It was the first time I watched the hit TV show – Glee. Actually, the tv had been left on the channel from a previous show and I was too lazy to stretch for the remote. Fifteen minutes into the episode one of the characters sung “Telephone”, Lady Gaga’s uber-popular hit. That caught my attention because I had Gaga on the brain for a couple of weeks. You see I was looking for a way to lure some Lady Gaga Fans to Pushing Social.
Sounds absurd right? Why would I care about Lady Gaga fans?
I wanted Gaga fans because they had a few characteristics I looked for in an ideal reader, namely Monsters love to tweet and participate on social networks. They had propelled Gaga’s career and I thought there were a fair amount of bloggers among them.
And, for some reason, while watching Glee, something clicked. I started writing and didn’t stop for 2 hours. The result was Lady Lady Gaga’s 8-Point Guide to Larger than Life Blogging. It was an instant hit. In fact, I credit this blog post for putting Pushing Social on the blogging map.
The Gaga post is what I call and Fan Transfer Post. It’s an open and sincere attempt to invite someone else’s audience to my party. I wish I could say it was my invention but I picked up on the trick from Copyblogger who has elevated the Fan Transfer Post to an art-form.
Today, we’ll talk about how to use the Fan Transfer Post to attract a new audience to your blog.
Why You Should Write A Fan Transfer Post
Fan Transfers posts are a great change of pace for any blog. Over time your audience will get bored with How-To and List posts. Adding this new post type will help shake up your audience and give them something they didn’t expect.
Fan Transfer posts also strengthen your writing skills because you’ll need to integrate research, story-telling, and quotes into your post. I found myself reviewing Rolling Stone articles to learn the right feel for my Lady Gaga post. I’ve reused what I learned successfully for other posts.
Most of all, Fan Transfer posts attract new readers with different viewpoints and audiences. My theory about Lady Gaga fan’s knack for spreading the word and commenting was correct. Gaga fans viewed the post 3,400 times, received 191 retweets and had 59 comments. Not bad for a blog that was only 2 months old.
How to Write a Fan Transfer Post
Although Fan Transfer Posts are challenging to write, their benefits easily outweigh the extra time invested. Here’s how to get started –
1. Select A Popular Personality, Event, or Topic
Stay up one evening and watch a late-night comedy show like Conan. Usually their opening monologue offer excellent clues to what’s interesting in the news. A quick scan of the grocery aisle magazine rack is helpful too. Be careful here though. Although I was tempted to write a Whitney Houston post, some subjects are too sensitive (or crass) to use. If you cringe then it’s a good sign that your audience will too.
2. Identify Transferable Themes and Lessons
This step requires some research. What you are looking for are principles that can be extracted from your target subject and applied to your niche. Thankfully, the music business has many transferable concepts like selling singles (blog post promotion), getting opening acts (guest posting), and so on. You’ll want to pull similar concepts.
3. Dig Deep for Unique Facts
When I wrote the Lady Gaga post I had a few weeks of research to pull from. I had Rolling Stone articles, YouTube videos (the infamous Yankee’s fan middle-finger), and interviews to dig through. I used these sources to paint a back-story that added depth to the post. This was important because I wanted to be a credible resource to Gaga’s fans. They wouldn’t settle for stuff they already knew, they wanted new information and connections they hadn’t seen before.
4. Make Solid Connections
It pays to have a critical eye and kill a post if you can’t make it work. Failing to make good one-to-one comparisons with your subject and your topic is The worse mistake you can make with Fan Transfer posts. I learned this the hard way with a post about Tim McGraw. It bombed. Country singing and blogging didn’t mix or at least I couldn’t fit them together. As a general rule, I look for three solid connections.
5. Write the Right Headline
Simple tip here; put the name of your target in the title of the headline. Along with the name include a straight-forward benefit that reader will get from reading your post. This headline format will get your post in front of people who use automated tools to search and compile articles on your target.
Can You Do This?
Give the Fan Transfer Post a try for your blog. When you publish it tell me about it in the comments. Of course, let me know if you have any questions too.