February 25, 2014

Tips That May Help You in Blogging

I know that I don't always follow my own advice, but if you find these useful, have at. First, I write about one topic – diabetes, specifically type 2 diabetes. Second, there are topics that relate to diabetes and sometimes the relationship is obtuse or difficult to recognize. However, I still try to stay on the topic of diabetes.

Second, I have researched blogging and there are many tips and discussions on what to do. Rather than list a large number of links, I suggest using the following search string in your search engine – 'tips for bloggers'. Please understand that many of the tips apply to many types of blogs and some are not for bloggers writing about diabetes or other chronic diseases. Some will still apply, but not all. I would suggest reading this discussion first Tips Beginner Bloggers.

One blog author does say that some rules and tips are meant to be broken from time to time. Two blog authors suggest limiting blogs to under 700 words and one author says if you can't say it in 600 words, it does not need saying. Now admittedly I have over 900 words more often than I should and I have too many two and three part blogs. Now I say that I detest overly long blogs, but there are times when I would rather read a long blog when the subject matter is interesting.

One tip I find useful is providing a email sign up for new posts. This is one way to make sure your readers are alerted when you post a new blog. Another way to inform your readers of a new blog is to have a RSS or other blanket feed for those that subscribe.

Third, I would like to cover a few minor issues that drive readers away. Some are not minor to some people and they will quite reading your blog.
  1. People with color blindness – read about it and look at the color charts on . wikipedia.org Avoid using a lot of colored fonts in your blog.
  2. Do not use acronyms without an explanation the first time. You may know the meaning of the acronym, but will your readers. Consider the acronym ADA. Yes, often it is easy to figure out in context, but I would not say this all the time. I recently had a blog here in which I could have used ADA for two of its many meanings – American Diabetes Association and Americans with Disabilities Act. I did only use it for the first one.
  3. Always admit when you make a mistake – I do more often than I like.
  4. Never apologize for expressing your opinion. Not everyone may agree with you, but that is expected. However, it is better to avoid controversial opinions.
  5. One frustration I have is when reading a blog is not having a date for the blog to know whether it is the most recent or if there are more recent blogs.
When it comes to diabetes, some words do make readers angry. David Mendosa does explain them and I agree with him. I would urge my readers to take time and read his blog Incorrect Diabetes Terms. The only term that David describes that I have some disagreement with is the term “brittle diabetes.” It is often used incorrectly, but now has official recognition from the National Institutes of Health, which recently listed brittle type 1 diabetes as a rare disease, a distinct and separate form of type 1.

One word that does upset me is the word control. I sincerely wish we could control diabetes, but this is impossible under any circumstance. We are capable of managing diabetes to the best of our abilities and many people are able to manage diabetes with nutrition and exercise without medications. Others of us must use a medication, whether oral medication or insulin, to assist us in managing our diabetes. Some people chose not to manage their diabetes and they wonder why they must put up with the complications. If those of us with type 2 diabetes could actually control diabetes, we would not have diabetes.

The other word that offends those with any type of diabetes is the word “cure.” As of today, there is no cure for diabetes. There is some great research offering hope, but no cure, yet. Repeat, no cure! That is why we know that when someone advertises they have been cured and can provide that cure to us, we know that we are being conned and all they want is to separate us from our money. Those that use the word cure and the word remission, may not have had diabetes in the first place. We know they also wish to sell us something that will not cure us.

People with diabetes do like other words, but have a strong mistrust for today's media and their sensationalism of many topics. We know they want listeners and to sell papers, but they seldom report diabetes accurately. Most do not even understand diabetes.

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