If blogs about blogging are to be believed, then the key to increased readership is a good story. Tell a better story, and people reading you will want more. Tell a better story, and more people will want to read. Tell a better story, and get more likes and shares.
Easy peasy, right?
It’s not as easy as it sounds.
Storytelling can be a challenge even for good writers. Good structure, grammar, vocabulary are all meaningless if your content isn’t engaging. Knowing what hooks readers and what doesn’t requires constant vigilance of social media channels and analytics data.
That’s why we love the Buffer app team’s approach to A/B testing their stories to understand engagement.
We at Black Pepper say, take that one step further. Turn your A/B tests, successful past posts, and future content into content outlines and writing guidelines for expert and amateur content managers. Content outlines ensure that your in-house bloggers and guest-posters are all following the same formula for your posts. They can still write those case studies (for example) in their own voices–so long as every post includes a title, snappy 10-word lead-in, explanation of challenges faced, strategies used, metrics of success, and a glowing testimonial.
Additionally, tagging stories to research themes has helped guide the Center for African Studies as it writes its stories. And we’re hoping it will help the future iteration of Tufts’ Public Health & Professional Degree Programs.