If you want to build up a regular audience on your blog, it’s a good idea to try to standardise the structure of your postings. This helps your readers quickly understand what to expect from your blog and how to access the information they need quickly.
You may find that a single standardised structure is enough for all your postings.
- On my Daily English Activities I have single structure for all the activities. I always begins with an introduction which justifies the activity on a pedagogical level and and which introduces the kind of tool used. This is then followed by the task with step by step procedure and lastly some links to other relevant postings.
- On my Learning Technology Blog I’ve structured the majority of the materials with an introduction to the tools being used and some technical kind of ‘How to’ instructions, then pedagogical suggestions followed by some pros and then some cons of using the tool.
Some blog structures you could explore for ideas are:
- Larry Ferlazzo’s websites of the day
Larry’s posts are usually carefully annotated lists of links to resources for teaching. If you look at a few you can see that he gives an introduction to the topic followed by the list. Each entry has its own description.
- Six Things
Lindsay Clandfield has a blog called Six Things and each posting is based around six paragraphs on a particular topic. Interestingly Lindsay also gets a lot of guest writers on his site which can help to keep the ideas fresh too.
Gavin Dudeney goes for more of an in depth essay style of writing, with longer 'opinion' posts that discuss a single issue in more depth.
Lists are a very popular way to structure a blog. They give readers clear expectations and help you to keep your writing to a manageable amount. One thing I have noticed though, is that there is a limit to how many things I can find interesting on a list type posting. If I see 12 top teaching tips for using video, I'm much more likely to have a look at them than say 50 top teaching tips, so beware of overkill.
How about you?
- How do you structure your blog postings?
- Do you have single or set of standard structures?
- Do you ignore standardisation and just write however you like?
- What other sites do you know that have interesting structures.