The blog’s the thing. Right?
It’s no mystery that blogging is a central part of any content marketing plan. To fully engage the power of organic SEO and ensure your company can broadcast its story, having a popular blog is always a key ingredient in the recipe to success.
Here at ChatterBlast, we spend a lot of time writing blogs for our clients. Then, when we have a free moment, we blog for ourselves. And according to a year’s worth of good old Google Analytics data, here are our top five blogs:
- Reporting Live: Cecily Tynan on the Social Media Forecast – Our Blaster scored an interview with the most social-savvy meteorologist in town.
- Your Everyday Guide To Getting Social At The 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show – Pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
- Snapchat Has Conquered The World – A look into Snapchat’s world domination via the live story and discover features.
- Charity Flip Cup Tournament: FAQ – We tackled the event’s biggest questions ahead of time.
- You Have Friends, Likes And Followers, But Do You Have Buds? – Our interview with the founder of MassRoots, a new marijuana-based social app.
After looking over our blogs, and the most successful posts we’ve written for our clients (like this one, or this one or even this one), AND industry trends, I’ve put together a short ‘n’ sweet punch list of tricks to make your blog sing with ZING!
Be Authentic AND Accessible
What do the Huffington Post, TMZ and Business Insider have in common?
- They’re easy to read and understand.
- They all produce relevant content.
- They each have an authentic voice, making them accessible to the average person.
- They happen to be the top three most-visited blogs in the world.
So take some lessons from them. Find a voice and stay true to it and write content that will be relevant to your readers. In doing so, you, yes, darling, can become a thought leader!
You should always speak honestly and openly about your latest discovery or breakthrough, and your blog should come from your heart, in your own voice.
Be aware though: If only six people in the world understand what you’re blogging about, though, then maybe you’ve missed your ideal market.
Getting readers to understand lofty concepts or sophisticated work can be tough, yet it’s also rewarding. While you want to appear professional and technically advanced, remember that many of the people looking to hire your firm don’t have the breadth of knowledge that you do. You need to speak to them in language they understand with examples and ideas to which they can relate.
I’m not telling you to dumb down your content. I’m suggesting that you convey your message in a way that comfortably speaks to a broad audience. Throw out the million-dollar words and focus on the message. Don’t talk down to people, and don’t talk over them, either!
Act Like a Trained Journalist
One way to make your blog content accessible is by putting on your journalism hat and explaining sophisticated paradigms through modern metaphors and current events.
Way back in the day, journalists spread information across the world. And now, with blogs, anyone can spread information. Yet, the best bloggers weave in current events and adhere to journalistic standards, original content and well-researched writing. They don’t just spew out whatever comes into their heads.
This approach helps to legitimize content. Many of the ChatterBlasters have experience in journalism, myself included, and it’s positively influenced the way we approach social media. Blogs should have substance, truth and tell a story. Stories are what people have shared since the printing press was invented and continues to be the driver behind what’s shared on social media.
Pop Culture Can’t Hurt – Dare to Trend
Don’t be afraid to use pop culture to tell a great story. It’s extremely accessible and helps more readers find a common ground in your blog. The average American might not completely understand artificial intelligence, but they probably have an emotional connection to R2D2 or C-3PO. Showing your thought leadership through the lens of modern trends, fashion or pop culture doesn’t dumb down your product – it gives you a larger audience.
Wanna talk about the future of robotics? Mention that nasty Ultron from the Avengers movies.
Need to deal with complicated ideas about grief and death? Perhaps some of our favorite moments in television can help build a bridge to understanding.
I don’t recommend making your entire blog a series of sugary-sweet pop culture bons mots, but showing that you’re in touch with common culture and that you know what you’re doing is a significant way to drum up interest in your skills. This, of course, leads us to…
There’s This Thing Called Humor – Consider It!
You know what I do not want to read on a B2C or B2B blog? Anything depressing! Look out the window, folks: the world has enough grey in it.
Writing optimistic, positive blogs is the honey that draws the flies. Plus, if you can find a way to be funny within your line of products and goods, you should! Many leaders in consumer content marketing like Oreo and Taco Bell consistently incorporate humor into their posts. Even the Philadelphia Police Department strives to find a sunnier side of the street when engaging with their citizens.
— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) January 20, 2016
Again, authenticity is important, but it’s okay to crack a digital smile every now and then.
It’s Not All About You!
Too often on our own blogs we fall in the trap of just blasting out our own opinions, thoughts, successes and ideas. How much fun it is to listen to someone talk about themselves all day? Spoiler alert: It’s not.
Don’t be afraid to showcase the thought leadership of a celebrity or public figure – doing so adds value to your brand and message. Some of the best ChatterBlast blogs have featured the successes of organizations to which we have zero connection, such as Super Bowl advertisers and brands who embraced “Back to the Future Day.”
They aren’t us, they aren’t our clients and we probably aren’t even on their Christmas card list. (Yet.)
If You Can… Talk With People, Not About People
I’m not averse to pumping out blogs that talk about celebrities, social media icons or their latest stumbles or successes. I can tell you from personal experience, though, that it’s always best to interview a subject as a source for your blog. Get their honest and authentic thoughts, behind-the-scenes insight and any guru gossip you can.
Know When to Throw it Out
Like bad days, we all have bad blog posts. If you write a blog post that won’t add value to your readers’ lives, and is more of a push for SEO, riddled with keywords and useless rambles statements, then do what you do with a crappy day: put it to bed.
Above all, your blog should sound like you wrote it because you wanted to, not because you had to. Make it obvious to your readers that it was important to you to share these ideas.
That, more than anything, is what they’ll share and remember.
What advice do you have for bloggers and wannabe bloggers? Tell us in the comments or let us know on Twitter!