How to Write an Effective Blog Post

How do you write an effective blog post? Easy! Simply synthesize art, craft, thought, personal reflection, insight, expertise and research.

Then, to corroborate your points, cite the most credible sources, include the most telling points and quotes from those sources in the text of your post, refer to those sources specifically in the text and link to them – all to establish the writers’ authority – then say something essential about the sources’ subject matter.

All in the confines of 300 words.

Whew!

The metaphor of a sonnet works best for us to describe our vision for posts on Handshake 2.0.

A sonnet is a poem, not prose.  It’s 14 lines, not 13 or 15.  It has a prescribed rhyme scheme.  A poet could choose the rhyme pattern preferred by Shakespeare or Petrarch or Spenser or others, but not his or her own.  It opens, the plot thickens, then it resolves. 

If a piece doesn’t follow a sonnet’s prescribed structure, it may be a sensational literary or artistic breakthrough, but it’s not a sonnet.

A blog post for Handshake 2.0 is like a sonnet.  If it doesn’t follow the prescribed structure, it may be a creative masterpiece, but it’s not a Handshake 2.0 blog post.

A Handshake 2.0 blog post is about business. If it’s text, it’s 300 words, no more.  It opens, the plot thickens, then it resolves. 

It has 4 or more links to 4 or more current (past month is best, this year is acceptable) top level sources to support the points it makes.  Very much like a research paper’s footnotes, these links prove the credibility and authority of the points the writer makes.  The more highly-regarded the sources and the more broadly based (a national publication like the Wall Street Journal + a top blog like TechCrunch + an industry trade site like Furniture Today), the more trust the reader has in the post. 
 
Since business is based on “It’s who you know,” and we do business with those we know – and trust – the links are crucial to establishing the potential for a trusting and trustworthy business transaction.

A Handshake 2.0 blog post is consciously crafted with greater principles expressed using specific examples.  Underpinning its creation are the dictums of Williams – “No ideas but in things,” and Zinsser – “Is every word doing new work?” 

To the extent that it’s humanly possible, in terms of grammar, spelling, typography, and coding, it is error-free.  Its diction, its word choice, is professional.  It is informational rather than instructive.  It is not directive, i.e. it is not “you should” in tone. It includes an image or video that symbolizes its content or deepens its expression. 

If the post is an image, or has an image, our image guidelines are followed impeccably.

A Handshake 2.0 blog post, whether text or image, contains no sexual, scatological, drug or alcohol references or slang.  It contains no ethnic or racial slurs, profanity, obscenity, or swearing or cursing.  With regard to religion or spirituality, it is non-denominational.  With regard to politics, it is non-partisan.

It aspires to art.

Posts are created according to Handshake Media, Incorporated’s social media authenticity policy.

What’s the point of a Handshake 2.0 blog post?  The same as that of a sonnet:  To share a truth in the form of a story or image that informs, enlightens, even inspires, with craft, art, and beauty.

Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

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A short summary of what we seek is here for guest post writers.  For models of some of the finest posts on Handshake 2.0, consider viewing the Tech Showcase series.  Here’s a reflection from the founder on how the success of content on Handshake 2.0 is ultimately evaluated.

Anatomy of a Blog Post graphic by Kelsey Sarles

Evergreen Content Versus News and Commentary from SubHub summarizes well what we seek. The slide show below may be of value as well.

Cat Meditation
Doing Business with India Means Sometimes Shaking Hands