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October 24, 2014 | 30th Tishrei 5775

Blog Writing Tips

Tips for writing blog posts that will engage people in conversation

  • Share your opinion. Be polite, but declare an opinion. Even if you're just sharing a news item, it helps to express your opinion. Some people will agree, some will not, and that will help to spark conversation.
  • Be personal! People love to read stories that tell more about what makes someone else tick, especially if they can relate to the same ideas.

  • Use the 2nd person. This helps to make the reader feel personally addressed and usually gives a more informal feel to the writing. It makes people feel more likely to leave a comment and be a part of the conversation if they feel that they're being personally addressed.

  • Ask questions. People are more likely to leave a comment if directly asked a specific question. Ask enough questions and people will get the idea that their opinion actually matters to you!

  • Don't explore a topic to its fullest extent. It's better to write a shorter post that leaves some paths unexplored, and to allow the conversation to develop in the comments section of the blog.

  • Write a good headline. Spark interest right away with a headline that interests and inspires someone to read the whole post.

All human beings, and Jews in particular, have in common our desire to share our stories. And these stories have the potential to inform, to inspire, and to foster community. Everyone has a memorable food, a special piece of clothing, a secret hiding place, an eccentric relative or neighbor, a treasured family heirloom, holiday traditions, family customs, trips taken...through these common ideas, stories take on a life of their own. Reading about a family memory of Grandma's challah might trigger another person's memory of their aunt's special holiday cake, or the time that the well-meaning neighbor brought over a cake to honor Passover. On a blog, each person can become a writer. There is the main story, the "post," and then there is the community – the comments generated by the post, in which, ideally, others share their own stories triggered by this one. It's not enough, though, to just post the story and hope that it inspires others. Be direct and inclusive: End each post with a related question ("Do you have a story like this one? What happened in your family?") and invite people to comment (make it easy for them – see later section for ideas on this) with their own stories. People like to feel invited in.

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