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What You Can Learn About Blogging From Online Dating Sites

It seems like it’s almost common business blogging advice nowadays: When it comes to content, don’t write about yourself. Write about things that interest your target audience. How-to articles, lists of tips and lists of resources are all great ways to do this, and are commonly recommended. But what we could all use are some vivid examples of what this looks like in action.

Although I honestly haven’t tried an online dating site myself, I’ve got plenty of friends who’ve taken the leap and developed brand loyalty for these social networks – so much so that they share some pretty great blog posts from the sites with me from time to time. These websites must be doing something right with their blogging, as their content is clearly shareable.

How can you replicate this shareability and develop brand loyalty for your company? See how several dating sites are succeeding.

Lesson: Have quality writing, and don’t make it about you!

The How About We blog is full one thing missing from a lot of online content: good writing. Among a sea of overly-abbreviated crap smattered with emoticons, the How About We blog articulates dating advice in a funny, thoughtful and well-spoken way. It’s written with its core audience of 20-something singles in mind and always offers timely content. Whether it’s New Years Eve dating tips or 2012 dating resolutions, the blog is sure to entertain. Most of all, they don’t talk about themeselves – they talk about the things their core audience can relate to.

Lesson: Use your data to create awesome content, and offer recommendations based on statistics.

It’s a data explosion! Machines, software, apps and websites all generate a TON of data, and if your company tracks it properly, this could unlock a ton of content creation and PR opportunities. Showing statistics is a fantastic way to position yourself as an expert, which is particularly helpful for B2B content.

OKCupid’s blog is a B2C spin on this. Through questionaires, OK Cupid collects metrics on people’s points of view when it comes to relationships and err…. “dating.” On the OK Trends blog, they deliver the findings through helpful word clouds and graphs, positioning the data based on demographics. What do Christians like to do on first dates? What do beer drinkers prefer when it comes to dating versus those who don’t like beer? This blog let’s you know their statistical findings and gives explicit takeaways.

Lesson: Make your content related to what you do, but not necessarily about that topic.

Match.com does something really creative with their blog – they post tons of recipes for home-cooked date night meals. This is a perfect idea, as many people are Googling for that information anyway. Although I love the creativity here, I think they could do a little bit better of a job tying it back to their main purpose – they aren’t Recipes.com afterall. Just an introduction paragraph explaining that it’s a date-night recipe recommendation could go a long way. Or, they could change up the headline and make it a weekly special (think: Thursday’s Date Night Recipe: Butternut Squash Ravioli) Nevertheless, the content that they offer is valuable to their target audience without being selfishly focused just on what they do, and that’s something we can all fall in love with.

In addition to recipe recommendations, Match shows couple success stories and dating tips.

Lesson: Tell your customers’ stories.

Case studies show the human face of your brand. This works just as well for B2B software companies showing off customer success stories as it does for Zoosk, who shows off successful matches on their blog. How can you make this work for your company?

Lesson: Call in the experts.

eHarmony’s dating advice blog features guest posts from book authors and dating coaches. Sprinkling in an outside expert opinion along with posts from your company adds relevance and a fresh perspective to your blog. You’re still building a rep as a thought leader by curating this content, even if it doesn’t directly come from you. And the fact that the content is dating advice means that they’re being helpful and creating trust before the sale. That’s how it’s done.

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