Oh Mean Girls, the great American classic that stole our hearts nearly 12 years ago and solidified Lindsay Lohan’s stardom.
I remember first watching it as a high school freshman and hoping that I never crossed paths with girls like that or was forced to join the Mathletes. Math was not my strong suit.
Yet, as I watched it this past weekend, it dawned on me that Mean Girls actually taught me a lot about how not to approach many aspects of life, especially when it comes to writing blogs.
And no. I don’t mean writing blogs in pink text on Wednesdays.
Let’s take look at why taking the “Mean Girls” approach to writing a blog causes it to fail and how you can correct yourself before you get hit by a bus, err, I mean before you write:
Don’t Make Blog Posts All About You
The Plastics consisted of girls who never saw beyond their wants, needs, and desires. If drama happened, it had to be all about them.
Just watch the scene where Gretchen gives her take on Julius Caesar if you don’t believe me.
When writing a blog, organizations are quick to write about topics that are all about them and what they feel is important. Yes, your blog should be on a topic that interests you, but make sure you’re thinking about how the topic will also appeal to a broader audience.
We read blogs to learn something new, to become informed, seek guidance, as well as other reasons.
If you can provide content that focuses on the challenges faced by your readers and target audience your blog will be more successful.
Develop a Blogging Strategy With A Real Purpose
One of the most iconic lines, and one that I say on a weekly basis, is when Karen tells Cady that on Wednesdays they wear pink. Why, you ask? Is it to promote breast cancer awareness? Is it because they are part of the color guard? Nope.
They wear pink every Wednesday just because.
When approaching blog writing, this type of strategy (or lack of) doesn’t work. Without a strategy in place, blogs become a misconstrued (hot) mess of content missing their loyal readers and a true purpose, especially for B2B blogs.
As my colleague Derek Edmond mentioned in an earlier post, one of the most effective content marketing tactics is to have a B2B blogging initiative. If you are not engaged in a blogging strategy, you are missing out on the opportunity to have a successful blog.
Write To Your Target Audience
Poor Gretchen Wieners. Regardless of how hard she tried to incorporate the word “fetch” into a conversation, she couldn’t convince her fellow Plastics to use it.
Her audience wasn’t keen on the use of her new word. I mean fetch is never going to happen.
When writing a blog, you must be aware of your audience and the jargon they prefer. Incorporating new trendy words, like the hideous ‘on fleek’, into your blog can distract readers from the point you’re trying to make as well as decrease or lose their interest in reading future posts.
As Issa Mirandilla noted in one of her blogs, “be mindful of your audience when using these references. You may think that “The Beatles” are the greatest rock band of all time, but referencing the Fab Four while writing for “One Direction” fans may not be the best idea in the world.”
Trends Are Cool, But Only For a Short Amount of Time
Regina George was the unofficial queen of fashion trends at North Shore High School. If she wore army pants and flip-flops, everyone else would be wearing it the next day. But if she sported a tank with ill placed holes in it, the trend would change immediately.
Writing blogs about recent trends has its pros and cons. Trending topics receive more immediate traffic and engagement from readers. But as the topic becomes outdated, traffic will begin to diminish and eventually die out.
Trending topics may also limit your audience reach, as the trend may only be known within geographical areas or to specific age groups.
The key is to write about an ‘evergreen’ topic, or a topic that will hold its value for months or years to come. Writing on ‘evergreen’ topics will provide long-term effects on your business such as improved conversions and leads.
So how do you find the ‘evergreen’ topics your audience wants? It’s all in the research. Use the data that your customers give you whether it is through direct feedback or keyword search data.
In the end, the ‘Mean Girls’ approach does not work for writing blogs (or for becoming a decent human being). Trust me, you’d much rather be Glen Coco with four candy cane grams, err conversions, than Gretchen Wieners with none.