Both Lauren and I have loved writing since we were five or six, when we penned “books” and peddled them to our customers (read: parents). Since then, we have continued to work on books, together and separately, have written a great deal for high school and college, and have participated in a myriad of writing contests. And of course, there has been One Bright Corner which has allowed us to hone our writing every single week for the past 2 ½ years. We are certainly not the most experienced, successful, or excellent writers you will find, but if passion compensates for other areas of weakness, then we are good to go!
Watch Your Length
The internet is synonymous with “short attention span,” and even I am guilty of SAS when combing through blogs. As I start to read and scroll and read and scroll, the likelihood of making it to the end becomes less and less. We always aim for one Microsoft Word page (500-600 words); if your post is longer, consider breaking it up into a series or editing for clarity and precision.
Mind Your Linguistics
Always take the time to spell check your blog post, but even that isn’t enough. Comb the post carefully for typos, rambling, punctuation errors, and such. Go easy on the emoticons, and avoid them whenever possible—challenge yourself to express your meaning using a thesaurus rather than a colon and parenthesis!
I usually know what I’m blogging on three to four days in advance, and I spend those days mulling over my chosen topic and planning my approach. I aspire to write engaging, interesting posts that inspire and convict, and are easy to grasp, yet do not sink to sloppiness. These are tough goals that I do not always attain, or even usually attain, but taking the time to plan and even outline my blog post helps immensely.
Without fail, Lauren and I proofread each other’s articles, and this has proved invaluable. Many are the times the other person will catch an error or point out a misunderstood statement. In the blogging world, where so much is instant and so little can be taken back, it is always wonderful to have another person with whom to cogitate. Even more importantly, however, is God's feedback. Do not neglect to seek guidance and help from God and His Word; ascertain that every point you make is Biblically based, or leave it out.
Of course, there are other things we work on too, like eye-pleasing formatting; eye-catching pictures; consistency in posting; citing all pictures, quotes, and information sources used; and enjoying further conversation with our readers in the comment section. These and all the other principles I shared are certainly not rules, and they are not boxes that we manage to check confidently with every single blog post. You will find typos, lengthy and uninteresting posts, and statements that can be misunderstood if you look for them! Neveretheless, these are the goals Lauren and I work towards every single week, and I hope you have found them helpful yourself!
Photo Credit: Bob Aubuchon