What makes a good blogger? “Good writing,” you may have responded. Yes, good writing is essential, but good writing in the highly-visual world of the World Wide Web means so much more than merely the words that we use.
Good writing also involves how your words look within the “picture frame” that is your web page. That’s why, when I teach my first-year students blogging basics, we talk a lot about whitespace, wraparound text, captions, hyperlinks, paragraph length, bulleted lists, and section headings.
In fact, we have a checklist that students use to make sure that their blog posts don’t just read well, but they also look good. The following blogs are the top 6 posts of my first-year Advertising and Marketing Communications (AMC) students in my Writing for Marketing (MCOM5) class. These bloggers are the folks who not only demonstrated articulate, grammatically correct prose; they also more or less employed the key elements of our blogging lesson and checklist.
So, without further ado, here are the top 6 MCOM5 blogs (so far and in no particular order):
Bismah Ayub’s The Nonconformist’s Quintessential Guide to First-Time Blogging—Bismah’s writing is nothing less than delicious. She is a virtual expert at using highlighters such as italics, bold, and uppercase to emphasize words and phrases so skillfully that you can almost hear her spoken voice in her written text. I can’t wait to read Bismah’s next delightful post.
- Terry McGinn’s Three things I didn’t know I didn’t know—Terry has been blogging for almost 20 years and she’s a real-life professional writer, so it’s no surprise she makes the top 6. Nonetheless, Terry puts love and pride in every word. Her post adheres fully to our checklist and is well organized and easy to read. Indeed, if you want to know some blogging essentials, Terry’s post would be a great place to start.
- Saige Clark’s Wait… Blogs are still relevant?—Saige is another blogger with a powerful voice. She knows how to grab a reader’s attention right from the get-go. She articulates her points with data and sound logic. And she adheres beautifully to our checklist. Thank you, Saige.
- Sonia Mortensen’s What the blog?—Like Terry, Sonia is not new to blogging, and it shows. She grabs attention with her first line and uses punchy prose, tight paragraphs, and catchy headings to keep the reader’s attention throughout her post. Good work, Sonia. Keep it coming. I hope you figure out how to monetize that travel blog some day.
Alexandra Craig’s What? I’m Blogging?!—I love that Alexandra took the time to shoot her own pictures for her post and to use more than one image to not just personalize her blog but to illustrate her points. I think she was one of only two students among several who mentioned me in their blogs and linked to one of my web presences. After all, who is this mysterious Frank that so many student bloggers mention? Inquiring minds might want to know.
- Reilly McCracken’s Trying to “makeup” my first blog post—I’ll confess that I omitted Reilly’s post from my list in the first version of my top blogs post, and it was an oversight. Reilly worked hard to incorporate all of the elements of our checklist into a very “punny” post that also taught the key elements of effective blogging. Thank you, Reilly. Your first post is a lovely “foundation” (pun very intentional) for posts to come.
Of course, there were many other fabulous posts amongst my students, and I was tempted to do a top 10 or 11 instead of a top 6, but this post has already gone over the 400-word limit I give to my students. Nonetheless, let me present to you a brief list of five more bloggers who would have made the top 10 or 11 if I’d made one: Sierra Saikaley, Will Green, Camryn Smith, Caitlin Grundy, and Devlyn Lohnes.
To be true, most of the five in the paragraph above merited a listing in the top 6, but I had to make a cut somewhere. So I’m curious. Which would you have included in your top 6 and why? Or perhaps you know of a post that I missed. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if the end-of-semester top 6 looks a little different than today’s. Time will tell.