7 ways to create powerful content that people will actually share

Imagine that you’ve finally finished writing your latest blog post or your next webinar content.

You’re proud of the ideas in it, and you know they are going to be valuable for your users.  All that’s left is to send it out into the world.

It makes you happy just thinking about how many people will read your creation, until you remember one important thing:

How will people find it?

After all, nearly 2 million blog posts are published every day , so standing out in the crowd isn’t easy.   To make things worse, most blogs get less than 10 visitors per day  – even if they do manage to get picked up by Google or another search engine – which means that even when someone discovers your content, there’s a good chance they won’t be back.

Fortunately, you have an advantage: You already know the topic inside and out.  And thanks to this article, so do I!

Here are 7 ways to create powerful content that people will actually share:

1) Don’t make it too simple  

Content that’s easy to grasp is usually seen as “too basic” for those with more complex problems or expertise.  It can even irritate them – like when their doctor explains diseases using only one symptom.

They know very well that most health issues come from many factors combined, and taking away any of them may lead to false conclusions. Content creators should strive to make their work useful even for readers who are much more advanced in the topic.

2) Surprising your users is good, but expected content is better 

Here’s a question I bet you’ve never asked yourself: Why do these articles even exist?  (At least not this one.)  I mean, how can it be possible that there are so many articles out there on such similar topics as “7 ways to create powerful content” and “8 ways to not bore your audience with content”?  It’s because we expect those posts to be written.

And yet, we keep reading them and sharing them and linking back to them.

If you want people to read and share your piece of content, then first make sure they actually expect it to exist.

3) Make your content concrete

Many people believe that “unless you’re a writer, writing is hard” – but the truth is that even the most experienced writers struggle with setting out their ideas in a way that readers can actually grasp.  They may have 20 great ideas for blog posts, but all of them sound vague and abstract…and will probably never get published.  That’s why they need to find ways to make those concepts more clear for their users – which usually requires some extra work.

And when I say “extra work”, I don’t mean that you should come up with thousands of different examples (although sometimes it might be necessary). Rather, you should identify one single example that resonates with your readers, and stick to it.

If you need to explain why remote work is beneficial for companies, don’t just use all sorts of different examples – focus on one company that uses it successfully, like Automattic (the makers of WordPress).  This works even better than personal anecdotes: A study shows that stories about other people are more persuasive than those involving yourself .

4) Provide your readers with credibility

Let’s say you want people to trust the claims you make in your blog post.  Would you be more likely to do so if they came from someone who had many years of experience as a doctor or as a rocket scientist?

The answer is pretty obvious, yet very few content creators actually apply this to their writing.  In most cases, you should make sure that your blog post is coming from someone who knows what they’re talking about – in the best case, an expert with many years of experience.

5) Make it emotional

Humans are wired for emotions .  That’s why we prefer pictures over text and often click on articles just because their titles “sound sad”.  You can use this to your advantage when you want people to read and share your content: Try to evoke some sort of emotion by making it both unexpected and personal.

Which brings us to my last point…

6) Post stories, not facts

There are two kinds of communication: Facts vs. Stories .

Facts give us information, but they’re not memorable and never persuasive.  Stories do all of the above and more: A study shows that we can remember stories much longer than any other type of content.

So what’s the best way to tell a story?  Use narratives . That means beginning with something unexpected or unusual (or both), like Neil Patel did when he began his post on how to get blog comments with “Hint: It won’t be what you expect”.

And don’t forget to include details that suit your narrative – such as how you ended up in that hotel room where you met Chris Brogan; or how Mark Schaefer’s wife was able to finish her novel while working full-time and raising three kids.

7) Make it shareable

You’ve probably heard about the 80-20 rule before, and if you haven’t: It goes like this.  80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts – and vice versa.

The same principle applies to content that gets shared: 80 percent of social shares take place within just 20 percent of a piece’s total lifespan . So what does that mean for you? To make sure people actually share your content, make sure it appeals to at least one specific group (with as little overlap as possible). For example, Neil Patel knows his audience consists mostly of marketers; so he writes posts specifically for them , such as “5 Essential Tools for Marketers”.

And even though he posts a lot on different topics, he always makes sure to include a “summary” section at the top of his blog posts.  In other words: He tells people exactly what they can expect from the content before they even click on it.

So next time you sit down with your laptop and try to come up with some great ideas for your blog post, don’t hesitate to put in a little extra effort – it could make all the difference between an average blog post and one that goes viral.

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