Template Your Way to Blog Greatness

Besides the elementary rules of usage, there are some elementary guidelines of composition, or writing, that can make any blogger better.  If you’re reading this, you probably have a great style and just want to make it better.  Let’s face it though, there are a lot of blogs out there that really need some help.  Ironically, I don’t think they’ll be tuning in :(

This post suggests a template idea that helps me every day.  Just to reiterate, I get the ideas for these posts from Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style.”  Just like there are some technical “constants” of good blogs, so there are constants of writing worth looking into.

Create a template and stick to it. I have gone through many templates for my blog posts.  They have all shared one thing is common: links to other posts on my blog and links to external blogs either in my blogroll or ones I have run across and found interesting.  Stumbleupon is an excellent tool for storing these links and then retrieving them later.  I will share my basic template I use when creating blog posts:

Introduction: A catchy sentence(s) that can serve as a stand alone teaser.  About 160 characters because most search engines don’t pick up beyond that.  It should promote what follows.

Body: 1-5 paragraphs.  Each paragraph should be about something distinct.  They should not be too long.  I’d say no more than 4 sentences max.  Blog readers’ eyes get bored fast.

Conclusion: Try to include a question or request for a response.  This stimulates comments.

Links: 3 internal links, 3 external links

This is a very basic outline, but it gets the point across that you should analyze and create a template and then stick to it.  Your readers will notice and read with greater ease and interest.  With daily serious blogging, templates are almost a non-negotiable.

What do you think of choosing a suitable design for posts and sticking to it?