Round-ups, Polls and Research: Build a Better Blog, Part 3Alli Worthington
– Create weekly roundups of relevant links and stories.
This idea also draws on the timeliness factor mentioned in the previous installment of this series. Compiling a list of the week’s interesting and noteworthy links, stories, photos and videos gives your blog depth. Over time, your blog will then have the potential to become a reliable source for current events information and relevant news aggregation.
– Pose a question or poll on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Cross platforming is becoming the industry standard. You’d be hard pressed to find any website or blog on the Internet that doesn’t have a collection of badges asking you to “Like” a certain article or “+1″ a new video.
Notice the left side of this Mashable.com story. You’re given the ability to post to virtually every popular social networking site known to man.
This concept can be employed when your trying to gauge a new product or even a blog idea for your website. Create a small and timely poll asking your readers questions that they would be best suited to answer. Not only is it a way to get a feel for who your audience is, and their attitudes, you’re also engaging the audience in the the inner workings of your product.
What? Did you forget for a second that your blog often is your product? It is. Just like any print magazine, your blog is a destination and an experience. Unless you want your blog to be your personal online diary you have to keep the consumer (your readers) in mind with every post you publish.
– Address industry research with your own perspective.
This is a definite hot-button conversation starter. This concept definitely rings truest in the blogger world. Every week, we are bombarded with statistics, studies and surveys telling us what’s “hot” and where the “trends” are headed.
This is a perfect opportunity to open the information up for discussion among you and your readers. People love a blog or website that keeps them engaged and coming back for more. Even though there might be situations where readers will disagree, the healthy discussions are valuable to your readers. Just don’t let any nasty commentors who want to attack and troll pull the discussion off base.