I’ve been writing a lot about content marketing lately, and today I want to concentrate on one aspect of blog content.
Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA, has a really great blog they call Brookline Blogsmith. Various members of the staff make contributions, so readers are presented with a chorus of voices and a variety of topics.
Every so often, though, instead of an essay they’ll post a graphic.
Meet Stick Figure Amy.
The brain-child of bookseller, Amy Brabenec, Stick Figure Amy offers customers a peek behind the curtain of what it means to be a bookseller.
“I started drawing her in high school as a way to run a sort of sarcastic commentary on my class notes,” says Brabenec. “I didn’t really show her to anyone until college when people started to notice her in the margins.”
After college, friends told Amy that they missed seeing Stick Figure Amy, so she started doing a weekly post on a Stick Figure Amy blog. “I kept up with that for a couple of years but it got to be too much on top of everything else I had to do once I moved to Boston. Now, I just do new strips as the mood strikes,” she says. “I still use her to mark all of my food in the work fridge though.”
Amy didn’t intend to start a comic strip. She loved taking art classes in high school, but thought that others were more talented and clever. She hadn’t thought of Stick Figure Amy as a comic unto others remarked that her class notes were funny.
“It doesn’t take that long because I’m way less of a perfectionist about it than I am about so many other things. I usually start with a quick list of what I want in each panel, mostly just to see how many boxes I have to draw. Then I sketch it out in pencil and then just go over it in any pen I have on hand. So, depending on how long the strip is, it usually it takes about half an hour to an hour.”
Amy says that she has always thought of Stick Figure Amy as her internal commentary, so she didn’t understand how she would appeal to anyone else. But her Stick Figure Amy posts on the Blogsmith have been some of her most popular. “I’m overwhelmed and delighted by that,” she says
If you have someone on staff who can offer an talent or alter ego to enhance your blog or newsletter, it might be worth exploring. Graphic posts are great as content because they offer variety, can break up a blog visually, and can be easily shared socially… with shortlink back to the blog, of course.