Digital Transcendence: The Recipe that Will Give Your Blog an Afterlife
Posted by aaronswrite
Consider all the ingredients that come together and make up the food we eat. There are endless possibilities to what pastries could be made from a bit of flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and whatever else you might find in your pantry. Cakes, cookies, muffins, sweet breads, donuts, and pies all have thousands of different varieties and can be made using techniques that differ among cultures and traditions.
Now that your mouth is watering and your stomach growling, take a moment to think about how and why you know what they are and how they’re made. As humans, we need to eat. As communities, we have limitations on the availability of ingredients. As a culture, we have foods that have become a tradition. As a country founded and built by immigrants, we have been imbued with the culinary wisdom of dozens of cultures with centuries of experience.
These foods have persisted through the ages because of a singular social construct: the recipe.
Recipes transcend their creators. They are more than ink and paper. They have their own past, their own present, and their own future. Recipes live on because of their importance in the minds of those who’ve made it, those who’ve eaten it, and those who’ve taught the recipes to others.
Like recipes, all the bits of information, ideas, and values that define us will live on in the minds of those around us and those to come. In Superconnected, Mary Chayko writes that “all social connections and groupings, including those that originate face-to-face, exist in their most complete form in the minds of their members.”
The knowledge we have curated in our lifetime can be passed on through our interconnectedness and be given a life of its own. Here are a few observations on what we can do to make our blogs as consumable and memorable as grandma’s thanksgiving pies:
What is accessible to your audience?
What good is a recipe if you don’t have all the ingredients? Likewise, what good is the information you’re sharing with your audience if they lack the background knowledge to give it the proper context?
Hubspot’s blog on knowing your audience recommends monitoring audience feedback. Analyze how people are responding to your content to gauge their understanding. If the only thing people have are questions about the flux capacitor, then you know you need to edit your blog and add in some helpful notes from Doc Brown.
What does your audience really want?
There’s only one reason a recipe can disappear from existence—no one wants it. Create a recipe for chocolate chip salmon tarts and see how long it lasts. Similarly, the information you share will have to fall into two main categories:
Something familiar: Whether it’s a reliably fruitful experience or a quick answer to a quick question, some audiences know what they want and expect to find it on your page.
Something new and exciting: Audiences are often reading and researching to learn new things or to find inspiration that will bring them out of a rut.
You can prepare your audience for what kind of content you’re giving them in your page title. It can either be a “This is how it’s done” title or a “What if you try this” title.
Always add flavor.
Whether for good or bad, both food and knowledge are memorable for their unique qualities. Find a way to make your words resonates in your audience’s mind after they read it. Maybe it’s a good pun, a line of wisdom, or the perfect chart that illustrates an idea.
Your audience may not remember you or the name of your blog, but if the knowledge you share transcends the page and finds a place in their memory, you have come a step closer to bringing something immortal into the universe.
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