6 Things You Can Learn About Blogging From Buzzfeed
Buzzfeed has snuck up to become a guilty pleasure and many of us have spent more time on Buzzfeed than we’d like to admit. Between time traveling celebrities, seemingly endless parades of GIFs, more lists than you’ll ever know what to do with and lots of cats all contribute to Buzzfeed’s reputation as a major time suck. But if you think that Buzzfeed is just a place where critical thinking goes to die, it might be time to take a closer look.
Buzzfeed receives an average of 40 million unique visitors a month. Yes, that many. That should be enough to make all website owners stand up and take notice. Something in the site’s formula is resonating with online visitors across nearly all demographics. Take some notes on these 6 ways Buzzfeed can inspire you to take your blog to the next level.
1. List posts work
List posts are the ideal way to easily explain a topic to your audience without the usual lengthy essay. While some will argue that list posts tend to provide less substance than fully fleshed-out editorials, this doesn’t always matter.
People love to read list posts because their inherent structure telegraphs to the readers that they’ll be able to consume larger amounts of information with less effort. List posts authors have already organized the main key points of information for their readers so website visitors find this type of post less intimidating and more easily accessible than other content formats.
This advice isn’t meant for you to go and create only list blog posts from now on, but it’s certainly a valuable tool that deserves a place in your blogging arsenal.
2. Headlines rule all
There is an undeniable appeal to Buzzfeed’s headlines. If you’ve avoided Buzzfeed before, it’s a case study in creating the kinds of headlines that readers just can’t refuse. A prime example is 8 Facts You’re Better Off Not Knowing. Do you feel temptation sinking in?
Content marketers understand the pressures of creating shareable, original content. But that content is nothing without the use of a catchy headline that causes someone to click on the link to begin with. According to Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley, authors should devote half of their time to writing a headline that attract clicks.
Something that Buzzfeed is famous for is the numerous headlines that all follow the same formula. For example “22 Things only Speech Team People Will Understand,” 15 Jokes Only Philosophy Geeks Will Understand, and 22 Problems Only Foodies Will Understand. Buzzfeed uses the method of using variations of the same theme repeatedly to produce unique content. It’s also a way to attract visitors to the site who haven’t been there before.
3. A GIF is worth a thousand words
BuzzFeed makes liberal use of pictures and animated GIFs in their posts. Not only does this help to create a subconscious feeling of a shared experience among readers, it also minimizes the amount of time that must be spent writing blog post content.
If you write for a highly-technical field, it probably doesn’t make sense to crank out blog posts that are nothing but lists of animated GIFs. But what even the most advanced business blogs can learn from this tip is that the human eye is drawn readily to pictures than to text. Again, keep in mind that along with lists it is important to use GIFs in moderation and in a way that is appropriate for your readers.
As we talk about how Buzzfeed is consisted of endless lists and GIFs it is also important to recognize their use of longform as well. With Buzzfeed being very visually driven, with short bits of text, multiple pictures and concise captions they have created a formula that works well with for a generation of consumers that absorbs media quickly and then moves on. But at the same time, Buzzfeed recognizes that readers might also be looking for something more substantial from time to time.
Longform articles satisfy a craving for more robust content that goes in depth. Mix it up on your blog to keep things varied. Not every post needs to be a comprehensive look at the topic of the day, but every blog post can’t be a handful of cat pics either!
5. Know your audience
Do you even know why your audience follows your blog? This is a key strength Buzzfeed has when publishing content. Buzzfeed understands what type of content their audience is looking for and use that when creating new posts. If you search through Buzzfeed you will find that their posts heavily relies on pop culture references and popular media topics and you will find that the numbers show that these posts get the most traction among the site’s readers.
6. Regularly posting is a priority
Buzzfeed is great at pumping out dozens or individual articles a day and staying up-to-date with news all around the world. Because of this visitors know that there’s always going to be something new on the site so they continue to stop back again and again to read the new content.
When it comes to posting for most business blogs its understood that posting at this rate is very unrealistic. They key takeaway is that even if your biz is only posting one to two times per week it should remain consistent. Inform your readers when you’ll be publishing new content so that they know when to come back and revisit your site.