As a design & craft blogger, I often struggle with putting tips from sites like Problogger into practice. But I diligently mull them over and translate them to fit my needs. One tip I struggle with regularly is mastering the art of the “list post.”
You know, the “5 Tips for Yada Yada” or “7 Ways to Blah Blah” posts. Sure, these posts are helpful. I like reading them. I frequently glean good information from them. They really work to provide useful, actionable information in an easy-to-read form. They attract traffic to information-driven blogs where people come with real problems seeking concrete answers.
But I don’t write that kind of blog.
My blog, Scoutie Girl, is much more experiential. It’s driven by images, creativity, and stories. Readers come to my blog and others in my niche to experience the artistry & passion of others. Perhaps, when it comes down to it, that’s why readers visit your blog too…
Do your readers long to connect to something greater than themselves? Are they searching for a little inspiration in a crazy world? Maybe they crave a bit of humanity or to know that they’re not alone.
Perhaps, our blogs are not so different.
Ironically, I present you with 3 ideas for implementing a bit of “experience” into your blog:
- Consider a lesson from your past that has shaped who you are, why you blog, or what you blog about. Share this story with your readers, embrace the personal introspection that you’ll need to endure, and find common ground with your readers when they comment in response to your post. Tell your story succinctly but completely, include details, free yourself from a few boundaries. Use telling your story to set up a narrative around the point you are trying to make or problem you are trying to solve with your post. Once you’ve told your story, don’t just revert to your information-driven style, embrace the narrative and let the lesson flow.
- Take the time to source creative or inspirational images for your posts. There is so much more out there than stock photography. Check out the Flickr Creative Commons and use the “Attribution” library to find images that photographers would love for you to use, if you just provide them with a little credit! If you’re feeling especially brave, you might allow a post to be driven by a fascinating image that you find while browsing.
- Bring in unrelated inspiration. I am constantly amazed how much inspiration I can draw from just listening to public radio, watching good (and, yes, lots of bad) television, or watching my daughter interact from the world. None are directly related to what I blog about but each has provided fodder for some of my most popular posts. Allow yourself to be inspired by outside interests and you might hit pay dirt!
These posts my be more difficult to optimize for search engines but they are sure to engage your readers and elicit great comments. I’m betting you’ll see a nice little surge in social sharing, too! A foray into more “experiential” blogging might just give you the opportunity you’ve been looking for to reach a new level of connection with your audience. It has for me.
Tara Gentile is the editor of Scoutie Girl, the blog with a penchant for the passionately handmade, and the owner for a boutique web design business. You can also find her blogging on her personal site, Write Well, Create Often.