I was pleased to be asked by my communications colleague Cort Egan in the University of Guelph library to be a presenter last week at a two-day writing workshop. The event, which was well organized by the library’s enthusiastic staff, included more than 20 workshops on everything from persuasive writing to science writing.

My topic was three steps to better blogging. I hope you find a nugget in it.

1. Establish your brand. “Owen’s blog” is not a brand. But “Urban Cowboy” is. What’s your brand? To help establish your brand, ask this basic question – what’s inspiring you to blog? The word blog is an amalgam of web and log…what are you logging on the web?

2. Size matters. Try limiting your posts to one screen. Have a graphic? Include it in the immediately visible part of the post. Don’t worry about saying everything in one post — post again and again. Use your blog to drive readers to longer pieces published elsewhere.

3. Stay structured. Use Canadian Press style for consistency and credibility. Try the following three-paragraph formula for effective posts. It’s a mix of a classic objective magazine lead structure in journalism, and citizen journalism with an emphasis on subjectivity.

Paragraph 1 – Establish the topic

Paragraph 2 – Establish the new development in the topic

Paragraph 3 – Give your opinion about this new development