The internet is not the library. People don't come in, check the card catalog, pull a book off the shelf and take it home for a long read. Unfortunately, many blog writers are still writing as if that were the case. Below are recommendations I make to writers who submit to WOW, the devotional blog I edit.
12 Tips to Better Blog Devotions:
Writing is important ministry.
Rewriting is often more important than writing!
A. Make sure your content is well
arranged and understandable.
B. Make sure your grammar and punctuation are correct.
C. Stay on point--cut unnecessary words/explanations and
don't take side trips from your message.
"I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter." James A. Michener
"I rewrote the ending of 'Farewell to Arms' 39 times before I was satisfied."- Ernest Hemingway
3. Don't preach or give Bible studies unless that is the purpose of your blog. Sermons and Bible studies are different than devotions.
4. Know your audience. Unless you want to narrow your readership to a particular segment of Christianity, don't promote denominational or doctrinal differences.
5. Keep it short and sweet! People rarely read long articles on the internet.
6. Choose your Scripture reference carefully. If there are two good verses, but one is harder to understand, use the easiest. And don’t feel you need to cross reference every verse. Sometimes less is more!
7. Include a story--a personal or historic application. A devotion applies God's principles to real life involving real people and real situations.
8. Grab readers with your introduction. If it’s slow, contains unnecessary facts, or is boring, you’ll lose many readers right off. (also read "Don't begin with Scripture".)
9. Get rid of extra words--"wordiness" weakens writing.
"Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts." --William Strunk, Jr.
10. Avoid passive voice. If you aren't sure what it is, look it up HERE.
11. Be humble: say "we" not "you" (e.g. "We need to draw closer to God."). A good devotion is "peer encouragement." You've learned something you want to share, but you are still a learner.
12. Make one point, not multiple points! You can always write another devotion. And, it bears repeating, stay on point. Make sure everything you write enhances your point instead of detracting from it.
These are things I look for when I edit a submission for WOW and things I try to incorporate into my own devotional blog. I hope they are helpful!
This is one of my blog tips, but my home page features 1-Minute devotions each weekday. sign up below to have them delivered to your email box.