Creating Better Blogs

by Apr 10, 2018


Choose Your Adventure/Topic

Most posts here are going to fall into two categories: Descriptive and How-To. 

Descriptive blogs introduce and discuss a feature but do not necessarily show developers how to use the new feature. We see this most often during product releases that have overviews of new capabilities. 

How-To blogs walk the reader through using a feature as part of a sample app or code. These can be powerful as the reader gets two rewards for reading: a better understanding of the feature and sample project idea for using it. 


You have Ten Seconds to Capture Your Reader's Attention

Once a developer has clicked through to your blog – based on an interesting topic in the title or from a social post link – you have between 10 and 20 seconds to convince them to keep reading your blog post. They will quickly scan the post and determine if there's a reason to stay. Is it new information? Is it entertaining? Does it demonstrate something or is it just sales speak? 

This is where subheadings come in: They are mini headlines for each section of your post! They capture the reader's attention and they also make it easier to read versus one long block of text. 

Do: Make your subheadings concise, interesting and relevant. 

Don't: Use boring labels as subheaders, use subheaders that are spoilers and allow your reader to skip the paragraphs below, or that are too confusing. 


Get 94% More Views  

Blog posts with relevant images get more views than just text-based posts. The key here is that the images need to be relevant to add value. Think about how the images will appear in the published post: too many images or images that take up the whole screen may lead readers to think the post is just screenshots without any new information. 

For every image you use in your blog, please be sure to set the alt-text. This helps with accessibility, and also for any time the image loads slowly. You cannot assume that our global community all have access to high-speed connections.

Don't use screenshots to show code samples, please use the code formatting option. 


Get More Views on Your Previous Posts with BackLinking 

Are you discussing a product like C++Builder? Be sure to link back to the product page inline so that your readers can discover more information.

If you're building upon a topic that you discussed in a previous blog post, be sure to link back to that. This will help readers find related content. 


Including Code Samples

Use the built-in capabilities of the blogging system to insert code samples, instead of screenshots. These are easier to read and can be interpreted for visibility impaired. On the other hand, screenshot images can take longer to load (or fail to load) and should use alt-text for accessibility.  

Here's where to find the Insert Code option: 


// Sample of C++ Code formatting for "Hello World" program
// Header file for input output functions
using namespace std;
// main function
int main()
    // prints hello world
    cout<"Hello World";
    return 0;


What's Happening Behind the Scenes? 

Meta description, title, SEO, tags: Make it easier for searchers to find your content. 

Tools: Grammarly is a tool that can help catch grammatical and word choice errors. It's useful for both native English speakers and those for whom English is a second language.