Keeping up with fresh blog posts can be like staying on a diet. For some, it’s a routine, like a kale smoothie for breakfast. For others it’s a constant struggle. While processes and systems like an editorial calendar help maintain cadence, a change in format can be energizing. If you’re feeling stuck, try one of these approaches for your next blog post.
Video or screencast
We’ve become a bit obsessed with visual images. Rather than living in the moment, it seems, more often we’re filming it. Nevertheless, video achieves the goal of showing your value, rather than telling it — with epic simplicity.
A visual blog format can be used by a wide variety of industries – consider a product demo for an eCommerce site, a virtual home tour on a realtor site or a how-to screencast tutorial for navigating an online platform. For video, use a high-quality camera with a tripod and practice a few times before publishing — you want to enhance your online presence with your blog posts. If you’re screencasting, choose software that enables audio commentary while capturing your on-screen activities.
An interview blog format allows the reader to be a fly on the wall, listening to a conversation between you, the blog author, and your guest.
Who to interview? While it’s great to land a celebrity in sports or news (like Ryan Arcidiacono of the NCAA champion Villanova Wildcats, being interviewed by Sports Illustrated Kids’ Max Hoops at left), a more typical interviewee would be someone in your industry who’s taking a new approach or has some specialized expertise.
Your goals for the interview are the same as any blog post — to provide useful and unique information, to engage and entertain and to enhance your reputation. So depending on your line of business, an interview with a longtime client, an industry leader or an employee with deep experience in your production process might be good candidates for an interview. An interview is typically written in a user-friendly question-and-answer style.
A case study blog format enables you to engage your reader with a real-life example of problem solving. Even if the industry is different, presenting a challenge along with the approach and outcome can spark a reader to apply the thought process to his own business. Think of a conversation when networking or talking with a prospective client. Often the individual will share a challenge similar to one that you’ve overcome. When you share your experience and the outcome, you’ve immediately gained credibility with the prospect.
As with the interview above, develop a case study format that’s user-friendly to describe the problem or challenge, steps taken and the solution or outcome.
The traditional advice columns of olden days are a great format for a blog post. You know the concerns your clients have, and you have the answers. In many cases, those answers include the services you provide. In your editorial calendar, develop a regular schedule for the column to create anticipation with readers.
Concerned that you may run out of client questions to blog about? Keep them coming with some purposeful outreach. Invite website visitors and social media followers to submit questions and use your blog as a way to share the answers.
Keeping the creative juices flowing isn’t easy, even for a prolific writer. Change things up a bit with a new blog format to stay energized and maintain your blog’s cadence. If you’re feeling stuck, give us a shout.