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Gini Dietrich

10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares

By: Gini Dietrich | February 1, 2012 | 
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As I was trolling the web for a topic for today’s blog post, it occurred to me I haven’t covered many tips or tools lately.

I hereby commit to change that.

Therefore, today I have created a list of 10 types of content you can use for your blog. When you have writer’s block (cough, Lindsay Bell and Jason Konopinski, cough), you now have something to jog your brain.

It’s not just a list, though. Obviously my examples are PR, marketing, or social media relations. But you can easily turn these ideas into something for your industry, blogging niche, or particular interests.

And now let’s see if I’m right about seventh tip. Will this blog post get commented on and shared more than some of our more popular blog post (Pinterest!) in January?

I’ll report back!

10 Shareable Content Ideas

  1. The Manifesto. At the beginning of the year, there were lots of blog posts written about the three words people were using to drive their success in 2012. While I didn’t write a blog post about it, I have “focus, delegation, and vision” posted on the wall in front of me. You could easily get 500 words out of that.
  2. The Pop Culture Tie-In. I am terrible at this, but Molli Megasko is fantastic at it. She can tell you what’s happening on The Bachelor or with the Kardashian sisters and tie in a PR lesson.
  3. The Debate. We often commiserate there isn’t enough debate on the social web, so why not create it? That’s what Paul Sutton and I did last week when we debated Pinterest (I won). Giving people the opportunity to see two sides of something works incredibly well.
  4. The Good. I have to admit I was a bit leery about showcasing good PR case studies, but if it’s researched and written well, with some valuable lessons professionals can use in their daily lives, it works well. I tested this theory with how FedEx handled a customer service crisis using video and it’s our third most popular blog post this month. That said, when I wrote about Ocean Marketing being fired and how the new PR pro is handling the N-Control business, it didn’t rank in the top 10. My theory is it was an overplayed story by then. So be timely.
  5. The Bad. It’s no surprise the bad case studies are shared over and over and over again. The Papa John’s and Boners BBQ case study I wrote about employee communication and how to handle a PR crisis when they go rogue is our second most popular blog post. But when you write these types of case studies, do it in a way that is valuable to the reader and doesn’t attack the people involved. Attack the idea, not the person.
  6. The Ugly. Let’s be real. People like train wrecks. They can’t stop watching. If you can figure out how to write about one without attacking a person, it’s going to be pretty popular. Ragan does a nice job of this quite often by using terms such as “most hated” in their headlines. It grabs attention, makes people want to read and share.
  7. The Lists. Voila! Just like I’m doing today. Nate Riggs is the foremost expert on the blog lists. In fact, he did an entire webinar for Spin Sucks Pro on the topic. People like lists. They’re easy to read, bookmark, and return to later. Make sure you include the number of things in your list in the headline.
  8. Freebies. Give stuff away! It might be a book a friend has written, a collection of free eBooks available from other bloggers, or your own eBook. John Falchetto does a nice job with this. Right on his home page, there is a big orange box where you can get several free things. People like free.
  9. Ranked Lists. This isn’t something we do here because, well, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But this works really well for other bloggers. In fact, Forbes just released their 50 most influential social media professionals and it was shared all over the world.
  10. The Something of the Year. Just like People does their sexiest man alive issue, you can do the same for your niche. Maybe it’s an app of the month or a productivity tool like Michael Schechter did with his Perfect Computer blog post. I do a book review on the first Friday of every month and a blogger to follow on every other Friday. There are lots of ideas for the something of the week, month, or year.

There is likely a part two and three to this blog post because there are so many tried and true ways to have your content commented on and shared. But I’ll stop here for now. After all, I sometimes need ideas for blogging and now I have two!

Thanks to Hubspot for the image.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

196 comments
Health Tips
Health Tips

Breaking news generally get more attention as its search by every one on web and they post their reactions.

BSEindia
BSEindia

Debate content or the controversial content will generate the most feedback from users.

LaVidaEsViaje
LaVidaEsViaje

@VeroSeoCancun Me gusta el 7... #Cancún tiene forma de "7"; además, es más que 5 y menos que 10 #NumberSevenRules cc @Wander_Campos

Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2
Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

I'm laughing to myself thinking about combing 2, 5, 6, 9 and 10 - "The 12 Most Infamous Jack Ass Business Decisions Of The Year" awards.

 

This way you're addressing decisions i.e. behavior, as opposed to the person/corporation themselves. We all do stupid things. And we all learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes.Pointing this out and making it prominent in the post could diffuse the impression of this being a full on snark attack.

 

You could even slip #4 into the piece by giving a case study of someone who handled a similar challenge gracefully in the past. Could be a vessel for enlightening the rubberneckers.

 

IANROD2000
IANROD2000

Thanks for the ideas. I find that cute photos with slogans can often stimulate some feedback and also the controversial headline to. Thanks for your ideas though, a nice post!!!

Ike
Ike

Big deal.

Eleven Words Guaranteed To Generate Killer Search Engine Traffic and Clicks: http://ike4.me/2

bhas
bhas

I am not sure if someone else has mentioned this before but posts based around a book can also be full of win. If that book is a must read in your industry, doing something as simple as summing up the key points or at least doing a review can easily give you 500-700 words.

And if you can tie in the lessons of the book with real world examples, then that's frosting on top of the cake

That said, a tie in with a good piece of fiction also adds a lot of zing to your posts

jmctigue
jmctigue

I really enjoy a good rant, especially when it's packed with both humor and enough facts to back up your position. Mostly, I love writing one every now and then. Don't want to be too much of a whiner, but a well-placed kick in the chops goes a long way with me.

crestodina
crestodina

Zombies! I've been having fun with the Pop-Culture Tie In. You can use Google Insights to see if the topic (as in, keyphrase) is trending.

I recently wrote a guest post/search marketing article with a zombie theme and it worked well. I used FilteredTweeps.com to find people with "SEO" and "Zombies" in their bios (there were 22) and mentioned some of them in a few tweets. Some of them shared it immediately!

Andrea T.H.W.
Andrea T.H.W.

Really interesting; if small bloggers get hit by a writer's block I can't imagine how it goes with great bloggers with hundreds of post written and articles like this can really spark some new ideas. Now I'll wait for part 2 and 3, and 4 maybe. :)

Twweted and printed and stumbled, not in this order maybe.

ryancox
ryancox

annnnnnd I get sucked in. Again. *shares blog everywhere, *adds to read later list, *gets idea for a post from reading, *realizes he forgot to eat lunch, *post comment to twitter/facebook.

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

I love that you declared yourself the winner of the Pinterest debate.

danperezfilms
danperezfilms

You forgot the infamous Klout post. When all else fails...

John Falchetto
John Falchetto

Great ideas Gini, I also think you should add your great Question of the week posts, not only do you cross platforms with Youtube but you answer a question that most of us (ok all of us) have on their mind but are just too dingbat to ask.

As for free , I give free posts, free tweets, free videos, yep that's a lot of free :)

Marcus_Sheridan
Marcus_Sheridan

Great ideas Gini. You may not do ranked lists but here are a few you may consider:

1. Top 10 Things @MSchechter has said that make no sense to anyone except Michael himself.

2. Top 10 Reasons I'd rather be on my bike than in my office.

3. 10 Best Blogging Teeth in the World (yes, you win, we know Gini ;-)

Look at that, 3 sure to be viral posts. ;)

Have a great day,

Marcus

jbledsoejr
jbledsoejr

Nice list! Bring on parts 2 and 3.HHa

TheJackB
TheJackB

Damn, I got excited for a moment and thought that you were going to say that Shrek is the sexiest man alive.

Under most circumstances I tend to dislike ranked lists but they are good for driving traffic. Tips and questions are among my favorites. They add value and encourage engagement so I like that.

susebb
susebb

Great post and great announcement on twitter for it! I'm a pessimistic optimist so probably won't ever hit the train wreck idea, I'm a big 'lister' but may well now try some of these other ideas. Thanks!

susebb
susebb

@ginidietrich your 'you're welcome' got my attention even before i got to the great post! Like the idea of debates #blogging

Hajra
Hajra

Oh Gini! How I am falling in love with you... wait I think I am in love already ;) And this is serious... post bookmarked love!

Its always nice to rank people; people like being judged (all in good spirits though) ; also, when you rank people, others come to see who goes where but yes, a lot of hearts are broken and that is just plain sad...

I loved the debate idea too. Opinions matter!

MSchechter
MSchechter

mmmm, tips and tools. My wife actually called me out on not being tactical enough in my last week or so worth of writing. It's all too important to be tactical. Opinions are great, but tying them to action is something I briefly lost sight of and want to get back to as well.

The one thing I haven't been able to bring myself to do, but know would perform better, are lists. 3 Tools for Email Bliss, 5 Ways To Be The Taskmaster of your tasks... I probably should experiment...

jackielamp
jackielamp

I just sent this blog post to the rest of my team who pitches story ideas to the media. Just like bloggers, the media is interested in the same types of stories. At the end of the day, bloggers and reporters want the same thing: readers, comments and shares.

Thanks for reminding us about what's interesting and what resonates with people!

lindsaybayuk
lindsaybayuk

All I want to know is...where can I buy that shirt?

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

I like this list -- tangible, actionable ideas that can easily translate into meaningful posts. I'd like to chip in with posts that reach back in your education archives, especially when social media was not around (remember those days?), that can directly tie into how we communicate today. Making comparisons to how businesses used to roll vs. how they roll today and realizing that there are similarities or gargantuan differences and strategies to capitalize on them. Not sure if I can come up with a clever name for the posts like @MattLaCasse did.

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