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Forget Blogging as Usual: 5 Outrageous Tips for Super-sized Attention

This guest post is by Neil Patel of KISSmetrics.

It happens every minute. About six thousand new blog posts are published. That’s a lot.

Blogs have given enormous power to people. It’s given them a chance to have a voice in a world that used to be controlled by gatekeepers like traditional media. While I’m happy about this, this makes it very hard to get attention in the online world.

Do you want attention for your blog? What about super-sized attention—the kind you get when someone likes Drudge or Time magazine links to your blog because of your work? Well, here are some tips on how to do that.

Super-cool user-generated sites

One of the most popular sites on the web is a user-generated site: I can has cheez burger. Sure, it’s silly, but it’s a valuable lesson: people want to laugh and share stuff for an audience, no matter what it is.

Another site that does this really well is Dear Blank Please Blank. This user generated site is simple. All you do is fill out a short form, click if you want to be notified when it’s published and then submit. That’s it.

While I think this site is genius for the simplicity of the idea and ease of execution, I think it’s simply beyond genius when it comes to the way readers can interact. For instance, after reading the entry, you can choose five options that describe what you feel about it. “How Dare They,” “You’re a Douche,” “Hilarious,” “Like This,” and “Umm, WTF?!”

Of course, you can also comment. The point for you is to think of outrageously different and unique ways of generating user content, because sites like Dear Blank Please Blank show that people want to contribute a lot.

Super-sized photos

According to the 2011 Technorati State of the Blog report, 90 percent of bloggers use some kind of multimedia on their site. This shouldn’t surprise you, but the most popular form is photos:

With this in mind, just putting photos on your blog or website postings isn’t going to get you a lot of attention. The Boston Globe’s Photoblog is one of the most unique blogs in 2011 because of its use of photos. At over 990 pixels wide, these photos are big and bold and are hard to ignore. They look good when they show up in my RSS reader.

A lesser known but equally powerful blog, Fiked, peppers each post with dozens of powerful photos. The copy is lean, so you move very quickly through each post, but the posts are also very long. Think of it as a list post on steroids.

Another fantastic site is Cabin Porn. They take it even further than The Boston Globe and each photograph fills just about the entire screen.

Super-sized posts

One of the things I try to do over at Quick Sprout is give readers a very technical and detailed understanding of my topic. This is the best way to go about it, especially since the Panda and Farmer updates, which essentially targeted sites and blogs with lots of low-quality content.

Besides, because of the glut of blogs and post, people are not going to pay attention to half-page, half-baked posts. They are not going to bookmark or share them either.

You need to create high-quality, interesting content if you want people to read, comment and bookmark. Here’s a short list of questions you can ask yourself that will help you create technical and detailed blog posts:

  • Is what you wrote original?
  • Can you provide practical advice or relevant research?
  • Did you correct any spelling, grammar or factual errors?
  • Is the topic of interest to a reader or a machine?
  • Is the article well edited?
  • Does your site have authority?
  • Are you providing insightful or interesting information beyond the obvious?
  • Would you bookmark your article?
  • Is your article cluttered with call-to-actions, ads or promotions?
  • Would a magazine or journal print your article?
  • Is your article short, weak and useless?
  • How much time and attention did you give to detail?
  • Would someone complain if they saw this article?

Writing high-quality content takes time. But if you ask yourself those 13 questions each time before you write your chances of creating great content will improve.

Cut back your blogging frequency

It used to be that everyone would tell you to blog every day to get the attention you need. Believe me, it’s not easy to keep up that kind of production. Eventually you’ll wear out of ideas and produce crap.

But it also has an effect on your readers. One of the things I learned over the years is that the frequency of blog posts affects interaction. In some of the tests I’ve done, when you deliver long posts that are detailed on a less than frequent basis, like once a week, my readership and number of comments rise. I think it’s because you give space for readers to read, comment and absorb what you wrote.
You do have to keep in mind that this flies in the face of research by Hubspot in their 2011 State of Inbound Marketing. According to their report, bloggers who blog daily will get five times as much traffic than those who blog once a week or less.

Personally, this hasn’t been my experience, so I recommend you test what frequency works best for you.

Wage war against an enemy

Whatever you’re feelings for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, you have to admit that he was a genius when it came to drawing battle lines.

There were enough people in the world who felt like their government was keeping secrets from them, especially in the U.S, and Assange used that anxiety to create an information empire and become an international celebrity.

That tactic is also a common theme when it comes to copywriting. In his “Influential Writing” course, copywriting legend Dan Kennedy used to talk about the “rally against a common enemy” strategy. If you can identify a person, industry, organization or thing (like a disease, for instance) that enough people feel threatened by, you can create a following by waging war against that person or thing.

Think of the story of David and Goliath. We root for the small guy. A consumer advocate blog like The Consumerist is a good example of going after a common enemy. You can even think of Drudge as being an advocate against a common enemy, namely traditional media.

Conclusion

If you want to get a lot of attention for your blog, then you need to start ignoring the traditional ways of blogging and embrace some more outrageous, out-of-the-box ideas. Hopefully the above examples and tips will help you do that.

What other outrageous ideas can you share about getting massive attention for your blog?

Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics and blogs at Quick Sprout.

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Comments

  1. I usually find that the post I am afraid to right because I don’t want to offend anyone or think people will get the wrong idea about what kind of person I am, gets the most attention.

    • Drewry says:

      Jennifer,

      Never mind what people think. Just blog away to your hearts content, as long as you don’t insult anyone or say anything out of turn. Other than that, be genuine in your blogging efforts and pour your heart out :-)

  2. Yes I realize I forgot the w in write. Posts with lots of spelling errors don’t get much attention:(

  3. Yep. Outrageous is definitely the new in! Another outrageous advice? Be real. And be insanely addicting while you’re at it. I’m talking about using wit, metaphor, pun, irony, sarcasm, downright hilariousness etcetera Look at 9GAG. It’s been eating the souls (and time) of people and they still treat it like their daily online bible.

    Good post Neil!

  4. Dwayne says:

    Great Tips, Neil. I wasa trying to write 1 epic post a day but found that it was harder than I thought so I dialed it back to 3 a week. Much easier and the quality of my posts are better, I think. Thanks for the info. Keep it up. =)

  5. Great tips, especially that of the super-sized photos…it just never occurred to me before now. I’m not sure I agree completely with the super-sized posts and the frequency of blogging. I think it is important to blog every day or as often as possible. If I visit your blog three times in a row and it’s still the same old post there, I will get bored and move on. If you are putting out super sized posts every time you obviously cannot keep up with blogging frequently. An interesting blog should mix and match; share other people’s content with maybe a short commentary, share an interesting video, make an observation and put up lots of super sized posts. Seth Godin is a great example: his posts are super-packed but not necessary super-sized.

    Thank you for sharing. I will definitely make use of the stuff I learned.

  6. Rand says:

    This is an excellent article written after very well thought. I have been following you from my first days of internet marketing. How do you do it .. day after the day.??

  7. Great post, these sound like some great ways for us to get the attention we are looking for.

  8. Chris Price says:

    My site is a site about history, so my niche is somewhat limited. I’ve found, however, that more people tend to look at my content when I write about current events and then tie them to history. I tend to get more traffic when I write more often, although the holidays were pretty low in terms of traffic for me.

  9. Wage War ey?? Well I think I’ll wage war on Problogger!!!!!!!!!!
    Down with Problogger!!!
    ……… I’m kidding, don’t take it seriouly heheheh, But i really would get attention throughout the blogging world wouldn’t I ? They would probably look at me as the ant who tried to take on the giant, or something…
    Awesome post by the way.

  10. Michael says:

    These are some pretty epic tips! I wish I could have thought of this list myself! These are definitely essential for us to grow our readership, especially for me as I post daily and often times just short posts. Perhaps I’ll try the post less and see what that does for my blog.

  11. Dr.Kavita says:

    Wonderful post Neil. But I ought to say that my personal experience is in line with the Hubspot research. I used to post once in 3/4 days and that worked great. But since this week I started posting daily and needless to say my vistors have almost doubled!

  12. Neil,

    A ton of good tips for us that are new bloggers. Good links and ideas. Not so sure i know anyone that would think thier posts are “short, weak and useless”. Hilarious. I have read may posts from Seth Godin that are plently short but never useless or weak. Whatever.

    I would agree, blogging daily is literally impossible unless you spend all your time online. There is no way that anyone can maintain quality with that type of frequency (unless you have a huge body of work that gets recycled.)

  13. Ross says:

    Interesting idea about blogging once a week (or with less frequency). Regarding blogging every day, I think Hubspot were probably relating more to business blogs. For the blog i run, we find the community is better engaged if we can give them (hopefully) worthwhile content every day. it also gives us more opportunities to utilize our social media channels. From a personal perspective, i can understand the once-a-week approach – i have friends who push a weekly blog on Facebook and i’m happy to read it even though the content may not be something i’m particularly interested in. Any more than that would be overkill. Although of course, I agree that maintaining quality is a much more efficient process of building a community and followers – three excellent blogs a week are much more important than five good ones in my opinion.

  14. Jason says:

    I like to write on hot topic issues from time to time. I have found that my blog [newish] gets more hits when I talk about stuff that is controversial.

  15. David says:

    The part, “Wage war against an enemy” is interesting.

    With that in mind, one has to wonder how much longer Julian Assange will rule his information empire.

    Anyway, this is a good post and it’s given me a couple of ideas.

    Thanks!

  16. What happened to: “Blog unto others as you as you would have them blog unto you.”. lol

  17. About the frequency of posts, I think it depends on the site. I had a friend who told to do daily posts as it increases traffic. Well, he has a point too. But ever since I am publishing 1 content weekly and haven’t tried the daily post. However, I am planning on doing some experiment soon. The Hubpage’s result is quite convincing.

  18. Gene says:

    Intersting post about not following traditional blogging tactics. i think the blogging frequency thing is dependent on what type of blog you have, whether you write about stuff that oathers dont write about and shows an increasing trend in visitor interests. I have a friend who only blogged a lot when he first started and its been 3 months since his last post and yet his visitor count has risen exponentially.

  19. Dawn says:

    Great post Neil and it is always nice to see what works well for others. One thing I am not sure that I completely agree with (tho I know it does work for some) is long posts. I have noticed that it is too easy to lose the attention of readers when the post is long. I have found myself doing it many times on blogs with long posts. I tend to read in the beginning and then start to skip through it. I find it hard to stay on the topic through a long post. Long posts do work well for others tho, this is just my experience.

  20. Stacy says:

    I am posting daily this month and I have noticed something very interesting. Each post is getting less than half of the comments than I was getting when I was posting 2-3x a week. But my Alexa ranking is getting better and I’ve seen my other stats improve overall as well. I’m running a challenge for this month so that could also account for the lower comment count, readers who aren’t participating are less likely to be posting. I may try posting daily next month on different topics and see what those results yield! It’s a very interesting experiment!

  21. Fantastic article – it really got my creative juices flowing !!!

  22. Great post. I agree, when I blogged everyday my content was not as interesting and good quality. Now I blog twice a week and I make it personal…I love expressing myself through my blog and that’s when I see my comments increase and readers actually email me to relate.
    Thank you for sharing.

  23. Gregory X says:

    Thanks for this thought provoking post. I’ve just started a new blog, and I’ve been wondering how often I should post, and how long each post should be. Your article hasn’t given me a firm answer, but it did give me a lot more to think about.

  24. Tim McGlover says:

    absolutely outrageous! I haven’t tried it but I think it works :D

  25. maxwell ivey says:

    Hello; I was totally floored by the information about photo size. It shows the differences between blogging and website creation. On a website we are all told that having too many images or having images that are too large slow down the time it takes for your page to load and will discourage people from using your site. But in blogs it seams that bigger and more is better. And as far as post frequency I post when I have something to say. Sometimes it could be two or three times a week, and others it may be as much as ten days between posts. I feel like my readers, few as they are, prefer to get relivant content. thanks for the great article, max

  26. barb g says:

    These ar esome great tips which I plan to incorportate into my site when I can. I
    have cut back on the daily post’s as it just so hard to keep up that pace. I subscribe
    to your newsletter so I really like your style of writing. Thanks for a good bunch of hints.

  27. I really believe in quality than quantity. I used to update blog almost daily. but after sometimes i found some unused posts with zero viewers and the Quality of my my blog was decreasing. Now i post only quality posts. And you know what people love new and quality posts. I also found that subscription to my blog has been increased. :)

  28. Soozcat says:

    People visit my blog for the weirdest reasons. But I’ve noticed something that seems to work with predictable regularity: when you blog about shared events (fantasy conventions, experiences with the TSA, etc.) with which people connect on a personal if not visceral basis, they’ll find you. Last year I went to Steamcon and took a lot of pictures, and that particular blog entry gets more hits than any other — presumably from fellow Steamcon attendees who are looking for photos of themselves.