You can put all the share buttons and calls to action you want in your blog and you can pull in thousands of visitors a day, but no one is going to share your content unless it’s truly remarkable, something that makes them consciously sit up and say, “Hey! I bet my friends would like to see this!” Here are 10 steps to help you write irresistible content that everyone wants to share.
Don’t Just Report – React
Take a look at some of the blogs you compete with and you’ll find that they all discuss the same basic information, so your visitors can find the “facts” all over the web. The reason they choose to follow one blogger over another is because they like their viewpoint. Don’t just report the facts, tell your readers what you think about the situation. Are you happy, or sad, or angry? How will this information impact your life and the lives of your readers?
Craft Killer Headlines
Create headlines that use superlatives, like “The Best…” or “The Top 10 Most…” Don’t try to be cute or mysterious. Tell your readers straight up what you’re going to talk about and how they’ll benefit if they read your article. For example:
- Bad: Plan A Resort Vacation
- Better: Scuba Dive On Your Resort Vacation
- Best: Top 10 Best Resorts For A Scuba Diving Vacation
Be Direct And Concise
Internet readers want to quickly find what they’re looking for so get to the point, and do it in the right order. That doesn’t mean you have to present just the cold, hard facts. Instead of using one or two paragraphs to personalize your blog posts, use fewer paragraphs and include a few of your own colorful words inside each one.
Make It Relevant
Always think about your audience before you write so you can make your content relevant to them. That article about the Top 10 Best Resorts For A Scuba Diving Vacation wouldn’t be of much use to your readers if your travel blog focuses on activities and attractions in the midwest United States.
Do Your Research
It’s true that firmly stating your opinion makes more of an impact, but it’s important to make sure you can back up your opinion with facts. For example, if you write a blog post about the benefits of using XYZ baby formula, you’re going to look pretty stupid when your readers start leaving comments pointing out the fact that XYZ company went bankrupt six months ago because their formula caused a severe rash.
Solve A Problem
Almost every search conducted on the Web starts with some type of problem.
- Someone searching for dog food recipes is concerned about their dog’s health.
- Someone searching for investment information is concerned about his finances.
- Someone searching for blogging tips is concerned about his business.
There is always an audience for content that solves problems. Take a look at your target audience and identify the problems they might have.
Read A-List Blogs
Everybody’s reading those A-list blogs so you know those are going to be hot topics of conversation. Write a post and debate that blogger or add some points that he might have missed. If necessary, choose just one point from his long-winded post and either elaborate on it or tear it to shreds. But do it while everyone’s still talking about it. And if you do decide to get down-and-dirty, make sure you can back up your position with facts.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Controversial
You don’t want to be controversial all the time because then you just sound like a shrew. And you don’t want to be controversial without being able to back up your position because then you just look like an idiot. But used sparingly, there’s no question – controversy sells. If you’re uncomfortable taking a controversial stand, maybe it’s because you don’t understand how to use it.
Being controversial doesn’t mean you have to name another blogger and go after him tooth-and-nail. In fact, unless the guy is completely out of line and you can absolutely prove it, it’s best that you don’t.
Start off simply. “Popular opinion states… But, here’s what I think…” is all it takes to kick off a nice, sharable controversial blog post.
If you could predict the future you’d go make your fortune reading tarot cards, right? Then again, if your visitors wanted to read generic or old news, they’d just listen to the evening news. Set up some Google Alerts and stay on top of what’s happening in your niche. You might not be the first to talk about it, but you’ll make a much bigger impact if you get in early and give it your own relevant twist.
Go One Step Further
Make it your goal to stretch yourself. Learn a new word everyday so you can add some color to your writing. If your content is always written, learn how to make a 10-minute video. If you typically write How-To posts, spend some time working on a killer list post or a cool, weekly mash-up. Step out of your comfort zone and get creative. If you’ve been blogging in the same old rut for a while your readers will appreciate the extra effort. And that might be all it takes to get them to start sharing.