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Twenty Tips on What Makes A Good Blog

Blogs are the cornerstone of any online community. Some blogs are excellent, others are very good and some need work. This 20-point list applies to all types of blogs, not just genealogy blogs. This list is also meant for people who read blogs. Informed blog readers are an important factor in helping to promote best blog practices.

Here is the GenealogyInTime Magazine 20-point list of what makes a good blog:

1. Original Content - All blog content can be divided into two categories: content creation and content distribution. Content creation is original written material unique to the blog. Content distribution is basically redistributing information from other sources. The best blogs always have a significant amount of original content.

2. Distinctive Voice - A good blog should have a distinctive voice. The voice is essentially a combination of the style of writing plus the focus of the content. This is what gives a good blog a unique personality. For example, a blog that specializes in tracing Scottish ancestors should inspire people to research their Scottish ancestors.

3. See a Need, Fill a Need – Blogs can be written about anything. However, if there are 100 blogs on the same topic, then how is your 101st blog going to be any different? Look for a unique angle.

4. Quality of Writing - Good blogs are well written. No one wants to read content that is full of obvious grammatical and stylistic errors.

This YouTube video on the use of proper grammar from "Weird Al" Yankovic is both funny and informative. It should be required watching for anyone who thinks they know how to write.

5. Use Proper Headlines – A good headline is succinct and to the point. Unless you are a master of wordplay, consider saving the quirky headlines for the quirky blogs.

6. Regular Updates - Blogs require regular updates. Daily updates are not required (in fact that can often be too much). Updates a couple of times a week are the norm and even once a week is fine provided the content is high quality.

7. Avoid Filler Material – Your reader’s time is valuable. Don’t waste it. Keep everything short and to the point.

8. Quality over Quantity – The internet is full of quantity. What the internet lacks is good quality. The best blogs provide quality first and foremost.

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