Live in America the first two weeks of February, and you’ll see more than one kind of heart: heart-shaped plates, heart-covered cards, delicious pizzas shaped like hearts, boxes of candy hearts, and (of course) heart boxes of candy.
Blog posts have hearts too, but it’s important to remember in even the most romantic of seasons that a good blog post has more than just heart. The best blogs have bodies. While others keep just hearts top-of-mind, let’s dissect what else makes an influencer’s post whole.
Titles are the Eyes
You lock eyes with a Title across the web, deciding to traverse the crowded dinner party that is the internet to see what this stranger is all about. The title of an influencer’s post pulls in readers and invites them to learn more. This blogger keeps their titular glance short & sweet. As a reader, I think, “Why, yes. I do love chocolate raspberries, and I’d be more than happy to read on.”
The Disclosure, an Outstretched Hand
Honesty. Honesty. Honesty. The disclosure at the top of a blog post is the offer of a wholesome handshake, the promise of a scout’s honor salute. When a blog is sponsored by a brand, there is only one thing to do with that information: share it. The FTC requires this, but readers also appreciate they are reading from a forthcoming character–someone who doesn’t keep secrets. This influencer began their story by disclosing they have been compensated. When a blog post begins with honesty, a reader’s trust can only grow.
Blogger’s Words are the Body & the Brain
An influencer’s words hold the power to warp your experience. A catchy title hooks you in, a disclosure gains your trust, then the text guides you on your adventure. Here, the influencer welcomes her audience into her home. She’s making a sweet treat for her betrothed, and we’re with her in the kitchen, gossiping about plans of our own. She’s recommending we send two cards to the person we love most, and that we make this same dessert as a secret treat for ourselves. As readers, we’re thinking, “I could do that; I will do that.”
An audience’s imagination is enabled by what they read. A reader’s ability to transpose an influencer’s experience onto their own, deciding to make the same dessert, buy the same cards, and live out the same story is impossible without words. The text of a post feeds, clothes, and houses the reader’s imagination.
Links are the Legs
An influencer post without links hibernates, having found a small grotto in the web to call home. Give an influencer post links, however, and the post can carry a reader to new places. Links push a post beyond the initial story to product pages, limited-time offers, and other social spaces that tell a story. A blog post with links is a blog post going somewhere, and these post links takes us to the steps of an American Greetings Gala where cards are $1 off.
Photos are Big Toes
Photos ground the reader in an influencer’s journey. Without them, the reader might lose their balance. Worse, they may lose interest. Photos and big toes function one in the same, rooting the body and giving readers a point of reference. This Influencer doesn’t just tell us she bought cards; she shows us the aisle where we can find them. Her audience isn’t left wondering what those raspberries must have looked like; they can see the chocolate-filled fruits for themselves.
All Lovable Posts Need Heart
As much as I harped on the need for more than just heart, no true full-bodied post is completely pulseless, and the pulse of every post is the person behind it. Our influencers pump life into the stories they share. Here, Giustina lets us in on her Valentine’s Day plans. In other cases, influencers share how they coped when they brought their first baby home, how they honor their late dad’s service to our country, how they manage to share a family meal every night.
A good influencer is not some peddler at a mall kiosk. They are a storyteller and a friend, brave enough to be vulnerable and share their experiences with their readers. Sometimes it’s a deal on a Valentine’s Day card, and sometimes it’s an old family recipe. But no matter the content, a good influencer blog post is about the real life of the person behind it. In the end, that’s the heart. That is why we keep coming back; that’s the good stuff.
To see the blogger’s full post, visit her blog here.