Six Tactics for Blog Content That Works

May 30th, 2007

by

Originally published in Target Marketing

Whatâ??s the top secret to developing a winning blog, one that draws an audience, grows your brand and improves your products sales? For former teacher Steve Spangler, itâ??s learning from others who have achieved some success with this tool. Spangler is the founder and CEO of Steve Spangler Science, a multichannel firm that sells science education toys while offering kids, teachers and parents a host of free science experiments and projects. He launched his blog in 2004, giving him the perfect forum through which to share his passion for science, connect with others who are similarly inspired and promote his business, all at once. Since starting the blog, heâ??s witnessed a 15 percent increase in online sales that he can attribute directly to this tool.

Spangler works with Stephan Spencer, president of Netconcepts, an e-marketing services firm that specializes in natural search, to develop and optimize his blog. Here, they share a few lessons they have learned about what information to post and how to go about doing it so your blog becomes more than a one-way conversation:

Tactic #1: Give your blog a singular voice with a personality, says Spencer. â??Your blog has to be authentic or other bloggers will figure it out.â?? If your blog is supposed to be from the company president, then he had better be the one who is writing it with his own words.

Tactic #2:
Feature real-life customer stories, especially if they are funny, says Spangler. For example, he has blogged about a customer who used his fake snow product to get out of a traffic ticket, kidsâ?? science projects and other types of customer testimonials. Sometimes these posts are simply text, but people often send him photos and even videos.

Tactic #3: Connect your products to interesting stories. The speeding ticket story gave Spangler the perfect opportunity to provide a link to his Instant Snow product page. Or simply develop intriguing stories around your products. To spark readersâ?? imaginations around Halloween, he offered a list of spooky experiments to try, some of which tied in to products on his Web site.

Tactic #4:
Pay attention to your blog post titles. Catchy titles get picked up by news aggregators, says Spencer, and give your blog wider exposure. Spangler has scored news time with headlines like â??A Meteor Hit My Houseâ?? (about how to use a powerful magnet to find the mini meteorites in your rain gutters) and â??Parents Beware: Teachers Gone Wildâ?? (about teachers trying out science experiments at a teaching convention).

Tactic #5:
Invite guest bloggers who have something interesting and pertinent to say. But donâ??t abdicate your responsibility to communicate with your readers by featuring a constant rotation of contributors, says Spangler. If there is someone else in your company who has great ideas to share, then give this person his or her own blog. And donâ??t forget to leverage the blogging relationship by linking to your guest writersâ?? blogs, Spencer adds.

Tactic #6:
If you are short on writing time or stumped for ideas, consider developing a series of podcasts by conducting taped (audio or video) interviews on the top cool trends of interest to your audience or some other list-oriented topic. Then, you can break up the interview into individual segments to be doled out on whatever basis you normally post, Spencer explains. This technique also works great when the blog writer needs a break for a vacation or to accommodate a packed travel schedule.

For more blogging ideas, visit Spanglerâ??s blog at www.stevespangler.com and Spencerâ??s blog at www.netconcepts.com/tag/blogs