Everyone like to be a star and that is the goal when you write profiles as posts. In doing so you create content that will be shared well beyond your own website!
Hi! Welcome to Been Seen Blogging, the podcast that gives you tips and tricks to make your blog more effective, in under than 10 minutes. I’m your host, Jen Miller and I’m excited to see that you tuned in today. In our last 2 episodes of Be Seen Blogging I discussed the importance of 2 specific blog post types, the how to post and the listicle. Today we’ll be discussing a 3rd type, one that I often suggest for locally based businesses and individuals, known as Profiles as Posts.
Every blog and website has its own feel and audience, so engagement can often depend on the type of post you write.
If you write as a national figure or company, posts based on locality may not apply unless you are writing about a trending news topic in a specific community. However if you write for a business that relies on readers in a certain community, you’ll have more success in making connections with potential users of your service when you localize your posts. An added benefit to this is that many search engine algorithms favor searches based on area, allowing you to rank better in your community for keywords that are relevant to local search. So if your business and customers are in Flower Mound, Texas, your posts should mention it!
One way we help our clients do this is through profile posts. We research and/or interview people and places in their community and write about them on the blog.
We generally focus on unusual or well-loved businesses or people, a trending cafe or politician, a distinguished teacher or favorite museum or a business that is having an event for the entire community.
There are a few reasons why this type of post is successful – it’s local and familiar, it’s relatable and interesting and it’s extremely shareable.
The first reason is that its familiar – readers recognize the name of a restaurant, business or local leader in the headline and pause to click to read more. This is a technique that community publications often use to get people talking and you can use it too! Focus on showing what the business or person being profiled is like rather than providing a narrative by involving the senses: sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste in your post. The more your reader identifies with, the longer they will engage in the post and the more they will connect with the website in general.
The second is that is relatable. If you find the topic interesting, chances are other people will too. If the person or place you are writing about recently had an event that is newsworthy, play that up as well. When possible, get additional perspectives and quotes to add depth to your post.
The third reason that this type of post is a success is that it is interesting and sharable. The goal of the post is to paint your subject using words. You want to share the essence of who or what you are writing about. If it’s a local business, show their involvement in the community or how their unique method redefines an industry. If it’s restaurant, share specific menu favorites and discuss the ambiance and mood of the environment and level of service.Discover what motivates the person or business owner to operate in that particular town. All of these create an interesting post that begs to be shared visually on the blog, in social media and by word of mouth.
At the beginning of this podcast I mentioned research. Use community guides and reviews to find topics of interest if they are not readily obvious. Ask friends about some of their favorite local venues or people they would like to know more about. Do your background research and then follow up with questions. Oftentimes you’ll make friends with the subject of your posts simply because they are excited that you already know something about them.
Through my lifetime I’ve had opportunity to interview many people – from the local grocery store owner to world leaders – and each has an inspiring story to tell. The interview is all about asking the right initial questions and then really listening to the answers and creating a conversation that builds on them. The post is about pulling the best parts out and really highlighting the individual or company in an unusual way and tone that tells their story. It’s all about the details.
I’ve been told time and time again that I ask really good questions. And maybe it’s true, because I do prepare for interviews by considering why I am writing the story and who will be reading it. But honestly I think that what is seen as me asking good questions is more of a development of conversation. My initial questions may be written down by they are only a guide to watch the story unfold. Every interviewer needs to be able to modify and transition through topics and that is a skill you will gain as you continue to write profile posts. Be careful to wait for the answer and to listen and ask rather than summarize – that’s when you get the best material for your story.
Here are some questions to consider as guidelines to get you started:
- How did you get started?
- Were there specific qualifications needed?
- Before doing this, what did you do?
- How do you see your role in the community?
- What do you value most in life?
- What would you say your greatest challenge/success has been?
- Where do you see yourself/your business in 5 years?
- To whom do you owe your success?
- What should we have talked about today that didn’t come up?
In my experience those questions lead to many more and produce stories worth telling. Please let me know if you have questions that you like to use when interviewing. You can reach me on Twitter at Jenblogs4u or through my website at NeedSomeoneToBlog.com. I hope you found today’s Be Seen Blogging podcast on profiles as posts worthwhile and look forwarding to hearing from you! Talk to you next week!