Today I want to tell you the story of a blogger whose problem that he was too good at getting on the front page of Digg. But first – I want to share a quote from Michael Gray who said something last week that hit the mark for me:
“One way to make sure your linkbait is successful is to pick a subject that you believe in, are passionate about, and that will bring out an emotional response from members of your target audience.
Or you could play it safe and write the 5 ways Twitter is helping web 2.0 businesses.
The first is memorable the second is utterly forgettable. ”
I wish I’d said that.
A Blogger With a Problem
I spoke with a blogger (we’ll call him Buddy) last week who presented me with a problem. Buddy’s problem was this:
He had been blogging for a year or so and had worked out how to write the kind of content that did well on Digg. In fact he’d perfected the art of writing Diggable content to such a degree that he hit the front page most weeks. As a result he had a blog with a lot of monthly traffic.
This doesn’t sound like that much of a problem… well not yet….
Buddy’s frustration was that he had no (or very few) loyal readers.
His reflection to me was this:
‘I’m writing fluff. It’s good fluff because it can draw a crowd, but I think they quickly leave because it doesn’t really mean anything to anyone, including me.’
Buddy asked me if he should stop writing the ‘Diggable Posts’ (the fluff)? My response to him was to try a couple of things:
1. Bring the Digg formula to topics that matter - what if he applied the principles to topics he was actually passionate about?
2. Mix in posts that go deeper - not every post needs to be ‘fluffy’ – in fact I find that a good mix of styles of posts can work well on a blog. A ‘Top 10 ways to…’ ‘how to’ list post one day, a ‘review’ post the next day, a question for your readers the next, a ‘rant’ the following day, followed up by a case study the next day….. etc (you can see 20 types of posts here).
What I find is that the ‘fluffy’ posts draw the crowd but the other types of posts actually engage them and keep them coming back. In effect this is what I’ve been doing on DPS and it’s worked well for me.
There’s nothing wrong with writing the type of post that could go viral on social media sites – however like Michael says – it’s posts that mean something to you, that are written with passion and that bring out some kind of emotional response in your readers that will make an impact upon people.