There are no hard and fast rules to blogging, but here are a few handy hints:
1) "BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT" (Shakespeare's Hamlet, 1603): Ideally, your blog should be about 350-600 words. If you're tackling an issue that absolutely demands more length, consider developing your ideas across a series of 2 or more blogs.
2) MAKE IT FRESH: A blog should be an original piece of writing.
3) TALK OPENLY: Blogs should express a personal opinion, or put forward a position; they are not meant to be impartial.
4) STEER AWAY FROM ‘PR SPEAK': Re-hashing a media release or policy statement for a blog is a bad idea.
5) NO TOPIC IS TOO SMALL: Some of the best blogs are those which illuminate a small facet of a bigger, more complicated, issue.
6) BE SPECIFIC: It is good practice to finish a blog with a question or invitation for comment.
7) ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE: If people do honour your blog with a comment, take a few minutes to respond.
8) CREATE AWARENESS: Blogs are a great way to provide an informal introduction to more serious, extensive, drier research or material which can be included as a link or attachment at the end. This provides segue for people who want to learn more, and at the very least raises awareness in others.
9) ATTRIBUTE YOUR SOURCES: It is great to quote other people or sources in blogs, just make sure you reference them (embedding a hyperlink to the original source is best).
10) SELF-PROMOTE: Keep your intended audience in mind, and don't expect them to just stumble across your blog in the vast expanse of cyberspace once it is published. Send them a link and invite them to comment. Social media is fantastic for sharing your blog. Make sure you post it on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, or whatever other tool you use to stay connected.
If you'd like some help, don't hesitate to contact us.
Send your inquiries to Open Forum editor Svetlana Stankovic at firstname.lastname@example.org.