ASA Blogging Tips

Want to write for ASA?  Welcome!  We are excited to add your voice to the community.  Here are some quick tips about writing for the ASA blog.


How do I get started?

Begin with a concept that you want to write about.

You first paragraph should summarize your points or describe what the blog post is about, in order to create a road-map for the reader.  This will help the reader decide if he or she wants to continue reading your article!

Try to be brief – bullet points can be very useful to getting your point across succinctly.  Remember that the point is to convey information to the readers – not to win a prize for literature.  You also don’t have to cover the entire issue in one post; just provide enough detail so your reader understands your point.

If you make reference to other resources (like a government regulation or policy), then offer a link to those resources in order to make it easy for the reader to find them.  Please make sure you are linking to a permanent URL, and not to a dynamically-created link that won’t work for someone else.

If possible, leave the reader with an action or a useful tool.  For example, if you are writing about auditing a specific element of the business, then an audit checklist excerpt that tracks with your advice would be quite useful.


What should I write about?

You can write about anything that will benefit the ASA membership or the aircraft parts distribution community.  This set of examples is NOT meant to be exclusive, but is merely offered to help generate your ideas:

  • Legislation that could affect aircraft parts distributors;
  • New regulations or government policies that could affect aircraft parts distribution;
  • Compliance mechanisms could benefit aircraft parts distributors;
  • New industry practices that could affect aircraft parts distribution (including suggestions about how to respond to those practices);
  • Inventory management;
  • Auditing techniques;
  • Quality assurance program elements;
  • Quality assurance philosophy; or
  • New opportunities for aircraft parts distribution.


What SHOULDN’T I write about?

We ask that bloggers refrain from writing any of the following:

  • Rants that offer neither positive steps for change nor information that would be useful to the member;
  • Defamatory statements;
  • Anti-competitive statements; this would include suggestions about fixing prices, horizontal boycotts, market allocation or anything that would tend to limit the introduction of parts into the marketplace; or,
  • Articles that have nothing to do with aircraft parts distribution and/or issues that affect distributors.


How long should my blog article be?

Shorter is better.  250 words or less is easier to read for busy executives.  But some topics simply cannot be explained in 250 words, so this is not a strict limit.

If you plan to write substantially longer than 250 words, then you might consider including headings.  The “level one” headings are really large, so I usually use “level two” headings (shift+alt+2) to describe sections a long article.  If you are going to do this, then make the headings both short and descriptive so readers can jump to the information that they want to read.

If you can, consider dividing long articles into several shorter ones that each deal with a specific aspect of your topic.


Should I draft an excerpt?

Excerpts show up in the auto-generated emails, and they also appear when the blog article is reposted to another medium, like Linked-In or Facebook.  They also show up in search engines.  What they say can be very meaningful to someone deciding whether your article is worth their time to click.  By drafting a concise summary of your blog article in the excerpt, you increase the chances that your article will be found by the people that need to read it.

To draft an excerpt, I often start with the opening paragraph of my post.  I then try to shorten it is as much as possible, in order to offer an enticing introduction to the article.  Sometimes you may need a sentence in order to ensure that your excerpt is sufficiently descriptive.


Should I draft tags (key words)?

Tags help users find your article through search engines.  Think about the most important concepts in your article and then pick out the words that describe the scope of the article; these key words should be your tags.  Try to use words found in your article and/or your title when drafting tags.

For example, people often search on the term 8130-3 and there are many articles in the blog that use this term.  So if you are writing about signature blocks on the 8130-3 tags, you might want to use both “signature block” and “8130-3” as your tags.  This will help people with a specific interest in 8130-3 signature blocks to find your useful article.


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