Sure, your content needs to be useful. Yes, absolutely, it needs to improve your readers’ lives. And without a doubt, it needs to strengthen your relationship with your content community.
But sometimes, you just want to get some sizzle going.
Here are some ideas for when you want to create content that’s hot enough to burn your readers’ fingers.
Set the mood
Nothing sets the mood for a hot post like an absolutely perfect picture. Find an image that grabs your reader by the collar and won’t let go.
By “perfect,” I don’t mean pretty. Sunsets and smiling models set your audience up for a lukewarm post they can safely ignore.
Just like you should keep running lists of post ideas, make sure you’ve got a stockpile of terrific free or cheap images you can use for your posts. The mood, tone and energy of a riveting image can be the springboard for a smoking hot piece of content.
Get your rant on
The next time you read something online that makes your scalp go all prickly and the blood rush to your face, get your fingers to the keyboard.
Nothing gets people moving like a good, old-fashioned barn-burning rant. Get passionate. Get over the top. Don’t think about anything while you’re writing, just get your fine sense of outrage down into pixels.
Once you’ve got the post written, sure, it might be a good idea to let it cool off a little. If you’re downright attacking someone, or being mean or unfair, you probably want to cut a few lines. (I guarantee they’ll be your best lines, but that’s how it goes.)
But don’t neuter yourself–leave some crackle in your post. The occasional rant will bring your best audience closer to you, and it’s a great way to pull in a crowd.
Flaunt your dirty laundry
Naomi Dunford had a solid, useful blog with Ittybiz, but it didn’t take off until she started posting about things like getting her hand stuck in a wine box.
The more bossy and authoritative you are (and Naomi has no problems in that department), the more entertaining it is when you talk about the completely moronic things you do sometimes.
We’re all idiots. It’s wonderful to know that we’re not alone. Making a total spectacle of yourself every day is probably a bad idea, but once in awhile, getting in touch with your inner class clown can heat things up nicely for you.
Get over yourself
I know you hate number posts. We all hate number posts. If we have to write one more “8 Content Mistakes that Make Your Blog Look Fat” post we’ll barf.
So kick yourself in the pants and figure out a way to write one that doesn’t suck. Pour your heart into it. Overdeliver. Come up with a wild angle. Create the resource no one wants to live without.
Try using a tired format like a number post to surprise, delight, and maybe even overwhelm.
We hate number posts because bloggers crank them out when they don’t know what else to post. Don’t do that. When you don’t know what to post, write a page or two of utter garbage and then save it without posting.
Is there a particular blogging cliché you can’t stand? Figure out how to create something exceptional with it. Push the format, and push yourself. Go for the burn.