My Multimedia Journalism students have written about some dynamite photo galleries and slideshows for their First Mandatory Post assignment of the semester. In this assignment, I’ve asked them to find three photo galleries from online journalism sites that inspire them and to critique their content in terms of journalistic value and other factors. Their writing and ideas are pretty awesome! Yet some didn’t take advantage of all the features that make blogs easy to find, easy to read, and interesting to look at. This post provides reminders on how to do those things.

Beloved Multimedia Journalism students, here are some things to add to your repertoire next time you do a blog post:

Break up long paragraphs: Long paragraphs fatigue the online reader’s eye. They make even the most excitingly written content appear long, ponderous and dull.

Use bold in posts to signal the transition from one section to the next: In a blog post critiquing galleries about wine, for instance, you could do that for each of the galleries you critique. It can be a subhead or just the first three to five words of each critique. Here’s how make words boldface in WordPress:

Link back to the sources you write about: Do this to make it easy for your readers to find more interesting stuff. But you also do this in order to attract traffic from those sites via linkbacks. That was the case when I linked back to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution from my Snowpocalypse post. Not only did I send readers to, but the linkback on the AJC post I linked to sent me some readers, too.Here’s how link back to your online sources:

  1. While editing your post, highlight the name of the source (e.g., the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times) or a few key words pertaining to the content you cited from another blog or website.
  2. Click the chain icon in the tools bar above your post (the same place where you would click to bold, underline or italicize type). This should summon a popup box.
  3. In that box, paste the URL for the blog or website you referred to.
  4. Click the blue “Add Link” button.

Add tags and categories: Tags and categories help boost your SEO ranking in search engines, making your content easier to find and driving more traffic to your site. They also make it easy for a reader already looking at your blog to find content related you’re written previously on the blog.

Do these things, and your posts will be readable, easy to look at and easy to find. You’ll also attract more readers.