advice
I have been writing my own travel blog to cover my trip of India. Im quite enjoying it so far and have found no end of things to write about about. I have recieved lots of positive feedback and constructive comments as well as a steady stream of traffic so I am quite pleased with the way things are going so far.
Im looking for a bit of advice though, I am really struggling to keep short and sharp. My blogs tend to drift into to stories. Is there a discipline for keeping your blogs short or is it ok to sometimes get carried away whilst writing.
I know it's fun and interesting to me and maybe some others but from my own expierence I like to read bite sized blogs and have trouble recreating similar blogs.
Thanks in advance!
Just wanted to say, I have the same problem! I've pretty much given up trying to shorten the articles, but I do cut out whatever I don't think is necessary anymore because I think the general public doesn't read the whole thing when a blog is that long. But it's hard to change your writing style!
Thanks for the copyblogger link. I've seen a couple more articles since then with some good tips.
Come along for the ride!
The title is really important. I always try to think of it from this perspective: "If I were looking for a piece about what I'm writing about, what words would I Google? What would catch my eye?"
Anthony St. Clair
Writer & Editor / Traveler / Cook / Brewer
twitter / antsaint
My biggest problem has always been the fact that I consider all the little details of my days to be super important to understanding the story, but what you have to learn to realize is that they're very much not relevant to strangers.
This is just a theory, and I'm just one reader, but that's where I'm focusing my energy right now. It all depends on your target audience and what they'll want to read. I have about 6 regular readers, so I can pretty much post whatever I damn well please!
I guess I should back that up with an example, so here's something I wrote about a week ago:
I'd like to say I have more examples, but reading back over what I posted while in Thailand several years ago, I let too much of the mundane creep in.
2. The fact that you are in the Andes and the bus journey took a long time and was scary and uncomfortable is of no interest to your readers whatsoever, nor is the wait at the airport, nor what you had for breakfast, dinner or tea. Unless of course it really was INTERESTING. Waiting at a bus stop becomes no more interesting TO THE READER because the bus stop is in Tehran instead of Preston.
3. You are not Wikipedia. "Finally arrived in Paris, the capital of France. Did you know that Louvre was not always a gallery..." is always boring. No history or geography lessons.
4. No one is interested in YOU. YOU are not even interesting to you: that is why you are travelling. You should be writing about the people you meet, the things you see, not about yourself.
5. Do not allow your mum, sister, father or grandmother to read your blog.
6. Adhere strictly to conventional grammar, spelling and punctuation!!!!
7. If your writing is amusing, your reader will laugh of their own free will. They do not need a LOL. There are no LOLs in Shakespeare, nor are there any YUMs.
8. Attempt a week of blogging your 'real' life, in Preston or Milwaukee, in the same way as you would when you are travelling. That will force you to focus on how dull your writing really is.
9. In the whole history of literature and art I cannot bring to mind a single figure who was both a great writer and a great artist, though cases could be made for Michaelangelo, Francis Bacon and perhaps D.H.Lawrence or Wyndham Lewis. Write or take pictures. Do not PUBLISH both. Never juxtapose mediocre writing with good pictures or vice versa.
10. Ignore all positive feedback and compliments. Very few people have an opinion worth listening to.
To judge your success of failure, I will leave you with the words of Ray Bradbury, talking about Farenheit 451
I think the hardcover sold 5,000 copies, which isn't much... The paperback edition sold maybe 50,000 copies in a year. which is more than 5,000, but it isn't a bestseller.
I'm on a kind of question for good travel writing, and so many people are wasting their time and talent of boring blogs.
If you don't hate me, have a look at my post in Travel Writing Leads.
One remark on point 3, history and geography lessons are indeed boring, unless you can provide details that are not in the general encyclopedia.
E.g. I don't want to learn from you when the Eifel tower was built and by whom, but I like small facts like the number of nails that were used (2 500 000) or the number of people that jumped off (367, making it one of the most popular suicide sites in the world).
@newadventuresinbackpacking: It's often hard to keep your blog post small as so many things happened and there is so much to say.
One trick is to write the post as you are used to, say 2000-3000 characters, and afterwards try to write a pitch for it (200-300 characters). This is a good exercise to leave details out of your story without losing the concentration of the audience.
anuraglidl wrote:I write only that much what I think people will enjoy reading. If its too long than people leave it in mid and if it is too small then also they don't give it a try. This is my experience. And I also tweet by blog posts as it helps in exposure and getting traffic.
Thanks for your post. Really good experience.
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