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Don’t underestimate the power of content.
Blogging. It seems every man and his dog has a blog these days; well over 100 million men and dogs if you want to put a figure around it (source: www.pingdom.com). So what is the key to a successful blog? We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Content is king and is one of the most powerful ways to increase your viewership and send your communications into the stratosphere. Frequency is key too. Constant and consistent posting of new, quality content is a sure fire way of keeping people interested and coming back to your blog for more.
I recently discovered an article on socialmediaexaminer.com about an Alaskan mother Ana White, who currently receives almost 3 million unique page views every month to her blog ana-white.com. That’s pretty astounding in itself, but it’s even more so when you find out this woman has only been blogging for the last couple of years. Prior to that, she wasn’t even sure what a blog actually was. What started out as a passion for woodworking, and sharing that passion with others, has now become a highly popular resource. Looking at her site, it’s nothing that we haven’t seen before, and in fact there are other blogs around that look a lot slicker than Ana’s. So why is she so special that she gets so many views each month?
With over 500 design plans and counting on her blog, there is always something new and interesting for people to read. It’s in the plans themselves that you can get an idea of why this blog is so popular. Appealing to the average punter who just wants to have a crack at making something, they are concise but have just the right amount of detail to be informative but not intimidating. Easily digestible content consists of step-by-step guides to building the design, materials and tools list, as well as video tutorials and pictures of the end result. It’s this content that has gone on to fuel a strong Social Media presence, which in turn drives people back to the source – Ana’s blog.
Having someone produce content who has a sound understanding of the subject matter is also a must. In fact our director, Jodie discussed just this in our what is your website really doing for your business blog.
It's interesting how with a print project, where you can only fit so many words to a page, and where each page adds to the production costs, that every message and image is scrutinised for its value. Often a copy writer is commissioned for a company brochure, but for the web sometimes it seems anyone can have a go. A brochure gets double, or triple checked before it goes to print; a website doesn't require an expensive reprint, so somehow it seems not so critical? When you consider reach, your brochure might go to 1000 or 5000 or however many people you distribute it to... but your website (and/or blog) can be seen by that many people every month, at any time, in any country.
Which leads me to another success story that’s a bit closer to home. I’m a subscriber to Aquabumps, created by Eugene Tan (Uge to his followers), to provide a diversion during the daily grind for his mates to see a bit of surf while they were stuck in the office all day. Uge is a keen photographer and surfer, and the blog provided a vehicle to showcase his passions and talent, while entertaining some friends.
Now with a database of 40,000 subscribers (source: www.aquabumps.com) it has turned into a fully-fledged business, with corporate sponsorship fuelling its evolution, and approx 150,000 unique visits every month. These aren’t happy snaps. His high-end photography, coupled with a genuine knowledge and passion for his subject, are the driving force behind the success of Aquabumps. The blog has also spawned a gallery located at iconic Bondi Beach, plus a hardcover book released in 2010. Not bad considering it achieved success way before the juggernauts of Social Media, Twitter and Facebook, hit town.
Interestingly, I myself am not a surfer, and I live about 35km (almost 22 miles) from the ocean. But, I am a keen photographer myself, and subscribe for the exceptional photography, and the stories behind the images. Now that’s a testament to the power of great content.
These are both classic examples of how top quality content can really create a groundswell of interest. People’s time is finite, between family, friends, work and life. We have become quite savvy about how we spend our time on the web. If content is good enough, we are more than willing to endorse and promote it – that sort of advocacy is hard-earned, but is well worth the investment of time and energy in creating great content.
Write it, and they will come. Write it well, and they might just keep coming back.
The Creative Type