Gini Dietrich

10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares

By: Gini Dietrich | February 1, 2012 | 
219

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.

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219 responses to “10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares”

  1. MattLaCasse says:

    Great list Gini. Another one that could be its own separate number is The Story. Telling a story to make a point in a post, to me, is an incredibly interesting, and difficult, post to write. Maybe it’s more fitting to call it “The Parable”.

  2. Mark_Harai says:

    You’re definitely a player and a blogger : )

  3. ginidietrich says:

    @FranchiseKing Thank you, kind sir!

  4. ginidietrich says:

    @jasonkonopinski Bwahahahha

  5. EugeneFarber says:

    This post generated both a comment and a share from me.

    But more importantly…I want that shirt!

  6. I’d add to the list actionable information that you can directly apply but then that depends if you blog for “show or blog for dough”.

    Personally I am totally against #8. Freebies kill your business but then that depends on what you are doing … all goes down to motivations and goal. (BTW – johnfalchetto is not offering any freebies – as his marketing consultant I have advised him to not give away free eBooks – I advise my readers and subscribers to avoid the same).

    Another thing to do is add some humour to your content – makes it very shareable …. cool list @ginidietrich

    • ginidietrich says:

      @Ameena Falchetto johnfalchetto Um, then what is the big orange box that says FREE three times? Just the newsletter? That’s still a freebie.

      • @ginidietrichjohnfalchetto Yes, it is the newsletter and additional content, and yes that is still a freebie. (example was in ref to free EBooks)

        BTW – giving away free eBooks written by someone else is a horrible idea if you are blogging for business – anyway, as I said in my initial comment, the distinction between fun and work needs to be defined

        • Brankica says:

          @Ameena Falchetto @ginidietrich johnfalchetto And this is why I love my muse Ameena 🙂 she smart. a lot smart. make me look a lot smart. :)))))

        • ginidietrich says:

          @Ameena Falchetto Sorry – I meant all free things in my comment. The eBook was just an example and I meant to say John does a nice job of giving away things that are helpful and free.

          I disagree on the giving away free eBooks someone else has written as being a bad idea. Last year we did a roundup of free eBooks (Danny, Brankica, etc.) and it got them a ton of downloads, which earned us some goodwill. Goodwill I’ve been saving up for when my published book comes out this May.

          Just because you’re blogging for business doesn’t mean it always has to be about you. There are opportunities to do good for others.

        • @ginidietrich Guess it depends on your business model – For you, giving away free eBooks last year makes sense because you will be featuring different experts for Spin Sucks Pro … for a lot of bloggers who are trying to make it solo I think it’s a bad idea because people come to them to find out about THEIR opinion. Anyway, all goes back to your goal at the end of the day and what you are blogging for …

        • ginidietrich says:

          @Ameena Falchetto TOTALLY agree with that. We all have different goals, different visions. Not every one of these ideas will work for everyone. Heck, I don’t even use them all. But one or two will work for just about everyone.

    • Hajra says:

      @Ameena Falchetto Ameena, you really have everyone convinced on the no freebie thing…. It will catch on and then no freebies…. we have to buying our own candies… 🙁

  7. I always enjoy the morning call-out. Right, belllindsay ? 😉

  8. Let’s not forget the latest trend in XX (we’ll use social media). Like just now, when I took an oldie (Pinterest) and put my spin on it (today, spin doesn’t suck) and tagged you to shreds in the post. Heh. Thanks for the invite and let’s scream from the rooftops — addict.

    (Oh, I think I’m commenting on the wrong post.)

    • ginidietrich says:

      @Soulati | PR Totally addicting, isn’t it? The blog post I wrote about the three ways to use Pinterest, from a marketing perspective, is our most popular, by far.

  9. ginidietrich says:

    @GiseleNMendez Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  10. ginidietrich says:

    @AmeenaFalchetto It’s definitely going to need a part two, isn’t it?

  11. KenMueller says:

    I like answering questions. You do it with your FBQOTW, but often I’ll take a question that I’m asked in a meeting or speaking engagement, or even a question that I hear a lot, and address it in a post. I figure if one person has that question, there are probably others thinking the same thing, and I know I’m addressing something that at least some people want to know about.

    • John_Trader1 says:

      @KenMueller Good point Ken. I often learn more from questions that others ask than the questions I ask myself.

    • Shonali says:

      @KenMueller This is a REALLY good one, Ken, and most of us (including me) don’t do it enough. I have to find a better way of making notes of the questions…. whether they come from emails, other posts via comments, or even through my class (actually, I responded to one question that I’m pretty sure can easily be turned into a post). @ginidietrich and gang do a great job of this with their FBQOTW feature.

      • KenMueller says:

        @Shonali That’s one thing I tell my clients to do when they are looking for blog content: go the person at the front desk who deals with customers or answers the phone. Find out what most of the calls are about and then turn them into blog posts. It’s like taking your FAQ page and turning each question into a lengthier blog post. Great for SEO as well, since those are presumably the top things for which people are searching.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @KenMueller Yes! Great point that will be included in part two. We do this for clients and then include it in the FAQ of their websites. It works really well, from a search perspective.

  12. belllindsay says:

    Ok, *this* is a great post @ginidietrich – and bookmarked! Had to check and see if I needed to sue you or @jasonkonopinski for defamation of character. Admittedly, a stretch. But I need the cash. While you indeed besmirched my name, my gut is telling me I don’t have a leg to stand on (see your previous post re: bad friends). You rock, Miss Gini.

  13. Cision says:

    Great list Gini!! I’ve had writer’s block for the last two weeks. I keep starting blog posts and then I scrap them so thank you for this post! I love the something of the month idea, I think I’m going to use that one 🙂

  14. belllindsay says:

    @jasonkonopinski LOL! Saw it and commented. She can run, but she can’t hide! 😉

  15. John_Trader1 says:

    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.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @John_Trader1 See, here’s the thing. You clearly are older than I am because I don’t remember days without social media.

      I like this idea. It will be item number three on the second part blog post. I shall credit you. But not with booze.

  16. ginidietrich says:

    @belllindsay I owed you one

  17. ginidietrich says:

    @John_Trader1 Trader

  18. lindsaybayuk says:

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

  19. jackielamp says:

    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!

    • ginidietrich says:

      @jackielamp You are exactly right! We all want our content to be shared. And thanks for sharing it with your team.

  20. MSchechter says:

    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…

  21. Hajra says:

    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!

    • ginidietrich says:

      @Hajra I’m in love with you, too, so we’re all good!

      I like the debate one a lot. It worked really well last week with Pinterest and Paul. You have to find people who don’t mind it, though. Not everyone is up for the conversation.

  22. DecalGirl says:

    @ginidietrich Excellent! Thank you ;-D

  23. AdamSinger says:

    @ginidietrich ‘all those who write content?’ …so, everyone then 😉

  24. susebb says:

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

  25. susebb says:

    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!

    • ginidietrich says:

      @susebb Lists work really, really well….as you can see by this blog post alone. But, yeah, not everything on this list will work for everyone. I’m not a big train wreck or pop culture person. So you can pick and choose what works for you.

  26. BEFeld13 says:

    @ginidietrich nice tips on your blog #inspired thank you for following me!

  27. RichAtkinson says:

    Great ideas 4 interacting w/ SM @socialmouths @spinsucks 10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares @spinsucks http://t.co/HPn67VKF

  28. TheJackB says:

    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.

  29. jbledsoejr says:

    Nice list! Bring on parts 2 and 3.HHa

  30. 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

  31. Casieg says:

    @robciampa – Thanks for the RT today Rob 🙂

  32. 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 🙂

    • ginidietrich says:

      @John Falchetto Free newsletter, free comments, free photos to cycling accidents. BTW, I tried to play BIP in a Words with Friends game and it told me it’s not a word. I think they’re wrong!

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

  34. Lisa Gerber says:

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

  35. TedWeismann says:

    I’ve found that any post that links to Spin Sucks works pretty well 🙂

  36. ryancox says:

    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.

  37. ginidietrich says:

    @hajraks I have a magic wand??

  38. ginidietrich says:

    @rachaelseda Were your ears burning earlier?

  39. debdobson says:

    @KatyWrites A good read by @ginidietrich, wasn’t it. http://t.co/JruUNHri

  40. ginidietrich says:

    @shonali Don’t spoil it! I’m going to write part two from the comments

  41. ginidietrich says:

    @CraigMcBreen Craig! Hi!

  42. MarketingBuddy says:

    @Mike_Stelzner @spinsucks @ginidietrich Terrific post for bloggers looking for content ideas. http://t.co/BodoDok8 #contentstrategy

  43. dibegin says:

    @Kristinesimpson Thanks Kristine.

  44. ewittke says:

    @ginidietrich Great share!

  45. Jill Tooley says:

    I love this, Gini! From time to time, a pair of my company’s bloggers will get all riled up while debating an issue, which can make for an interesting debate two-parter or series. We just have to make sure it’s somewhat on topic. And I’m always thinking of new pop culture tie-ins! Inspiration strikes in the unlikeliest of places. 😉

  46. WitchinWebs says:

    RT @ginidietrich Next time you have writer’s block, read this blog post. It has 10 ideas to get the juices flowing http://t.co/1oSl3ebL

  47. decillis says:

    @theresaoverby Yeah, I’ve had a bit of luck with that. 😉

  48. HeveyT says:

    @cparizo know of anyone looking in #westernma for a great, move-in condition home, 1 acre land? http://t.co/w8eup6UI #realestate

  49. Andrea Hypno says:

    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.

  50. […] “10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares,” Gini Dietrich, SpinSucks: I’m resistant to posts that advise you on what to write about in your blog, but these are worthy of note. In my blogging workshop I’ll provide one suggestion: What are you passionate about? […]

  51. […] (who we featured in our latest digital marketing blogs list) recently published a post sharing 10 content ideas.  But that’s not actually what I want to talk about […]

  52. hirstmusic says:

    Just be yourself people. Gosh.

  53. crestodina says:

    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!

  54. […] (who we featured in our latest digital marketing blogs list) recently published a post sharing 10 content ideas.  But that’s not actually what I want to talk about […]

  55. TomMartin says:

    @thejenatx you — speechless? say it ain’t so

  56. jmctigue says:

    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.

  57. OlympicHotTub says:

    @patmrhoads Thanks Pat, those really make sense!

  58. […] Writing good blog content that inspires your readers to respond and interact is tough!  Thankfully Spin Sucks released an amazing guide that shares 10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares. […]

  59. HennekeD says:

    @tristanlavender Thanks for RT. That’s an interesting post isn’t it?

  60. bhas says:

    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

  61. RascalSeahorse says:

    You misspelled “hereby”.

  62. ginidietrich says:

    @spiral16 It’s a little disappointing it works that well

  63. Ike says:

    Big deal.

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

  64. […] списък с 10 типа съдържание, което ще ви гарантира висок интерес от страна на публиката. Мисля, че са покрири всички основни типове – ако се […]

  65. […] 10 Additional Ideas to Generate Comments and Shares Gini Dietrich | Email | No Comments BufferDigg DiggNearly two months ago, we talked about 10 content ideas that generate comments and shares. […]

  66. […] 10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares (spinsucks.com) […]

  67. […] 10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares (spinsucks.com) […]

  68. IANROD2000 says:

    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!!!

  69. […] 10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares (spinsucks.com) […]

  70. […] Arment Dietrich, Inc.’s Gini Dietrich shared 10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares that got my creative juices flowing […]

  71. 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.
     

    • ginidietrich says:

       @Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2 LOL!! The combination is a great idea. So funny! But what I really want to know is, who is Nerd #1?

      •  @ginidietrich He is Dexter Abraham.
         
        I’m lucky to have him as a partner in the business because he handles the auto-responder messages, our coaching clients, and all the website maintenance and design stuff.
         
        This takes a big load off of my shoulders and I couldn’t imagine trying to do it all without him. I gotta stop letting him baby me on all the tech side of the biz though cause if something happened and I had to handle it, my first impulse would be to run screaming home to my mommy. LOL
         

      •  @ginidietrich At http://www.SchoolandUniversity.com we help you achieve your dream career/goal, whether it would be getting a promotion, upgrade your education, change your  profession, confused about the right career and/or Institutes or need more options to compare from. We provide free information/counseling and try our best to  connect/match with the right source for you to prosper no matter of your current location and/or circumstances.

  72. WritersPlan says:

    There is one website that uses all these and automates the process.  have been researching a lot on the internet for this matter, I’ve found out a site that tells on what topics to write to. Please seehttp://signup.writersplan.com/ for details, They will launch the product soon and will offer discount to early bird registerers, so I would suggest you guys to register. I hope this works well for all the bloggers like me. Fingers crossed
    EditReply
     

  73. LaVidaEsViaje says:

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

  74. […] 4. 10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares Written by Gini Dietrich – Arment Dietrich […]

  75. BSEindia says:

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

  76. Health Tips says:

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

  77. alin186086 says:

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  78. Neil Patt says:

    @BSEindia Yes debate and controversial content does generate more feedback.

  79. […] SpinSucks: focused on Public Relations and Marketing but full of interesting content, Gini Dietrich write more or less about everything like Content Ideas that Generate Comments; […]

  80. […] 4. 10 Content Ideas that Generate Comments and Shares Written by Gini Dietrich – Arment Dietrich […]

  81. […] Nearly two months ago, we talked about 10 content ideas that generate comments and shares. […]

  82. […] thing is that we were able to verify that there was a direct correlation to the number of shares and the emotional value of a […]

  83. […] a la empresa, se debe determinar previamente la audiencia meta, los autores, los temas, tipos y frecuencia de los posts.  Si el blog cumple de manera creativa estos pasos, empezará a crear […]

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