Dan Frommer’s post on how to blog better is one of the most helpful blog posts I’ve read this year. Here are some of Dan’s ten tips to be a better blogger:
- Above all else, factual accuracy and attention to detail. That’s the easiest and best way to build and maintain trust over the long-term. If a fact is wrong, fix it and don’t be shy about it. If an opinion or prediction is wrong, learn from it and consider explaining how you got it wrong.
- Write the site that you want to read. That covers story selection, length, frequency, style, vocabulary, attitude, humor, level of sensationalism, and more. Don’t publish anything you’re not proud of. Be yourself.
- Be more skeptical. Companies and people have no interest in telling any side of the story but their own. Often, that side is flawed, invalid, or incorrect. Let someone else be the gullible one who looks silly later: Always question everything. (But don’t let it turn you into too much of a conspiracy theorist.)
- Try new things, all the time. Especially those that are a little outside your comfort zone. This is the Internet — don’t act like you’re writing for Time Magazine in the 80s. Stories can be pictures, charts, lengthy essays, numbered lists, or 140 characters. Measure how your experiments do, and take the results into account for the future.
However, I think the most important lesson for me is regarding attribution. I make it very clear when I quote or paraphrase, but what I have to get better at is referring you, the reader, to click over to the original piece I link to. Writes Dan:
Aim to become as big of a traffic referrer as you possibly can — not only is that good policy, but it’s a great business asset.
Amen. With that in mind, you should read Dan’s post to see his other tips for better blogging.