I'm trying to get better at blogging - I'd like my writing to be useful to people, and I want to get better at making it more useful and reaching more people for whom it would be useful.

There's a ton of advice out there, but much of is aimed at people doing this at least partly for profit who want to sell ads / product referrals / subscriptions.

What should a blog do differently if it's just aiming to be useful? Some ideas:

  • organize content so it's easier to find things by topic, not just newness
  • be more willing to not have snappy answers, to acknowledge stuff like "I might be wrong here" or "I'm not sure what the right approach is"
  • send full posts and not just teasers out by email. I still haven't found a service that makes it easy to do this!

Do you have favorite examples of blogs or posts that do well at this?

New Answer
Ask Related Question
New Comment

5 Answers sorted by

Idea: Altruistic blogs should update their previous posts more often to reflect new information and changed views.

Ideas from a brainstorm with someone else:

Idea: Altruistic blogs should repeat themselves less often, even if it means fewer and/or less frequent posts.

If your blog engine publishes a full length RSS feed, blogtrottr will watch your feed and send full-length posts to email subscribers.

Re: sending full posts via email: Aside from separate services like substack recommended below there are several wordpress plugins that do this.  (I looked into this a while ago when I was working on eaforjews.org but ultimately I decided not to do this for that site).  Would be happy to help you set one of these up on your site, I'd estimate it would take less than an hour.  

Thanks - I did set up a way to email subscribers when a new post is published, but didn't manage to find one that sends the whole post rather than just a snippet (and didn't have some other downside). But I found the process of sorting through the different email sending plugins surprisingly difficult, so there was likely a service I didn't find or ruled out prematurely.

3 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 6:00 AM

send full posts and not just teasers out by email. I still haven't found a service that makes it easy to do this!

Could you do this with SubStack? I have received some quite long emails from them (though the really long ones do get cut off eventually)

I do like that about Substack! The thing I don't like is that it seems like you can only format the page as a chronological list of posts, and I'd like to have an easy / visible way to find posts in various categories.

Someone pointed me at this post with blogging advice: https://guzey.com/personal/why-have-a-blog/ I feel like Ben Kuhn wrote something about this, but I can't find it.