Several years ago, I attended a media conference and what one of the panelists said about what makes a good story stuck. In fact, it not only stuck, I revere his advice (and maybe it wasn’t originally his advice, either) as a golden rule of blogging …

“Tell me something useful I didn’t already know.”

It’s sage, simple, straight-forward journalistic advice with universal application … for social media, blogging, media, video, audio, all of it. If I want people to listen to me, everything I say or write must follow this rule. This can also be called the rule of relevancy, which has three ingredients (the three ‘I’s):

  • importance (or interest)
  • immediacy
  • integrity

If what I have to say isn’t that, then I’m probably just babbling.

So, what makes for ‘relevant’ information? What do my readers want to read? Here are some suggestions in rank order of what generates the most interest and response (according to Blog Traffic Exchange):

  1. quick tips
  2. how to … tutorials
  3. reviews/opinions
  4. resources
  5. interviews
  6. best of …
  7. personal story
  8. news
  9. But the bets advises and help you can get at