For folks new to blogging, I thought I’d offer up some suggestions to make your blogging easier and more interesting for readers.
First, if you’re going to blog about tournaments, rooms or trip reports, get yourself a voice recorder. Hands or details that seem interesting at the time are often difficult to remember the following day when you’re sleep deprived or hung over. You can get a digital voice recorder (<$100 for a nice one, Olympus or Sony, at any Staples or Best Buy), use the rudimentary voice recorder in your cell-phone or buy an adapter for most iPods. The idea isn’t to become some full-on reporter for the Times but to use the recorder to make notes on details (hands, stack sizes, room features, etc.) that you might not remember when you’re ready to write.
In the absence of a voice recorder, take notes when you can. Writing down stuff that strikes you as interesting detail—number of tables, an unusual hand, characteristics of your opponents, whatever—will make it MUCH easier to write when you’re in front of the computer. You don’t have to take formal notes in a notebook; just jot a few notes on a cocktail napkin or structure sheet. How many tables were left, stack sizes, what guys were wearing, how you were feeling, etc. Anything that will help kick-start your writing when you’re off the felt.
Pictures and Links
Whenever possible, add pictures or links to your blog. Pictures add detail that’s not always easy to convey with words and links to other articles, sites, room listings, etc. give your reader additional info without cluttering your post. At TwoRags, we’ve got very easy image and linking tools for bloggers. If you haven’t already tried them, you should. They’ll really make your blog come to life.
A note on pictures. As with many forums and blogs, you’ll need to host your image somewhere and reference the url in your image link. If you post me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll put your image(s) on our server, size it appropriately and post you a url link that you can easily use in your blog.
Finally, organize your blog post into bite size chunks. Whenever I’m running long, I try to break the blog into sections with a heading and some sort of structure so the reader doesn’t feel overwhelmed. If you’re writing short, punchy pieces, it’s not as critical to break your work into sections, but if you’re writing more than 5-6 paragraphs, do the reader a favor and break your work up into discreet units. It’ll be easier for you to edit and him to read.
You can see all of these concepts in use in a blog post I made a few days ago here WSOP Event #15: A rookie goes deep...