After my earlier post about linkbaiting I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘hooks’. The idea of a developing a ‘hook’ (or hooks) for your blog is brilliant advice.
I remember talking to a successful song writer a few years ago and he said the same thing – all good songs have some ‘hook’ to them – whether it’s a guitar riff, a memorable lyrical line or one of those melodies that you can’t get out of your head – a hook is what gets people both into the song when they hear it but that also draws them back to it over time.
This is what all successful blogs have also. They have something about them that stands out, that draws you into them in the moment but that also draws you back to them over time.
We are blogging in a context where there are literally millions of blogs, in some niches there are hundreds (if not thousands) of alternatives for people to read. Successful blogs do something that makes them distinct from the rest.
They are not ‘just another blog on ((insert topic here))’ – they are ‘the blog that….((insert ‘hook’ here))’
Blog Hooks can come in all shapes and sizes – they can happen on both a micro level (ie hooks within posts as discussed in the linkbaiting article at performancing) but also on a macro level.
Some of the hooks that draw me into blogs include:
- personality of blogger – I read a few blogs not because of what they have to say but because of who writes them.
- design elements - I’m a visual person and love some blogs simply for the way they look and the feelings that they create in me when I read them.
- readers participation and community – I have a few blogs on my daily read list that I’m probably more interested in because of the comments of readers and the community that they have than the posts of the blogger themselves.
- thought leading content – some bloggers have a knack of continually breaking new ground in their field with new ideas and commentary. To miss one of their posts can mean missing a massive opportunity.
- latest news – Similarly some blogs have a knack of being the first to break stories in their niche. If something is happening in the industry you’re certain that they’ll be on top of it and have links to the relevant news sources.
- practical tips - I have a few blogs on my news aggregator that hook me into them by giving me practical tips that enhance my life so much that I don’t know how I ever lived my life without them. They are overflowing with useful tools and tidbits on improving a particular area of my life.
- readership levels – There is something exciting about reading a blog that you know that thousands of others are reading. Some blogs draw people in just because that’s what everyone else is reading.
So coming out of this discussion on hooks an important question might be to ask ‘what is hooking readers into your blog?’ What is it about your blog that draws people back? Also What hooks draw you into other blogs? I’m sure I haven’t developed the definitive list here and would be interested to hear more of what you think.