10 content ideas that elicit comments and shares

Do you want people to comment and share your blog posts and articles? Ok, then follow these tips.

Say goodbye to writer’s block; you now have something to jog your brain.

Obviously my examples are PR, marketing, or social media relations. But you can easily turn these ideas into something for your industry, blogging niche, or particular interests.

Here are 10 shareable content ideas:

1. The manifesto. At the beginning of the year, there were lots of blog posts written about the three words people were using to drive their success in 2012. While I didn’t write a blog post about it, I have “focus, delegation, and vision” posted on the wall in front of me. You could easily get 500 words out of that.

2. The pop culture tie-in. I am terrible at this, but Molli Megasko is fantastic at it. She can tell you what’s happening on “The Bachelor” or with the Kardashian sisters and tie-in a PR lesson.

3. The debate. We often commiserate there isn’t enough debate on the social Web, so why not create it? That’s what Paul Sutton and I did last week when we debated Pinterest (I won). Giving people the opportunity to see two sides of something works incredibly well.

4. The good. I have to admit I was a bit leery about showcasing good PR case studies, but if it’s researched and written well, with some valuable lessons professionals can use in their daily lives, it works well.

I tested this theory with how FedEx handled a customer service crisis using video and it’s our third most popular blog post this month. That said, when I wrote about Ocean Marketing being fired and how the new PR pro is handling the N-Control business, it didn’t rank in the top 10. My theory is it was an overplayed story by then. So be timely.

5. The bad. It’s no surprise the bad case studies are shared over and over and over again. The Papa John’s and Boners BBQ case study about how to handle a PR crisis when employees go rogue is our second most popular blog post. But when you write these types of case studies, do it in a way that is valuable to the reader and doesn’t attack the people involved. Attack the idea, not the person.

6. The ugly. Let’s be real. People like train wrecks. If you can figure out how to write about one without attacking a person, it’s going to be pretty popular. Using terms like “most hated” in headlines, for example, grabs attention and makes people want to read and share.

7. The lists. Voila! Just like I’m doing today. Nate Riggs is the foremost expert on the blog lists. In fact, he did an entire webinar for Spin Sucks Pro on the topic. People like lists. They’re easy to read, bookmark, and return to later. Make sure you include the number of things in your list in the headline.

8. Freebies. Give stuff away! It might be a book a friend has written, a collection of free eBooks available from other bloggers, or your own eBook. John Falchetto does a nice job with this. Right on his homepage, there is a big orange box where you can get several free things. People like free.

9. Ranked lists. This isn’t something we do here because, well, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But this works really well for other bloggers. In fact, Forbes just released its 50 most influential social media professionals and it was shared all over the world.

10. The “something of the year. Just like People magazine does its sexiest man alive issue, you can do the same for your niche. Maybe it’s an app of the month or a productivity tool like Michael Schechter did with his Perfect Computer blog post. I do a book review on the first Friday of every month and a blogger to follow on every other Friday. There are lots of ideas for the something of the week, month, or year.

Gini Dietrich is founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, Inc. A version of this article originally ran on Spin Sucks.


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