Is Your Blog Successful? – A Closer Look at the Anatomy of a Blog

Featured here are 5 blogs that stood out to me when I went on a hunt to find interesting blogs. Some are more successful than others. I will attempt to show you why in my breakdown below: 

Questions I will answer:

 

  • What is its purpose?
  • What makes it unique?
  • How does it reflect the brand?
  • What drives traffic to the blog and gets people to read? Does it use Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)? Does it have links to the brand’s other channels (social media, etc)?
  • Is it a successful blog? What’s missing, if anything?
    • “New posts are published often…they create original content…they make it easy for your to subscribe to their content, and share it…longevity”, links to their social media and widgets embedded in blog.
  • Are there advertisers? If not, who are some potential advertisers?

 

A21Campaign

  • This type of blog would be classified as semi-professional. Posts are not frequent enough to be considered professional. It is difficult to determine how many authors are contributing because they do not mention any names.
  • The purpose of this blog is to educate people about human trafficking worldwide and inspire involvement to help bring it to an end. 
  • It is unique because it is an extension of the nonprofit organization’s website where people can see what others are doing around the world to help raise money to fight human trafficking. People can ask questions and offer input on the topic. There are also inspiring stories.
  • This blog reflects the brand as a place to get involved. They feature stories about people getting involved all over the world and have clearly visible links to donate money. 
  • If you know to search the name A21, you will find the A21 website towards the top of the search. If you searched for “human trafficking”, you would find it towards the middle of the first page. Because there is a fair amount of content on human trafficking, the search engine results reflect. They utilize a little bit of Integrated Marketing Communication. On their website, you can sign up for their email list and RSS feed and connect with them through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube buttons. From the blog, you can share content on Facebook and Twitter. I think people read the blog because it’s a terrifying topic and anyone can be affected. People want to be informed, get involved and receive updates on the progress. Christine Caine is the founder and appears for speaking engagements around the world (predominantly at churches). She has also written a book. She speaks about her story but also mentions the A21 Campaign and tells people how they can get involved.
  • The fact that they offer multiple ways to connect, they create original content (campaigns), clearly show how to subscribe and share, and have obviously made a commitment to continue to post new relevant information, I would say that this is a successful blog. The only thing I would recommend is that they add a widget to stream Christine Caine’s Twitter feed. She is the founder and a huge inspiration. She overcame a terrible past where she was a victim of sexual abuse and now helps to free people from slavery (of many forms) and helps to lift them up out of the darkness. She should either be contributing to the blog or have some sort of presence in my opinion.
  • There aren’t any advertisers on this blog and I don’t know if it would be appropriate to have any on this particular blog. If they did have some, I could possibly see ads for mental and physical health or self defense programs and supplies. 

 

Dunkin Donuts – Behind the Beans

  • This blog is a semi-professional blog. Although there are many contributors, they do not post several times per day. They seem to post about one to two times per week.
  • The purpose of this blog is to have fun while featuring Dunkin Donuts’ (DD) products and to inform customers of new things DD is doing.
  • This blog is unique because it is saturated with everything DD. They even offer some recipes using different products.
  • It reflects the brand well because it IS all about the brand. They have short posts with images on every product they offer.
  • I think curiosity drives traffic to the blog from the website. They highlight it at the bottom of their website, which is easily found in a search engine. People would most likely be interested in reading a little bit because there are some clever product images. Dunkin Donuts does really well with IMC. They have physical locations, they run TV ads, they have a smartphone app, email newsletter, merchandise, and they link their website to all of their social media channels. They show some how-to videos on YouTube for featuring recipes. They even recently started creating Vine videos.
  • In my opinion, it is not a successful blog. A successful blog should have many features, including a way to subscribe. I didn’t see that anywhere on the blog. They must have also turned off comments because the posts are all just one-sided posts. The inability for reply comments is a mistake because they are missing out on great customer engagement. They have created a lot of original content and there are share buttons present under each post but they do not show links to visit their own social media channels from the blog. They are also way too focused on themselves. They need much more interesting content. There is a ton of potential as far as content. I think they just wanted to post about each product so it would help with the old school search engine optimization tricks. Someone needs to tell their social media specialists that content is more important than key words.
  • They do not have any advertisers present on the blog. Because they are so deeply Dunkin, I really don’t see that ever happening. This blog runs on Dunkin!

 

 

 

Parents

  • This is a professional blog. You will find 17 different blogs with multiple authors, covering a variety of topics. Articles are posted very frequently throughout the day.
  • This blog is unique because it features so many different blogs. They offer loads of information as a great resource, blogs for parents to connect and feel like they are part of a supportive community, and blogs to highlight the everyday humor associated with raising children.
  • It reflects the brand because all of the content they share is relevant to parents. This is consistent with their magazine and their website. They are a great resource for everything associated with raising children.
  • As people search for information, craft ideas, or almost anything related to kids, the Parents website appears on the first page in the search results. The website is very easy and pleasant to navigate and new blogs are featured on the main page of the website. You can’t help but see that they have a blog. With all of the new content they post throughout the day, something is bound to catch the visitor’s eye. Parents does a great job with IMC. They have print magazines and digital magazines, newsletters, website, blogs, tablet and smartphone apps, clearly visible links to all of their social media and connect buttons, and they have a magazine in nearly any pediatrician you might visit.
  • This blog has absolutely everything that makes up a successful blog and it is carried out seamlessly. They have an enormous amount of fresh, new content, links to their social sites, the ability to easily subscribe to their content and share it, longevity, and they create plenty of original content. I cannot find one thing that is missing from this blog.
  • The advertisers on the blog are definitely appropriate. They have companies like General Mills advertising cereal, Bisquick advertising breakfast and snack food, Children’s Place advertising clothes, prenatal vitamins, pumpkin carving kits, and much more. All are very relevant.

 

 

 

 

 

Stonyfield Organic

  • This is a semi-professional blog. It has multiple authors but they do not post throughout the day. They do however post nearly every day.
  • This blog is unique because the brand offers some great information on organic products and processes. They give a great deal of information about farming. They try to bring the content full circle, from the earth, to farming, to cows, to cup.
  • It reflects the brand well because they post content on all areas of organic, healthy living. They give tips on gardening and show the differences and benefits in organic living. They have information on sustainability, cooking, family, and much more.
  • People are very concerned with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) these days. This blog clearly does a great job showing the differences between natural and organic. The content they produce brings their website to the top of the page when searching for organic yogurt. People are driven to the blog because Stonyfield has so much information on pesticide-free living and the blog is an extension of of their list of resources. The blog link appears in the menu bar and is easy to find. Once on the blog, the visitor is greeted with attractive images. They do well with IMC. They sell their products in grocery stores and offer exclusive coupons to many of these stores, they have newsletters, their website and blog, links to their social media, and videos from their farms.
  • They seem to cover all the bases for a very successful blog. They have widgets on the right side of the blog with rotating image links to connect with them through social media in addition to connect buttons at the top and bottom of the page. It’s clear to see how to subscribe to their blog and newsletter and how to share their content. They publish new, relevant content often, and show a commitment to continuing their practices. They also create their own original content, as evident through a new eBook they’ve recently published.
  • There are no advertisers on this blog. Because they are a brand that sells specific products, the advertisers would have to come from areas that wouldn’t compete. For example, since this is an organic brand and most people who choose it are health conscious, advertisers could come from areas of health, fitness, recreation, and home and garden. I could potentially see Runners World, GNC, REI, or Lowes.

Sesame Street

  •  This is a semi-professional blog. It has two main authors and they post about once per week.
  • This blog is unique because they have a whole section for blog movies. You absolutely MUST see what I mean and follow the link. Scroll down and watch any of the blog movies in the Handy Man section. It does not disappoint!
  • The Sesame Street brand is reflected well in the blog. They have so many neat videos for preschoolers to watch in the video blog section. It is a place where you can go to be entertained.
  • As a place to find plenty of resources for preschoolers, the website appears high in search results. However, the blog is not clearly visible from their homepage. You have to know to click on the link at the top left that says FOR PARENTS. From there, you will find a list of recent blog posts. As an adult, I don’t think there’s really much to read about. It seems as though their goal is to entertain. The authors discuss their inspiration for new show ideas as well. Sesame Street can be found on many different platforms and does well with IMC. They have the TV show, movies, music, games, theater performances, books and merchandise, and smartphone and tablet apps.
  • There are a few areas where I feel they are lacking, making it an unsuccessful blog. There is an area to write to them but they don’t allow for comments. They occasionally post replies to certain articles if someone writes in. Since they focus on offering content for entertaining, they must not feel like this is where they want feedback. It looks like they made the effort to keep the 2-way conversation separate from this blog. I think they need to post more new content on relevant topics. They do well with stories and videos but they could offer more information to keep parents reading. If you want to share their content, your only option is email. They don’t have any social share options. The only area where they have done well is in creating original content.
  • Some of the advertiser are United Healthcare, Part City, WebMD, PNC, Beaches and EarthsBest. These are all relevant to their market.
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