Blogging: do’s and don’ts

For the most part, the concept of blogging is fairly simple. It’s primarily non-academic writing which means that you’re free to express your thoughts online in a style that can mimic spoken language more so than with essay writing.


Here’s my list of do’s and don’ts for blogging:

Do set yourself a word limit. I think 400-600 words is acceptable for a blog post. It’s so easy to go off on a tangent when you’re blogging. Tangents are OK – but if you’re writing a post about how much you love dolphins, don’t talk about the sustainability of trains in paragraph 3.

Do keep it visual. We have all heard that “a picture speaks a thousand words”. Images add a level of depth that can’t always be achieved with the written word. Always try to have one visual included.

Do write about things that interest you. You can always tell if someone’s writing because they’ve been badgered by a lecturer to publish something or if they’re doing it because they enjoy the topic. As a reader it’s so much more enjoyable to look at a piece that a blogger has invested time into.

Do post regularly. Even if nobody is reading your blog, it’s a space that future employers could potentially be looking at. If you can take time out of your academic and/or working life to blog about things that interest you, it gives you the opportunity be experimental with your writing and build an online portfolio. One post a week is a good aim but don’t give up completely if you forget to upload content for a few weeks.

Don’t only give one side of an argument. It’s ok to be critical of something, but your readers will need to make up their own minds on a subject and you should keep your writing neutral and  balance it out by providing an opposing point of view.

Don’t use words that you don’t know the meaning of. Just keep in mind that if you don’t know what something means, it’s likely that people reading your work will also be unsure of the word meaning. The greater danger is of course that the vocabulary you’ve mistakenly used isn’t relevant at all – then you’ll just look like a tit.

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