You may have noticed that YourTango loves its community blog. In fact, we love it so much that we promote about 4 community blog posts a week on our front page. Our Community Manager loves to brag about how the YourTango community blog has some of the highest quality blog posts in town (and town=internet). In sum, we think your posts are freaking awesome. But how can you make your already awesome posts more awesomer? Probably by not using words like "awesomer"...
1. Copy and Paste is NOT Your Friend
The problem: Ever look at your post after its been published in the community blog and though "YEUCK how did the formatting get that wonky?" We'll chalk it up to copying and pasting. Your word processing program keeps a lot of the formatting embedding and so when you copy and paste it transfers over to our system where that copying and pasting does NOT compute.
The solution: Copy and paste your blog post from word into Notepad or another Plain Text editor. Then, copy and paste it from the plain text editor into the blog post. You will have to reformat your post with all the fancy bullets and colors and fonts, but it will look better and be easier to read. One of our community bloggers even copies and pastes her posts into her email, to make sure it's plain text.
2. Your Blog Doesn't Make Sense
The Problem: Sometimes we think a blog is saying something great and important, but...we don't really know because it doesn't make that much sense.
The Solution: You are an expert on you and the issue you are writing about, but your readers aren't. Make sure you appropriately explain the context of your comments and READ IT OUT LOUD to yourself before you hit "publish." Odds are if it sounds weird coming out of your mouth, it will read weird to us. And don't worry, you don't have to be a grammar expert to write a stellar blog. Just read it out loud to yourself and make sure that it flows.
3. Blog Shortophobia
The Problem: We read a community blog title and get excited, then when we read the blog it's under 100 words. Sigh.
The Solution: If your blog post is under 300 words, it's probably too short. If you are trying to entice people to read the rest of the post on your site, that is okay too; however, we can't highlight your awesome writing on our front page if you pull the ole bait and switch.
4. What's the Point?
The Problem: A great blog post that has no end game makes us sad.
The Solution: We love to hear stories, but as you write ask yourself, "what is the take away?" Every good blog post lets readers know what you've learned from the experience. Share your lessons along with your experience. A good sign that you have a good post is that you have a clear and concise headline that sums up what you want to say. So, if you are struggling, write a headline.
The Problem: We reach the middle of your post and call for search and rescue.