Late last year I began the process of hiring a handful of writers to help create new content for Digital Photography School (I wrote a little about it here). I ended up taking on 6 new writers on a trial basis to write one post each per week. It’s been a fascinating process to go through and it’s taught me a lot about how I blog as I move more from a blog writer to a blog editor role.
There are many things that I could write about this transition (and I will in future posts) but one of the first things that I’ve noticed about the posts that have been submitted so far is that in many cases they could be given more depth by using example.
The main thrust of each post submitted has been excellent – great insights and helpful tips in each one of them – however they have been a little one dimensional and could be lifted considerably with just a little extra work.
In each case I’ve sent the posts back to writers with the suggestion that they add examples to their posts. On every occasion the posts that have come back to me have been drastically improved. Let me give you some examples:
- The Human Side of Photography – 4 Tips for Natural Looking Portraits – the four tips in this post were really helpful but with stories and pictures relating to each one the post became a winner. It attracted 76 comments that illustrated how these stories and images touched the hearts of readers.
- Rapid Composition – How to Compose a Photo Quickly – another great post that was taken to the next level with diagrammatic images that had ‘hand written’ notes on them to illustrate the story being told (you can see one pictured left). Once again – this visual element took a post to the next level.
- Twilight Photography Tips – this post again has images that illustrate the points being talked about. The writer of this post actually went out and took shots specifically for the post and again comments on the post highlight that this was appreciated.
Now obviously these are photography based tutorials and lend themselves perfectly to images to illustrate points – however the same thing can be true in many types of topics. When you add examples to posts you take them from the realm of theory into the realm of practical. You help your readers to not only see how you do things – but also give them tangible ‘hooks’ to hang the hope of them being able to do them also.
Examples can take many forms. They could be visual ones (photos, video, screencasts, diagrams or charts), stories, case studies, links to other sites or even audio.
How do you use examples on your blog? Feel free to share examples of when you’ve used examples so we can all learn about how to apply this powerful principle.