A Balancing Act

By: James O’Toole

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While sports can be a great way to promote discussion about your brand (as Nicholas Saraceno noted in a recent Prose Media article), the foundational principles sports teams build on can carry over to your blog. Running a successful blog is similar to organizing a successful basketball team. Championship-caliber teams are famous for employing two complimentary players: the ‘80s Lakers had Magic and Kareem, Jordan played with Pippen, and Tony Parker and Tim Duncan established themselves as one of the most dynamic tandems in NBA lore. But what does all of this have to do with blogging? Sure, the NBA champion Spurs developed great chemistry, but how is that relevant for a blog?

Blog readers look for quick suggestions to sift through. If they find these articles intriguing, they will search the blog for more relevant and detailed information and features on similar subjects. So how do you make your blog posts look as streamlined and structured as the Spurs offense?

Complexity

Gregg Popovich is famous for running intricate offensive plays to confuse opposing defenders. The Spurs regularly run a complex motion offense, but Coach Pop also has simple, straight-forward pick-and-roll plays designed for his star players he regularly calls too. A good blog varies the word length of features, allowing for some to eat up more white space than others. Shorter articles can quickly communicate an idea without absorbing much of a readers time while longer articles can afford to delve deeper into the execution of an idea. One caveat, a simple article does not sacrifice quality for simplicity. A simple article strives to simplify something complex so as to make it more understandable to more readers, or it presents an idea in a simple manner that is usually separate from its execution.

Humor

So long as the humor doesn’t trivialize the argument being made, it can be used quite effectively. Prose Media Contributor Vallery Bergez posted an article that identified the importance of humor in advertisements and on blogs. Self-deprecating humor can  help ingratiate a writer with one’s audience. The audience — in addition to getting a laugh at the author’s expense — can quickly connect with the author’s often all-too-human experience. In addition, good (and funny) examples often serve to drive home the author’s over-arching point.

Timing

Releasing posts at the proper time is essential to success. This is tied with a knowing your target audience and some trial-and-error. Larger posts may be more effective earlier in the day or later at night. Timing, however, is also important within the articles as well. There must be a balance between humor and seriousness on the blog and any jokes should be well-timed or appropriately spaced throughout the article.

Next time you may be discussing your blogging strategy, consider how your articles are balanced and what kind of chemistry they create on your blog’s website.