The only thing boring about content may well be the creator.
That was the message in a post on Copyblogger with a subtitle that read, “There are no boring topics, only boring content creators.” Author Pratik Dholakiya next tackles the challenge of making coffee cups interesting.
It’s an idea reflective of Malcom Gladwell’s work, who is a prolific writer with the hairstyle of a genius. In his book, What the Dog Saw, Gladwell says the role of a gifted writer, or more specifically, a journalist, is to breath life into a topic and in essence make the uninteresting…interesting.
There’s a lot of Tipping Going On
Ten tips, seven tips and five tips — “tips posts” are a popular format. The concept is to take a complex topic and break it down into comprehensible parts. At the end, the reader can piece these together to gain a larger understanding.
Though I’ve used them myself — I’m doing it here — I’ve grown weary of so many “tips posts” because too often they are used as a shell to bang out quick copy for copy’s sake. There’s a lot of tipping going on. Often, these posts tend to rely on the glaringly obvious or the repeated cliche to present the appearance of intellectualism but leaves the information consumer no more intelligent. Perhaps these are geared for a different audience.
1. Say what you think.
2. Dare to be different.
3. Do research; people like thoughtful and data-driven ideas.
4. Engage. Listen. Transparency.
5. Pray. Stretch. Floss.
Sometimes Blog Posts are like Metaphors
Sometimes bloggers go for metaphors — How Facebook is Like Hunger Games — because likening something abstract to something we tangible places it into a context we can grasp. Psyblog expresses this notion beautifully in a post on how we understand the abstract nature of time.
Because time is abstract we try to understand it psychologically using metaphors. We say that ‘time flows like a river’, ‘time marches on’ or ‘time flies’. These are all spatial ways of thinking about an abstract idea.
Other times, posts combined metaphors with lists and these can be incredibly creative. Of the posts I have listed below, many of them draw from childhood themes — in the same way we learned everything we needed to know about life in Kindergarten.
Six Compelling Blog Posts
Here are six blog posts I found to be creative and either sparked an idea — to take a concept in a different direction, from a new angle or perhaps even to riff from.
1. What Mr. Rogers Can Teach Social Media Gurus by Jennifer Kane
Jen applies Fred Roger’s neighborly principles for life to consulting. Gentle and empathetic as the man was, you might never have guessed Fred Rogers was a former Marine.
2. What 4-year Olds Can Teach Us About Tech PR by Margaret Hoerster
This is sheer brilliance. Kids aren’t weighted down by the baggage of preconceived notions we all acquire with time. They look at things differently and it’s refreshing if we listen.
3. 25 Things You’ll Have to Explain to Your Kids About Marketing One Day by Pamela Vaughan
Few companies do content like HubSpot and this is a very visual post mimics an earlier idea. It’s a list post for sure but it’s also certainly a metaphor for inbound marketing. It made me think: My two-year old has only seen iPads and iPhones which means she’ll completely different frame of reference growing up. Here’s another great kid-driven anecdote about the Yellow Pages.
Related Content: Art or Science: Creative Marketing and PR
4. Google: A poet that didn’t know it by Alan Pearcy
They used to say the media is a reflection of society — and certainly Google’s search queries are a representation of our collective questions. For example, here’s what Google thought about PR in 2009. This post here by a Ragan’s writer is a great way to capture interesting ideas for posts.
5. Green Eggs & Facebook: 15 Social Media Tips from Dr. Seuss by Pam Moore
Like the Mr. Roger’s post above, Pam captures an icon of pop culture. Yet she was also brilliant in her timing — she published on Dr. Seuss birthday.
6. Phantom Interview with Groupon CEO Andrew Mason on His Resignation Letter by Lou Hoffman
Of the lot here, this is my personal favorite. When Andrew Mason resigned there was intense competition for commentary — newsjacking — and Lou took a really interesting approach. It’s an idea I’m hoping to copy sometime soon. Moreover, amid the clutter of opinions, Lou’s post ranked well in search and he was able to write about that as well.
What do you think — which post do you like the best? What other creative posts have you seen?
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