Improve your blogging - Learn from 300 years of blogging experience


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Improve your blogging - Learn from 300 years of blogging experience

  1. 1. Improve your blogging – Learn from 300 years of blogging experience!<br />Navin Kabra<br /><br />@ngkabra and @punetech on twitter<br />
  2. 2. Those who blog for readers<br />NOT: those who blog for self-expression<br />Target of this talk<br />
  3. 3. A blog <br />is a <br />mini-newspaper /magazine<br />
  4. 4. Gather info<br />Select<br />Improve/Expand<br />Opine<br />Publish, rinse, repeat<br />What does a newspaper do?<br />
  5. 5. Gather: Constantly thinking about what to blog<br />Select: Deciding if something is appropriate for blog or not<br />Expand/Improve: Collecting further information<br />Opine: Add own opinions<br />Rinse, Repeat<br />A blogger does the same<br />
  6. 6. Traditional media has perfected some aspects of this<br />Learn from them<br />Traditional Media =300 years of blogging!<br />
  7. 7. Media spends much more time/effort (as a percentage of their total effort) on this aspect.<br /> Most bloggers don&apos;t focus so much on this aspect<br /> Blogger: I&apos;ll blog about whatever I think about.<br />Not good enough!<br />Gather: Media vs. Blogs<br />
  8. 8. Newspaper reporters can&apos;t say we&apos;ll write about whatever news we run into as we go about our lives.<br />They have to seek out all news that their readers interested in.<br />Same with your blog.<br />meetu/wogma can&apos;t review whatever movies she happens to see.<br />Must watch all Hindi movies and review them<br />Gather: Blogs should do more<br />
  9. 9. Google Alerts (subscribe for keywords related to your area)<br />Twitter (use “search columns” on tweetdeck or seismic desktop)<br />Mailing lists (join as many relevant lists as you can)<br />Events (attend all relevant offline events)<br />Syndicate content (seek out content by other bloggers and ask permission to republish on your blog)<br />Gather – How?<br />
  10. 10. Don&apos;t blog everything that comes to your mind<br />Think about what your readers are interested in<br />Reader more important than Writer<br />Select<br />
  11. 11. Newspapers have a space crunch<br />Blogs have an imaginary space crunch<br />Can’t waste readers’ time with too much content<br />Can only fit limited stuff on first page<br />Select – Space Crunch<br />
  12. 12. Don’t blog everything – drop less relevant content<br />Reduce size of each blog post<br />Have subsections<br />Relegate some stuff to subsections<br />Front page has just links to subsection articles<br />Get an editor for your blog (friend, spouse)<br />Someone who brutally tells you which posts are boring<br />Select – Space Crunch – Ideas from newspapers<br />
  13. 13. Newspapers/magazines don’t <br /> just excerpt another publication’s<br /> article with an excerpt & link<br />Neither should you!<br />Don’t just echo<br />Add value<br />Simplify<br />Check for accuracy – confirm info independently<br />Add alternative points of view<br />Add more info (wikipedia, etc)<br />Improve / Expand<br />
  14. 14. You’re already doing most of this!<br />But consider: <br />Opinions by guest bloggers<br />Posts containing your opinion & and<br /> one opposing opinion<br />Imitate Newspaper Columnists<br />Develop a distinctive style<br />Have a consistent opinion<br />Opinion Pages<br />
  15. 15. Other things to learn from traditional media<br />
  16. 16. No-one has time to read all your blog posts<br />Even those reading your post, don’t read each sentence in detail<br />Everybody skims! <br />Write so as to hook the skimmers<br />Write for skimmers<br />
  17. 17. Newspapers spend lots of time on headlines<br />Sometimes headline writers are different from the reporters<br />Headlines grab attention<br />Good for SEO<br />Spend lot of time thinking of an interesting (clickable) headline<br />Which should also contain appropriate keywords (for SEO)<br />Write for skimmers - Headlines<br />
  18. 18. Newspapers give a quick overview in first paragraph<br />And then fill in details in rest of article<br />So those who read just one para still get the whole story<br />Try doing the same<br />Your content reaches more minds<br />Write for skimmers – First paragraph<br />
  19. 19. Photos most “looked at” parts of newspapes/magazines<br />Skimmers can’t “avoid” photos<br />Then high probability of reading captions<br />Tell your story in photos and captions<br />Write for skimmers – Add photos and captions<br />
  20. 20. Break up long articles into sub-sections<br />Give useful sub-headlines to subsections<br />Use “excerpt boxes”<br />This hooks reader “just glancing” over article<br />Study how magazines do this<br />Write for skimmers – Sub-headings<br />
  21. 21. Which is correct?<br />Write to show your command over language<br />Write to be easily understood<br />Write to NOT be misunderstood!!<br />Small sentences<br />Simple words<br />Avoid ambiguous constructions<br />Get an editor!<br />Radical Clarity<br />
  22. 22. Links<br />“Quotes”<br />Further reading<br />Cite Sources<br />
  23. 23. Much more effort into gathering data<br />Be selective about what you post<br />Expand/Improve: Dig into the story<br />Write for skimmers (headlines, pics, sections)<br />Radical Clarity<br />Links<br />Summary<br />
  24. 24. <ul><li>NavinKabra
  25. 25. Background: Computer Science - B.Tech, IIT-Bombay, Ph.D., U-Wisconsin, USA
  26. 26. Currently: Co-founder at
  27. 27. But: Better known for my websites!
  28. 28.,
  29. 29. Twitter: @ngkabra, @punetech
  30. 30. More info:
  31. 31. Email:
  32. 32. Linked-in:</li></ul>About the author(aka blatant self-promotion)<br />