With Nokia catching up to the high-tech Android, Blackberry and iPhone, plus announcing its official mobile launch of WordPress on Nov. 2, it’s more apparent than ever that the blogosphere is a top accessible media platform. The question is no longer to blog or not to blog, but how can I blog effectively?
Bloggers are often misconstrued as published self-talkers. In reality, aside from hobbyists and LiveJournal diary users, many bloggers do not write for expressionistic purposes alone. A good blogger offers exigency and substance to his or her target readers. Therefore, you must establish your audience demographics before you can fully engage with readers.
Would you pitch to a potential client without a comprehensive knowledge or background on who you are presenting to? You may be able to push a general message about a company to vaguely interest your audience, but without tailoring your services to that client’s specific needs, you will not close the deal. The same goes for blog writing.
Your tone, message, and channels of delivery are all key considerations. Some questions to ask yourself are: Who am I talking to? Who will benefit from the information shared? Why am I sharing this information in the first place? Which platform fits my audience best?
Evaluate every demographic level, including age, gender, income and interests. Once you’ve thoroughly researched, you can plan the details, including presentation style and language, to the appropriate audience, accordingly.
As an example, take a look at a blog by Aram Bartholl: http://datenform.de/blog/ This German blogger’s simplistic style takes the form of an all-white background, black text, blue links, no graphic header-no fuss. The only pops of color visible are videos and photographs scribbled upon with the archaic Paint application pencil tool.
You might dismiss his blog right off the bat for its minimalism and scoff at his lack of HTML knowledge, but when you allow yourself to adjust to the simplicity, you’ll notice that the graphics are meant to speak for themselves. Bartholl knows his audience – younger people who appreciate modern art, philosophy and human connection but have a shortened attention span.
It is not by accident that Bartholl’s plain background does not distract from the purpose of his blog. Scroll. Hit play. Look at art. Return for more. The functionality backs the exigency.
One interesting feature post ranked him in Technorati’s Top 5 Most Influential Blog Posts among the likes of big boys Politico.com and CBC:
Bartholl writes, “‘Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. I am ‘injecting’ USB flash drives into walls, buildings and curbs accessable to anybody in public space.”
In this instance, Bartholl’s unique story project offered an opportunity for the more than 8 million people in New York City to secretly connect with each other’s lives in ways not possible. The movement then rapidly spread to other cities, and Bartholl was forced to start a blog dedicated solely to the Dead Drops project.
Now that is capturing an audience correctly with unique content.