Blogging tips from a pedantic editor

Here in the HR Daily office, I'm known for my pedantry. I'm very picky about details, and doing things in particular ways. While I'm sure it's annoying to some people, it's a trait that has served me well in my career as a journalist.

Here are some quick tips that I try to use every day, which might help you take your blogging to the next level. (Warning, serious nitpickery follows.)

Use a great headline

Unless your post is the one that HR Daily features on Friday, the headline of your post might be the only thing that our 22,000+ readers see in their email, or on HR Daily's Twitter feed.

Is your headline compelling? If you saw it in a list, would you click on it to read more?

Time spent perfecting your headline will potentially reap you more reward than anything else. If you struggle in this area, make an effort to focus on the headlines you read in papers and online. Be conscious of the ones that attract your attention, and consider why they do.

Tip: Come up with three headlines for each of your blog posts and ask a colleague or friend to choose between them, giving their reasons.

Emphasise your key points (and nothing else!)

Use emphasis sparingly. You wouldn't cover a full page of a report with a highlighter, so don't do it in your post.

Bold, italic and underlining are for emphasis - use only one at a time or you risk diluting your key points.

Tip: Look at your post through blurred eyes. If more than the most important parts stand out, undo some formatting.

Break it up

A solid block of text can be a real turn-off. Write in paragraphs (as a general rule, of fewer than six lines), but vary their length as well.

One short, pithy sentence here and there will really add to the impact of what you're saying.

Copy and paste with care

We encourage members to reproduce posts from their own blogs on the HR Daily Community. It adds content to our site, while increasing exposure for you and your brand.

When you "copy and paste", however, be mindful that the formatting won't always come across perfectly. This is especially the case with punctuation and symbols.

Tip: Take a good look at your post using the preview function at the bottom of the page - keeping in mind the points above (especially spacing and fonts) - and fix anything that looks odd before hitting 'publish'. Remember also to confirm that all your links work.

Use good grammar

My grammar isn't perfect, but I'm always trying to improve it. I recommend this book if you don't know where to start.

If you can't be bothered with that, follow some of the grammar buffs on Twitter to absorb a drip feed of rules and suggestions that will improve your writing.

Tip: Avoid exclamation points in your headlines, unless you want people to think you're shouting the last words.

Promote yourself

Having read your interesting post on that fascinating subject, our audience might like to know more about who you are and what you do. They just might be your next customer or client, so don't be shy.

Tip: Add some information about yourself at the bottom of the post and feel free to include a link and logo.

I'm the editor of HR Daily and the administrator of the HR Daily Community. You can get in touch with me about either by email or the message function on this site.

Views: 107

Comment by Susan Rochester on March 22, 2013 at 9:13

Thanks, Jo, for those great tips. A good reminder to post more often...

Comment by Jo Knox on March 22, 2013 at 9:26

Thanks Susan - I hope you do!

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