It become apparent to me over the weekend that I was definitely losing the battle for control of my yard to the weeds. Even though weeds aren’t the most welcomed or popular things to appear in a yard, it got me thinking about how in essence we want our messages and blogs to spread like those pesky backyard bandits.
This is one such strategy based on the weed that was my favorite as a child.
Weed Or Flower?
Like most kids, I never realized that the dandelions around the yard were weeds. I just knew they looked pretty and when you blew on them they exploded into the floating, feather-like stems. What I also didn’t realize was that each stem was a seed and would sprout another dandelion, making the dandelion the most beautiful yard virus of all.
There’s a lot to learn about blogging from the infamous dandelion.
Now, stick with me through this analogy because I don’t want you coming away thinking that you should frame your blog like an annoying weed. To fully understand where I’m going with this, let’s look at some of the characteristics of the dandelion.
- Not Spreadable At First – Dandelions don’t start life throwing their seeds every which way into the yard. There’s a gestation period during which the stalk grows high enough to make sure when a breeze catches the seeds, they can make it to their destinations. In the same way, make sure you spend the time to grow your blogging skills and platform before you start throwing your seeds at everyone.
- Appealing – Whatever you may think of the actual plant, it’s hard to deny that the dandelion is attractive. It’s non-threatening so animals will interact with it and carry it’s seeds throughout nature. Site appearance isn’t everything, but if your blog is hard to read or navigate no one will spend enough time interacting with you to connect with your ideas and spread them so you’ll have failed before you even begin.
- Spread Easily – Have you ever seen how easy it is to disperse a dandelion’s stems? Sometimes simply a medium-strength gust of wind can send them spiraling into the world. That happens because they are constructed in such a way to not only catch fur, but also air. Your messages should be carefully crafted as to be able to be spread as easily as possible. There should also be adequate sharing options on your page. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to Tweet an article and not having a Tweet button to click.
I know it sounds like a lot is going to go into creating and crafting the ideas for your posts. That’s exactly how it should sound. When you create a blogging strategy, make sure to build in time for blog gestation, idea development and sharecrafting.
What’s “sharecrafting” you ask? Sharecrafting is the process of creating your ideas (seeds) in a way so they’re as easily distributable as dandelion stems. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when sharecrafting:
- KISS – Most of you have seen this. Keep It Simple, Stupid. It applies to sharecrafting perfectly. It’s SO much easier to share one well-defined idea as opposed to 12 bullet-point topic lists. Boil down your ideas to the main ideas and even split some posts into series. You’ll get more mileage from them AND make them more share-able. It’s a win-win.
- Short – Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it’s also the heart of sharecrafting. You may have created an elevator pitch for your profession or passion, but get into the habit of creating them for the main point of each blog post. If you can’t get the point across in one breath and 30 seconds, think about whittling it down some.
- Interesting – This one can’t be overlooked. If you put out a well-crafted idea that’s boring crap, it won’t get shared. Period.
Dandelions are so prevalent because of how easily their seeds are dispersed. Your goal in this game is to craft your ideas in a way that they can be easily picked up, carried and spread.
It’s also important to note that dandelion seeds are pretty recognizable. Make sure to build your Digital Personality into your ideas so there’s no question about where they came from. Leave your mark wherever your ideas may land.
What type of ideas do you think are the easiest to sharecraft? Do you have favorite bloggers who are great at this practice? Who are they?