Democratizing The Internet -- One Blog At A Time™
Blogs & Editing : Geeks2020

Blogs & Editing

An important part of any blog concerns writing quality. In basic terms, the idea is to write with words and phrases that have the most meaning and impact for your particular public and to have a consistent style.

Titles

The most important element of a posting is arguably the title because in a few words you have to say what the post is about and why it’s important. It pays to try different combination of words to come up with the best-possible title.

Once you have your title words then follow these style standards:

In general you want to capitalize words in titles — but not all words. Prepositions with four or more letters (across, beneath, during, etc.) are capitalized. Prepositions with three or fewer letters are not capitalized (for, in, by, but, etc.).

The term “is” in a title is always capitalized.

Words in titles are written with upper- and lower-case letters. Words in all-caps are generally a no no.

Length

A good length for a blog posting is about 450 words. Longer postings are okay if the content is interesting to readers and tightly written. Shorter posts can also work.

If a posting is substantially longer then you might want to break-up the item into several postings or post material as part of a series (Part 1, Part 2, etc.).

Words

When you have a blog you want to be certain that the words you use are used consistently. For instance, is it web site (two words) or website (one word)?

One of the issues associated with the English language is that it’s always in flux. What’s “right” and “acceptable” today may be less so in the future.

So, if you decide on one spelling or usage, stick with it. If you change, be consistent in your change thereafter.

Vocabulary

We all know big words. On the Internet it’s more important to use words that visitors can use without running to the dictionary. Big words, obscure words, can be a barrier to good communication.

Besides, no one likes a show off.

What’s important is that you use words with precision. What’s the difference between “very big” and “big” as one example? Or well done versus medium?

Diversity

When writing you want to use different words. A good rule is avoid the use of a word or term twice in the same sentence if possible. If you can avoid repeating the same term in a paragraph that’s usually good.

Spelling

WordPress will automatically underline words in red that it thinks are misspelled. In practice, such a tool is incredibly useful, however in some cases the spell checker can be wrong, especially when dealing with names and locations. Always review your work with care for spelling errors and typos. The best ways to do this are to read material out loud, have someone else read it or wait several hours and then re-read what you’ve written before posting.

Quoting Others

It is a common and accepted practice to quote others PROVIDED credit is given to the individual or institution being quoted AND the website, newspaper, book or whatever where the quote appears. Credit to the website can also include a direct link to the page where the quoted materially originally appeared. Example:

Miller says “If you’ve been getting strange calls from your mortgage lender demanding payment, don’t be so quick to reach for your checkbook — such calls could be nothing but efforts to get money before it’s due. Or they could be outright frauds, a form of identity theft.” (See: “When To Tell Your Mortgage Lender To Take A Hike,” OurBroker.com)

Notice that in the quote above the material is set off to the right using the blockquote command. This is useful for longer quotations.

And speaking of quotation length…it’s generally regarded as “fair use” to cite a short bit of material from someone else. However, what’s “long” and what’s “short” can be a matter of debate and dispute. Our view is to use as little as possible and to always give credit.

For more on the subject of fair use, please read what the U.S. Copyright Office has to say.

Contractions

We’re okay with contractions….

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