Everyone goes to a blogging conference with the intention of walking away with some great tips, sounds blogging advice, and if we are lucky we will make a few new friendships along the way as well – or at least that is why I go.
This year I had the privilege of attending the 2014 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and got to listen to some amazing speakers who made us laugh, made us cry, and inspired in ways that are hard to describe in mere words.
Messages received (loud and clear):
Focus on Storytelling
One of the recurring messages that I kept hearing over and over as I sat in attendance at this year’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was one of great storytelling.
Jay Ward, the Legacy Guardian of Pixar (cool title huh?!), told us over and over to focus on our story. He quoted a Disney great, John Lasseter, in saying that “Story is King” and went on to tell us that we should “tell a compelling story that keeps the audience on the edge of their seat wondering what’s going to happen next”.
Easier said than done, right?
Sure it is easy to put pen to paper or to type words on a screen, but to tell a compelling story – that is the tricky thing. I love to write, I love to tell stories, but rarely do I think my stories are compelling or captivating. Rarely do I feel like I’ve really given my complete effort toward making something that is really really great.
So how does one work toward writing more compelling stories instead of just word vomiting to get something published – you know for the sake of publishing? Jay had good advice for that too. He said, “Quality over Quantity”.
Duh. I knew that, only I hadn’t really been following that advice.
I have been so busy and have so many things going on in my life that getting out a superbly written blog post or story has been hard to do. I need to slow down. I need to refocus my efforts on what is really important to write about and refine my craft.
Jay told us that Steve Jobs (former head of Pixar for those who also didn’t know that) once said, “only make the good stuff, and make less of it”. Sounds like sound advice to me. He was talking about how Pixar makes decisions on what to make or not make, but it is great blogging advice too.
Captivate your Audience
Tom Smith, the Social Media Director for Disney, also went on to say that the purpose of the Disney Parks Blog is to highlight remarkable experiences, showcase purposeful storytelling (there is that word again), and to humanize Disney.
If you have ever read anything on the Disney Parks Blog, you will know exactly what he is talking about. The stories are captivating, the pictures capture the magic that is Disney, and you get a chance to see what visiting Disney is all about. Sometimes you even get a few extras, like a peek into Disney’s past or even the future.
By telling great stories, they not only captivate the reader but keep them coming back for more. He also mentioned that one way to keep things fresh and exciting is by changing it up. Their headers change based on what is happening at that moment (at Disney), the backgrounds change, and the content ties into the overall theme.
Know your Audience
Another key point that Tom made was to know your audience. Know where they are coming from, know how they get your content, and know what they are interested in.
There are plenty of tools available to analyze your traffic to see what it is your fans keep coming back for, as well as to give you details on SEO and to see what is working and what isn’t. Use those tools to your advantage.
If there is anything that I took away from this conference it is definitely to tell a good story and to captivate your audience to keep them coming back for more. What are some additional tips you could add to this list?
Disclosure: I was invited to attend the DisneySMMom Celebration. I paid my own conference fees and received gifts during the conference. The DisneySMMom sponsors provided product and helped make the magic happen. All opinions magical or otherwise are my own.
Photo credit: Hyku