A Magic Formula for Magnetic Content
You’ve got something great to share, don’t you?
So you pour your heart into writing it. To make sure it’s factually accurate and full of helpful tips, you do lots of research. Then you endlessly edit it to perfection, so no one can say it has typos, errors, or misstatements.
Then, with hesitant confidence, you hit publish.
Letting your work go is a lot like watching your baby go to school the first time. You worry whether he’ll be okay or whether his classmates will tear him apart. You wonder whether he’ll make a great impact or be ignored. And after all that, you wonder whether he’ll find his way home or get lost forever.
Here’s the parallel.
- Readers can love your work or tear it apart.
- Your article can make an impact or fall flat right after you launch.
- Your words can connect with readers or be ignored forever.
If you worry your work will go nowhere, take heart. If your work has been ignored, there is hope. If you wonder whether you’ll ever be able to make a difference, there is a magic formula that ensures your blog posts don’t turn into dead letters.
But first, you have to know what you’re up against.
3 Barriers to Outstanding Blog Posts
You get lost in the crowd.
We live in a world where anyone can publish anything at any time.
That’s real freedom, isn’t it?
However, there’s no guarantee anyone will read anything anyone publishes.
Just because you put your post on Medium doesn’t mean anyone will care.
Think of being on Medium as having a home in New York City. Suppose you put up a billboard on your wall. It might look great. And the people you invite might see it. But that doesn’t mean that everyone in the city will see it or care about it.
You’ve got to do more to be remarkable.
You push the wrong buttons.
Suppose you see somebody doing something wrong — like pouring motor oil into their transmission. Do you think they’ll hear you if the first thing you say is, “You’re doing it wrong.”
Sure, they may listen. But their defenses immediately rise. From then on whatever you say will have to penetrate a shield like the one Captain America throws at his enemies.
When that happens, you’re not likely to move anyone to do anything. In fact, they might go ahead and pour that oil into the transmission once your back is turned.
It doesn’t matter if you’re right when you appear self-righteous.
Tenured university professors are guilty of this.
Just in case you don’t know what I mean by tenure, here’s how it works. Once you get tenure, it means those in charge have made you invincible. There’s almost nothing you can do to get fired.
When you’re in that position, you do enough to keep your job. Those students should be glad for the privilege of sitting before you as you pontificate your golden nuggets of wisdom.
What happens is those students taught by tenured professors are bored to sleep every time class is held.
Being smart isn’t enough in the blogosphere. You’ve got to earn the right to be heard. If you don’t, you’ll never make a difference.
Now let’s see how you can make a difference every time you publish!
A Proven 3-Step Method for Making Any Content Magnetic
Step 1 — Start with a story.
Every great writer is a storyteller.
Maybe the fact that I used great as an adjective bothers you. So let me define what it means to be a great writer.
I can do it in one word.
Here‘s what it means to be effective:
- It’s not about perfect grammar.
- It’s more than just sharing the facts.
- Making your posts scannable isn’t enough.
You’re effective when your words get read.
The best way to do that is to remember what all successful writers must do — make an emotional connection with readers.
Stories are a great way to do that. Let me illustrate.
A Tuesday Morning I’ll Never Forget
I woke to the worst news any boss wants to hear.
It was 8 in the morning. The news announced that two young girls were crossing the street when from out of nowhere a speeding car plowed into them — killing them both.
It wouldn’t have mattered much to me until I heard where it happened.
I got chills when I heard one of the girl’s names.
What stopped me in my tracks was that Terika worked for me.
She was only 19.
And she was pregnant.
The other girl who was with her was also pregnant.
They were both pronounced dead at the scene. But really, 4 lives ended that night — all because some nut was trying to keep from getting caught by the police that were chasing him.
It all seemed so surreal. I called her family to see if I hadn’t mistaken her for someone else.
I offered my condolences and sent flowers.
You never know how much time you have left. While I was thankful that I had spent time sharing life lessons with her, I lamented the lost opportunities that speeding driver took away forever.
Terika was remarkable because she wanted to learn. She worked hard to get better every day.
And she did.
Take every opportunity you have to talk with someone. You may never have another one. That one encounter might be the one that brings a breakthrough.
Are you willing to live with regret because you didn’t speak when you could have?
Step 2 — Build a bridge with facts.
The beautiful thing about facts is they don’t change.
If you want people to believe the facts, you’ve got to give them context. Detached facts mean little to most people. Context is a bridge that leads to the life you’re living right now.
That’s why you start with a story.
Consider the fact I shared in the story above.
You never know how much time you have left.
I don’t have to offer additional proof to you, do I? The story offered you a chilling example that life is fragile. A young girl — with her whole life ahead of her — had it cut short by someone who was running from the police.
Dale Carnegie said it well in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People. He said if you want other people to come around to your way of thinking you’ve got to remember one thing.
People are more concerned with themselves than anything else under the sun.
If you want to make a compelling case, appeal to your readers’ interests — not your own.
The same goes with fishing. I like my phone. Do you think if I dangle that in front of a fish I’ll catch him?
Fish like worms. So if I want to catch a fish’s attention, I better bait my hook with what he wants — a worm.
Step 3 — Make it easy to say yes.
You started with a story.
You used it to make the facts easy to accept.
The next natural step is to ask your reader to do something.
You shouldn’t run into much resistance with this approach. Here’s how you can close the sale.
Use logic to justify their emotional choice.
Why does this approach work?
Because people need to feel they’re right.
When you appeal to the emotions first, you make a powerful connection. When this happens, people are more open to suggestion.
In my case, when I heard that Terika had died so tragically, I was more open to the idea that time is precious. When I felt like I had all the time in the world, I would scoff and let opportunities slip through my fingers.
When my father wanted me to believe something, he would often lecture me about it. Since I was a teenager, my first response was to reject his efforts.
If he had told me a story and then shared his point, I’d have been wiser — and he would have been more persuasive.
This idea is not new at all. Aesop did this 500 years before Christ walked the earth. He’d tell a story, then state the truth it illustrated.
If it worked then as well as it does now, can you afford not to do this?
Now Make it Work for You
Are you telling stories whenever you write?
When you do, your readers will persuade themselves. Then you’ll just have to use facts and logic to lead them where they already want to go.
Do this and your blog posts will start working for you like a wise financial investment works to build your wealth.
Like what you just read? Clap heartily. Share it with your friends. Leave a response and let’s talk.
Want more tips on how to engage readers, sell your ideas, and build your tribe? Come over to www.frankmckinleyauthor.com for more great content!
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