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Blogging in Brief: Targeting, Teasers, and Trends

The last few weeks have turned up some interesting new finds in the world of blogging. I’ve covered some of the more innovative ones here—let us know what cool ideas you’ve spotted in the comments.

…and then she called me “Cupcake”

I’m not in the target audience for Molly Maher’s Stratejoy website, and it’s clear as soon as I get to her homepage, which greets visitors with the words, “This site is for you, Cupcake.”

Molly's header

This is a simple, but effective way to target an audience. That single word (in the context of the page design) lets users work out immediately if this is the place for them. It’s a brave move, and it works—Molly’s subscriber base is 4,000-strong.

How closely are you targeting your readers? Are you this forward in your headlines and calls to action? Perhaps Molly’s example will inspire you to rethink some of them.

Australian Blogosphere Report released

Australian blog advertising network Nuffnang has released its 2012 Blogosphere Report, which provides interesting reading for anyone who’s in, or targeting, this space.

The results show a number of interesting aspects:

  • The Australian blogosphere is 92% female.
  • 73% of bloggers said personal and hobby blogs were their favourites.
  • 70% of readers say sponsored posts are useful, so long as they’re transparent and impartial.
  • 95% of respondents have considered purchasing a brand or service as a result of reading about it on a blog.

Check out the report—available for free download—for more.

Ninja engagement tactics on the Ninja’s new blog

Our own Web Marketing Ninja, Shayne Tilley, has relaunched his website. inspired by the PB Event in October, he’s done a great job with a cost-effective theme and a little basic coding—check it out at let us know what you think.

One aspect I think is particularly interesting is the large quote he’s placed just above the footer, along with a Read More CTA.

Quote

That’s a pretty clickable page element—it really inspires my curiosity. And it takes you direct to his blog. Do you provide alternative ways to entice readers through to your blog, other than simply saying “read my blog”? If not, maybe you could try this idea for yourself.

Content marketing coverage

If you’re looking for new content marketing ideas, this epic post on the value of long-form content in your content marketing efforts is one for you.

In the piece, Demian Farnworth uses The New Yorker as a benchmark for content marketing excellence. If you’re a solo blogger, keep in mind that The New Yorker probably ha a few more resources than you do to put into content marketing! That said, the post is information-packed and gives us plenty of ideas to use in our own content marketing efforts.

In the same vein, I was recently approached by Flippa for a post on using content marketing to add value to your blog. Have a look—I’d love to know what you think!

Big-block headers on blogs

A design trend that’s definitely becoming more commonplace is the big-block header, like the ones on the Fast Company subsites. Interestingly, Fast Company doesn’t use this style on its flagship blog—just on those sites that specifically target design-conscious users.

But this trend is becoming more mainstream. Some pro bloggers using it include Jaime Tardy at Eventual Millionaire … but there don’t seem to be many others.

Eventual millionaire

What do you think of this as a design trend for blogs? Have you seen others using it? Let us know what you think in the comments.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Wade says:

    Anything different in design is possible to attract more attention to the user.

  2. The first one really resonates with me. I need to buckle down and clearly define and speak to my target audience. I’ve been doing professional blogging for a few months now, and every month I have to redefine the blog. Wish me luck as I give it another go.

  3. Lola says:

    Hi Darren,
    I just took the time to go through these websites including your article on content management on Flippa, which was very comprehensive by the way. What strikes me most in all of these, is the uniqueness of each site especially Molly Maher’s Cupcake strategy and Jaime’s Eventual Millionaire blog design and theme. All these got me thinking…

  4. Clarkmartin says:

    Your post is very useful and excellent. I agree with your post. I’ve covered some of the more innovative ones here—let us know what cool ideas you’ve spotted in the comments. …and then she called me “Cupcake” I’m not in the target audience for Molly Maher’s Stratejoy website, and it’s clear. thanks for share this post.

  5. Hello… I only wish I had found your site sooner. I would have saved myself lots of time and money. The false advertising makes me boil! I can’t believe you offer this service for free. It is really really appreciated.

  6. Anurag says:

    Molly’s example did inspire me and Now I am going to do this also to target my audience.

  7. Sanjeet says:

    Nice article & informative indeed. There may be any tactic to target the audience & what I found most attractive is the look :D . I liked Shayne Tilley’s line on Blog that “they won’t let me put it anywhere else”. I also have started my blog http://graduateloop.org & trying to learn from several sites .

  8. Rakesh says:

    Design and look of our blog helps to attract subscribers. As soon as i changed my blog design i got more readers to my blog

  9. Saif says:

    Hey,

    Excellent post. I think most of the blogs are coming with new and big designs. They are adding big pages on main page to attracts visitors.

    Thank you

  10. Dave Rowley says:

    I’m not in Molly Maher’s target audience either, but I can appreciate her well crafted web presence. One problem I have with the big block header is not being able to get a glimpse of the content at first glance. I hate having to look around for the actual posts, and like seeing the first few grabs on the front page of a blog without having to scroll down.

  11. Hamlet says:

    I don’t think Design or layout is so important. Any types of simple design is good.

    In Australian Blogsphere report 92 percent female, So i am sure most of them are using Pinterest.

    Good Article.:)

  12. Make your blog as a magnet that always attract sapapun and want to visit, and it was not easy because it all depends on us.