...or, "What makes a good blog post?"
Yesterday, I entered Matthew Gain's competition to win a copy of the Problogger book
This was no ordinary competition, there was no right or wrong answer; he asked for our "most successful blog post and explain why" it was the most successful. This got me thinking.
What is "success" in this context? Is it simply the number of page views, or the amount of comments it spawns? Is it about re-tweets or Facebook likes? It could be, if that is what you are after, but I consider success to be the "impact" it has made.
Simple can be effective
My choice was (probably predictably) The 5 C's of Social media - my post from almost two years ago in which I laid out a simple framework for explaining what social media is: the five base opportunities it affords us.
Did it generate the most page views? No.
Did it spawn the most comments? No.
So why was it successful?
Yes, it was a "list post" and it had a number in the title - two common ways to draw in readers - but I believe the post was successful because of the simplicity of the idea. An idea that resonated, took hold and grew beyond its original intent because of the input of others. An idea that is still relevant today so, with a minor tweak, has demonstrated a longevity beyond anything I could have imagined.
The 5 C's has been re-used by bloggers, social media "experts" and trainers in one form or another in their own posts or materials over the past two years and continues to have an effect due to simple common sense.
I frequently write long, wordy posts but at the core of everything is usually just an idea - how well that carries over varies. We can get bogged down in complexity and the message is lost but a simple idea well communicated if often most successful.
So why the strange post title?
Sally, my wife (@SallyWalker), was hosting the latest edition of her Socially Sally web TV show and the topic was blogging tips - one such tip was to make an impact, both with the post title and the contents, and not to use titles like "I Just Bought a Loaf of Bread from Sainsburys".
Out of the blue an idea formed, a challenge for all those attending to actually write a post with exactly that title - a form of viral posting which, perhaps, can have an impact of all its own. As Sally says: "sometimes the crazier the idea, the more it works".
Image by bufivla.