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Friday, December 19, 2008

How To BlogAdvice from Arianna Huffington, Om Malik, and more of the Web's best pundits. By Farhad Manjoo

The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging, a new manifesto put together by editors and writers of the most-linked-to blog on the Web, is more than a little self-righteous. Bloggers, here, are the civic superheroes of our age, standing against the tyrannies of the Bush administration and its lumbering, deaf-mute enablers in the Old Media. If you've forgotten about how blogs brought down Trent Lott and how they delivered us from scammy journos like Judy Miller—well, turn here to relive the glory. "Blogging has been the greatest breakthrough in popular journalism since Tom Paine," Arianna Huffington, HuffPo's founder, writes in her introduction. The blogosphere, she adds, is the "most vital news source in the country."

The only trouble with HuffPo's guide is that it's printed on dead trees. So I set out to rectify that problem. I called and e-mailed a half-dozen of my favorite bloggers to ask how they blog so well, and I combined their ideas with the best advice from HuffPo. Behold—my own complete guide to blogging.

Set a schedule. Blog often. Jeff Atwood, who runs the fantastic programming blog Coding Horror, told me that the key to his early success was sticking to a realistic target of six posts a week. HuffPo's editors echo this advice: "If you're serious about blogging, commit to posting at least two to three times a week for thirty days," they say. Posting with such regularity will be tough; you've got other things to do, and writing is a daunting task for most people. But blogging, like exercise, gets easier with practice. The more often you do it, the less onerous it'll feel, and at some point you may even grow to like it.....


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