What makes a good blog?

After months of not blogging rather surprisingly @SarahChapman30 tweeted me asking for some advice on blogging.  Luckily she also copied in @AnnieCoops and @ProfJuneG too – who blog in a slightly more organised and less rambling way than myself. The Twitter thread unravelled some great suggestions and you can read it HERE. The conversation got me thinking …. What makes a good blog? Not just for the reader but also for the writer.  Yes blogs need to be readable but they also need to be manageable.  So this is me writing some top tips down on paper … perhaps more for me than anyone else, that way I might actually manage to successfully resuscitate my blog:

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Find a platform you like and is easy for you to use – it really doesn’t matter which platform you use but its important that you get on with it, the last thing you want to be doing is getting hot and bothered because you can’t figure out how to post your blog online.  I use WordPress but some simple solutions include LinkedIn, Blogger , Tumblr & even the WeCommunities community blog ( and lots more too!)

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Blog regularly – I subscribe to (and often fail) to the theory that if you blog regularly, even if infrequently, then your readers know when to expect a blog.  In theory it makes sense, sometimes the reality is a little different.  It’s perhaps a good idea to decide how often you want to blog and then double that time period so if you think you can manager weekly blog every other week.

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Don’t be hard on yourself – In relation to the above if you don’t manage to blog regularly then don’t be too hard on yourself, the world will keep turning and people will survive

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Blog from the heart – remember this isn’t an academic piece of work, it’s personal, it’s you ! Whatever the subject matter blog about your thoughts, feelings and reflections.

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Keep it short … or not – I always aim to keep my blogs short as it makes them easy to read on a mobile phone and as someone with dyslexia the struggle to read large bodies of text is real! However there are times when more needs to be said … so say it, don’t be confined by word count

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Experiment – Experiments with styles – try reflections, lists, stories, add in tweets, add in pictures or infographics and in addition to this remember blogs don’t have to be written, try video, audio, or even blogshots.

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Tell people you have blogged – ok so I find this bit difficult, it’s self promotion basically and something that a great many of us are uncomfortable with.  I know I don’t promote my blog posts enough – however I liked @anniecoops suggestion in the Twitter thread linked above … promote for 48 hours.  This feels comfortable for me so I may give it a go

bicycle-1533130_1920Have a few blog posts in the bag – this was @ProfJuneG’s suggestion (again please see the linked Twitter thread above) and something that I had never considered, but it seems to make sense.  If you have time and the inspiration then write away whilst you can and save them for a rainy day.

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Make notes – I have a specific note on my phone that is called “Blog ideas” The reason I have this is that I often think  “that will make a good blog” and then totally forget my thought process by the time I get to a laptop.  My phone goes everywhere with me so it’s a good place to jot down thoughts as they come.

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Subject matter matters – when I first started this blog it was going to be all about social media and nursing, however what I have learnt is that it ok not to be specific and fixed in your subject matter.  Blog about what matters to you at that point in time …don’t put your blog in a box, go with the inspiration.

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There are no rules – so having come up with a definitive list of top tips the final point is that these are not rules, more like loose guidelines that are open to interpretation and amendment.  Go with what feels right for you, what you can manage and what fits in with your lifestyle.

So, Dear Reader – here’s hoping that this not only helps you to get blogging but also that it helps me to put pen to paper more often.  I am now off to write 6 more blogs so I have them in the bag and to pimp this blog post for the next 48 hours !!

Thank you @SarahChampman30 @ProfJuneG and @AnnieCoops for spurring me into action :D

6 thoughts on “What makes a good blog?

  1. In writing this blog you have neatly demonstrated one the things we value about social media – that an idea shared online can generate useful conversation and prove a spur to action!

    There are lots go good tips here. I’m glad you endorse the idea of a personal blog being a mixture of many topics. I imagine my own will be a ragbag of reflections, though I would hope to return to topics that particularly interest me.

    A question for you and other bloggers: for whom do you write? In my day job, when I blog about evidence, I always start by thinking about the main audience for that blog, but does this apply when writing a personal blog? Who will be interested in what I have to say…? Which makes me question my motivation for wanting to do it at all. I think my primary drive to blog is that I love to write and I’ve been doing that pretty much all my life, with most of it unpublished of course (thank goodness – those diaries…!). But also, I love to share ideas and hear others’ reflections; this is what appeals about ‘going public’. Yet I’m aware that I may well get no responses at all.

    Ah well, nothing ventured!

  2. Hi Sarah – thanks for you comments and for the original tweet ! Yes a rag bag of blogs is definitely where i sit ! I have to admit that i don’t think much about the audience and am never too worried if no one comments or retweets .. which is very different to my approach with WeNurses. My motivation for writing is often to get things off my chest, to articulate a thought or to reflect on an event or learning. I think people will be interested in what you have to say … as you are interesting !! So don’t panic on that point. I think writing because you love to write is an excellent idea, hold onto that thought and i bet you wont go far wrong – Tree x

  3. Hi Kerry, Thank you … you know me pictures and layout help ! – Tree x

  4. Great post, as a blogger who has never quite mastered the regular blogging (though curiously have managed a regular email for 50 weeeks) I particularly appreciated the ‘don’t be too hard on yourself’. Thank you for putting pen to post.

  5. Hi Katie – I think we should coin a new phrase “occasional blogger” and celebrate it … after all we manage to blog occasionally :D – Tree x

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