Sometimes it's more helpful to look outside of your industry to get those creative juices flowing.
Popular and trendy blogs can tell you a lot about what content works and why -- no matter what the topic of these blogs are. They might be about tech, business, news, food or gossip; something completely different from your industry, but that doesn't mean you can't get inspired by them for your own content marketing efforts. The key is the way they deliver their content, connect with their readership, and produce articles that capture their reader's imagination.
As a marketer, you're always trying of think of creative ways to grab your audience's attention. And with millions of blog posts being published online each day it can be difficult to stand out from all the noise. Take a break from looking at what your competition is putting out there and start getting inspired by content creators who know what good content is and how to get it in front of the right audience. Here are 5 blogs you can learn a lot from and why reading them on a regular basis can help you do more with your own content no matter what your market is.
1. The Awl
The Awl offers intelligent and sometimes humorous pieces that explore topics you often didn't know you would be interested in, such as domestic work practices and tipping in Tanzania. The Awl also mixes in humorous takes on what might appear to be mundane topics, such as in "The Best Places to Get Free Coffee In LA." This blog even knows how to cover a dry topic like real estate in a totally fresh way, such as their Surreal Estate series. Overall, The Awl is addictive reading on topics relating to media, real estate, politics, human interest, and even the small everyday oddities that make the world a fascinating place to live.
2. The Minimalists
The Minimalists, known as Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, show that you can choose one topic and explore it to its fullest. In addition, they prove that there's virtually an unlimited amount of content you can create for any given topic if you have the right creative touch.
Millburn and Nicodemus offer advice on how to live your life with as little stuff as possible. Of course, they've also successfully monetized the concept, offering books and consulting on how to design and live your life according to the Minimalist ethos. While this lifestyle may not be for everyone, their content demonstrates why the blog is so successful. They explore topics ranging from "What Happens when a Minimalist Moves in with His Non-Minimalist Girlfriend?" to incorporating history into blog posts with "Jeffersonian Minimalism: Thomas Jefferson's 10 Rules for a Good Life."
While Medium isn't a blog -- but rather a platform for blogging -- it's a great place to go for content inspiration. Developed by the co-founder of Twitter, Medium allows just about anyone to submit a piece on a topic of their choosing. It also meshes a professional staff of writers to provide consistent quality content through the site's magazine, known as Matter, which features plenty of long-form articles that explore interesting topics you can't find anywhere else.
The editors at Medium also handpick the best articles and share which ones happen to be the most popular. The topics can be quite diverse, but also helpful. For example, "22 Tips For Working Writers," proves that using a sentence or two to get your point across can be more powerful than long articles loaded with information. The site also tailors articles to your interests and previous article selections, helping to introduce a data-driven approach to keeping the publishing platform popular.
4. Wait But Why
Wait But Why is the perfect example of why you shouldn't have to update your blog every five seconds with subpar content to trend hot. The blog focuses on quality -- not quantity -- and still gains success from it.
Although this is primarily a comedy blog, each post explores topics that nearly everyone can relate to, but approaches them from a unique angle. For example, if you've ever experienced a bout of procrastination or a late deadline, you might want to read this hilarious piece. You'll see why witty writing laced with humor can quickly equal a huge readership base and lead to articles that can go viral.
5. NCTA Blog
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) may sound like a boring organization to some, but their blog -- Platform -- has a way of delivering interesting articles that explore the world of TV, Internet and technology.
It's also a good example of a blog that can cover niche and technical topics in a manner that is easy to understand, which inevitably increases readership. There are topics that explore how the Internet of Things is rapidly growing or how national policy is developing around net neutrality. These topics are packaged in an interesting and engaging way that includes concise writing with some lush infographics thrown in. It's ultimately an example of how good writers and experts can deliver topics in a manner that appeals to a broad range of people, a concept that many businesses and marketers should always be striving to accomplish.
Feeling inspired to generate awesome content for your brand? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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