April 7, 2016

How criminals can teach us to blog


A lot of writing time can be spent staring either at a blinking cursor or at a poised nib hovering over a pearly sea of nothingness. And, of course, ‘procrasti-baking’ is always a good time-filler, right? So when you think there’s nothing going on, what is there to blog about?

In this article, we’re going to tell you where to get ideas. Find out how current news stories can be used to create topical and relational blog content that catches the eyes of your customers.

Stories that engage a wide audience

News recently broke of a Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, being subject to a leak of documents revealing the secret financial dealings of some of the world’s richest people. Mossack Fonseca created shell companies to hide financial assets. High-profile people connected, directly and indirectly, include Iceland’s prime minister, David Cameron’s father and Wilson Security.

After the Mossack Fonseca story broke, Triple J’s The Hack took advantage and immediately published a blog about setting up a shell company in ten minutes.

Triple J's Hack story in response to Mossack Fonseca story

Relating the news to a blog

Most businesses have a blog (and if you don’t, you should). It’s a place to post articles you’ve written that relate to your industry. Artists have blogs, as do foodies and cats. But the most successful blogs feature two things that set them apart:

  1. they follow and adapt to current trends
  2. they relate topical events back to their industry in a meaningful way.

Hack is a commentator on culture so its post didn’t seem odd. Instead it sparked debate. By keeping on top of the news, Hack was able to effectively take advantage of a current trend and suddenly they have great content.

What to do now about your blog

Follow current trends. Look around you: “What’s getting attention, and how can I make it into something new and specific to my industry?” As explained above, The Hack took a topic and appropriated it into a satirical piece. That’s blog content on a platter, right there.

Capturing current trends in a blog is about being newsworthy, topical and, most importantly, relational. You must:

  •  keep an eye on the news
  •  be proactive about commenting when something relevant to your industry comes up
  • take advantage of events that make content exciting to show you’re on the pulse.

By doing this, you can generate great blog topic ideas when stuck, all the while showcasing authority – a win-win. When doing so, just be careful of gimmicky writing that lacks a genuine, educated and informative voice. Make whatever you’re connecting with your industry meaningful, otherwise it will appear incongruous. Be neat, be quick, be kind and be relational.

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