We've talked about content tips that you can take action on and implement right now. You know, easy steps that will really help you get noticed and grow your business. Now I want to talk to you about writing content. Not about keywords or writing for those who scan. Nope. We’re not even going to talk about what types of posts you should be writing, like how-to or top 10 posts. We’re going to talk the types of content that gets shared.
Get your spoon-full-of-sugar on when you write content. Positive content is shared more than negative content. People genuinely like to read positive, uplifting posts. Also, the tone you use helps a lot. Even if you write a post on the top 10 ways to get people to like you, but write with a negative attitude or a downer voice, people are going to be less apt to share it. One caveat, don’t be overly happy. Like irritatingly so. You know those people I’m talking about. So how do you determine the right tone? There is a skill in finding the right balance for tone. You want to be friendly and approachable, but also authoritative. Write (positive!) content that is useful, but throw in a little of your own personality and some fun. Make your blog an extension of you, and you’re golden.
Why do people share posts that teach and inspire? They want to share the knowledge with others. But not just any knowledge. They want to share posts that are practical, with advice they know others can use and easily implement. Think about it from a reader's point of view. If you read a post that gives you crazy advice, where there’s no way you could ever follow the steps, are you going to share it with your followers? Probably not. What constitutes as “practical” and “easy to follow” will depend on your audience. Think about who your readers are and write for your target reader. You don’t have to write for the masses. In fact, you shouldn't. Determine your perfect reader and think about how much he or she already knows about your niche. Write your posts with these criteria in mind.
If you can evoke some sort of emotion for your reader, then you’re in. Seriously. Getting a good rise out of people, whether it’s good or bad, will increase your chances of your post going viral. Posts that hit that emotion button are much more likely to be passed on with a “Dude! Check this out” comment. What types of emotions should you target? High arousal emotions, the ones that get the most rise out of people, are best. In no specific order, here are some examples: Anger: Anger is a strong emotion. If you post something that challenges common assumptions, you're more than likely going to tick some people off. But for the purposes of going viral, this could be a good thing. You will find taking an unfavorable position on certain things will get your post shared a lot more than when you agree with everyone. This is a testy situation, and if you're going to go for anger you should be careful with it. Don't be contrary just to get a rise out of people. Write your post in a positive light even if you are going to take an opposite stance and your response should be justified. Remember, while there's nothing wrong with stirring the pot and causing a fun debate, you don't want everyone to hate you. Awe: Awe is another emotion that makes readers want to share. Awe can be done by telling a story, discussing a real event or by even compiling a huge list of tips, links or resources. Surprise: Surprise, or shock, is a fun emotion. If you can truly make someone go “oh my!” then you have something they are going to want to pass on. By writing about something unexpected you can get people to read more, share and comment.
When writing for your audience, tone plays a huge part in getting your content shared. You want to write content that is uplifting and feel-good. Writing advice that is practical and can be used by your audience is another way to ensure your stuff gets shared. And lastly, going for big emotions will always get a big response.