Right now, a lot of people are starting on year-end opinion pieces to talk about some of the best (worst) things going on in their industry. Some, like Mashable, look for community feedback to give awards to companies or products from 2010. Others are doing posts about their best posts over the past year. Still others are posting round-ups about the best post they’ve read from other blogs over the year.
No matter which format you choose, creating some “best of 2010” posts can help increase your readership and build your brand. Let’s talk about how:
Someone who create a post talking about the best of something immediately position themselves as an authority on the subject. It says, “I’ve been following this industry extremely closely for at least a year.” It also tells the reader that you consider yourself to be expert enough on the topic that you can make judgment calls about what is “best” from 2010. Even if you open this to your readers for voting, you become an authority.
When you highlight others in your “best of” posts, you have an immediate link with them, allow you to create a relationship where their perhaps wasn’t in the past. You can email the person, DM them on Twitter, etc. to tell them that they’re on your “best of” list, or you can rely on your community to let them know if you have a big enough readership. Either way, people feel honored to be mentioned on others’ lists, so you could use this is the start of a strong relationship with other bloggers.
Ranking lists of any kind always cause a bit of a stir. The point of a “best of” list is to include the best, not to create a comprehensive list of everything that happened over the past year. Because some people, blogs, posts, events, etc. won’t be included, that opens things up for debate. Whenever you call something “best,” you’re giving a strong opinion, so be prepared for your readers to leave comments disagreeing with you!
Navigation for New Readers
“Best of” posts that link to your past content create awesome sneeze pages for new readers. It can be intimidating to start reading a blog, since you may feel like you’re swimming through the archives with no direction. A “best of” post gives new readers a place to start. “Ah, this is where I should start.”
People love to link to “best of” posts, promote these posts on social networking/bookmarking sites, and search for these posts via Google. If you create awesome content and are a little conscious of your keywords in the title and first paragraph, these posts can be awesome Google Juice. In other words, they can help increase your pagerank and boost your site’s search engine optimization. You shouldn’t write “best of” posts just to pull in search engine traffic, but it’s definitely awesome side effect.
Have you created a year-end “best of” post yet? If so, link to it in the comments!