by Lizz Wells
When preparing for a recent job interview, I was blown away when the organization emailed the list of interview questions a few days in advance. This was major, and while working through the questions I was struck by one of the last ones, ”What are two things that you would do to enhance the design of the blog?” I felt confident I could answer this question regarding their social media or email marketing campaigns but aside from font changes and the use of more images, the answer was not immediately clear to me.
I wish I had heard guest lecturer, Carmen Hill, speak prior to working out my answer.
With so much focus on social media platforms, I was beginning to wonder if blogging was still relevant in 2020. Then up comes a slide where Carmen is referencing a chart from marketing and PR guru, Mark Schaffer, showing the number of blogs written on WordPress has increased by 8,000% since 2006. And that’s just WordPress. He’s even got a podcast all about it, you can listen here.
I admittedly had begun to associate blogging with recipes buried under pages of writing about the author’s life but Carmen quickly brought me back when she also reminded us that our website is the only bit of online real estate we may own online as an organization or business. This is where we have access to quality data on how folks are engaging online with us. This emphasized to me how important it is to use social and other digital marketing as a way to drive traffic back to the website.
Carmen was also one of two guest lectures this term who have busted the myth of diminished attention span of our audience, specifically digital natives, and attributes a lack of engagement with content to an increasingly sharp filter for online noise. She mentioned that content has eight seconds to break through the filter. That’s not a lot of time.
So how could I now answer that interview question in a way that would ensure the organization I was capable of making the right choices for their blog?
I would follow their question with more questions.
Why- Why a blog? Why would folks care? What are the goals and purpose of the blog?
Who- Who is the audience, what are their interest and needs for coming to the blog?
What- What story are we going to tell on the blog? What is the structure and style they envision? What should visitors of the blog think, feel or do?
When- When does the blog get updated? What is the cadence and how does it fit in with other social media or digital marketing efforts?
Answers to the above would then inform if the blog is Where the content should live.
The key takeaway for me is that blogs are not just for recipes and travel, but are still a powerful tool for businesses or organizations to get and give relevant information and content that can engage, support and meet the needs of guests.
LinkedIn: Elizabeth Wells