This column is written by Kimberly Turner from Regator (a great tool that gathers and organizes the world’s best blog posts) – Darren
Hi-dee-hoo, fellow bloggers! Thanks for joining me for another edition of the weekly blogosphere trends, provided by Regator.com. (Click any trend to see posts about it.) Darren’s post “The Key to Successful Blogging: Do Something!” from earlier this week resonated with a lot of you (and with me), so it seemed like the perfect week to look back at some of the important topics we’ve discussed in this column and issue a challenge: Kick procrastination in the butt by putting at least two of these techniques to work THIS week on your own blog. Then share a link to your post in the comments.
If you truly want to take it to the next level, download Darren’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, which has enough tasks to last you an entire month and is an incredible resource for any blogger…particularly those who are ready to stop talking about what they’ll do someday and start doing today. Let’s take a look at this week’s most popular stories…and your challenges:
1. Ground Zero Mosque
Your challenge: If you normally write posts from a neutral standpoint, take a strong stance on at least one important and/or controversial issue this week.
Read more about: The importance of being opinionated
Example: VetVoice‘s “Muslims Already Have a Place of Worship at the Site of 9/11 Attacks” backs opinion up with carefully thought-out reasoning.
2. Star Wars
Your challenge: If you normally steer clear of list posts, write one this week.
Read more about: Writing list posts
Example: Asylum‘s “Our 5 Favorite Moments From Star Wars Celebration V” does a countdown with clear subheads and photo accompaniment.
3. Facebook Places
Your challenge: If you don’t make regular use of videos, give it a try this week in at least two posts.
Read more about: Effectively using videos
Example: Mashable‘s “How Foursquare Feels About Facebook Places” allows readers/viewers to get a better sense of the Foursquare VP’s reaction than mere text would’ve.
4. Eat Pray Love
Your challenge: If you rarely or never do interview posts, do one this week. It can be any format (Q&A, video, podcast, etc.) but it must be an interview you’ve conducted yourself rather than one found elsewhere and reused.
Read more about: Effective interviewing
Example: MovieWeb‘s “EXCLUSIVE: Director Ryan Murphy Discusses Eat, Pray, Love!” is an exclusive Q&A.
Your challenge: This week, use an image from a source you’ve never tried before. Make sure the licensing allows you to use it.
Read more about: Great places to find quality images
Example: The Big Picture‘s “ ” uses photos to tell a powerful story.
6. Dr. Laura
Your challenge: Make use of quotes in at least two different posts this week.
Read more about: Making the most of quotes
Example: Mediaite‘s “Dr. Laura Caller Speaks Out: ‘I Didn’t Want To Turn This Into A Racial Thing’” has a quote in the headline that piques curiosity.
Your challenge: Brainstorm at least five headlines for a post you’ve just finished rather than choosing the first that comes to mind. Consider each then choose the best one before publishing.
Read more about: What makes a great headline
Example: AmericaBlog‘s “Are Iraq combat operations really over?” asks a question to create curiosity then delivers by answering it in full.
8. Social Security
Your challenge: Set a goal to inspire or encourage your readers to take some sort of action this week.
Read more about: Setting goals
Example: Elder Abuse‘s “‘Don’t Steal My Social Security’” encourages readers to sign a petition.
9. Scott Pilgrim
Your challenge: Cover a story in a creative or unconventional way.
Read more about: How to dig deeper to create unique content
Example: ScreenRant’s “Why Do Critics Care If Audiences Hate The Movies They Like?” identifies a wider trend tied to a popular story.
10. Justin Bieber
Your challenge: If you don’t normally write how-to posts, write one this week.
Read more about: Creating how-to posts that work
Example: Lifehacker‘s “How to Create Your Own Slowed-Down Ambient Epics” features both a video walk-through and step-by-step text instructions.
Are you up for the challenge? I honestly cannot wait to see what you’ve created. I look forward to reading each one. Please share your accomplishments in the comments.