Advice from FYE Advisors

Last week I led a few workshops for some FYE staff members because they are getting ready to take the plunge into blogging.  As part of the training, I brainstormed some tips that I thought of when I asked myself the question, “what makes an effective blog post?”.  Although most of you can probably guess the gist of my tips at this point, here they are: come up with a catchy title for the post, stick to the topic/theme, keep it pretty short (less than 500 words), use personal experience, write in your own voice – but remember that anyone can access it, treat it as an extension of an advising session, spell check your work, don’t mention anyone’s full name unless you clear it with them first.

However, like most of my experiences at John Jay, even though I was facilitating these particular workshops, I wound up learning just as much from the advisors as I felt they were learning from me, and thought I would share their great advice will you all (see, that’s why they call ’em advisors!).  Remember that these ideas came up because we are working with a blog that will be part of the public face of the FYE Advising Program, so some of these might be slightly different for a personal blog, but since they might be of help I’ve included all of them below.

  • Choose current topics
  • Have someone else read the post before you post it, both to proofread and to give feedback on tone and clarity
  • Make sure you are writing about something that you know and have some expertise about – if you aren’t sure of an answer, don’t write a post.  Make sure all of your information is accurate and up to date
  • Use visuals, lists and bullets to make it more readable
  • Be specific, but not too detailed
  • If you are referring blog readers to a specific person for more detail, email that person first to check (a) if they are the right person to contact for that specific issue/question and (b) if they are willing to have their contact info posted on the blog

If any of the workshop participants are reading this, thanks for your engagement and suggestions!

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One Response

  1. This will definitely help me in writing my posts. I sometimes have trouble organizing them and never thought of using bullet points; that a great idea! Also, I agree that using current topics and things that come up in my life as ideas for blogs. It helps if the reader can relate to what your saying. This was a really helpful post 🙂

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