We've been big advocates of using content marketing as a strategy for radio stations looking to increase traffic to their websites. Of course, content marketing requires that radio stations create original content. This content can take many forms, including videos and podcasts, but one of the easiest to create is blogposts.
Many of us got into the radio broadcasting business because we enjoy the art of speaking, not necessarily the art of writing. When we sit in front of a blank computer screen and are instructed to write, we can find ourselves suffering from a sever case of writer's block. One method to help radio station staffers tackle their writer's block is to use blog topic formulas. These are repeatable formulas that can be used to produce a new and different blogpost every time.
I published a list of blog topic formulas for radio stations a few years ago, and it is consistently one of our most downloaded resources. Unfortunately, these formulas were written for a different time. Most of us can't write concerts reviews or a list of things to do around town this weekend during the COVID-19 pandemic. We're going to have to find some new blog topic formulas if we want to keep pumping out content.
Here are some ideas that are better suited to our current situation:
- How to ______ During the Pandemic: The pandemic has changed the way we do numerous things in our everyday lives. If you've discovered tricks to engaging in some of your favorite activities, share it with you listeners in a blogpost. For example, “How to Host a Cocktail Party with Your Friends” or “How to Play Pictionary on Zoom.”
- Local Business Spotlight: Local businesses are hurting during the pandemic. Your station can support them with its blog. Send a list of questions to a local business owner and ask them to include photos with their reply. Publish this as a written Q&A in your blog. You'll generate shareable content and goodwill in the local community. You may want to highlight a specific type of businesses that fits with your station's brand, such as restaurants, breweries, or animal shelters.
- Local Individual Spotlight: You can also use this written Q&A format to highlight individuals, such as local musicians, artists, or teachers.
- TV Recaps: We're all streaming more video that we used to, and with so much bingeable television, we love to talk about it. Find a series you love, like Lovecraft Country, Picard, or Cobra Kai, and write episode recaps in which you offer all of your precious insights and fan theories. You can do this with podcasts, too.
- Lessons for Kids: Many parents are trying to cope with kids who are distance learning. Your station can help this situation — or at least parody it — by offering lessons for kids. For example, you could create lessons like “Grunge 101” or “The History of G-Funk.”
- Shownotes: When podcasters publish new episodes, they are usually accompanied by “shownotes” webpages. Radio DJs — especially the hosts of morning shows or specialty shows — can adopt this practice. Here's how.
- Good News: Actor John Krasinski attracted a lot of attention early in the pandemic by making videos that focused on spreading good news. DJs can create similar content with a local focus.
- Get Nostalgic: During the pandemic, many of us are finding time to finally delve into those things that have lingered on our To Do Lists forever. Use this opportunity to invite your listeners to join you in this. For example, pick a classic album and write a deep-dive review on it. Example: “10 Things You Didn't Know About Peter Gabriel's So.” You can write nostalgic content about just about any facet of pop culture, from clothing to movies to cars.
We've seen the pandemic exacerbate many of society's underlying ailments, and while writer's block may not be the most serious of these issues, it's enough to ruin the day of any DJ struggling to blog. A few solid blog topic formulas can go a long way towards relieving that pain.
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