There Are (at Least) 1,000,001 Ways to Spin a Topic:
My keyboard has become my muse, my best friend and some days, my worst enemy. On the enemy days, I swear the connection between my brain and my fingers is broken and I’m never going to have an original idea. Like, ever again. Been there? I can feel some of you nodding.
I have two pieces of good news for you, fellow content creators:
1). Your brain will start working again (probably)
2). You don’t need a completely original idea
Rather than toiling to try and come up with the world’s greatest new idea, consider repurposing your awesome old ideas.
Remember that post from 6 months ago that got you major green up arrow metrics? Revisit it and think about other ways you can approach the content that was such a home run on the first go-round. Offer additional points of view, explain the opposite side of the concept presented or reconstruct your post in other formats. Voila! Brain beats keyboard.
Now, if that process doesn’t have you jazzed, all hope is not lost. It’s just time to resort to Plan B(rowse for Inspiration).
Start scouring the web for excellent stuff that others have put out there and go through the same process outlined above. This should go without say, but be a good content creator and don’t steal other people’s work. Instead, use whatever great ideas or content you find to inspire your own stroke of genius. Before you know it, you’ll turn the stalemate between you and your keyboard into 15 more executable ideas. Clickety-clack!
People Still Love Lists – I Promise:
Perhaps you’ve heard of a listicle, defined as an article on the Internet presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list. Despite the ridiculousness of its namesake, listicles took the internet by storm.
Though made wildly popular by sites like Buzzfeed (known for things like this list of terrifying face swaps), listicles have actually become highly controversial. In fact, over the past several years, I’ve seen the lists are in, lists are out debate get bigger than the argument over which Kardashian is most ridiculous. ( I vote KimYe. That’s a thing now, right?). I’m getting old. Anyway...
The biggest sticking point is that there are too many lists. The internet is literally drowning in them and listicles are no longer considered an original or creative way to present content. Brazen articles tout that readers are over it and the listicle format is, as the Black Eyed Peas would say, so 2000 and late.
Well folks, that’s just not true.
The bottom line is, lists are easy to read, easy to share and they provide readers with bite-sized takeaways. That’s why I proudly position myself as a bullet-point-and-number-yielding list lover. And my blog stats back me up! And in case you need more evidence, you clicked on this article, which means you’re totally busted if you say you’re anti-list.
I’ve seen many-a-list work wonders for traffic and sharing, proving that list posts, listicles or whatever you want to call them are alive and well. In large part because…
All Content Must Be Skimmer Proof:
Guys, face it. We don’t read. We just don’t! We skim, skip around and look for the three sentences that are going to stick in our brains. In fact, I’m going to call you out right now. You can try to pretend that you’ve read every word of this post up to this point, but I simply don’t believe you.
As a content creator, it can be frustrating to deal with people’s short attention spans. I mean, you put so much work into creating a great post only to find people get distra…
Who say what now? Oh right. I was writing a blog post.
Anyway… if you learn to embrace our collective inability to concentrate and cater your content to the gold-fishiest of readers, you’ll be handsomely rewarded with better reader engagement.
So how do you do that? Make lists, take advantage of bullet points, incorporate headers when you switch topics and let your readers choose their own adventure with your content. And be ok with it.
Also, know your audience. Let their wants, needs and preferences dictate your tone, vocabulary, and formatting. Doing so is absolutely critical to making your content digestible, skimmable and shareworthy.
I hope you learned something useful and enjoyed my list. See what I did there?