There is a group on Facebook for writers and authors.
It’s a pretty fantastic group, made up of really smart people.
The things I learn by trolling through there are immense and wondrous.
(I followed that one for sure.)
And then there was a conversation about writer’s block and how so many of us get around it.
Yep, even some of the very best writers in our world get writer’s block.
Some of the ideas that were mentioned in the conversation are things I do as well.
So I though it’d be fun to write an article on the types of things that not only help you past writer’s block, but help generate comments and shares of your content.
At the beginning of each year, there are always lots of blog posts written about the three words people use to drive their success.
It’s so popular, in fact, a lot of the bullet journal tutorials use it as the cover page for your new year.
What are your three words to drive success this year?
Can you get a blog post out of it?
The Pop Culture Tie-In
There are lots of ways you can safely tie in pop culture with your content.
For instance, Quartz ran a story after the Golden Globes that broke down Oprah’s speech and told us why she sounded so presidential.
That’s a great use of a pop culture tie-in.
“The 17 Lessons Oprah Can Teach Us About Life Insurance,” however, is not.
(I just made that up; it’s not a real example.)
We often commiserate there isn’t enough debate on the social web, so why not create it?
That’s what Paul Sutton and I like to do at least once a year.
A few years ago we debated Pinterest for business, and it generated quite a bit of conversation and engagement.
When you give people the opportunity to see two sides of something, your content works incredibly well.
Let’s be real. People like train wrecks.
They can’t stop watching.
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.
Voila! Just like I’m doing today.
People like lists, assuming they’re not overdone. You don’t want an entire blog made up of lists, for example/
They’re easy to read, bookmark, and return to later.
Make sure you include the number of things in your list in the headline (just like I did here!).
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.
People like free.
We’ve even had great success by giving our content away for and putting the Facebook pixel on that page.
Then, those who visit the free content page start to receive more free content ads.
When they visit those pages, they start to receive ads that begin to drive to something we sell.
When they visit those pages, they receive ads for the things we sell.
It works, conversion-wise, better than almost anything.
(Email still works the best.)
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, Social Report just released the 12 social media influencers to follow in 2018.
Now they have 12 people who will share their content with their networks.
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 or software communications pros shouldn’t miss out on.
Whatever your industry focus, you can do this every week, every month, every quarter, or every year.
The Measurement Standard does a book review every month.
I personally haven’t wanted to commit to that because, while I do read five or six books a month, there are probably two all year I like enough to review.
Although, it probably isn’t a bad idea to do book reviews, no matter how you feel about the book.
People might appreciate the different perspective.
People love a good rant.
A long, long time ago, I wrote an article about why I don’t think professional speakers should wear jeans on stage.
I got on my soapbox and I ranted and raved about it.
I find it extraordinarily disrespectful when you’ve paid money to see someone and they show up like they just rolled out of bed.
(And many of them have.)
Since then, I’ve softened my view on things, but that dumb article was just mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a Facebook conversation.
And it was nearly EIGHT years ago!
We do a monthly interview with our Fireside Chat—and it works well.
I also record them on Zoom so I have separate audio and video tracks and we also write content to accompany them.
That’s, at minimum, three pieces of content from one interview.
This works with audio, video, and written text.
Question of the Week
This is one we really should get back to doing.
In the day, we did Facebook question of the week on video.
People would ask us a question on our Facebook page (provided lots of engagement) and we would answer it on video.
That video then would be hosted on YouTube, but embedded here as a blog post and in the sidebar.
Hmmmmm….this is a good one!
Remember when social media was not around?
Our education and previous experience can directly tie into how we communicate today.
Make comparisons to how businesses used to roll vs. how they roll today and show your audience the similarities or gargantuan differences and the strategies to capitalize on them.
Educate through content and, just like giving it away for free, you will win.
The Latest Trends
As we near the end of each year, we start to see more and more trends articles.
They seem overdone, but they’re that way because they work.
Last year, Ian Cleary posted on Facebook that he’d prefer to see trends based on actual work.
That struck home with me because, while we can all talk about artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency, we don’t know yet how it will work in our business lives.
Talk about the trends that you’ve had great success with and it’ll immediately boost your credibility.
The Sales Questions
Marcus Sheridan is the foremost expert on this—write content that answers the questions your customers are asking.
After all, if they’re asking it, they’re likely not the only ones and that’s what they’re searching.
Take five minutes and write down all of the questions you are asked in new business meetings.
This is great fodder for content.
Roundup of Voices
We started doing this about a year ago with The Big Question.
Every week, we ask our community and HARO a specific question.
This week, our question is:
What does 2018 have in store for marketing and communications professionals?
If you’re so inclined, you can answer it in the comments here…and then wait to see how the magic unfolds on Friday.
This type of content allows your organization to be introduced to new audiences.
The Smarty Pants
There is nothing better than Ike Pigott’s, Eleven Words Guaranteed To Generate Killer Search Engine Traffic and Clicks.
Go ahead and click on it.
What Else Can Generate Comments and Shares?
Now it’s your turn!
I’d love to hear what types of content generate comments and shares for you.
And, what are your thoughts on our Big Question for the week (see the Roundup of Voices section)?
What questions do you have about the ideas here?