I love blog posts; I love writing them, but I really love reading them. What began as a simple way people could rant about what is happening in their lives or about their opinions on a topic has evolved into a structure people use to sell their brand. There are entire, multi-million dollar industries that are structured around blog posts—personal stories and experiences meant to get the reader to click and buy.
So, what do I love about blog posts?
- Personal stories—despite the fact that adult fiction book sales are in decline, people have found ways to read others’ stories. Blogs are the internet’s solution to that. My favorite lifestyle blog is just that: a collection of stories people wrote with insights into their lives. As a country, we may not be following fictional characters anymore, but we are still following people’s stories (isn’t that part of the draw of reality television?)
- Personal growth—we want to learn something from these stories we’re reading. All good blogs have a message, and these messages are easy to spot (unlike book themes, which most struggled with in school). Whether it’s the realization after a personal rant, a list of things one can do to help him/her, a moral to the story, or a call to action, there’s a lesson people generally glean from what’s being written.
- Links to More Information—Links are a normal part of blog writing and are used to draw traffic to a different part of your website, to plug something you’re trying to sell or get others to read (such as the shameless plugs to my other blog posts in #2 above), and/or to point the reader to more information. Also, I’ve mentioned before that I used to be a technical writer, and much of my job centered around organizing, compiling, and formatting references sections. Blog posts are great because references sections aren’t necessary. A simple hyperlink to a webpage with the source of your statement will suffice.
- Brevity—Blogs for personal ranting can still be long and drawn out, but for business use, they’re often short—just a couple paragraphs. In about 10 minutes (and often in about 5), you can learn about someone’s story, learn a lesson, and move onto the next thing.
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