This Is The Blog That Every Radio Station Should Emulate
February 2, 2016
As radio stations look to launch or refine their blog as part of a Content Marketing strategy, they should look to Alan Cross' A Journal of Musical Things! for inspiration. Cross, a Canadian broadcaster, podcaster, and music writer, produces a daily blog that highlights weird, wonderful, and wacky music news from around the world.
Here are four things he does with his blog that your radio station should also do:
1. He Finds Great Content.
Often, writers fall into the trap of thinking that every blogpost needs to be entirely original. While everything Cross writes is his own, most of his posts are a summary of and reaction to something that he finds elsewhere. Whether he's discussing Beats headphones, Michael Jackson conspiracy theories, or David Bowie's unaired 60 Minutes interviews, the impetus for his blogposts comes from outside of his own head. What makes the blog so enthralling is that he is so adept at finding cool stuff. He's a curator: he seeks out fascinating content from around the web and pulls it all into one convenient place.
2. He Repurposes That Content With Engaging Summaries.
Notice that Cross' blogposts usually aren't very long, often contain an excerpt from the original source, and end with a link to the original source for people who want more information. When he finds an interesting video, he embeds it directly on his website with accompanying text. This allows him to use other people's content to drive traffic to his website. Radio stations would be wise to adopt the same strategy.
3. He Crafts Compelling Headlines.
As I work with broadcasters around the country, one way in which nearly every radio station could improve its blog is by writing better headlines. They could learn a lot by studying Cross' blogpost titles. Here are some examples:
- Who is Louder: Lemmy or Justin Bieber? (Warning: Trick Question)
- Spotify Reveals the 25 Best Songs for Sex
- A Gallery of Awkward Album Covers from Christian Musicians
On the one hand, each headline tells you exactly what to expect when you click on a link to the article. They don't assume that the reader has any other contextual information, so the headlines make sense even if they pop up between photos of your friends' kids in your Facebook newsfeed. The headlines include all of the appropriate keywords to tell both humans and search engines what the articles are about ("Lemmy," "Bieber," "Spotify," "Sex," "Songs," "Album Covers," "Christians").
And yet, these titles don't give so much away so much that you don't need to click on the link. They leave you wanting more. Admit it, you want to know what the best sex songs are, don't you?
4. He Publishes Several Articles Every Day.
Cross usually publishes five to ten posts each day. While that sounds like a lot, keep in mind that most of these articles are brief, making it manageable. The important thing is that he's consistent about it. This rewards people (like me) who check his site on a daily basis, but it also increases his blog's rankings in search engines like Google. Search engines love sites that consistently produce new content. If you want your station's blog to see more incoming traffic from search engines, aim to publish at least three blogposts per day.
When trying to hone your skills, it always helps to have a role model. Spend some time with A Journal of Musical Things! and take note of the blog's strengths. There's a lot to be learned from Cross' example.