Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.
It’s a secret. It’s revealed in my blog posts. Let’s get started.
Here are my five top posts:
They are variegated, they are not about the same subject, yet they have a common thread and have nothing to do with the subject. It is how the subject is treated.
The top post and the fourth amuse me. It seems as if every day someone clicks these posts. And I wonder why? Likely somebody is looking for a recipe of S O S. In the past I’ve posted a few recipes and they always seem to attract. I suppose the idea of eating Kal Kan dog food is too intriguing not to read about.
My number 2 post was featured on Freshly Pressed, but to get there it had to be relevant in some way. The piece addressed the annoyance of cell phones and how they’ve taken priority over face to face interaction.
Number three was just from an observation meant to be humorous. Only one person commented and was quite upset. I replied. My assertion still stands; there are some COEXIST people I fear – COEXIST or else!
The fifth most visited post was linked from a Detroit sports article so many Detroit Lions’ fans as well as old Kellen Moore Boise State fans visited that post. Those in Detroit were incensed that I’d remotely even suggest anyone could replace Matt Stafford.
For the most part the common thread, to me anyway, is each of these top five hit a button. They presented a flip side to a conventional idea; S O S can be made great, a conflict between “me” and “the cell phone,” COEXIST people are supposed to be peace-loving and tolerant, you’re not supposed the eat dog food, and who would dare say anything bad about my favorite player.
There’s nothing new here, (Can you imagine how much further you would have read if this were my first phrase?) but just reinforces what we already know, conflict and if possible tension makes for good reading. Challenge the conventional. Write from a slant not often explored. Find contrasts and exploit them.
Create the conflict and tension from the beginning with a good title or headline. When you write don’t explore it to the point of exhausting the reader. You don’t have to be a smarty-pants. Give the reader a chance to fill in some blanks or complete your points.
Bear in mind not everything that is written needs to be treated this way. Write what comes natural. If you can add the elements I’ve mentioned make certain it is natural and not forced. Don’t manufacture conflict and tension. It should already exist. It is your job as a writer to cleverly introduce it. That’s why writing is called an art.