By Joseph Manna
This week, hundreds of bloggers and professionals in the social media field descended upon Las Vegas for the New Media Expo (#NMX) to share insights, case studies and discuss the current state of new media and content publishing. One such speaker was Jon Morrow, associate editor of Copyblogger, who shared several practical examples of why and how some of his content has gone viral across the web.
Did you just get the shivers from the word, “viral?” Don’t run from this over-used phrase; let me explain. Put simply, Jon Morrow’s content was very successful because he was able to write compelling blog posts that kept readers on the page and made them want to share it amongst their friends. This particular session was extremely note-worthy, but I won’t just unleash each point that was made upon you. Here are some of the key understandings so you can generate massive traffic for your hobby, passion or business (or all the above) blog.
As bloggers, we tend to get caught up in making our content accessible and accepted by large audiences, however, more people are blogging about their business as it relates to their overall marketing strategy. Unfortunately, some of our content can bore people occasionally. The spirit of Morrow’s session was that you can be very specific and edgy without regretting it – and attract mass appeal as a result.
1. Niche meets Normal
If you’re anything like me, you often struggle with picking a compelling headline and topic to blog about. Yes, even professional bloggers get writer’s block. Instead of selecting one “killer” idea, combine both a specific niche topic and a broader topic in one. The benefit of doing this is so that your readers (and potential new readers) will become sucked in by broader appeal and will stay for the niche topic that you’re writing about. For instance, for the title of this blog post, I combined the common element a mother that we all have with a specific interest of writing higher performing blog posts.
2. Evoke Emotional Responses
While I don’t think every blog post needs to evoke emotions, when it does, it should be so severe that it moves your readers to take action. Whether that action is leaving a comment, sharing your post with friends or even opting in for a monthly newsletter, an action should be occur as a result of the post. Morrow pointed out that often the highest performing blog posts are ones with a controversy, whereas with typical tutorials, people tend to engage at a minimal level at best.
3. Surprise and Shock People
Leveraging the element of surprise will help to pull in even the most discriminating of readers so that they stick around and actually read your post. The intent here is not to mislead or deceive visitors, but to take readers down a different road than where their expectations led them. For instance, telling a story about an experience delivers a lot more value to readers than simply dumping a list of bullet points on them, especially when there is a twist in the story.
4. Ride the Back of Detachable Rockets
To raise more awareness for your blog, as well as to spread ideas that matter to larger audiences, it’s a good idea to partner with peers in your space and provide guest blog opportunities for them. Guest blogging is similar to how space shuttles use detachable rockets to go into space, which is where this metaphor comes from. Guest blogging allows you to interact with someone’s audience in a new and exciting way, which will result in attraction of loyal subscribers to your blog.
5. Catch a Traffic Jetstream
If your blog’s audience was legitimately interested in your ideas, it’s likely that other people will be, too. Taking advantage of link discovery networks like Reddit, StumbleUpon and others will be a great way to catch a good wave of traffic. However, the content must obviously engage and interest readers if you’re going to earn this degree of interest from these networks.
Jon Morrow concluded his session with suggestions to forge friendships with people in your field and, when the time comes, pitch them on ideas specifically tailored to their audience.
When I looked back from the front row, I noticed that there was standing room only, and for a good reason. Morrow kept the whole room engaged and backed the talk up with real-world performance. I find that today’s bloggers and content creators often overlook these points in their blog posts (even I do!), and sometimes as the content machine spins up, creative hooks and impeccable delivery tend to go by the wayside. Putting a little more effort and focus in your blog will get you massive results.
If you need a tool to capture leads from all that traffic, you should consider checking into using a professional email marketing service like Infusionsoft. It allows you to market to your online audience in an efficient and effective way.
This post 5 Ways Even Your Mother Can Write High-Performing Blog Posts was first published on the Big Ideas Blog.