I have written over 80 posts and read many other blogs, so I have come across many types of posts. Which form to use? Lists are very common. Have you come across titles like these?
- 5 ways of selling yourself on-line
- 10 things every writer needs to know
- The 12 best book blogs
- 6 good books about rabbit breeding
- My 100 most successful world record attempts
This post is an example of the format: a list of types – so I shouldn’t mock. Anyway lists, in particular, have the advantage of inviting the reader in – a hook! What will be on it? Will the reader share the choice, the order?
Lists appeal to me (I once made a list of all the lists I had on the go at that moment!) and to many bloggers and readers. But they don’t suit every theme. Form needs to match purpose! A complicated argument does not lend itself to a list. A story is best told as a story.
The form or type also needs to take account of the on-line platform: ie be immediate and accessible, interactive and connective (as discussed in the first post on the craft of blogging).
Here is my list of some possible types of posts, with mainly literary examples of how it might be used.
Ten things you never knew about blogging
5 recommended books on blogging.
What happened after I read this book …
- How to …
Practical advice on a writing technique eg before and after editing.
Analysis of some aspect of writing.
- Photo or other illustration
Comparison between images; such as book covers.
- Opinion or Point of View
Your individual ‘take’ on a topic, such as an author.
A topic on which you are passionate, eg libraries.
An addition to a debate on a topic – easy if you are a feminist.
Being provocative about a contentious topic. Ditto
Your response to a specific topic; eg an author, fiction from one country, words as therapy.
- Giveaway or Competition
I have no experience of giveaways or comps. Sometimes it’s a lucky dip: we’ll pick one lucky person to receive a copy of my brilliant novel – just leave a comment. It might be something that the blogger will judge: nominate your favourite book by X and we’ll send you Y. Hmmm?
- Interview or profile or guest post
The subject could be another writer, or reader, or publisher. I have co-written several posts with Eileen on the subject of writing collaboratively.
An obvious form in January but also useful to announce or raise interest in forthcoming events, such as prizes, publications.
A cross between a review and a list: a collation of articles you’ve read, people you met at an event, talks, etc on a theme.
- Something different
A variation on your most frequently used format: eg including video if you mostly produce static posts; a very short post; a conversation with a colleague; a comment on previous content …
(This list is adapted from Robin Houghton’s (2012) Blogging for Creatives, published by ILEX: Lewes Sussex.)
And did that work? Was a list the best way to present the information in this post? My own response to my list will be to try some different forms over the next few months.
Next post in the series The Craft of Blogging will be in April and will look at a checklist for a post – another list!
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