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How to get people to read your blog the cynical way

05/12/2011

The helpful folks over at Marketing Donut published a list by Sonja Jefferson of 20 article ideas to capture readers’ attention and imagination.  It’s all useful stuff and many of the ideas are proven to work (my referencing it here is in fact no. 11) but I think I’m getting sceptical in my old age.  The blogs that generate the most traffic – and I mean globally – seem to fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • They are about or focus on famous people (which may or may not include Hollywood, Bollywood, reality TV and soap ‘stars’)
  • They are excerpts from a book written by someone already famous or well-known for their expertise
  • They are about niche or irreverent ideas and issues not always well-covered elsewhere
  • They have more and more imagery and videos than words
  • Their popularity is driven by users and readers, not by the organisations or individuals creating the content
  • They are trying to sell a “you can’t get rich quick, but you can get rich” online marketing scheme
  • They include instructions on how to use the latest tools (Google+ is everywhere at the minute)

It also seems that unless the blog features in the top three points, readership is likely to rise and fall on the tide of fashion, fads and gizmos.  I think it’s fair to say that predicting what will be attractive for readers of blogs (and other online forums) in advance will become a highly sought after skill in the immediate future.

So, if you can create content that your audience can’t really find elsewhere, has a picture of Katie Price holding a puppy with a broken paw and signing an autobiography of management guru Tom Peters whilst appearing in a YouTube video featuring an hilarious diving board accident, you’re bound to attract readers!

On the other hand, we could all just make sure that our target audiences find the content valuable enough to read, share and contribute to and not get obsessed with the volume game.

Fenton! Fenton! (you can actually have that as a T-shirt, you know)

And yes, I know I’ve used celebrities and viral videos here but it was to make the point… honest.

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