Why I Love Getting Smashed

Dad and Abby

Abby (and mom) teaching dad a valuable lesson about marketing.

Yesterday, as we sat at our kitchen table — me scrolling through my blog idea backlog, my wife holding our 7 month old daughter — I mused, “What I should blog about?”

“Oh, oh! You should do a Christmas Photo Dump!” she excitedly replied.

“WTF is a Christmas photo dump?” I wondered to myself.  Guess I’m out of the loop.

She patiently explained it is fairly common to share personal pictures, especially on the blogs she reads. “That’s why I read blogs — not for the boring crap you normally write about,” she explained, kinda tongue-in-cheek but actually pretty serious.

“Why would anyone be interested in seeing our Christmas pictures?” I asked, still not convinced.

Boy was I wrong.

A few days ago, I summarized blogging results from the first 30 days. The results were interesting, but nothing prepared me for the level of interest our Christmas Photo Dump received. By far, it’s been the most popular post to date, and generated the most traffic in one day.

Here are some initial observations:

  • It’s interesting that the top two posts are both of personal nature: one deals with a painful topic, my uncle’s suicide (which doesn’t go into much detail, I’m still processing it), and now the new winner is this so-called Christmas Dump.  Half-baked conclusion: People are drawn to real people.
  • The Christmas Dump featured real pictures — which at MindFire we’ve found draw clicks — and pictures of a baby (I’ve seen data supporting the notion that babies draw clicks).  Half-baked conclusion: Perhaps real pictures of one’s own baby is a winning combo.

My mental paradigm of what draws readers has certainly been smashed. And I love it. It opens up new opportunities and ways of thinking.  And it also underscores that idea that as marketers, we need to be open to testing anything and letting the data decide.  (But enough marketing jibber-jabber, my wife doesn’t like that crap.)

What’s one way your paradigms have been smashed lately? And while you’re at it: why do you think readers are interested in our Christmas photos? Please share — I want to learn!

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About David Rosendahl
Husband, father, co-founder of MindFireInc, two-time Inc500 software company. I love building things.

2 Responses to Why I Love Getting Smashed

  1. Great post!! When I first began experimenting with social media in 2009, I organized a number of Facebook pages to gain some firsthand experience with how they “behaved” and how people responded. Of all the professional and personal pages I created, the one that gained the most immediate and largest response was one that captured the memories from the now-demolished elementary school in my small hometown. People rapidly contributed photos and memories to something that clearly resonated more personally than any professional or business site. Remarkable – a lesson that I try to remember every time I reach out to an audience. Stir a memory or an emotion if you want to engage…

    • Hi Mary, that’s a fantastic reminder of how important it is to create the personal connection. I’m glad I had my paradigm smashed! 🙂

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