Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Blogging- Creating Consumable Content

We have ten seconds to engage an online user. Ten short seconds before some other more fascinating content has ahold of their minds and we have lost them forever. So here we are with our blog we post three times a week, having to fight for attention with the fast-paced stream of Facebook and Twitter. I see the blog like the tortoise and a social media feed like the hare. How can the blog ever keep up?

Well, unlike in the fable, the hare does not stop for a break so our modern tortoise has to come up with other means of keeping up. The blog must take on attributes of social media in order to compete. Using the same tactics one would for social media strategy when creating irresistible blogs. In social media, the difference between good content and remarkable content applies the following criteria when crafting a post:

1. Instant Rapport

2. Relevance

3. Instant Gratification

4. Share-ability

5. Promise of More

It is not easy to incorporate all of these facets into bursts of social media, but with blogging, these guidelines give us a profound, fundamental framework in which to craft meaningful and remarkable content for readers to consume. Making a blog easy to digest will keep the audience addicted to what you have to say and come back for more.

Instant Rapport

Consider the snap decisions of users. Each person sitting before their screen, a sum of their tastes and experiences, attracted to what appeals to them. They stumble across an organization’s blog and it grabs their interest, fleeting yet so very valuable. Here one must treat each blog like a first impression. Make the first few sentences personal, friendly, and inviting. Be sure your blog reflects your brand impeccably. Always make it about them, not you! Imagine this is the first and last shot to get their attention! Make the most of it.

Become a storyteller: tell in a way to allow your readers to connect to your experiences as their own. Describe your experiences in relation to their lives, talk about the energy of emotion in a universal and relatable way. Be yourself, be authentic. Talk to your readers as if they were your good friends, ripe with humor and inside jokes, give them the feeling you are talking directly to them as an individual.

How do you communicate in real life? Don’t speak down or too high-brow for your audience. They will tune out if they think you perceive yourself as better than they are. Do cut yourself out as a leader and expert in your niche, but by building up and offering positive critique of others, never by feeding into negative discourse.

Accept all opinions as they are: just opinions and everyone is entitled to one. In fact, you just may invite negative comments if your views are polarizing. This is still engagement! It opens up the forum for debate and discussion and makes for juicy readership, driving traffic considerably.

This doesn’t mean run right out and alienate your audience. It just means that disagreement is healthy to a public discussion and it gives people an opportunity to watch in a voyeuristic way. As Facebook and Twitter grow, we find more and more the online public consumes a great deal of insider-type information, and they truly enjoy peeping in on others’ lives and drama.

Relevance

To maintain relevance with your blog you must get clear on what your audience needs and wants. Get laser-focused in that you cannot be everything to everyone. Find your most rapt audience and cater to them. The more specialized your blog is to your most interested audience, the more you can engage the people who relate to you and support you the most. If there are people who fall outside your peripheries, it’s ok. You will never satisfy the complete audience so focus your content on those most interested in what you have to say.

Do not state the obvious rather give tangible tools to your audience. This can be in the form of statistics and solid research, via interviewing experts, and offering information and top news that have purpose and value. Keep your content fresh and find new ideas that you had not considered when you step outside of your niche. Always try to relate real life examples to situations inside your niche using the following points:

1. Entertain- the story

2. Educate- the meat

3. Empower- the lesson

Most importantly, focus the blog on the audience; make it relevant to what they want to read. When you take the focus of the blog off of the company and put in the needs of the readers, the blog becomes addictive.

Instant Gratification

Don’t try too hard. Stick to one topic and a single train of thought and stay off the tangent train. If you find you are coming up with multiple ideas, consider a blog series.

Here is a great suggestion to formulate your content into organized thoughts. “Capture” your ideas in a brainstorm session. Sit down and voice record your ideas for writing in a capturing session. Let your ideas flow and just talk until you feel you have given yourself some good content to start with. Transcribe your recordings and you will find your ideas have made their way into a working list.

Next “chunk” the ideas together that work in a flow and organize your ideas. This is a great way to get your thought process organized and still hit on the points you want to talk about in a more logical way for the reader to consume as well as gives you data for your content strategy and calendar.

Share-ability

What is the use of all this work if you cannot make your content move over organic networks of people? Making your content easily shared is just as important as the content itself. For instance, 96% of online sharing is content; the other 4% is made up of corporate URLs. What this means to the blog writer is that if you make the content easy to share with things like Facebook “like” buttons and twitter “re-tweet” buttons and other means of sharing the blog through the reader’s network, you can build a tribe that will devour everything your post.

Another way you can make your blog more shareable is to step outside of your niche, to move outside of your comfort level to something else that is possibly still relevant and tied to your topic. If it is of interest to you, but outside of your niche, make it relevant and insightful, bringing it back round to your main topics. This also allows you to look at what your core audience wants and evaluate what they could need that may fall outside your usual topical sphere. Bring in new audience members and cross-pollenate your current audience’s interests, creating new opportunities to share what you are writing.

Inject humor into your blog whenever you can! People are driven to share humor and they find it very rewarding to share and take part in giving someone they know something to laugh about. Humor is a surprise and readers feel like they are part of inside jokes when there are references to niche-specific points. Craft a humorous blog like you would a joke, with a target that is above the audience so they do not feel alienated. Write like you speak and offer witty niche-specific discourse that is natural to your voice but is brand-aware at all times.

The Promise of More

In social media, there is an element of teasing and enticing the reader that takes place. Social media aims to get the user back to the blog, the website or the promotional object. Social media promise more in order to keep them coming back. With your content, don’t always deliver precisely what they want or expect, just be sure you’re providing them with something of value. The promise of more can be simple as a blog series or more work-intensive such as a video series that can be released over a period of time. Any time your content can be serialized, do all that you can to make it something your audience has to return for. Incent them to join your community with value!

The Social Media Formula and Blogging

Your blog is just another reflection of you, again in some cases your first and last impression on a potential consumer of your content. It should be fun, not overly technical (unless that is your specialization of course) and show your personal side. You must always reflect an authenticity with your blog, your readers will sense a fake when they see one. Be yourself and the voice of your organization.

Good ways to keep readers engaged is to encourage comments, ask easy, topical questions, get their advice, and ask for feedback. Consider content freebies at the end of blogs to incent readers to tune in to the next post. Offer a “Should Ask Question” guide to show them you have their needs in mind.

Keep in mind your blog should be concise and succinct: a minimum effective dose. You want to create the smallest dosage to produce the desired outcome. The goal is to get the most dramatic results in the least amount of time.

If you magnify your social media strategy to your blog by luring your audience in for more of what they want and need, you will enjoy higher traction and increase in traffic typically goes hand in hand with increased sales of goods and services. The real reason to produce a blog at all!

 

Posted on June 23rd, 2011 by Team CVA

No Comments »

No comments yet.


Your comment
Your name
Your email address (will not be published)
Website
Twitter ID

CommentLuv badge

Subscribe to our Feed Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Connect with us on LinkedIn Watch us on YouTube Pinterest!