Cover Your Tracks

Text of the video is below:

 

A good and engaging website is one in which content is regularly being updated and fresh articles, photos, videos, and other media appear on a daily basis.

It keeps your readers coming back and makes your website an exciting and relevant resource for everyone.

The best thing is, the more content you create, the more confident you’ll be in writing on a regular basis.

Blogs are meant to reflect your personality and your opinions – readers want to hear your take on the issues that matter to them.

Our Youth Moderator can work with you, letting you know what works, what doesn’t and how to write the very best content that you can.

When writing a good blog it is important to remember

  1. Length matters: Don’t think a good blog has to be a long blog – sometimes a 500 word article can have more of an impact than something ten times as long. If someone is going to lose interest in reading it in the first 5 minutes, then all of your hard work will be wasted.
  2. Condense: Highlight, bullet point and link – we’re visual animals and if facts can be condensed it will help communicate your point much better. To hyperlink a post in a word document, just go to Insert → Hyperlink; then copy and paste the website URL in the box. This way the Youth Moderator knows what to link to make sure people get the most out of your article.
  3. Who are you writing this for? Think about who’s reading this? Is it for friends, peers, your grandparent’s generation, journalists? You want to make sure you’re writing in a language that makes sense to your readers. Check out Content Guidance here.
  4. Headers: Have you ever gotten an email with an interesting subject line that makes you want to open it right away? Well the same theory applies to blogs. Your title should grab attention, draw the reader in and make them curious about what the rest of your blog goes on to say. For example “The 7 rules that every successful blogger follows” sounds much better than “How to write a good blog and keep people’s attention.” You want people to stop and think that this article has something very specific to them and their lives.
  5. Write a quick blurb under each header. So for example, if your article is about the government’s new measures to educate community groups about the dangers of FGM practices, it helps readers to get a sense of what the rest of your article is about with a one sentence line saying “Government policies tackle FGM practices in local communities near you.”
  6. Look for a problem that really resonates with you and think about how to solve it. If something you’ve read in the news makes you angry, use that as motivation. Write down what you think needs to be done to tackle FGM and what steps can be taken. Remember people are allowed to disagree with blogs but at the end of the day they’re your own opinion and that’s what counts.
  7. Not every blog needs to be published. You can start a blog and then decide you don’t like or maybe don’t know how to finish it. That’s ok. But save these blogs as you’ll be surprised how much you come back to them to sample sentences or thoughts when writing the blogs that are published.
  8. Be Human: Readers like to see humanity and writer’s personalities come out in their articles. Having a human connection is so important with online content. In the same way you want to be inspired, made to think or challenged, so do your readers. Remember a good blog does not have to be a formal blog.
  9. Spell-check Everything! Hey it seems obvious but it’s amazing how many grammar and spelling mistakes show up online. Don’t be that person who gets called out on your spelling mistakes, it will undermine the best argument in the world.
  10. Listicals Work: “Listicals” or blogs that are listed by things like “Top Ten Reasons, etc.” are fun to write, perfect for sharing, and let you include more photos or links.
  11. Mind maps Work: sometimes even scribbling down a quick beginning, middle and end to your article or:
    1. Intron
    2. What’s the problem?
    3. What does the problem look like?
    4. What might some solutions to this problem be?
    5. Conclusion
  12. Get Inspiration!! The way you write is intensely personal to you but that doesn’t mean you can’t take inspiration from your own favorite bloggers/vloggers. If you like the way someone writes, look at how they go about it. Do they start with a fun anecdote from their personal experience before linking it to a broader event in politics? Do they include a bullet point summary at the end of every article? As long as you’re not quoting verbatim it’s ok to take inspiration and make it your own!
  13. Avoid Wikipedia! Great for researching your favorite actor, not so great for verified factual info. The thing about Wikipedia is that anyone can contribute which means the facts may be right or they may be wrong but as a blogger and journalist you always want to feel confident that your sources are airtight. Organizational websites (anything ending in .org) are usually a safer bet and news sources like BBC, Reuters, and anything citing “AP or Associated Press” usually means it’s credible. Professional journalists stake their professional reputation on their sources and so should you.
  14. Develop a tone that works for you: Every good blogger/vlogger has their own personal style that becomes their hallmark. Take some time to develop yours. If you like humor put it in your blogs. If you want to develop a trademark of signing off with a final piece of “food for thought, etc.” go for it. Develop your signature and make it your own.
  15. Finally, whenever you put your work on line you put yourself in the limelight. People, under the protection of an anonymous computer screen can be hyper critical. But just remember, a blog is YOUR opinion, so don’t let any negative feedback throw you off. Every writer gets negative comments and we all know about the issue of online trolling. But just remind yourself that unless you set out to offend or upset online, you should not feel that what you write isn’t valid or isn’t good.

If you do face any criticism or need further support we are hear to help you can reach us on: fgmeverybodysbiz@gmail.com

Resources for how to write a good blog