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Clickbait AND beyond – You won’t BELIEVE these 6 original tips for writing blog content!

25 May 2016 | About a 4 minute read
Tags: Academy, Buzzfeed, clickbait, Content, Writing


It’s time to steal, be a shepherd and write for a selfish audience. With two million blog posts written every day, we need to look beyond the norm when writing blogs in order to stand out and get it viral. Yes, this IS a blog about blogging, but it hopefully it has some tips you haven’t read before, so read on and get blogging:

1. Steal like an artist

Good ol’ Pablo Picasso told us “Art is Theft” so a great blog post is down to using ideas that we stumble upon around us, and using our creativity to build better ones. Getting started can be daunting, so get on to Google and type in: “inurl:blog *popular_term_in_your_niche*” to bring up a load of blogs connecting to your topic. Then it’s time to read, dismiss, steal, boost and improve – to get your hot content.

art is theft

2. Shepherd not sheep

Once you’ve done your research and stolen like an artist, it’s time to think what you can bring to the debate that is new, different and better still. How about turning the current debate on its head, take the opposite angle or be controversial in your opinion. In a sea of blogs that face one way, can you stand it on its head and create that spark that may make it go viral. Be bold.

3. #selfie

People read blogs for selfish purposes. We don’t want to spend all those precious nanoseconds of our day reading something that doesn’t help us in some small way. People reading blogs are demanding, they want to learn something new, be entertained, or share something that promotes their own views on a particular matter. So as a blogger, we need to ensure we deliver a blog that allows this. So ask yourself, is your blog one that solves a problem, helps people achieve something, leaves them inspired to do something, or is it a resource they would want to share?

4. Hard hitting first sentence

A rhetorical question. A fact to blow their socks off. A controversial statement. These are just a few things to help you get straight to it, and grab the reader’s attention in your blog. Problogger states that ‘there is an average length of stay of only 37 seconds [on a blog]’, and many other studies state less, so it is important to grab the attention of your audience from the get go. So it’s go hard, or your audience go home.

5. DO judge a blog by its title

People probably shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but they are definitely judging your blog by its title, as it is often the only thing they have to go on. People have a love-hate relationship with click bait titles. For example having “OMG Kim Kardashian did THIS to Kanye”, which once clicked turns out to something ridiculous and not worth your precious click. So it is important to balance a really enticing title, with one that is geared on just getting clicks.

It is good to go for one that is controversial, useful, funny or clever. One tip is to make it numbered, “10 Reasons..”, “8 ways to”, or to set it as an obvious guide to something “How to” etc. Another tip could be a play on words, a pun or take a twist on a familiar catchphrase or saying.

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6. Think BuzzFeed

Why do we love reading and sharing BuzzFeed articles? Apart from being utterly entertained by reading “99 small places where cats can sleep” – it’s because the content is bite-sized, compartmental, and scan-able which makes it utterly satisfying for the audience to read. It also means that it sticks in our minds for longer, and make us want to share it to others. We have all shared BuzzFeed posts (“You are so number 7!”), suggesting a particular part that shouts out to the audience, rather than the whole thing. This sort of sharing where there is a referral to just one part means a greater number of shares overall. So when writing your blog, does it work to structure it in short sharp interesting sections that are easily referable and beg to be shared?

(AND one bonus point since you clicked on my blog post)
7. The 140 character mentality

Despite enabling its users to become proficient in shorthand writing, Twitter had a point for setting the character limit to 140 characters. Since Twitter has done this, it makes us think about each word and whether it has value to that Tweet or not. This is a good mantra to our blog writing and each sentence within it. Does each sentence add value? If not – delete and refine.

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