Problogger has a great series of case studies where they ask blog authors which were their most successful posts. Here’s a quick summary of top posts and how those lessons can be applied to business or corporate blogs.
Simple but effective list
Leo Babauata from Zen Habits said his most popular blog post was “10 tasty, easy and healthy breakfast ideas.” He was interviewed by Problogger in 2009, and this one post had received more than 500K views at the time.
Another example: My daughter is doing a report on jellyfish. On Google images, we searched for the term “jellyfish eating.” The photo that came up was a blog post entitled, “Ten Amazing Facts about Jellyfish.”
Leo’s success and the jellyfish post both echo what I’ve read a lot lately. Lists work.
Roundups and tutorials
Summarizing information and organizing it into a tutorial or roundup is another version of the list tactic. Vitaly Friedman from Smashing Magazine, a resource for Web designers, said his top post was “Adobe Photoshop Tutorials — Best Of,” which received more than a million of unique hits (and this was more than a year ago).
The Search Engine Optimization tips for bloggers presentation I listened to recently, by Copyblogger’s Brian Clark, said that the reason these types of posts are good is that people bookmark them. So an ideal tactic for a business blog would be to create a series of tutorials or best-of lists and then summarize those posts on one page for readers to bookmark for themselves, or better, on an aggregate bookmarking services like Delicious.
Lead the pack on a timely news item
We do this in PR all the time: tie your client to a timely news hook. Duncan Riley from The Iniquisitor, a celebrity news site, got more than 600K hits on his post, “Is American Idol’s Adam Lambert Gay? Is there really any question?”
How can businesses tie itself to timely news?
Here’s an example of how it worked for one of my clients — the engineering firm. Not exactly exciting stuff. But I pitched a great business story while there was a heat wave in Chicago, about how the chillers my client installed in the Field Museum could keep King Tut’s hair from frizzing. The Sun-Times editor liked the hook, and turned it into a great feature.
News media, and now your average Internet searcher, wants to read commentary on hot news items and trends, especially if it has a unique twist or strong opinion.