The topic of blogging seems to come up a lot in our social media training workshops. The benefits of a quality blog are obvious – fresh content is good for your readers and your rankings. Blogs are easy to set up and even easier to update. We often tell people that if they can use Microsoft Word… they can update a blog.
As easy as they are to set up, they can be difficult to maintain. A good blog is filled with relevant, timely content that is updated on a regular basis. New bloggers often start out with a bang but then fizzle out when they realize that creating content can be challenging.
Let’s look at a couple of good blogs and see how they keep the quality content flowing.
In my opinion, this is one of the best travel/tourism blogs out there. You can tell that time has been put into the creation of each post and it’s always interesting to read.
What’s the secret to this blog? Notice how each post includes some sort of image or video. Notice the quality of the images and videos. Notice how the posts are kept short and they rely on the images and videos to help tell the story.
Obviously the folks have Disney are in the middle of the “perfect storm” when it comes to blogging. They have a pretty amazing subject to blog about and they clearly have the staff to support the regular posting – but they’re not reinventing the wheel. They’re just good at what they do.
You might not like this site but you have to admire it from a blogging perspective. You don’t become one of the most popular pop culture/celebrity websites in the world by accident. TMZ is really good at hooking the reader with a fun and informative title and then providing all of the information without using the “Read More” function. Their posts are short and to the point.
If you read a few articles on TMZ you’ll start to see a pattern. They hook you with frequent, short and informative posts. Then they attach a variety of related posts to the original. Their goal is pretty simple – they want the reader to get as far down into the site as they can. Hook you, give you more. Hook you, give you more. Before you know it you’re 10 pages into the site and they’ve done their job.
They also use images and video really well – to both add information to the post you’re reading and to get you to move onto the next one.
One of the keys to TMZ.com is frequency. They have the resources to update the site all the time. A newbie blogger won’t have this luxury but think of it this way – instead of creating one 400 word post every few days, create 4 posts of 100 words each and find some rich media to go with each. Not a bad way to increase frequency…
Good bloggers have a knack for turning a passing reader into a regular one and for keeping you on the site once you get there. They find ways to post entertaining and engaging content on a regular basis and then tying new posts into old ones. They use imagery and videos effectively and craft the titles of their posts in way that is sure to hook you into reading.
Want more information before making the blogging plunge? Check out our blogging section more even more information.