An avid blogger can profit from the most unrelated, even bizarre events of life.
Don’t believe me?
Take the Oscars. Beautiful women… walking on the red carpet, wearing gorgeous, eye-catching, jaw-dropping dresses that spark the imagination.
Nothing to do with blogging, right?
Female stars on the red carpet can teach you a little something about blogging. There are lessons hidden in everything they do, from the accessories they wear to the companions with whom they choose as their guest.
So if you want to become a better blogger, then take a stroll with me down the red carpet…
Dressing for the Occasion
Only on the red carpet will you find women wearing such amazing gowns – satin, sequins, plunging necklines, bright colors, etc. And while these gowns are perfect for the red carpet, they’d look out of place in a cafe. Or at a bar. Or even at your favorite little diner on the corner.
The point is, the star is dressed for the occasion. And likewise, your content needs to be “dressed” for the occasion.
For example, if you have a blog about fly fishing, then don’t try to impress your readers with your $100 words. Your audience wants good information in plain English.
On the flip side, maybe you have a poetry blog. We’re talking high-brow stuff here. In this case, your readers may be coming to your blog because they enjoy analyzing deep, thoughtful prose and poetry. So if you write like you’re speaking to semi-literate grade-school children, you’re going to disappoint your readers. It’s like putting on grungy jeans for the red carpet.
Setting an Intention
Before the star’s big night out, she sets the intention for what kind of impression she wants to make on her audience.
Maybe she’s going for the look of understated elegance. Maybe she wants something head-turning sexy. Or maybe she’s going for a bit of an atrocious look – a shocking fashion faux pas – because she wants to steal headlines. Whatever it is, she’s going to base her wardrobe around her intention.
Likewise, before you write one word of a blog post, you need to set an intention.
How do you want your readers to react? What do you want them to learn? What do you want them to do when they’ve finished reading your post?
Once you’ve figured out the answers to these questions, then let your intention guide your writing.
Choosing the Right Outfit
The star is looking to make an impression, which is why she considers her wardrobe carefully. And likewise, you’re looking to make a good impression with your content.
So let’s have a look at what the star’s clothing can teach you about creating better content…
- Select the right length. Your content should be like the length of the star’s dress: long enough to cover the important parts, but short enough to get (and hold) attention.There’s no set length for content. It might be 100 words for one topic while 4000 words is a better choice for a different topic.
- Arouse curiosity and spark the imagination. Long slits in the star’s dress. Plunging necklines. “Barely there” fabric. Backless or strapless dresses. All of these dress styles fuel the imagination and arouse curiosity. Likewise, you need to create content that engages your readers and piques their curiosity. You can do this by telling stories, engaging their senses, whetting their appetites for upcoming content, sharing tips they won’t learn anywhere else and more.
- Grab attention. Did you ever notice that stars on the red carpet don’t wear cotton dresses? They wouldn’t be caught dead in such a plain fabric. Instead, they’re wearing silks and satins, with many of them shimmering with sequins or even diamonds. They grab attention, that’s for sure. Similarly, you need to make sure you get attention with your content, namely by creating eye-catching titles. For example, an article title such as, “What Good Sex Can Teach You About Writing Good Copy” would certainly get attention. And that’s great because it will pull plenty of readers into your post. Just make sure your content delivers on the promise of the title.
Adding the Finishing Touches
No red-carpet look is complete with makeup, the right shoes, and other accessories. Let’s look at these items separately and how they relate to your blog…
Pick Perfect Accessories
The celebrities on the red carpet make sure their accessories match and even enhance their gowns. That’s why you’ll see shoes that match belts and purses as well as necklaces that match earrings, bracelets, and rings.
Likewise, you need to make sure your “outfit” – your entire blog post – matches.
For example, you need to add a matching introduction and conclusion to your posts, just as a star needs matching shoes and a purse. And you need matching eye-catching titles and subheadlines, just like a star accessorizes with eye-catching jewelry.
Take a moment and think about how the women on the red carpet wear their makeup.
Having troubles visualizing it? That’s the idea. You see, these women want to wear makeup that accentuates their eyes, cheekbones, and other features. But they don’t want you to notice the makeup itself. You would, however, certainly notice if they weren’t wearing any makeup.
Likewise, you need to drop elements into your posts that accentuate your content without being noticeable or garish. Just as a woman doesn’t make up to look like Bozo the Clown, you don’t want to lay these elements down so thick that they make you look silly.
- Having one joke in a post might be about right whereas three jokes could seem silly and over-the-top.
- Using Ivy-League language is laying it on thick, especially when simpler language accentuates your ideas.
- Highlighting or bolding every few sentences makes your blog post look like a three-ring circus, whereas a few well-placed highlights accentuate your post’s best features rather nicely.
Bring a Great Date
Smart celebrities double their “star power” by bringing a magnetic companion (think Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt). They increase their buzz and their press. And the good news is that you can do the same thing by asking “stars” in your niche to be guest bloggers from time to time.
Note the phrase “from time to time,” because that’s important.
Your own star power won’t shine on your blog if you dilute it by hosting guest bloggers too often. But toss in a guest post from a niche celebrity on occasion, and your blog will shine.
However, you can let another niche star’s shine rub off on you without diluting your blog in the least.
It’s simple:ll you have to do is interview a niche star or ask them for their input on one of your blog posts. Then ask their permission to post their answer.
All you have to do is interview a niche star or ask them for their input on one of your blog posts. Then ask their permission to post their answer.
You can see why this is so powerful. Now your name stays on the post as the author, yet you get to drop the name of someone influential. If you did indeed pick someone influential, then this name will draw readers to your post like metal shavings to a magnet.
Maybe you’re not friends with niche stars yet. No problem. Because you can still do a bit of name-dropping to draw eyeballs to your blog posts.
Let me explain…
Think about some of the love/hate relationships celebrities have with each other. They break up, they make up, they trash talk, they get all sticky-sweet about each other.
Guess what? Some of these relationship dynamics are pure fiction. They don’t exist, except in some publicist’s mind. Yet, these dynamics make headlines.
You can grab headlines in readers in the same way. Except the difference is that your opinions won’t belong to a publicist. They’ll be real. You can share your opinions whenever you have a strong negative or positive reaction to something going on in your niche because chances are a part of your audience feels the same way.
For example, maybe a niche star comes out with an idea that you think is the best since sliced bread. Perfect! Just blog about his idea and link back to his original blog post (via a trackback, if possible).
On the flip side, maybe your colleagues and competitors are advocating something you don’t agree with. Maybe you feel it’s dangerous, unethical or just plain ineffective. Hey, you’re a niche expert too – so don’t be afraid to state your opinion and state it loud. Not only will it help your faithful readers, but going against the grain will help you snag some viral press.
Mastering the Mindset
Do you think that the red carpet is all about looks?
Well, that may be partially true. But there’s more to it.
There are some behind-the-scenes mindset rules that these celebrities are following, and as a blogger, you’ll benefit from them greatly.
Imagine if the stars just rolled out perfectly dresses plastic mannequins in place of themselves on the red carpet. Or imagine if they just dressed up their celebrity look-alike and sent these look-alikes in their place. Wouldn’t work, would it?
Nope. And that’s because part of what makes a star shine is their magnetic personality. All the beautiful gowns and accessories and everything else we talked about don’t mean much if the star’s personality isn’t shining through.
Quick, think of Lady Gaga.
Now think of Adele.
And now think of Julia Roberts.
Finally, think of Dame Judi Dench.
They’re all stars. But they all shine brightly in different ways. They bring their own unique personas to the red carpet. And they dress in such a way as to accentuate these personas.
Truth is, you simply couldn’t copy these personas.
The same is true of your writing. You bring a unique persona to your blog. Your writing should reflect your persona. Let it shine through. And don’t try to rip off anyone else’s persona, because your readers can spot a fake from a mile away.
Ignore the Critics
If there’s one thing that every woman on the red carpet learns to deal with, it’s the fashion critics. These days the fashion critics start tweeting and blogging about the event live. And certainly by the next morning, you can find dozens of fashion bloggers listing their “hits” and “misses” for the red-carpet events.
Guess what? Even the most beautiful women in the world who’re wearing the most stunning gowns get slammed from time to time. But these women keep showing up on the red carpet. And you know why? Because they’re playing to their core audience while ignoring the critics.
You need to do the same thing. The more popular you get and the more successful your blog becomes, the more critics you’ll find crawling out of the woodwork. Ignore them, and focus on your core audience – those who’re making your blog a big success.
Remember the Show Goes On
The stars of the red carpet are always stars, whether they’re out shopping, walking their dogs or nightclubbing. They need to be aware that they’re always on stage and that their followers are always watching them, modeling them.
The same is true with you. Once you accept your blog as your “stage,” you need to realize that you never really come off this stage (at least when you’re online).
So whether you’re posting on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, posting videos on YouTube, or chatting on forums, your followers are still watching you. You need to be aware of this so that you can always project a professional demeanor and consistency in what you say and do.
Whew – who’d have known the stars on the red carpet had so many hidden secrets and so much valuable information to share?
As you just discovered, everything they know about makeup, accessories, clothing, personality, critics and more is all very much applicable to your blog.
So take what you just learned and transform yourself into a better blogger – and smile, because you never know when the paparazzi is going to flash their cameras in your direction. 🙂