Writing for print vs. blogging

Julia Scott makes the transition and shares her tips

Julia Scott is a reporter turned blogger who adapted her print skills for the web. She currently writes a savvy-spending blog called BargainBabe.com. I asked her to describe the transition. Read on:

Print journalists may have a hard time transitioning to blogging if they are not willing to let go of some of the basic tenets of traditional newspaper writing. While there are many similarities between the two forms, the difference are striking. Let’s start with what works in both forms:

–Classic, good storytelling

–Solid reporting, great quotes, salient details

–Concise writing

 Writing for print vs. blogging

Writing for print vs. blogging

Now let’s talk about the differences:

–Bloggers write more frequently. While there are exceptions, successful blogs generally have multiple posts everyday or each weekday. Some Sports bloggers regularly post a dozen-plus times a day.

–Blog posts are typically shorter. Think 2-8 paragraphs for most posts. The goal is to provide nuggets of information as soon as you get them. Forget about crafting one long story that has complete information. Break up big topics into separate posts so readers can go directly to the information that interests them.

–The structure is simpler. Worry less about a beginning, middle and end than with providing a polished tidbit.

–The style is even more informal and conversational. Remember what your editor said about writing a story like you were telling it to your grandmother? Bloggers write as if they are talking to their bff. –Slang is not uncommon, and the writing often reflects the blogger’s internal dialog in their head.

–Bloggers use first person. Readers want to connect with bloggers and enjoy hearing your opinion, how a particular post relates to your life, and other personal details. Some of my most popular posts are personal stories that have little or nothing to do with my blog topic.

–Bloggers share opinions. Telling readers what you think of an issue can create great discussion via comments, which keeps readers coming back. Be open to dissent and respectful disagreements.

–Bloggers encourage interaction. Readers love to share their two cents and great bloggers embrace this. Feedback via comments, polls, live blogging sessions, Google map mashups, videos, and more can generate tips, create loyalty, and increase the time readers spend on your blog.

Those are the basic similarities and differences. To get a better idea of what makes a good blog post, I encourage you to check out: http://www.bargainbabe.com/