The Chief Means of Marketing, Part 6


Just to remind you, the real subject of these posts is word-of-mouth marketing. My thoughts have been spurred by Andy Sernovitz‘s book by that same title. Sernoviz made the statement to the effect that the boring is the killer of all buzz. Or stated in the positive, interesting is a must if something is to be buzz worthy.

In that light, I’ve been thinking about first the produce—the novel—and what makes it interesting and then the promotion, particularly blog posts and what makes them interesting.

Before I give my ideas about what makes a blog post interesting, I’ll tell you the things that aren’t compelling to me, and I’ll even give them in exciting, countdown fashion. 😀

5. Pictures – unless I know the people. Then, yes, they work. But just putting a generic picture up … not so much.
4. Personal journal stuff – unless I know the person in the real world. I don’t have a point of reference to know how great it was that you got to go to Australia for the weekend.
3. Cute personality trait quizzes. Yes, I’ve participated in a couple of those, but I’m so over it! 😉
2. Posts that are self-serving.
1. And the number one thing that does not compel me to read a blog post? Canned copy. When I recognize the material is the kind of information found in a press release, I pass.

Which brings us to the five most compelling features that encourage me to read a blog. (I was tempted to list Emoticons, but the only site I’d go to or the posts I’d read just for the emoticons is All About Children’s Books—see the complete list when you click on “Post a Comment.” )

So here we go. What makes a blog post interesting? Again, in countdown order, here are my top five:

5. Contests
4. Humor
3. Brevity
2. Hooks
1. Topic of interest

By “hooks” I mean either a great opening that catches my attention, or a nail-biting ending that has me coming back just to find out the rest.

But the number one, by far, is an interesting topic. I have subscribed to one blog (you can relax—this one is not about any who might come here and read) that I actually kind of groan at when I see there’s a post. By and large, this individual writes boring, boring posts. But once in a while, there’s a piece of information I would not have learned except for that blog. So I continue to scan it whenever a post comes up, but my scans only turn into in depth reading when I see a topic of particular interest.

Well, duh, you might be thinking. If I knew what was interesting, then I’d write interesting copy. The key is, interesting to your readers. Who comes to your site? Or who do you want to come to your site? Me, I love sports. I coached for years. I follow most major sports (and I consider soccer as a major sport) in the pros and some in the colleges. But you rarely read anything about sports here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction. I figure the people who come to a site with Christian and Fiction in the title probably are here because that’s what they’re interested in. Consequently, I limit my content to those subjects, with the rare exception.

My guess is, the people who visit here regularly do so because they want to read content about one subject or the other or even better the intersection of the two.

Does that guarantee I’m writing something interesting? I wish! But at least I have a fighting chance because the visitors stopping by aren’t expecting my views on the political race or what I think about a 41-year-old mother swimming in her fifth Olympics or … you name it.

Now, if I could just master that brevity thing.

What about you? Did I list the thing you think makes a blog post interesting?

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