Advice for building and marketing your blog can be found all over the internet. Most of this advice consists of tips for applying basic marketing principles in an online format. For example, strong lead generation has always required an enticing lead magnet, but the placement of elements on a webpage affects how many leads you collect.
Many sites do a good job of explaining these details. While it’s important to understand digital marketing concepts, it’s helpful to see examples in action. Check out the following three blogs to see some effective digital marketing strategies in action:
1. The Pioneer Woman – relatable storytelling
You may not become as famous as Ree Drummond, the mom of four known as The Pioneer Woman, but you can increase your blog’s success by following her lead.
The reason Drummond has her own cooking show and a line of kitchen products is due to her ability to connect with her audience. Think of connecting with your audience as a multi-dimensional experience. More than providing interesting information, connecting requires bringing people into your world in a way that hooks them as if they’re watching a favorite TV series. It’s creating a relationship without personal interaction. Drummond does this through three-dimensional storytelling.
Drummond’s blog posts are short on text, but full of beautiful photos of her ranch, her family, and her kitchen. Though she doesn’t just post photos and call it a day. She weaves those photos together with stories that even city folk can appreciate. For example, a simple post titled Radiant displays photos of ordinary cows, but her narrative provides a glimpse into her sense of humor.
You don’t need to be an award-winning photographer to capture an audience. Tell a story your audience can get involved in. Share your unique perspective. Pull readers into your story and makes them feel like they’re part of your life.
2. Campanella’s – aesthetic simplicity
Aesthetics are everything on the web, and the best aesthetics are simple. Complex visual stimulation makes it difficult for visitors to figure out what you want them to do when they arrive on your website. Your content should blend in with your site’s design.
The simple aesthetics on Campanella’s blog, specifically their Ultimate Road Trip Guide, is an example of content that blends in. For example, the layout is pixel-perfect with generous margins between blocks of content, and padding inside of those blocks. Design experts agree that white space attracts attention. Elements surrounded by the most white space will attract the most attention.
The typography is easy to read because of the increased line height. Hyperlinks are a noticeable dark red that also blends into the text as you read. Perhaps the best element on the page is the advertisement for their free shuttle service. Instead of using a real photo of a car, they’re using a simple graphic. This immediately assures the visitor they’re not looking at a paid advertisement.
Less is more. Be generous with margins and padding. Don’t over-stimulate your readers with imagery that isn’t part of the story you want them to read.
3. John Carlton – convincing copy
John Carlton doesn’t use fancy adjectives to tell his stories, but regardless, they hit his readers hard. His approach is unconventional. He often greets his readers with “howdy” instead of “hello,” and uses CAPS, ellipsis, and parenthesis like they’re going out of style. His stories aren’t always grammatically correct. Carlton frequently uses fragmented and run-on sentences. Yet he’s one of the world’s top paid copywriters. Why? Effective copywriting isn’t about perfect grammar – it’s a conversation with the reader. Despite the obvious challenge, Carlton is a master at having convincing conversations with his readers through his writing.
Although he doesn’t reveal many clients he writes for, you can find examples of his work on his blog, which he uses to speak to aspiring copywriters. The post titled Magic And Reality Walk Into A Bar. Only One Comes Out Alive… tells an especially convincing story. He recalls the experience of realizing the disconnect between what people say they want, and what they actually do. He relates this to the myth-based belief systems many copywriters have about copywriting. Then busts everything wide open with fundamental rules all copywriters should follow to maintain integrity with their word, which, of course, leads to success.
Where appropriate, let go of perfect grammar and speak to your audience as if they’re in your living room. Be authentic in sharing your own life. People will relate better to you and your stories when you share from personal experience.