I started this blog site as an assignment for a graduate class in communications and created 7 best practices for blogs, which stem from my purpose as a contributor of social media:
- Make a difference—Impact readers by inspiring them, teaching them, or offering them a new perspective.
- Include relevant and engaging content—Know your audience and provide value. Don’t publish just to publish.
- Keep it simple—Use an informal writing style that is easy to follow and a format that is clean. Proper grammar and punctuation make your message clear.
- Includes visuals—Words are strongest when supported with appropriate visuals.
- Remember that less is more—More words and graphics weaken the message.
- Be credible—Fact check, and don’t include false information. Offering your opinion is okay, but be fair.
- Proofread and edit—Nobody gets it right the first time. Taking the time to craft your error-free blog will earn you a growing readership.
If there were an official “Blogger’s Code of Conduct,” then I would be proud to sign my name and adhere to it. I have pretty high standards in my work, and it would help to validate my values for my readers.
As I review the blogs that I created so far, I think that I did a good job following my best practices guidelines, but several could be improved with more visuals. The blogs that had graphics were more appealing and might grab a reader’s attention more than those without.
One thing that I did especially well was making the content relevant to my audience. Some of my blog assignments did not necessarily lend themselves to natural blog content. My blog considered the audience rather than just fulfilling criteria with a simple Q&A, which might not make sense to the general public. I met the requirements, but took the extra time to put the blog in a context that is meaningful and relevant to the reader. For example, rather than a blog about the Oconee County Observations site, which would not concern most people, my Community Journalism blog focused on citizen journalism, and used the Oconee site as one of two examples. In Meet-ups and Mash-ups, the post about my trials of social media tools was more believable framed as a response to a conference that I had attended that same week.
If I could write about anything, it would be my travel experiences. I admire the Wisconsin couple that are traveling around the world and writing about it in their Getting Stamped blog site, which is a great example of a site that reflects my 7 best practices guidelines. Each blog includes a striking photo and engaging headline on a page that is clean and well-organized. Their text is concise and easy to follow. Their pages include a counter that tracks how many days and hours that they have been traveling, a graphic showing what country that they are currently in, and interesting travel stats, including miles traveled and beds slept in. The site also includes a resources section with travel information and recommendations.
I’m not in a position to quit my job and travel the world as Hannah and Adam have done, but their experiences inspire me to find my own unique travel experiences.
Hannah & Adam. (n.d.). Getting stamped. [Weblog]. Retrieved from http://www.gettingstamped.com/blog/
Lachmann-Anke, P., & Lachmann-Anke, M. (n.d.). #1027861. [Photo]. Retrieved on February 5, 2016, from https://pixabay.com/en/blog-leave-texts-blogger-blogging-1027861/