Blog posts that riff on right-now news let you contribute to a larger conversation and tap into the most exciting chatter of the day—but only if you have a fresh perspective on the subject. Learn how to put your own spin on a timely topic without rehashing what others have already said—repeatedly.
- Whether it's the latest political story, culinary craze, health scare, or celebrity gossip, it's hard to resist stories about the news of the day. It's human nature to want to know what's new, what's trending, what the people in your world are talking about, excited about, even arguing about. In this information age there's no shortage of news to tap into, even if it's only on the top of the news cycle for 15 minutes before the next big story comes along. A surefire way to draw your readers into your posts is to use the day's news as a springboard for your own topics.
Let me explain. We know that readers are attracted to right now news, so it's kind of a cheap trick, but if your posts can tie into that timely news and contribute to the larger conversation about that subject, you're likely to get more eyeballs on it. Marketing 101, right? Here's the rub, though. There's no point in jumping on the news of the day bandwagon if you don't have something fresh to bring to it. The thing about that easy eyeballs, tap into the news strategy I mentioned, it's well known so lots of folks are trying it.
It's really easy to spot the ones who are just using it to get your attention but don't really have anything new or interesting to say on the subject. They wind up just rehashing what others have already said, and often said better. Those are the posts that frustrate readers and send a clear "don't come back to this blog" signal. You don't want that. What you do want is to find a fun and thoughtful way to put your own spin on the news, to use it as a launchpad for a topic about which you do have something to say. Here's an example.
In her post, "What Women (and Men) Need to Toot "Their Own Horns," leadership strategist Roberta Matuson begins by referencing a provocative article that appeared in the New York Times the very same week about why there aren't more women CEOs. She quotes the article verbatim, citing the source, of course. Then, after sucking us in with a grabby headline from a top news source, she quickly pivots to the real task at hand: telling us what she knows about the subject. She begins by citing her own book, continues by sharing personal anecdotes, and concludes with her own strong opinion on the matter.
This is great because it's an original take on a proven or road-tested topic, one that has already been established as being of interest to the general public based on its publication by a major news organization. And it demonstrates Roberta's expertise and leadership. You can use this approach with less serious topics too. It's appropriate for posts of really any tone. I once wrote a humor piece called Dog Hair: The New Superfood. Medical researchers in Finland had just released a study saying that living with a dog or cat actually boosts babies' immune systems and makes them healthier, and everyone was chattering about this "of the moment" health news and whether it made sense or could be taken too far.
But I took a different tack. I was writing a lot about parenting issues at the time. I used the study as a a leaping-off point for a 600-word riff on maternal guilt. I confessed to being a far-from-perfect parent, admitted to allowing an infrequently bathed, ill-mannered animal to lick my kids' faces, and came clean, so to speak, about how good it feels as an anxious modern mother to have done something right for once. The post wound up being really popular. I heard from lots of readers who could relate and said it made them laugh and feel understood for a minute, which to me is the best thing a writer can hear.
If you want to delight your readers, try sifting through the latest topics and trends and see if you can find something that you can tackle with a fresh point of view. It'll show readers you're not only tapped into what's going on out there, but you've also got a unique perspective they can't get anywhere else.