Blogs Don’t Have to Be Boring
Who hasn’t dreamed of just cranking out great blog post after great blog post without toiling away? One way to simplify your blog content creation task is to follow a set pattern that can be incorporated into your editorial calendar so that you build your blog by consistently supplying a specific type of content. The benefit is that it helps structure your posts.
Here are the insights from five different blog types to help make your blog a winner.
- Theme: Follow the leader. Having an over-arching blog theme helps post creation because each entry has essentially the same structure. A great example of this is The12Most blog. Each entry makes twelve points, not seven or twenty-one. This isn’t limited to content-oriented blogs. Check out Woot’s blog. This Amazon-owned firm offers one product a day on their blog. INSIGHTS: Does your subject lend itself to a consistent structure? It doesn’t have to be a specific number of points. For example, how about a recipe of the day. What can you focus on that’s consistent?
- Photographs: Is a picture is worth more than a 1,000 words? To succeed with photographs as the core of you blog content, you must have great images so that words aren’t needed to tell the story. This doesn’t work for every topic. Further, it takes creativity to create an angle that works for your subject. For example, while many bakers use photography via Flickr and Tumblr to show off their wares, Cake Wrecks focuses on cakes gone wrong. It’s “I Can Has Cheezburger” for bakers. A less commercial blog that does photographs well is The Satorialist. Shot in the streets of major cities by professional fashion photographer, it’s eye candy for anyone in the fashion industry. INSIGHTS: Is your subject photo-friendly? Can you use photographs to strut your stuff? Get permission to use people’s images, especially children. Remember not everyone wants their photograph displayed on the Internet. Also, consider getting your customers to submit their photographs since most phones have a camera included. If you follow this route, make sure that the people submitting the photos have the right to do so.
- Images and other graphics: Think childhood picture stories. The goal is to tell your story via images, preferably ones you’ve drawn. Hugh McLeod, whose cartoons have been used by bloggers for years, takes his work to the next level with his blog, Gapping Void. In addition, he’s got a daily cartoon of the day emailing and sells his prints. (Passive revenue anyone?) By contrast, Hyperbole and a Half uses cartoon images to tell stories with childlike wonder. INSIGHTS: Does your product or audience lend itself to drawings or other form of graphic images? Can images stand in for stories or user participation. Drawings can be a great way to get children involved without using their photographs.
- Group effort: Let’s share the work. Want to be part of a blog but not willing to go it alone? A group blog provides the best of both worlds. It’s important to lay the ground rules for new participants, especially where intellectual property (IP) and revenues are concerned. It’s a good idea to include this in your blog’s About Page. Band Back Together is a great example of how women have pitched in to create content for each other. Given the sensitive nature of some posts, they’ve laid out strict guidelines. Business2Community is an example of a blog that involves a wide variety of bloggers by leveraging second rights to their content. INSIGHTS: Are you willing to share the limelight, both the good and the bad? Are you willing to be part of something that’s larger than you? Make sure that you define responsibilities, IP rights and related revenues and expenses.
- Personal journey: When life gives you lemons, serve margaritas. Many mommy and daddy blogs take this approach. Yet life lessons aren’t limited to being a parent. The goal isn’t to tell the world what you had for breakfast but rather to make your life larger than just one person’s day-to-day grind. What have you learned that others can benefit from? Ree, aka The Pioneer Woman, serves up home goodness with a mix of great photographs. Another blog that does a good job of sharing personal views is Blogging Dangerously. It gives one woman’s views of family life with a healthy dose of humor. INSIGHTS: What can others learn from your life story? Can you bring others joy or better understanding of one of life’s challenges?
The benefit of using one of these content formats for your blog is that it supplies a structure for your posts and helps attract an audience since readers know what they’re going to get. Of course, depending on your subject, you can use one or more of these forms as a regular column.
Are there any other types of blogs that help structure blog content? If so, what are they and give an example in the comment section below.
Here are some related articles on blog content that you might find useful.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/debaird/187445054/
Disclaimer: Some of my posts appear on Business2Community.