You’ve poured through the archives of Copyblogger.
You’ve read every single post on how to write killer headlines.
You have a swipe file that resembles the library of congress.
Maybe you’ve even written a post or two yourself that went viral, really struck a chord or hit a nerve with your readers. But for some reason you can’t seem to replicate your best work on a regular basis.
Have you ever read the work of a popular blogger and wondered what it is that causes their content to spread like wildfire?
If you take a look back at all the blog posts that you’ve commented on and shared, you’ll find they all have one thing in common. They invoked an emotional response in you. You may not even remember the content of the recent post you’ve read, but what you probably remember is how it made you feel.
People will always remember how you made them feel. Words paint pictures that enable people to experience the wide range of human emotions. The goal of a writer is to invoke emotions. So, start by asking yourself the question
“What do I want people to feel when they are finished reading this?”
The 6 Emotional Triggers of Killer Content
The goal of a great headline is to get somebody to read the first sentence of your post. The goal of the first sentence is to get your reader to read the second sentence. Every great piece of killer content starts by invoking curiosity. You can invoke curiosity in some different ways:
- Ask a Question
- Tell a Story
- State a Problem
Curiosity sends people down the rabbit hole causing them to not only read your current post, but also potentially dig through your archives. As Ben Settle told me in a recent conversation with him, curiosity is the most powerful thing in selling.
A good storyteller enables his or her reader to live vicariously through their own experiences. This is why lifestyle design and travel blogs tend to be so popular. When we read the story of somebody else’s adventure it invokes a desire to experience our own. A food blogger will use pictures of food and recipes to make their readers salivate. You can invoke desire in the following ways:
- Use Vivid Descriptions
- Incorporate Pictures into Your Posts
When I asked the question “how did the last post you read make you feel” to all my followers, the most frequent response was inspired. The mantra of many successful bloggers is “inspire, entertain, and inform.” Every successful blog regardless of the subject matter seems to have a bit of personal development as one of its ingredients. All you have to do is look at your Facebook wall on a daily basis to see just how much people want to be inspired.
Showcasing flaws, failure, and setbacks through your content is scary. But it’s also what makes you authentic. In his book “Click” Ori Braffman’s research demonstrates that one of the factors that causes two people to “click” or experience an emotional connection is vulnerability.
- Mom bloggers connect with other moms by sharing stories about their kids.
- Travel bloggers share their stories about their challenges with traveling
- Entrepreneurs invoke empathy from other entrepreneurs by writing about their challenges in building their businesses.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable by sharing personal stories and experiences with your readers.
Making people feel good is always a recipe for success with your content. If your content puts a smile on somebody’s face or makes them laugh, then you’ve accomplished this goal. After all it’s called the “like” button, not the “it’s ok” button.
The element of surprise is something that has been used in great storytelling since the beginning of time. Plot twists make us keep watching movies and reading books. When anything is completely predictable it invokes indifference. So be sure to take your readers on a journey and give them some unexpected surprises along the way.
By invoking an emotional response in your readers your dramatically increase the likelihood of having your content spread like wildfire. Before you sit down to write your next post, ask yourself how you want people to feel after they’ve read it.