Blogging has flipped both the marketing and advertising industry upside down over the last few years. According to BlogHer, “81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice that they receive from blogs.” The reason behind this is simple: when a blogger shares their experiences with their readers, it is authentic and usually based on a deep and meaningful relationship. Loyal readers connect with their favorite bloggers more than once daily, follow them across all social media outlets, and still can’t get enough of them. Successful bloggers are in tune with their audience’s wants and needs, and they deliver those things consistently. Talented bloggers view each post as a chance to strengthen the relationship with their audience. No wonder bloggers connect to potential customers in ways that can’t be done with traditional advertising and marketing.

When I think of brands that exude authenticity and depth, I think of India.Arie. When we listen to her content (songs) we feel like we are conversing with an old, wise friend. We know she is good for us. We leave her music feeling connected and empowered, but only temporarily. Since we get so much from her work, we keep coming back for more and more. Her content adds to our day, mood, etc… I am sure traditional marketing and advertising plays its part in her success. However India.Arie’s brand reflects substance, consistency and trustworthiness. Therefore, let’s use India.Arie as our inspiration as we add depth to our own blogs.

1. Make A Video Trailer

India.Arie’s song “Video” is still perhaps her most famous song. “Video” received strong radio and club play in 2001. “Video” was unique and different. It made such a splash, India was able to get played and accepted in places that traditional soul singers weren’t always accepted. Creating your own short video trailer for your blog can give similar perks. Giving people a visual representation of your blog will definitely attract more viewers, help with SEO, and give your audience more of you and your products and/or services. I call that substance.

A trailer is a short 3-5 minute video that introduces the viewer to your site. The video should be a strong reflection of your brand and should showcase the work you have already done. The best trailers also feature insight into the brand’s overall mission and vision. Show off products or services. Also, be sure to end with a call to action. Click here to see my sample blog trailer.

Adding a trailer to your blog is unique and different. I am sure after watching, your readers will feel more connected to you and keep coming back for more.

2. Get Your Foot(er) Game Up.

Have you seen India.Arie’s shoe game?!? Look at these boots. More than that, have you seen the footer on her website? Her footer contains a link to social networking safety tips for parents and youth. India.Arie’s foot(er) game is on fleek.

The footer is often underdeveloped on many blogs. Statistics say that only 20% of people who look at websites actually look below the fold. Perhaps that is why 80% of websites offer less below the fold than they should. If someone makes it to the bottom of the page, there should be something there to re-engage them. Here are some good questions to ask yourself as you decide what to put in your footer

Does the footer provide high-value links that will re-engage the reader towards the end of their visit?
Does the footer provide a chance to strengthen your connection with your reader, either via social media or your email list later? Does the footer build the site’s credibility by showing the copyright, contact information, terms of use and/or disclaimers? By adding links that re-engage your reader in the footer, you enhance the time that they stay on your site. The more content a viewer experiences, the lower your bounce rate is.

3. Uplift others

India.Arie actually finds time to keep a blog (Journal). While she doesn’t post as consistently as I recommend you should, she does post. One thing I noticed while studying her blog is that her posts are always uplifting other people. Whether she is defending Zendaya or speaking her mind on colorism in Hollywood, it is all uplifting.

If you want to keep other people engaged on your blog, don’t make it all about you. Share your platform with other people and causes, especially things that directly affect your audience. Uplifting others is always relevant. It is also a great way to become a part of larger conversations in things directly related to your niche.

 

Please don’t forget to check out my new book Vegan Curious