If you’re still catching up after the festive holiday and your business blog is looking whiskery, consider asking a contact to write a piece for you – as a guest.
Traditional media do a lot of guest editing and article swapping in that no man’s land between Christmas and the New Year – the very quiet week when everyone is digesting different configurations of turkey and dried fruit.
The supply of news stories dwindles and journalists are left wondering how to fill to their schedules with content.
Start a content swap shop.
During that week I found myself listlessly browsing Twitter. It was the only exercise I could manage, hemmed in as I was, by roast turkey, turkey pie and three cauldrons of turkey stock.
During one of these sofa sessions, I came across ‘No One’s Watching Week’ – a title conjured up by a group of publications including Atlas Obscura, New Republic, Popular Mechanics and The Paris Review. As they pointed out, the Christmas / New Year period is the time when readers are ‘away and your tireless editors have run amok’. On that basis they decided to swap content that ‘may be too out there for any other week in 2015’.
The serendipity from a swap.
The good thing about swapping content is that it:
- saves you, or your content producers, creative time;
- gives your readers a moment of serendipity.
Because, if your readers are anything like me, they will discover new subjects and writers that take them delightfully by surprise.
And this is how I found myself reading an article about a craze in 1960s America for subversive colouring books. As Laura Marsh, a New Republic associate editor puts it, they were like ‘specialised political cartoons’ that ridiculed ‘pill-popping executives, hipsters, communist-hunters, and conspiracy theorists’.
I recommend the whole article, but here’s a taster, from ‘The Executive Coloring Book’. This features illustrations of a business man as he works his way through the day. Captions include: ‘This is my suit. Color it gray or I will lose my job,’ and ‘This is my train. It takes me to my office every day. You meet lots of interesting people on the train. Color them all gray.’
Be my guest.
A different example, taken from the UK broadcasting world, is BBC Radio 4’s Today news programme. It has a long tradition of appointing guest editors for its festive programmes. The latest batch included the Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins and the actor, Michael Sheen.
As a listener, I like this editorial diversion. It’s refreshing to see the world of news from a completely different perspective.
A change is as good as a rest.
So why not give your content team a break and invite other people in as occasional guest bloggers or editors? It gives you and your team a rest and your readers a bit of a change. They’ll be back for more.
Stumped for ideas? Let me help.
This is part of a series which helps you or your content producers to keep your business blog going – through thick and through the ‘thins’ created by holidays, staff sickness or writer’s block.
You can catch up with other instalments in the links below: