This column is written by Kimberly Turner from Regator (a great tool that gathers and organizes the world’s best blog posts). – Darren
Each week, we use Regator’s trends algorithm to bring you a list of the ten most blogged-about stories. This week’s list is, admittedly, a bit of a bummer, with the Gulf of Mexico’s oil spill spending its sixth straight week in the top ten, accompanied by a number of celebrity deaths and the unstable situation in Israel.
But instead of getting down about the state of the world, let’s focus on how a few bloggers used quotes to add to the coverage of these important stories. Careful use of quotations is something many bloggers overlook, but well-chosen quotes can support your argument, increase your credibility, provide an alternate viewpoint, create emotional impact, provide a voice of expertise, add humor, and increase the quality of your post. As you select quotes for your posts, remember that a good quote is not filler and will always make your post more intriguing or useful to your reader. Quotes are one of Darren’s “13 Ways to Add New Dimensions to Your Next Post.” Let’s look at some examples along with this week’s top trends:
- Gulf of Mexico – A particularly impactful (and short) quote can make a great headline. The Daily Dish employed this technique by using Obama’s “Plug The Damn Hole” as the title for a recent post. The quote is an efficient way of providing a voice of authority and conveying the president’s frustration with the situation.
- Dennis Hopper – Roger Ebert’s “Dennis Hopper: In memory” uses quotes from the recently deceased actor to add depth to the post. Hopper’s own words, such as, “There’s always this fear of not being able to make the films, not being able to do the work…” personified the icon in a way that few descriptions could.
- Gary Coleman – The Inquisitr’s “911 call before Gary Coleman’s death, wife says ‘blood everywhere’” features multiple quotes designed to take readers inside a very personal experience.
- Memorial Day – Army of Dude uses a quote to set a scene and add detail in “Metal Memorials,” a touching, well-written post on the bracelet this veteran wears to commemorate his fallen friend. The quote, “Hey man, just so you know, I’m going to set this thing off” is real and conversational and puts the reader into the security line at the airport with the author, who has to repeatedly explain why he does not remove his memorial bracelet at the metal detector.
- Israel – Quotes can add intrigue and spur curiosity, particularly if they are featured in the headline as “Says One Israeli General: ‘Everybody Thinks We’re Bananas’” from Jeffery Goldberg’s blog on The Atlantic.
- World Cup – In “2010 FIFA World Cup’s Biggest Quote: ‘God Willing, I’m Ready,’ Says Torres” The Bleacher Report begins by stating, “This could be the single most important pre-World Cup statement made so far,” proving that the right quote can be a jumping off point and/or inspiration for an entire post. As you read, keep an eye out for quotes that may inspire you to explore a topic further.
- Rue McClanahan – Sometimes, a quote is the most succinct way to answer a question. When it was revealed that Golden Girl Rue McClanahan had passed away, many wondered how the one remaining Golden Girl was coping with the loss. Zap2It’s “Betty White: Rue McClanahan ‘was a close and dear friend’ provided the answer in Betty White’s own words: “… It hurts more than I ever thought it would, if that’s possible.”
- DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) – Quotes may be in the form of videos, as in Queerty’s “Is Dan Choi’s Hunger Strike Coach Planning On His Death?” The advantage of video is that the speaker’s emotional state and body language add to the quote’s impact.
- Tipper Gore – The Kicker (Columbia Journalism Review’s daily blog) gathered quotes from a number of sources to illustrate a trend and support a point in “Fineman on Gores: ‘Finally.’”
- AT&T – Quotes need not be in textual format to provide value. The Consumerist’s “Listen to AT&T Ask Customer to Stop Sending Them E-mails” lends credibility to a rather unbelievable story by providing audio proof: “I want to first thank you for the feedback and going forward need to warn you that if you continue to send emails to Randall Stephenson, a cease and desist letter may be sent to you.”
How often and why do you use quotes on your blog? Please share your experiences in the comments. Have a great weekend and see you next week!