Since becoming online director in Ventura in 2004, I’ve included a slide in all my presentations on web content strategy called, “What We’ve Learned From Blogs.”
Typical bullet points:
- Post often
- Post irregularly
- Stay on topic
- Post chronologically
- Engage in conversation
These are things that the most popular blogs do.
Frequent updates, unfettered by deadlines, and coming in reverse chronological order are proven traffic drivers.
Blogs are also about conversation — even bloggers who don’t allow comments on their sites, still engage in conversation by linking to and commenting on posts from other bloggers, or MSM articles.
Most popular bloggers also focus on a particular theme, be it politics or culture or sports, etc.
Blogs are arguably the first web-native publishing model, so it only makes sense that blogs would provide a template for how to publish online.
Howard Kurtz writes this week about the breakout success of HuffingtonPost.
Is it any surprise that one of the fastest growing online publishing operations is powered by frequent updates, lots of content and lots of links?
This is a formula that works. I’ve seen it work first hand, and continue to see it work.
The significant variation for HuffPost is the broad range of topics the site covers.
Too many newspaper web sites are still focused on being the newspaper online. That’s a mistake. Newsrooms should focus on making their sites a community news platform. That’s how you grow traffic.