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Public Communication: Blog post

Nowadays businesses, educational institutions, authors, entrepreneurs, and many others feel that maintaining a blogosphere presence is essential for good business.

Prof. Kate Susman, Blog posts as writing assignments

A blog post will usually cover a specific topic. It will be educational or reflective in nature, and contain other media types such as images, videos, or infographics to help illustrate points.


What is the purpose of a blog? 

Blogs are used for: reflection, sharing experiences, updates, knowledge, and advice.  

Nowadays everyone seems to have a blog. This is great as it means there’s an infinite amount of research potential when looking at how to write your own. Bloggers write for multiple reasons; therefore, they need to think of their target audience and what the theme of their blog will be. Are they a researcher explaining a new scientific theory, a mother sharing parenting tips, or an author sharing their creative process? Recognise your audience and the type of post you’re about to write. All blogs, however, are usually structured in a similar format.  

Getting Started 

Before starting your blog post, read some.  

Read academic blogs in the same field, and on similar topics as yours so you’re familiar with the structure, language and how it looks on the page. Note down anything you can take from these blogs to use in your own but be creative – don’t mimic.  

Choose your topic: what is your assessment brief, is it a reflective piece, educational, collaborative? Be sure about the topic before you start writing. If it is a reflective assessment look at our guide on Reflective Writing, but remember a blog is a more informal assessment.  


Creating your blog post

Structure

Here is the anatomy of a blog post: 

Blog title: You want a title that relates to the theme of your blog, or this could be the authors name. 

 Article title: An attractive title that tells your audience what they are about to read.

Body: This will include your main body of text and any visual elements you're using to help illustrate, or emphasise your points.

Sidebar: Where readers can find links to your other posts (may not be needed for your assessment if you're only making a single post)

Purpose: What is the reason you're writing this blog post? 

Design 

Has your lecturer given you specific instructions on the design or do you have full creative control? No matter how you design it, remember to keep it to one column of text. 

Are you going to use any visuals? Figure out where you want them and how you’re going to use them to enhance your writing. For example, are you going to use bullet points to help you summarise or a kicker paragraph to persuade readers to carry on reading?  

Have the layout in mind as you write, maybe draw a rough plan as a visual aid, or have a list of elements at the side of your screen.  

 

Context 

So, you know how to structure the post and how you want it to look, time to get writing. 

You need an attractive and engaging title telling your audience what the blog post is about, like George Julian’s, Ten top tips for new bloggers. Before reading the first line you instantly know what you’re about to read. This is what your audience want, unlike a creative piece, you don’t need to keep “spoilers” from them.   

Remember this is a more informal piece of writing, it can be conversational, use colloquialisms and literary devices to make it more engaging. Our Guide on Writing Techniques will advise you on how to use such devices.  

 

Video: a visual representation of what to include in and how to structure a blog post.

As blog posts are usually relatively short assessments and you want it to be appealing to readers, using visual elements will help you keep within your word count. We often hear “an image is worth 1000 words” and whilst images cannot replace your words, they can mean you can cover a lot more content. Photographs and other visuals can act as evidence to illustrate your points. A good diagram can make a point without further explanation - and all visuals make the post look more attractive. Visit our Visual Elements Page for more guidance on how to use them effectively  

Always remember the purpose of a post; to educate, reflect or advise. Does everything you say reflect your aims? 

Here’s the Guide to Blogging from our Digital Student guide to help you further.  

 


DoDo's

Do have a relevant title making it obvious what the post is about.

Do have a meaningful topic which is consistent, making sure everything said can relate back to your original point.

Do use appropriate language aimed at your target audience. It is informal, so you can use colloquialisms, slang, be humorous and/or use pop-culture references.

Do use visual elements such as images and devices to break up the text. Make it attractive on the page.

Don'tDon'ts 

Don't have a convoluted metaphor as a title. Help readers understand what they are about to read.

Don't write pointless, redundant information, always keep it relevant to your topic and title.

Don't use profanities and/or curses. It may be informal, but you still need to keep an air of professionalism.

Don't only have a long body of text as this will make it less appealing to readers.