Starting a New Blog: Blog Post Critique

Monday I gave feedback to Brad Merrill about HOW he let others know about his blog… today I want to write about a blog post (his second post).

Brad titled the post What is Ethical Behavior?  It’s a good question which really came out after the Enron thing… as an accountant Brad should have some good thoughts.

First Thought

It is toooooooooo loooooooooooooooong.

This post has 1,535 words and would print of on almost four full pages!

I couldn’t read it.  It’s simply too long.

Here’s an idea, though: take this four page post and break it up into three or four posts.

Call it a series and make it easier to read for ME.

The beauty of this idea is it is now easier to write for Brad.  Why?  If he takes one “post” and breaks it down, he now has one to two weeks of blog posts already written!

Let me say this another way – if he spent an hour on that post, and then thought about spending an hour on every post, and wrote two to three times a week, he’d spend quite a bit of time writing blog posts.  Okay sometimes, but sometimes that hour just isn’t available.

What if he took this one hour and had all the writing for one or two weeks done?

That is more sustainable, over the long haul.

Second Thought

Give me more personal stuff.  The first page (above the fold) has two references to dictionary definitions… I have to scroll down before I see if there’s some Brad Merrill personality.

Instead of starting off with a page of sources, I would have liked to see him launch into a story from his past rich work history:

  • I was consulting a client when _______
  • I remember being faced with an ethical dilemma when my boss _______
  • My first major ethical conundrum came when my client _______

Wouldn’t a line like that be more interesting?  I’d want to read what an accountant has faced … not the bean counting boring stuff, but some conflict, how it was handled, what he had to think through, etc.

My point is, make it personal.  I want to read about BRAD MERRILL, not what the dictionary says.

So these are my thoughts as Brad Merrill starts his blogging journey.  Really, he has a great start… I’m excited to see him mature and evolve as a blogger 🙂

3 thoughts on “Starting a New Blog: Blog Post Critique

  1. Brad Merrill

    Thank you, Jason.

    The length thing was brought up by two contacts who contacted me directly, both with the same suggestion. Both said break it up. I copied it into Word yesterday afternoon and was able to reasonably break it up into three posts. Problem is in this particular post was the length of the list of cannons itself. I ultimately decided, because of timing to not break up the post itself. Could I still do it? Probably by looking at the site stats.

    In the future, I certainly will make posts shorter – a lot shorter, even if that means breaking something up. I will certainly take those suggestions and yours as well to heart.

  2. Jason Post author

    Brad, thanks for letting me critique your stuff.

    I would not break this post up, but in the future try and keep them a certain length. The bonus is that if you do have a lot to write, you can get 2 weeks of posts out of one writing session 🙂

    I think I would have had the list of cannons be it’s own post….

  3. Brad Merrill

    Looking back, I agree with you. The Cannons would have had to have been their own, just because of the way it is structured. Of course, the whole 20/20 hindsight thing…

    The one I put up today was a little under 600 words I think. I actually shortened it with the intent of the 100+ words I took out to be part of a second post which I need to finish writing.

    There is just so much on that particular topic, it would be easy to write a book. I set it up differently too. Q & A style, which made this particular post very easy to put together and edit.

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