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DISCUSS: Does Your Blog Focus More Heavily Upon Information, Inspiration or Interaction?

I’d love to get some discussion around this question today.

Does your blog focus more heavily upon Information, Inspiration or Interaction?

A year ago I wrote a post in which I talked about we I use a combination of Information, Inspiration and Interaction focused posts to engage with readers over at my photography blog.

While the blog largely focuses upon ‘information’ posts (tutorials and reviews) I’ve increasingly found that when you season those posts with a little inspiration (story telling, humour, imagery) that readers are more likely to take note of the the more information heavy content that we produce.

As a result we always try to include great images in those posts and even publish semi-regular posts with nothing but great images.

On top of that when we throw in interactional opportunities (discussions, polls, quizzes, challenges) I’ve noticed that we get a lot more repeat readers. It’s like the perfect storm for creating an engaging blog.

Of course the mix of posts we publish at dPS will be different to what other blogs do. As we’re a ‘how to’ site there will naturally be a fairly heavy focus upon informational posts.

I’d say that our mix is 70% Information, 20% Inspiration and 10% Interaction in terms of emphasis.

What about you? What’s your mix of content like? Do you have a focus upon one type of post or are you mixing it up?

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. Darren,

    I would say a strong emphasis on information but I do share personal stories, etc. when I think they have some value. I use images for every post. I went back and added images to the couple weeks of posts that I wrote without them. Take care.

    • My blog focus on information and inspiration that could lead to life enhancement. I also share images of myself and plan to share more images, for I feel this adds to the work of the blog.

  2. Hi Darren,

    I am going heavier on inspiration these days. Inspiring posts seem to move people into action, especially posts with bright, shiny images.

    Since I travel quite a bit I included at least one or 2 pics with each post. Then every few days I post just pics, of either my top beaches, or top vacay spots, or of my current location.

    Inspiring posts motivate people to share. Information posts are popular too but adding that little bit of extra juice from a high energy, focused spots springs my audience into action, because they love being inspired.

    Thanks Darren!

    Ryan

  3. Hmm. I want to say I interpret my blogs to focus more on information from inspiring subjects. Interaction is always nice but I do more in terms of informing readers than I do in interacting with them. However, its probably important to integrate all three methods into each post you make.

  4. Ron says:

    I try and put a piece of me in every post (not literally of course), my sense of humor, my writing style, what I would sound like if you talked to me in person. I agree with you in that you want to engage your audience and like a monotone speaker if you don’t give your readers SOMETHING to connect with they will just zone out and won’t want to come back. Images catch the eye, but the writing keeps them coming back, at least that’s what I believe.

  5. Chris says:

    Information mostly – we exist to help people sell on marketplaces. We provide the information that marketplaces forget to tell professional sellers. However without interaction from our readers it wouldn’t be as useful as they also share their experience and a little bit of inspiration thrown in helps to keep the site alive and real.

  6. I probably focus about 90% on sharing information and the rest on inspiration and interaction.

    I offer lots of support and inspiration on my social media platforms, definitely more than directly on the blog with actual articles.

    Hmm, food for thought, thanks Darren!

  7. Tom says:

    We focus solely on distribution of information. Mainly in the form of alcohol and bar reviews around Cincinnati. I try to throw in a smattering of “inspiration” posts about current topics in the beer industry to generate more views and engagement with readers, though I’ve had minimal success so far.

    I will have to try the interaction via polls or quizzes.

  8. My blog focus to upon Information, Inspiration and Interaction.
    All of that very importand at my blog… Can not separate..

  9. I would have to say that my blog is 70% inspiration and 30% information; however, as of late I’ve been messing around with different styles of content and ways to interact. I think that by doing this, the new traffic that I’m bringing in is going to cause these percentages to fluctuate (but inspirational content will most likely always be the majority of what’s found on my blog).

  10. Stephan says:

    i probably spend about 80% on information and the rest for inspiration and interaction.i think good information make your blog the last stand in this competition. But you should give inspiration to your audiences, that could make you more unique and interesting.
    Thanks for your sharing.

  11. I focus upon information posts (tips and reviews) because my blog is promoting several products from Amazon. I am figuring out on how to mix it with interaction posts.Thanks Darren!

  12. Joey E says:

    Since I write about our family “adventure” in one of the poorest counties in the US, most of what I write is inspirational (70%), with the idea that we want others to be involved here and/or in their local setting. I also provide some information (20%) to set context. Only a little is about interaction.

  13. I’d like to believe that my informative posts are the best read–but my stats, comments, likes, shares indicate otherwise. It’s the posts on inspiration and creativity that seem to get the most reaction. This most likely reflects my creative audience, whom I’ve come to believe prefer quick bites of inspiring material, rather than wordier how-tos. While I keep at my belief that ‘voice’ counts, and I keep writing (somewhat) cheeky, and (I think) clever, posts, I imagine that the rewards will be more long-term.

  14. I focus about 50-50 on inspiration and information. This is perfect for my site because it’s meant to empower women around the world and build their self-esteem, so inspirational content is a natural choice. But I also do informative posts around colorism, the politics, the history, and how to deal with/eradicate it.

  15. Although my blog is heavy on information (business articles for artists), one of the most important things I do is publish articles that feature artists and their portfolios, and help promote them. Those articles are first person – written by my artist readers who apply to be featured.

    In that way, participation from my readers actually inspires everyone else! It’s a win/win/win that works.

    • This is an awesome idea, Carolyn! I do the same with posting a weekly blogger interview on my blog because I want to get the message out about as many bloggers as I can.

      I enjoy learning about their blogging journey and from their experience as well. Win-win, yes :)

  16. Hi Darren!

    Well after reading this post, I am definitely going to mix it up… :) My blog is about my journey becoming a writer, so I seem to be focusing more on inspiration and have been blurring the lines between writing and my background in psychology. I have been focusing on what moves me at the moment. I would like to bring more reader interaction into it.

    Thanks for the great posts and for making me ponder that question. It’s all about bettering yourself.

    Lori

  17. J.T. Smith says:

    I have a hard time categorizing my posts into those three categories. My argumentative posts would probably be informational while my humor posts are more inspirational, but neither really relay the essence of those categories.

  18. Sebastian says:

    I about the insights I’ve gotten as I overcame a really rough childhood so inspirational for sure.

  19. Ebony Marie says:

    My blog is primarily inspirational at this point which is my goal. I use my blog to share my personal experiences in life in hopes of inspiring, motivating or encouraging others. Over time I do plan on sharing more information though.

  20. Christina says:

    I write a blog about L.A. private schools…its a “how to get in” blog. But, I started including more information about my family, events I attend a poll and other events that are happening. I also share interesting articles on FB and Twitter. I still don’t get many reader comments…I get far more private reader emails. I think the blog is more interesting to write–and read–if it is more than information. I don’t think my life is all that interesting, but sometimes readers what to know about it. Thanks for the post!

  21. Motivation and Entertainment are the most important things.

    Information and teaching?

    They’re both dreadfully overrated.

    And I can prove it.

    :D

    Just consider all the millions of instructional manuals on the planet that go unread.

    All the free training and college level courses on the Internet that go ignored.

    And all the libraries on the planet that are empty.

    But American Idol and YouTube are more popular than ever before.

    :)

  22. Justin says:

    Hey I’m much the same as Sarah with my blog, my blog is new but my intention is to to focus more on what will benefit my readers because there is far too much duplicate content on the internet that people read about way to often instead of providing unique quality content that they are looking for.

    By the way Sarah, I really like how you modified the Twenty Thirteen Theme. Nice job!

  23. Gillian says:

    I like to try and mix it up a bit; all information can sometimes make you a little robotic. I have a walking blog and I can get a little bogged down with being accurate with mapping etc. However the best posts have been when I’m being myself, should do more of them.

  24. Prithvi says:

    For a blogger, the first and most important thing is the focus on providing the best information. Inspiration needs not to be there always, and if the information is great, then the interaction will surely be there.

  25. Zenelia says:

    well I give 60:40 to information and inspiration as per my believe If someone get to know about a new thing or concept for which he/she is looking then that reading of quality info boost up their confidence and also give them a feel of comfort and confidence too…so If i will give them good info with some additive of inspiration text then that could be the best diet of content for them and they will love to have it too…..so just want to put the best to the readers so that they can enjoy reading the post….
    Thanks for sharing…it was a nice post to go through it and pleasure to see people coming out with some direct reader concern genuine thoughts…..

  26. Segun says:

    Am new to blogging and presently, we do more of inspiration.
    But this piece is an eye-opener and a guide.

  27. Fathi says:

    Yes Darren, the 70% 20% and 10% is a good formula, It’s like the white space and images in a single Paragraph, People needs information first, then, they will be inspired by some ideas or experiences, at the same time they will interact with others, it represent only 10% , but it’s the most important, its the signal of success.

  28. kazi says:

    My blogs are about Information and Interaction. I got to say it lacks behind in inspiration. Thanks Darren!

  29. Josh says:

    I think I need to get out with my camera more. I used to bring it with me everywhere I went, but no longer. Perhaps it is because of the 3 tiny people I’m always with. I think I focus my blogs more on information, but I’m trying to get away from this. It almost seems as if these readers consume information, and then leave. Without any engagement, why should they stay?

    Thanks,

    Josh

  30. Edson Hale says:

    I think it also depends upon niche of your blog that decides ration of information, inspiration and interaction. If your niche is leadership obviously inspiration will be equal to the percentage of information. If your niche is showbiz gossip then interaction comes forward. Generaly it is right information should be much greater then the other two

  31. In my blog majority of posts are informative. As a new blogger i am trying to impress my visitors with my posts. Only informative posts may cause boring. So in future posts i want to write articles combination of information and inspiration.

  32. This is a great question to ask about your blog!

    I’ve been looking at each week of my blog as needing to provide a mix of exactly these 3 things. I use WP Editorial Calendar, so I’m always looking at the plan and what’s coming to make sure it has variety.

    My readers need practical, actionable tips on how they can earn more. They need to be inspired to overcome fears so they will act on those tips. And the blog needs to draw them into a conversation, so they’ll come back and feel they belong.

    So I try to strike a balance between all these three goals.

    • Pardon the intrusion but Carol’s blog Make A Living Writing is more than inspirational, informational, and interactive. It’s fun, stays on topic, and leaves you feeling like you’ve been counseled by a pro without the idea you’ve done everything wrong.

      Carol came to my town with an open invite to breakfast to her readers and she drew a good group. You’ve heard getting people to make the jump from online to in person is tough. She did it.

      If you’re a writer, a blogger, and subscribe to Darren and Carol, you’re covering lots of good ground.

  33. Hi Darren,

    Good question for the post. I write about Baby Boomers so I aim for information and inspiration without getting into retirement and medical stuff. Those topics would boost interaction, but my goal is to give my readers something more to do instead of feeling old and in the way, says the boomer blogger.

    For example, my recent post is about a baby boomer novelist on the self-publishing route with an eye toward traditional publishing. But that’s not what I focused on. Instead I wrote about her career path, where we met, and what she’s doing to further her goals.

    Interaction seems like a result of information and inspiration where readers get fired up enough to subscribe and comment. Is that what drives problogger?

  34. Hi Darren
    Interesting post, thanks.
    I’m at the other end of the spectrum as, following six months of non-fiction blogging, and not enjoying it in the least, I’ve moved to what I love and now post a variety of short stories and longer, serialised fiction.
    The blog is still in its early days, but I’m loving writing it and it’s a great way to get my writing out there and available in the gaps between my books being published.
    So, hopefully, 100% inspiration, though you’d have to read it to see whether you agree :)
    My interaction tends to come through my mailing list and other social media platforms, although I do encourage comments on the site as well.
    Cheers
    Mike

  35. Michele says:

    My blog, JoyReturns, focuses on a mix of inspiration and information to encourage widows and educate society about grief and widowhood.

  36. Jack says:

    My knee-jerk reaction is that it should be all information all the time.

    But the civilized side of my brain knows that inspiration attracts, and eventually sells.

    Thanks for the reminder. I’ll have to set up a more formal publishing schedule and be sure to include regular inspiration and interaction content.

  37. Leesa @ SGW says:

    My blog is probably currently 70% information 25% inspiration & 5% interaction. I’m really hoping to build the interaction aspect my hope is the blog will one day become a hub where western Sydney residents can interact with each other on everything from where’s the best coffee shop to what’s that suburb like to live in.

  38. All my blogs are basically powered by information to a great proportion and inspiration to a little extent. These two ingredients fuel my blog.

  39. Thanks Darren for another informative post. User engagement is one of my favorite niche. I always want my niche target audience to keep reading my write-ups, whenever I post. Information shared is illuminating and will surely help me in bonding with my visitors. In here I want to share one of my experiences regarding user engagement. When I first started blogging 8 years back, I was writing informative content and also providing audio-visual materials wherever needed. I has some repeat visitors but they couldn’t be regarded as LOYAL. This is when it struck me that my blog was lacking something. This is when I started interacting with those who commented on my blog post. I started this practice to know what is lacking in my blog. But what I found out that people loved responding to serious comments. In fact, after sometime these repeat visitors became loyal and some also became good friend. It helped me a lot in having a loyal customer base, who became an important part of my life, who pointed out the flaws I have and made me a better blogger, and more importantly a better person.

  40. Yes, Darren. I will make my blog to be more Information, Inspiration or Interaction.
    all of that must be 100 % to my blog.
    I must make my visitor like my blog…