5 things to know about … blogging for the Star-Telegram

A newspaper blog should be much more than an online notebook. At its best, a blog:

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Photo by Pablo Ruiz Múzquiz; Flickr Creative Commons

1. Is interactive. Use it to communicate with your readers. Ask them questions. Read and respond to their comments.

2. Aggregates. Imagine that your blog is a water-cooler spot for your subject. Look for what others are saying or doing and repost their content. Use the same general guidelines we use for print: It’s OK to quote or paraphrase a couple of graphs, as long as you include attribution and post a link to the original source.

3. Includes multimedia. Photos, videos, source documents and other rich media content can be easily uploaded to a post and can often tell the story better than words. It’s OK to use photos pulled from our Merlin archive with two exceptions — if the cutline forbids web posting (usually in red) or if the photo is from Getty Images. Include attribution somewhere in the post.

4. Has a voice. Write in a conversational tone rather than the formal writing you’re used to for print. Let your inner personality shine through. Have some fun. You can be colorful yet still remain impartial, as per our ethics policy.

5. Starts with a strong headline. Bloggers are headline writers, too. Remember the rules of search optimization — think about what search terms people might use to find your subject matter and include them in the headline. Keep the headlines relatively short — 8-10 words at most. Learn to write provocative headlines that summarize the content of your post.

Instructions for posting to Typepad, the Star-Telegram blog tool.

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