Do we really need another roundup post of best practices for blogs? Not anymore because Tom Johnson of I’d Rather Be Writing has put together the definitive list of 20 principles for usable and readable blogs. The post offers good advice you may have seen before, but it’s carefully edited, includes solid examples and contains links to helpful plug-ins. What’s more, you’ll find about 30 links to the original posts that inspired the column — a step that less conscientious bloggers skip. Nice flagship content, Tom.
The only blogging point not covered that often comes up is whether or not to display social media bookmarking options, such as Digg and del.icio.us buttons, and Technorati tags. Here’s a summary of the list.
- Pick a topic for your blog
- Encourage comments
- Make it easy to subscribe
- Include an About page
- Present your ideas visually
- Keep posts short and to the point
- Use subheadings for long posts
- Link abundantly
- Make headlines descriptive
- Archive by topic
- Include a list of related posts beneath each post
- Allow users to contact you offline
- Present your real viewpoint
- Write for your future employer
- Include a Top Posts section
- Provide an index
- Get your own URL and match it to your blog’s title
- Include a Recent Posts section in your sidebar
- Reward commenters for commenting
- Post often
If you like Tom’s post, Daily Blog Tips, is another site that will give you a regular fix of similar advice.
What would you add to the list?
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