Mythical beasts are, by their nature, hard to find – it’s their thing. And so are blog posts that take flight, and attract more readers than you’ve ever had before. I managed to find one last week – so what’s the secret behind that unicorn post?
Last week, it was the fifth anniversary of our big down-country move to Milton Keynes, so I wrote a blog post on what we love about our newly-adopted home. Then I did what I usually do – shared it on my business Facebook page, later on to my personal page, and tweeted it too, tagging in a few local organisations who I thought might be interested in seeing / using it. Little did I know that it would turn into my best-performing post EVER.
The first thing that happened was that my Mum to Mum MK client, Sam Poole, liked the post so much, she shared my original FB business page post into the Mum to Mum group. At over 16,000 members, the reach was always going to be more than my usual 70-100 views – but as more and more people started looking at it, reading and commenting, the higher the group exposure became. And because it was my original post that was shared, and not just the link, my page’s reach and engagement for this week has gone through the roof:
“Brilliant,” you may think, “but what good will this exposure do now the first flush of success is past?” Well, I’ve posted three further times to my business Facebook page this week, and the engagements have been more than THREE TIMES what they usually are. Which tells me that FB have taken note of last week’s success, and are showing my RLC Words posts to a much wider audience than they were 10 days ago. Long may it continue.
The other amazing thing that happened was that Destination Milton Keynes – an organisation with a Facebook page following of over 19,000 – also got hold of my blog post, and shared it on their page. Now, even though they didn’t share the original post from my RLC Words account, the effects have been hugely important – because this promotion, taken alongside all of the readers I garnered from the likes and shares of the original, has catapulted my website views this month into the thousands.
This, too, seems little more than a nice boost to the old ego – until you try a little Google of some key words people might use to search for services such as yours. I did that this week, and discovered that my business, RLC Words, is now ninth in the list of purveyors of my craft. Eighteen months ago, when I started, I was on page 8 of these same Google results.
That astronomic ascent of the charts isn’t all down to this one post. I’m hoping that my regular blogging and updates to the site, use of keywords, alt text on images, and all of the other Dark Arts of SEO that we are taught, have had an effect as well. But having an injection of over 1000 more readers than I usually get in one day must have played a pretty strong part as well.
So what’s the magic formula? What was it about this post that allowed it to carve such a niche, and bring about this stats explosion? I think, in this case, it was a perfect storm of two factors:
The topic appeals to a broad demographic. My usual audience fall into three general categories, depending on the post – small businesses, parents, parents who run small businesses. With this post, I was appealing to anyone who has ever lived in Milton Keynes; is planning to live in Milton Keynes; has heard this about Milton Keynes but never been. And this covers MUCH broader demographics than I usually do.
Conclusion 1: if you can fix upon a topic that has broad appeal, that sparks interest in a wide demographic, or that a broad spectrum of people feel they can relate to, then that has potential to be the big one.
Sharing the post with organisations with big followings, who had shared interest in the topic I was writing about was key. Sam Poole knew that the post had the potential to appeal to a lot of her members, so she shared it into her group – same for Destination MK. The goal of people with a big following this is to find material that creates interest and activity within their brands, and if something crops up that fits with their usual stuff, you may get a share out of it .
Conclusion 2: if you can supply content that community organisations or big businesses might be interested in sharing, it’s worth the tag – just in case!
Unicorn blog posts like this are so rare, and so unpredictable. I can think of several I’ve written that I thought would fly, but didn’t. Pieces that hit such a broad demographic, and that are also of interest to larger organisations are hard to come by, and I think I’m going to struggle to come up with another one any time soon. But in the meantime, I will take what I’ve learned, bask in the increased exposure, and enjoy the benefits of greater FB reach – for now!
If you’d like to start blogging for your business – for all of these benefits and more – have a look at my Blogging Starter Pack. It’s got everything you need to know about planning, writing and sharing posts, plus consultation time and proofreading from me: RLC Words Blogging Starter Pack