Lesson 5: The Content That Promotes Itself
Now, that you’ve learned 4 powerful strategies from my previous lessons, I have to tell you something…
They will not work!
- in Google your posts will always be outranked by someone else;
- people won’t read your newsletters;
- influencers will just ignore you;
- A-list blogs won’t accept your guest posts.
And the reason is – your content sucks!
(I maybe wrong, and your articles are great, but 90% of the bloggers publish content that’s quite mediocre)
When your content sucks there’s no way to make people enjoy it, no matter how hard you promote it and which tactics you use.
So in case you did everything just like I taught in my lessons and it didn’t work – don’t blame me, it’s not my fault. It’s just your content isn’t good enough.
But don’t worry, this lesson has some very nice tips that will educate you on creating content that people will enjoy.
Following these tips means that oftentimes you will have to write articles not in a way you want, but in a way you should.[tweet_box]Newbie bloggers write articles for themselves, Pro bloggers write articles for their readers[/tweet_box]
Hope you got the idea, and let’s move on!
Why Do We Share Stuff With Our Friends And Followers
Why do some posts get shared like crazy and others are totally ignored?
That question bothered me since the time I’ve started blogging.
And the first thing I did to answer it is tried to understand my own self: Why do I enjoy certain articles rather than others? What motivates me to share them with my following?
I don’t think that I’m too different from millions of other people that hang out online – all of us are just humans and our psychologic circuits work pretty much the same way.
Let me try to guess why you guys may share something with your friends:
1. You’re sharing stuff if you feel your friends/followers will benefit from it somehow. This applies to all sorts of learning materials – guides, how to’s, tutorials. You just feel you’re helping someone by doing so.
2. You’re sharing stuff because it will be entertaining/funny for others. This applies to some latest news from your niche or some hilarious stuff (lolcats maybe?) This way you feel you’re sending some positive vibes to your following.
3. You’re sharing stuff that’s shocking and unexpected. People are emotional creatures, we can’t live without emotions. Thus by sharing such things, you’re adding a little twist into people’s lives.
But let’s go deeper into the rabbit hole:
- Why do you want to help your followers? (You don’t even know most of them!)
- Why do you want to entertain them?
- Why do you want to share emotions with them?
The answer is – you want validation for yourself.
- You want others to consider you a smart person.
- An interesting person.
- An emotional person.
In other words, you choose to share certain things, because they will make your friends and followers perceive you as a better person.[tweet_box]People love to tweet things that make them look good[/tweet_box]
I have a great post about it, by the way: “What Do People Tweet About & The Surprising Truth About What Drives Them”
So how to write an article, that people will be willing to tweet?
Perfect Structure & Styling
What I’ve noticed from my own behavior is that I don’t always have to actually read the post before I share it with my following.
I don’t have all the time in the world to read everything, so to make a decision I will usually skim through the post: check subheadings, look at the images and maybe read a few sentences here and there. (actually lots of people act like that)
After 5 years of reading different marketing blogs, attending conferences and talking to other bloggers I rarely stumble upon a post that has something new for me. Yet a quick glance at it might tell me that the post itself is very cool and some of my followers might really enjoy it. And so I tweet it without even reading.
As you know, I’m not some kind of big blogging celebrity, like Darren Rowse or Brian Clark.
Now these are the guys who are almost impossible to impress. And yet they tweet stuff daily. Do you really think they read every post they tweet?
I find it funny that the guys with the biggest following are also the guys with the lowest probability to actually read your post.
What I mean to say is that if you want influencers in your niche to share your content, you have to make the ideas behind your articles perfectly clear for people who are just skimming through.
Make the post “speak” to them, remember?
You can do that with a perfect structure and styling.
If your post is just a random flow of thought and the main idea is buried somewhere deep, how are people supposed to “get it” with just a quick glance?
You should divide your post into several logical parts, broken down into small paragraphs of text.
Every paragraph should convey one thought at a time:
– if there are two thoughts – make it two paragraphs;
– if there’s none – maybe there shouldn’t be a paragraph then?
Learn to use the following tools that help in structuring your post:
- Image captions;
- Bold / Italic text.
A ton of advice can be found online on structuring and styling your posts properly.
It’s great if you know how to present your idea to “skimmers”. But do you actually have this idea? And is it powerful enough to convince people they might get some credit for sharing it?
Again the internet is full of advice on generating ideas for your blog posts, but I want to share with you two of my personal favorites.
With these tactics you can easily find ideas that will be simply irresistible:
Do A One-Stop Resource
Take some topic and cover every single aspect of it in one post. Yes, your post is going to be monster-big. Yes, it will take you dozens of hours to research the hell out of the topic and put all the information into order. Yes, you will start hating me hardly not even halfway through. But it pays back!
If you succeed with it’s structure and styling, people will easily recognize your post as something with high value and lots of potential validation points.
Actually I’ve written a nice post that explains how to write killer articles: Big Fat Noob Guide To Writing A Solid Post (or ?How To Steal Ideas?)
Steal Something Hot
This is actually a no-brainer. If you see that a certain post got crazy popular – why don’t you do your own version of it?
I’m not telling you to copy it word for word, but you can easily take a different angle and tell your own opinion of the subject. If it’s really hot and your take on it is original – it will easily take off.
Here are 2 easy ways to discover hot topics.
1. Explore Reddit – you’ll be absolutely lucky, if there’s a subreddit for your niche (there probably is). All you have to do is monitor the conversations that are happening on the front page of your subreddit. If a certain topic got to the front page – there’s a huge potential in it and your post on the matter might easily take off.
2. Browse A-list blogs on Topsy – if you do a search like this on Topsy – site:problogger.net – It will show you the most popular content from this blog based on the amount of tweets. All you have to do is check these posts and see if you can tap in the conversation with a post of your own.
This lesson only covers a few fundamental macro principles in creating powerful viral content.
Of course it’s more to it than that.
The psychology and science behind viral blog posts is something that keeps bothering me. And right now I’m in the process of my own research, which may very likely give birth to another cool course here on BloggerJET.
So that’s the end of my email course to boosting traffic to your blog. Hope you’ve enjoyed it and got a ton of actionable ideas on how to grow your traffic.
Please feel free to contact me in case you have something to say. I’ll be very glad to get in touch!