Improving your blog: Put it in context
vskinner 060000VKGS Comments (2) Visits (3284)
If you're a My developerWorks blogger, one of the things you should be thinking about is putting things in context for your reader. Look at one of your blog posts, does it make sense to an "outsider"? Would a reader know who you are? What you're writing about or why you're writing about it?
Here are some ideas for putting your blog in context:
1. Introduce yourself
Make sure it's clear:
If you haven't started your blog yet, or you're just starting, I'd recommend that you write a blog post that is an introduction to your blog. Here are a few examples of good blog "introductions":
Living in the future
The birth of our blog
Even if you've been blogging for awhile, you can always write a post like this. You might frame it as, "I've been blogging for awhile, but realized I've never shared much about why I'm writing this blog and where I'm coming from..."
2. Use your blog name to describe what your blog is about or who you are
If your blog name is clear, it definitely helps readers know what your blog is "about". While this model doesn't fit with all types of blogs, it's definitely something to think about!
Here are some blog names that are good examples:
AIX Down Under
Build your skills on DB2
A view from the Clouds: Cloud Computing for the WebSphere developer
3. Make your blog post titles clear and descriptive
Having a clear blog post title that tells a reader what that post is about, also helps add context. Here are some good examples:
AIX installation from the ground up
Managing files for a Rails cloud application
4. Customize your blog to include a bio or description
Having a bio or description on your blog template can serve as an introduction to your blog. Learn all about customizing your blog by visiting Files in the
Here are some good examples:
Scott Laningham: developerWorks podcasts
5. Add context within each blog post
If you write a blog post with a technical tip, instead of just writing the tip, you might include an introduction that explains why you're sharing it, how you came across it, how often you use it, etc. For example: "As a widget engineer, this is one of the tips I've found most useful when I..."
Example: Open Source Tools for doing a newsletter
Also, be consider that your readers may not understand acronyms or obscure references or abbreviations. Let's say you have a blog post related to a product like WebSphere Application Server. Don't abbreviate it and call it "WAS". Spell it out the first time along with the acronym in parentheses "WebSphere Application Server (WAS)", then use the acronym. Also, consider linking to the product or related terms to help the reader.
6. Make sure you have a good profile on My developerWorks
Have a strong My developerWorks profile that describes important facts about you - who you are, the company you work at, the role you're in, the country you live in, what you're interested in, and any other details. Include important links to things like favorite web sites, your blog, your Twitter, etc. Add LinkedIn or Facebook widgets to give your audience more places to find you.
7. Add good tags to your blog post
Think about the key words someone might look for if they were looking for your blog post and be sure to add those as tags - it helps people find your blog! Example: Managing software licenses in the cloud
*Image from Perrimoon