Blogging FAQs

FAQs About Blogging

Q: How is a blog post different from an essay?

A: Blog posts are generally shorter—any where from 250 to 1,000 words, or 1/2 to 2 double-spaced pages. Posts are written for a specific audience, usually anyone interested in the themes or topics the blog covers. Though the style of blog posts tends to be less formal than an academic essay, this does not mean that they should be imprecisely worded or otherwise carelessly written. You should use the spellcheck (see the icon with the check mark and “abc” in the toolbar above) and proofread, because spellcheck won’t catch errors in usage, like the difference between “its” and “it’s,” “to” and “too,” “there” and “their” and “they’re.”

Q: I’m bad with titles?  Any advice for titling posts?

A: A good title is like a good newspaper headline: it summarizes and grabs your attention. Simply titling a post “My post” is lazy and no one will want to read it. For example, if this was a post, I might title it: “Don’t know much about blogging?”

Q: What are “tags”?

A: Tags are a way to organize your posts into categories so that readers can more easily find the kind of content they’re interested in. For example, if you write a post about how Reza Aslan’s book causes you to think differently about the roots of the Holocaust, the tags for the post might be “Aslan” and “Holocaust”

Note: For the purposes of this class, I’d like you to also tag the post with your last name.  This makes it easy for readers to find all of the posts you have written by clicking on the tag.

Q: What about those cool hyperlinks things?

A: The medium of the Web allows you to do many things, but perhaps the most important is being able to link us to many other places on the Web from one page.

Hyperlinks are especially useful if you are writing about complex issues, because you can create links to sites that provide definitions and context that the reader might lack. In this way, hyperlinks provide readers with the opportunity to engage with an issue in increasing depth. Each of your posts should have at least 5 hyperlinks.

Q: The blogs I admire always have photos, music and video that I can click on and watch or listen to. How do I do that?

A: What you’re describing is a process called embedding, and it is very easy to do on WordPress.  For video, you just put the cursor where you will it to be placed and then paste the url of the Web page into the window.  Clicking on “preview” in the upper right hand corner of the post page will show you what it looks like.  Photos and other images can be uploaded by url or by selecting a file from your computer.  If you can attach Word document to an email, then you can post media to your blog.

Google maps, Google books, and many, many other sites provide you with ready-made html code that you can copy and paste into your blog post, allowing you to embed interactive maps.