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5 Tips For Writing Top-Notch Content That Shares Itself

5 Tips For Writing Top-Notch Content That Shares Itself

There are hundreds of millions of blogs on the Internet, so why should anyone care about yours? If you want to write top-notch content people care about, you need to do everything within your power to stand out from the pack. Apply the following 5 tips if you want to craft emotionally powerful blogs that your reader can’t resist talking about.

1. Know Your Audience

Before you pound out a blog, consider the characteristics of your reader. Are they busy people who appreciate concise material that gets straight to the point without one iota of meandering, or would they appreciate a good in-depth personal story to illustrate your point? If you’re not sure, experiment with short action-based posts and long story-based posts to discover what format results in more interaction, shares, and traffic. Be a relentless self-experiment until you discover what makes your audience tick.

2. Keep It Real

Trying to write material that connects with every single person will guarantee that you connect with no one. Think about it: do you enjoy reading generic content devoid of personality or purpose? Let your personality shine because phoniness can be detected from miles away.

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3. Illustrate Their Pain and Provide a Solution

Every post you write should solve a problem your reader is struggling with. Hook your reader by illustrating their pain in agonizing detail. If you need some help, ask yourself the following questions to get started:

  • What are some common shared goals of my target audience?
  • Why do they typically fail to meet those goals?
  • What negative thoughts are they telling themselves that prevent them from taking action?
  • How would taking action directly benefit them today?

4. Be Aware of Why People Share

People share content online as an extension of themselves, so you need to be aware of the psychological triggers that lead your readers to engage with your material. The easiest way to grasp this concept is simple: think about the last few blogs or articles you shared and ask yourself, “Why did I share this particular piece of material?” Below are the most common reasons people click the share button:

Helpful: If a reader was helped by a blog, they might feel inspired to share it with their friends so they can benefit too.

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Funny: People love to show everyone how witty they are, so they will be more than happy to share some laughs with their friends.

Exclusive: The best bloggers make their readers feel like they are part of a special club or movement. If you can make your audience feel like insiders, they will be unable to resist talking about you.

When in doubt, consider the firmly held beliefs of your audience and write a blog that is in complete agreement with their existing worldview. Pay attention to the comments people make on shared articles and you’ll probably notice things like:

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  • Amen!
  • This is SO true!
  • I couldn’t have said it better myself!

In other words, no one ever changes their mind about anything important because of a blog on the Internet. Write material that speaks to the beliefs of your reader and they will share your content as an extension of themselves.

5. Use Power Words Full of Emotional Weight

Tell me which passage sounds better:

“Losing weight can become frustrating if you keep trying and trying without achieving any results. Click here to learn about 10 sure-fire ways to lose fat.”

Yawn.

 “Are you sick and tired of crash diets that don’t include enough food to feed a mouse? Click here if you want to build a sexy body that allows you to walk with confidence and swagger… no restrictive dieting required.”

Now we’re talking! To craft top-notch content people care about, don’t merely consider what your audience wants but become aware of why they want it. Help your reader visualize the specific benefits they desire by using power words that elicit a strong emotional response. Click here for a comprehensive list of 317 power words that will instantly make you a better writer. To maximize the impact of your new-and-improved vocabulary, combine those power words with these 8 qualities of powerful writing.

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More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

Less Thinking, More Doing: Develop the Action Habit Today Why Instant Gratification is the Villain of Success How To Be Happy Alone and Enjoy Life Why You Procrastinate: 7 Possible Reasons You Can’t Get Anything Done 9 Things to Remember When You’re Having a Bad Day

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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