How to blog
Below you will find some tips and tricks to make your life as a blogger easier.
Format blog post
To ensure uniformity in the format of our blog posts we have created a template you can use to send in your blog post. You can download this template here and send your blog post to email@example.com
- Following your passion: write about subjects that are close to your heart. It should be related to International Studies, but this relation can be understood in the broadest sense.
- First heart, then head: start by writing whatever grabs you. Later you can score things out and think about style.
- Focus on one subject.
- Choose a position: take a side and stick to it.
- Check the facts.
- Give sources. If you consult a source and refer to facts in it, then provide the source. For the blog we prefer hyperlinks over academic references. If you refer to one of your own publications, then provide the link to the Leids Repositorium.
Choose a catchy title: a title that triggers the reader’s curiosity, that promises a solution or an answer or a title that informs about the content of the blog.
- An intriguing title: How a fireman catches a cobra.
- A solution-oriented title: Five tips for a successful first encounter.
- An informative title: Parents’ evening: checking out the home facts.
Keep the title short.
An Image says more than words. Search for a photo or make one that reinforces your message. Every blog has a cover image. You can add additional images in the text. Don’t forget to check the image rights and give due credits in the caption.
Write a catchy trailer: outline the issue and suggest what is to come. Aim at one or two sentences and keep the introduction for the main text. The trailer can have no more than 300 words.
Eighty percent of Internet users only scans a text. They follow a web page with an F-motion. People who land on your blog decide within seconds if they will stay on it or not. Some tips for your text:
Maak a blog scanable. Ensure that visitors can see at once if the article is of interest to them. Some tips:
- a simple title (see point 9)
- bullet points for lists. Lists are easy to read
- blank lines between paragraphs
- key words: put the most important words in the first sentences of paragraphs and in the titles
Writing is deleting
- Keep it short. Don’t be lured into using ‘flowery’ language: if it doesn’t add to the message, it will just detract from it. Avoid elaborations and sidetracks.
- There is no ideal length. If you only need 500 words, that’s perfect. However, some subjects ask for more in-depth discussion and you might need 2000 words; that is also fine.
- Get to the point. So: grab your reader’s attention straight away. Pull them ‘by the head’ into the text and write in an ‘inverted pyramid’ style. Start with the most important information and finish with the least important.
Ensure there is cohesion in your text. At the end of your blog, go back to your title, the beginning or the key message: by doing so you clarify the cohesion.
Question? Something not clear? Something to add? please mail to firstname.lastname@example.org