12 most gnarly blogging lessons I learned from Bruce Springsteen

Few musicians can rock a concert like the Boss. Here are some of the things he does to make performances a success, and how they can do the same for your blog.

Bruce Springsteen continually provides content that stands the test of time. His songs remain popular through the decades.

If a blog could provide relevant content like Springsteen provides music and entertainment, it would be a raving success. With 20 Grammy awards and more than 65 million albums sold in the United States, Springsteen has a very wide audience base.

While I was at the Minneapolis/St. Paul concert on Springsteen’s most recent tour, I noticed that the principles that made the show a success parallel those that make a blog successful.

1. Know that audiences come in all shapes and sizes.

At the concert, there were kids under 10, old men with beards longer than my hair, and 20-somethings. Remember that the majority of your blog’s readership may be your target audience, but people outside of your target audience may view your content, too.

2. Cater to the whole audience.

At the concert, everyone listened and viewed from different locations in the arena. When it comes to your blog, ensure everyone can see and hear your content. Make sure your website lends itself to Mac, PC and mobile users alike.

3. Incorporate fans.

Springsteen pulled a little boy up on stage, then slow danced with a middle-aged woman and picked her up. He also brought a little girl on stage to sing a section of a song.

Provide opportunities for fans to get involved with the blog—host contests, allow comments and create a sense of community.

4. Supplement the main event with aesthetically pleasing things.

Springsteen had strobe lights that moved in conjunction with the music. Supplement your blog with clean graphics, complementary colors and thought out, pertinent photos.

5. Know all audience members have different perspectives and backgrounds.

Some people have been listening to Springsteen for years, and some recently heard his music for the first time. This is how your blog audience is, as well. Some of your fans have been following you since your blogging debut, and others clicked on a link for the first time today.

Keep true to your voice, but provide new thoughts and ideas. Springsteen sets a great example with his newest album, “Wrecking Ball.” It is Springsteen’s 10th No. 1 album in the United States.

6. Provide a distraction from life.

The entire audience stepped out of their daily routine for three hours for the concert. Your blog also allows people to take a step back from the daily grind. They can laugh at your jokes, ponder your thoughts and enjoy your content. Your content can cheer people up and make them forget about their problems for a while. Be a distraction.

7. Interact with the audience.

Invite people to dance with you on stage. Let the little girl with glasses sing part of your song. Feed off the energy in the room or, shall I say, the energy transmitted through the computer screen.

8. Add guest appearances to excite the crowd.

Springsteen did a roll call of the entire band in the middle of the concert. He recognized everyone on his team.

Give credit where credit is due. Thank your editors, guest bloggers, commenters, the people who share your content and the people who consume it.

9. Sell supplemental merchandise.

Springsteen, like many famous musicians, has concert swag—t-shirts, buttons, key chains, you name it—available for purchase at the concert and online.

Consider selling some items on your blog. Sell an e-book, relevant advertisements, cross-advertising, promotions or anything else you can dream up. Get creative, but don’t be too sales-focused.

10. Make sure your show works in all areas of the U.S.

Springsteen preforms all over the U.S. and internationally. His content needs to translate to other markets, as does your blog. Think about how people in different parts of the country and world would receive your voice and content. Also, hit the publish button with time differences in mind!

11. Know it takes a team of people to be successful.

The lighting and sound crew, Xcel Energy Center staff, security, the band members and, of course, Springsteen himself made the concert successful. Use a team—have people edit your work or guest post on your blog.

12. Think vintage.

Springsteen used traditional rock moves, including guitar spinning, fist pumping and crowd surfing. Old school can be effective. Traditional elements such as proper grammar, compelling photos and traditional topics can go a long way.

Bonus: Collaborate.

It’s great when Springsteen sings by himself, but it’s much more exciting and dynamic when one of the band members joins him at the microphone. Think of ways you can collaborate.

What other lessons can music idols teach about generating blog content that withstands the test of time?

Jenny Kay Pollock is the social media specialist at Four51. This article is republished with permission, courtesy of 12 Most.

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