Generate Unique and Interesting Content: Ten Lessons From Four Months of Blogging (Part X)

My previous nine posts focused primarily on how to drive traffic to your site. Once you have been blogging for several months and have built up a small following, the next step is to keep your readers coming back for more.

In my very limited experience, I have found there are several ways to accomplish this goal.

Find a Unique Voice

One way to generate compelling posts so that people return to your site is to find a unique voice.

What makes you different that anyone else who covers similar areas of interest?

For me, that unique voice is as a conservative who strongly believes in finding ways to reduce our society’s reliance on fossil fuel energy. I also am in alignment with the prevailing scientific view of climate change, which currently places me in the minority of American conservatives. That makes me different, and likely provides others with an alternative perspective from what they see or hear from other right-wing pundits. For that matter, it also distinguishes me from left-wing environmentalists.

Be Helpful

Another way to generate interesting content is to tackle a topic that helps others. Readers are often interested in personal anecdotes about others’ experiences. For instance, if you just finished buying a house, write about the experience. What advice can you provide other home buyers? What if you just had a baby or started a business?

The bottom line is that material from your life can be help others navigate through similar challenges.

Even better is when you use these common experiences to showcase your unique talents. I believe that my “Should I Buy a Hybrid or an Electric Vehicle” series did just that.

Most people have to buy a car at some point. Many are interested in hybrids and electric vehicles, but do not know how to evaluate if the purchase makes economic sense. Since I have a background in clean tech and finance, I could help others while also showcasing my unique voice.

Be a One-Stop Shop

One of the secrets of the Drudge Report’s success is that it provides a one-stop shop for its readers. According to The New York Times, about 60% of the traffic on big news websites comes from people who go directly to the site. The other 40% comes from referrals. Google provides about 30% of these referrals. The second largest source is the Drudge Report.

The New York Times speculates the reason Drudge “is such an effective aggregator for both audiences and news sites is that he actually acts like one.” He provides a one-stop shop for his readers and they, therefore, rely on him to provide them with a filtered window on the world.

This, ultimately, is the veritable Holy Grail of blogging. If you can become your readers’ trusted sherpa, you will be successful.

I am not remotely there yet, but I can always dare to dream.

Write a Series

One problem I encountered early in my blogging experience was writing too much in any one particular post. Many people today are too time-starved to read anything on the internet that has more than 750 words, or simply do not have the attention span required (see “Is  Google Making Us Stupid?”)

To rectify this problem, I began breaking these longer posts into multiple articles as part of a longer series.

This approach had several advantages.

First, people were more likely to read my entire post. Second, if they were interested in a particular series, they were more likely to come back for the next installment. Third, I could now use the material I had for one very long post for multiple articles. Fourth, I could schedule these posts to be published in the future during times when I knew I would be unable to blog.

In the end, generating great content is more art than science. However, having a plan is better than having none at all.

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About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Conservative clean energy crusader, national security hawk, financial analyst, engineer, and former military officer.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Business, Education, Mathematics, Media, Predictions, Thurston and Talbot, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Generate Unique and Interesting Content: Ten Lessons From Four Months of Blogging (Part X)

  1. pino says:

    Ten Lessons From Four Months of Blogging (Part X)

    Great series!

    Curious, how did this series rate on a hit per post value?

    • Pino,

      I ‘ll do a more detailed rundown when I get home, but I would say the lifetime average of each post is about 20 to 25. Not terrible, but not great.

    • Man can I estimate….

      The average for the 9 I’ve published thus far is 27.2 hits per post (32.8 if you include syndicated views). The most successful one was the first post with 74 total hits (80 including syndicated views).

      That said, the good thing about this series is that it is evergreen. People can read it any time, yet the principles will be similar.

      That said, the fact that it is on a conservative website may deter plenty of people who might otherwise benefit from the material.

      • pino says:

        That said, the fact that it is on a conservative website may deter plenty of people who might otherwise benefit from the material.

        I go back and forth on the slant of the conservative site thing.
        There are periods where I try to present facts and then point out the conservative implications; Your “arms dealer” if you will. Then there are times when I engage in snark and mocking of liberals. I’m not sure which works better in general, but I think that in terms of the community we are “linked in with”; Moe, Bruce, Poison guys, Scott and Vern, the snark and mocking plays poorly. Which makes sense I think, this group of bloggers strikes me as awfully competent.

        Anyway, now that the series is complete, i think the biggest method to drive traffic is to e relentless in expanding a vibrant community. Comment often on other blogger’s sites and try to add 1-2 quality blogs to that community a month.

        • pino says:

          By the way, Ben is a great example of “snark” that works.

          If you wanna another, check out writechic.wordpress.com/

        • The series is not over yet. There are two more posts in the pipeline. The one on building a community (which I think is the last one), talks about the point you just made, among other things.

          I only employ snark when I know my position is 100% unassailable (which isn’t very often). I also save a lot of these sorts of posts for the Breitbart site as the audience there seems to crave more black and white, right and wrong. Therefore, the ridiculous union lawsuit against Boeing was fair game as was Obama’s hypocrisy on Libya vs. Iraq.

        • pino says:

          The series is not over yet. There are two more posts in the pipeline. The one on building a community (which I think is the last one), talks about the point you just made, among other things.

          Sorry; thought it was 10. Delete my spoiler if you wanna; no harm here.

        • Actually, I mispoke. There is only one more left and there is enough in there so that your comment does not spoil it. 😉

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