I was seven when the first “Star Wars” movie came out. I was completely mesmerized. Because we are so inundated with modern digital special effects, it’s easy to forget that, at the time, nothing like that first movie had ever been seen before. For months afterward I would run around the house in a bathrobe, pretending to be Princess Leia. Mom even fixed my hair so it looked like I had two big bagels on my head. I gained several bruises from having “light saber” fights with my cousins (usually using whatever sticks were easily available).
But What does “Star Wars” have to do with blog content?
More than you may think.
Don’t worry— there are no spoilers from the new movie here. Rude, that would be.
1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Luke didn’t become a Jedi overnight. It took extensive training (and three movies) to establish himself as an authority. Likewise, it will take time to establish yourself as an authority in your field. You can help this along by writing meaningful and useful content, posting consistently and providing links to relevant information. It also takes a bit of personal education: learning about your topic won’t make you a blogging Jedi overnight, but it puts you on the path to creating a blog that people don’t want to miss.
2. Use social media
“Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope.” Even in a galaxy far, far away, Princess Leia knew the importance of “social media”to get her message across. Use Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other platforms to promote your blog. Likewise, your blog and your website should have links that allow users to follow you on these social media outlets. Be careful about shamelessly promoting your blog in forums or in comments on other blogs. While this type of networking can give you some website traffic in the short term, no one likes being bombarded by self-promotion. You may even get banned from forums.
3. Be right on target
When the rebel forces were tasked with destroying the Death Star, many lamented about the tiny “sweet spot” target they had to hit precisely to make the Death Star explode. Only Luke had faith that he could make it happen. Luke knew the importance of target marketing. Know your audience and write accordingly. For example, if you’re writing a blog for a medical practice, you should be writing at a 5th – 8th grade reading level. Use layman’s language, making it both easily understood and accessible. This is a different kind of writing from a medical journal, which is written on a much higher reading level and aimed at other physicians.
My favorite scene from “Return of the Jedi” occurs when Luke tries to use the Force to keep his spaceship from sinking into the swamp. Discouraged, he watches it sink. Then Yoda takes the helm and is able to bring the X-wing fighter out of the muck.
“I don’t believe it!” Luke says.
“That is why you fail,” Yoda responds with his guru-like wisdom.
You have to believe in the power of blogging and how it contributes to your overall marketing plan. It takes practice, but you can achieve your goal.