To blog or not to blog–that is the question, writers. Whether it is nobler to essay than to blog is a serious matter, and not everyone can do it or do it well.Because to do it well, one must face the truth of blogging and accept it: it’s a genre. It has rules. It requires… attention to craft.

What seemed once like a flippant piece of advertising for the self has now become a habit to millions of algorithm-dependent thinkers. Hence, these words, these tips, for taking the blog to new heights of acceptance as serious writing worthy of honor and SEO (Search Engine Optimization–think Pulitzer Prize). For the best piece of advice there is about blogging, and the whole existential reason the blog was invented in the first place, is this: you must write in order to be found! Here’s how:

Titles!

Make a snappy title that will come up on internet searches: e.g., Elvis and Me… Sexual Identity and Chocolate… Elvis, Sexual Identity, Chocolate, and Me…

First lines!

If there is a reference to your title in the first line, this also helps internet searches.

Incite the need for your thoughts!

Create a structure for the blog that early on addresses the problem that your thoughts will help to solve OR that your story will illuminate. Set-up the need for your piece.

Think keywords!

These are the words that people type into searches. The more frequently you use your keyword in your piece the higher up in the search it will appear.

It’s different than an essay!

It’s like flash fiction without the fiction, a poem without poetry. It must be neatly organized, hit fast, and make tracks. It has one arc, like an arrow. It’s a style of writing that is more like copywriting; yes, advertising, but for a concept, a lesson, a philosophy, a point.

Make it brief!

300-1200 words tops! Who has time to read these days… unless… it’s a blog!

Photos help! Quotes are fun!

Include photos and links and quotations for those who can’t handle the step before this one.

To be found in the web of words and pings, on the grid of streets, highways, and airstreams, to be found as a writer is everything…

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.

Soft you now, fair Ophelias, seize the name of action and get thee forth to blogging.

 

To Blog or Not To Blog
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Darrah Cloud

Darrah Cloud’s most recently produced plays include: Our Suburb, at Theater J in Washington, DC, What’s Bugging Greg? and Joan The Girl Of Arc, at Cincinnati Playhouse, and the musical Makeover in development at the University of Iowa. Also in the works: a new play, The Amateur Jesus, and lyrics for Sabina, a musical adaptation of Willy Holtzman’s play. Past productions include: HeartLand, The Stick Wife, the stage adaptation of Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!, The Sirens, the stage adaptation of The Boxcar Children, The Mud Angel, Braille Garden and American Siddhartha. She recently won the Macy’s Prize for Theatre for Young Audiences. She has written numerous movies for CBS and NBC, is a proud alum of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and New Dramatists, and is the co-chair of Half Moon Writers, the development wing of the Half Moon Theatre in the Hudson Valley.

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