Oh, please. Spare me from rattling-on posts.
I know “everyone” does it, but isn’t it frustrating to see a great post title which inspires you to click through from your feeds and start reading only to find out that it is a great rambling-on post that takes forever to get to the point? They usually are in the following forms:
- Begins with the reason behind the post title then swiftly moves to cover topic A, G, X, M, N, and we can’t forget that Q happened, and don’t forget Y as that’s important, too, though we aren’t sure why, and all subjects that have nothing to do with topic A, the reason for the post in the first place.
- Begins with J followed by B, then spirals into G, M, Q, N, P, I, and a few added on notes about C, F, and K. At the end, it finally gets to A, the reason for the post title.
- Rattle on about X, Y, and Z, things I would normally want to know after point A, then eventually gets to the fascinating reason for the post in the first place.
- The fascinating blog post title is never explained in the blog post. The two are totally disconnected.
The first three examples are what I call the “kitchen sink” blog posts. They include everything in the kitchen, including the kitchen sink, in the post, when we are only interested in the kitchen sink.
If I encounter a post styled like number one, I get the point and the moment the point is abandoned to bring up unrelated or mildly related bits and pieces, I move on and away, often to not return.
If I encounter a post styled like number two, I quickly move to scan mode, hopping from heading or link to link, looking for the reason I came. If I don’t find it within a few seconds, I’m gone, and I know I won’t be back. If they can’t get to the point their title promised, they are wasting my time.
Here’s an example:
How To Link to Blog Posts
I was in the grocery store the other day thinking about blogging, which is weird thing to think about unless you are a blogger. You know how you just think about blogging at the strangest time, part of our obession as bloggers, I guess. But anything can inspire a blog post, and at that moment, I had an inspiration.
See, I needed to get some mint for a Greek dish I was going to make for my friends coming to visit in a few days. They are driving in from Seattle and are Greek, and I wanted to make Greek food for them. Some bugs have infested my garden and are eating all the mint growing in there (don’t you hate that when it happens), so I got in the car and drove to the grocery store to buy fresh mint herbs.
I try not to drive to the store more than once a week, with the price of gas being so high, but I wanted that mint, so I cursed oil companies and the president and got in the car anyway and made the ten mile trip to the store for the mint…
You can see where this is not going. Three paragraphs into the blog post and I have no idea how to link to blog posts, nor why any of this information is important, nor helpful, to creating blog post links.
Example three is the most comment form of blog post I find, where all the fuss over how the blogger got to the point in the first place has to be introduced to the reader, information usually unimportant to the reader. Honestly. I don’t care what you had for lunch or that you gave up lunch in order to solve the problem. I don’t care how long it took, I want the information I came to find in the first place.
The last example just wastes everyone’s time. The post title is no more than a traffic and attention-getter. Traffic arrives, and one look says “time waster” and the visitor is gone, never to return. Why bother?
There is nothing wrong with rambling, personal posts. They have their place within the blog world. But if you are offering technical information, please, move your ramblings to the bottom of the post. Give us the information we need right off the top. Make your blog post titles match the post content. Search engines will adore you, search engine searchers will love you, and your readers will have more respect for the helpful information you offer.
For more information on writing technical articles and WordPress tips, see Tips For Writing Good WordPress Tips and Writing and Publishing Code In Your WordPress Blog Posts.