Tips For Talent Blogs And Morning Show Websites
Blog smog. You aren't a blogger. Why should you worry about improving your writing skills?
As radio companies put more emphasis on digital growth, you are now responsible for website traffic and social media engagement in addition to on-air ratings.
Becoming a better blogger will give you organic content for your social networks, increasing Web traffic as users are enticed to click through. Better blogs may also forge stronger relationships, turning casual listeners into P1s.
Convinced? Read on. (Unconvinced? Keep reading!)
Before we get into the tips, let's define "blog." According to Google, a blog is "a website on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis." For radio, that includes your talent blogs, as well as the content you add to your website to reflect that day's show topics.
So your entertainment buzz, stupid news, phone topics, and audio clips count as blogs too.
Here are eight tips to improve your talent blogs and the content you post from the show each day:
1. Focus on your headline. When you plan your show, you write teases to keep people listening. With blogs, you write headlines to keep people reading. It's really not that different.
2. Include your opinion. Often you blog about pop culture, music, or current events. Listeners can find these stories anywhere, but they found it on your website because they have an affinity for your brand. Along with Gotye's new video or news about John Travolta's massage misbehavior, include your opinion the way you would on-air. Don't blog just to meet a corporate requirement or to provide listeners with strong content. Use the opportunity to showcase your character and create a connection with listeners that will keep them coming back -- to your website and to your show.
3. Define your goal before you begin. Are you writing to inform, entertain, or inspire? Read your blog when it's done and make sure it cuts through in the way you planned. Will your readers learn something (about the subject, or about you)? Will they laugh? Will they be entertained? Will they be moved (to tears, or outrage)?
4. End with a call to action. "Write to Done" has a great blog on this that says, "You need to make the reader take action." Ask your reader to leave a comment, or to tune in to tomorrow's show to listen to the topic on-air. For example, end your blog with:
• "Are these masseurs telling the truth about John Travolta? Leave a comment and let me know what you think."
• "Listen tomorrow at 7:20 when we talk to Gotye and ask him about the ex that inspired this song."
5. Respond to blog comments. Your blog is an opportunity to engage listeners. Call listeners by name. Continue the conversation with your reply. Be personable.
6. Craft your social media tease. An enticing on-air tease often makes a great tweet or Facebook post. Like on-air teases, your social media teases should pique the reader's curiosity. Ask a question, develop a creative headline, and use images to increase traffic to your blog from your social profiles.
7. Be enticing, not misleading. As this blog by Daniel Sharkov suggests, make sure you can back up the claims you make. Writing headlines that are enticing but misleading will only annoy your listeners and keep them from coming back. http://reviewzntips.blogspot.com/2012/05/titles-that-get-retweets.html. Follow "Huffington Post" on Twitter for a good example. Their tweets are creative and intriguing, but never misleading: https://twitter.com/#!/HuffingtonPost
8. Measure. Don't wait until your contract is up for renewal to find out how you're doing online. Track your website traffic. Use Facebook Insights (or other third party measurement tools). Let the analytics guide your content. Listeners will tell you which blogs they find interesting. You just have to listen (or study the stats).
Have other tips to share? I'd love to hear them. Leave a comment below -- I promise I'll respond.
Stephanie Winans is the chief digital media strategist for The Randy Lane Company. You can find her blending the "experienced" media of radio with the "new" media of the Internet in her blog "On-Air to Online."
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