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We all do it.
Sometimes, we’ll pour our blood, sweat, and tears into a blog post.
We’ll spend hours getting the headline just right. We’ll spend days fine-tuning our esoteric references to pop culture. We’ll tweak, revise, edit, and refine the post over and over until it’s perfect.
We’ll publish just for the sake of publishing.
We’ll think of an idea, throw down a few mildly-inspiring and fleshed-out thoughts into a post, and click the ol’ publish button. Then, after tweeting the latest Magnum Nopeus to our followers, we’ll pat ourselves on the back for meeting some arbitrary, self-imposed publishing deadline.
The problem is most blog traffic comes from first-time visitors. We get one shot at them. One chance to make an impression. One chance to impact their lives.
And, too often, too many bloggers publish posts that fall far short of their best.
The posts are just… there.
They don’t enrich the readers’ lives. They don’t teach them something new. They don’t make them laugh or help forget their troubles for a few moments. They don’t inspire them.
And so they leave. Never to return.
Yours is now one of the thousands of blogs in their rear-view mirror. By the time they’ve hit the BACK button, they have already forgotten about you.
Congratulations – you’re forgettable.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way.
Let’s take a look at 10 ways some of the web’s best bloggers make their posts so gosh darn memorable…
#1: Make Them Laugh
Laughter has been shown to boost the immune system, reduce stress, and enhance brain chemistry through the release of endorphins.
In other words, Patch Adams was right:
Laughter does do a body good.
Adding humor to a post does more than cut down on your readers’ healthcare costs, though. It’s a powerful method for captivating a blogging audience, piquing their curiosity, and keeping them glued to the page.
And true to his headline, Marc sprinkled humor throughout his post. References to Seinfeld, Mr. T, Alanis Morissette, and more were used to release endorphins and tickle the funny bones of readers.
The result was a memorable guest post – as proven by the fact I’m referencing it nine months after it was published.
And speaking of memorable…
Let’s talk about Amy Harrison.
When I stumbled across her site last year, I didn’t get any work done for an entire week – she’s that good. And no, I’m not just saying that because she paid me. I mean, she did pay me, but that’s not the only reason I’m saying it.
(Note: For legal purposes I should state Amy Harrison has not actually paid me any money. That said, if she’s willing to pay me to compliment her more often I would gladly accept it. Do you use PayPal, Amy? Email me.)
Amy complements many of her posts with funny (and educational) videos. She uses humor to break down business complexities into nice, easy-to-understand pearls of wisdom.
Here, she explains how you can make copywriting as irresistible as cookies or puppies:
Pretty memorable, wouldn’t you say?
Videos outside your skill set? How about a meme?
To promote my Ultimate Guide to Writing Comments That Open Doors with Popular Bloggers guest post last month, I created a series of (hopefully) humorous memes and unleashed them onto the unsuspecting public.
Did they work? Well, I don’t like to brag, but the image you see above compelled three people to click “favorite” on Twitter. So, yeah… I’d say they worked.
Of course, my memes have nothing on Brittany Bullen’s.
Last year, Brittany created 25 humorous memes for her blog.
Enjoy cat memes? She had three of them. Love the McRib sandwich? She had a McRib meme. Like zombies? Yeah, Brittany had a zombie meme, too.
These 25 memes were part of a post titled 25 Things to Remember When You’re Having a Hard Day.
Did they brighten the days of readers? Definitely.
Were the memes shared and pinned over and over? Absolutely.
Was Brittany memorable?
You better believe it.
That’s what humor can do. It can brighten days, release endorphins, and ensure you’ll have readers who still remember your name in the morning.
Plus, sometimes you’ll get three people to favorite your tweets.
So you’ll have that going for you. Which is nice.
#2: Come Bearing Gifts
Have you ever met someone who didn’t enjoy receiving gifts?
Yeah, me neither.
Everyone enjoys gifts!
Even those ugly sweaters our grandmothers would give us for Christmas or birthdays held some entertainment value. (If you had a younger sibling you could hand them down to, ugly sweaters were gifts that kept on giving.)
Blog readers love gifts, too.
If you offer them something unexpected and worthwhile within your post – a free content bonus, perhaps? – they will appreciate it. Many will gladly subscribe to your email list in return for said bonus.
And if they subscribe, that means they’ll receive the emails you send out each day, week, or month. And that means you’ll have opportunity after opportunity to be memorable.
Bryan Harris has utilized this strategy to great effect – he’s a master when it comes to enticing readers with helpful content bonuses.
Here is one of his many posts offering a free bonus at the end:
Adam Connell is no stranger to bonus content either.
Check out how he attracts readers with a free PDF checklist to accompany a massive post he wrote on list building:
Of course, gifts don’t have to be tied to email compensation.
Sometimes, it makes sense to offer a bonus that doesn’t require a subscription. Ramsay Taplin tried this approach with his checklist for starting a blog:
And Demian Farnworth offered the same totally-free approach with a PDF “poster” that accompanied a post he wrote for Copyblogger:
Gifts are memorable. Free gifts are very memorable.
Want to be memorable?
Give content bonuses a try in your next post.
#3: Help With a Problem
Know who people tend to remember?
Those who helped them with a problem.
Will you ever forget the “Good Samaritan” who helped you with your flat tire? How about the teacher who stayed late after school to tutor you? How about the person who told you about the Open Tweet Filter browser extension so you could block all references to “Kardashian” or “Bieber” on Twitter?
My guess is you could live a thousand lifetimes and not forget such saints.
So, when Stefanie Flaxman picked apart bloggers’ weaknesses and offered tangible solutions to correct them, people noticed:
For bloggers who lacked a strategy, failed to use subheads, or any of the other weaknesses Stefanie discussed, her words were extremely helpful.
That made her memorable to them.
Readers also took notice when Jeni Elliott dove into a topic that often perplexes even experienced bloggers: Pinterest.
Heck, I was on Pinterest for a little over a year and it still dumbfounded me. Thanks to Jeni, I now have a clue.
And speaking of things that befuddle many bloggers…
It seems as though bloggers fall into one of two camps: Either writing eBooks comes easily to them (my friend Ryan Biddulph has written 67 eBooks), or it’s something they struggle to conquer (I have written as many eBooks as my wife – zero).
For those in the latter group, in-depth posts like this one written by Ali Luke are extremely helpful.
If I can ever find the free time to work on my eBook, the knowledge Ali provides will be invaluable. Think that will make her unforgettable in my eyes? You betcha.
Okay, so what about easy things?
Is it possible to help readers while writing on a topic already well known to them? A topic most would call “easy”?
Take Twitter, for example. Everyone is on Twitter. My mom is on Twitter.
But that didn’t stop Alexis Grant from crafting an extremely-helpful post on the mistakes many people make on Twitter:
If you’re a tweeting fiend, these tips might be old hat. But for those who use the application for the sole purpose of tweeting pictures of your chickens (hi, mom!), Alexis’ post is manna from Heaven.
And speaking of gifts from above, if you haven’t read the WordPress hacks written by Kevan Lee of Buffer you’re definitely missing out:
WordPress seems quite easy. And for those of us who have been using it a long time, it can feel as though there’s nothing new to learn about it.
Kevan’s post shatters those illusions.
He takes a seemingly simple topic, and he shows us something new about it.
What about something as simple as blog comments?
Yes, you can help readers with a “simple” topic like blog commenting, too. After all, most blog comments suck.
(Not yours, though. Yours are great!)
Jenna Dalton recently helped her readers with this very topic. As Jenna explained it, it all comes down to making that all-important connection.
Sound easy? It’s really not.
Thankfully, Jenna shows her readers how it’s done.
Help readers find a solution, and you’ve got a new best friend.
Help them with something that’s been troubling them, and they’ll sing your praises from the mountain tops.
Help them with a problem, and you’ve got a fan for life.
#4: Tell a Story
Stories are powerful.
They can establish a point.
They can make a topic more relatable.
They can allow the reader to make a personal connection with the post and the person writing it.
A good story can inspire, enthrall, and captivate a reader. It can compel them to fight dragons, swim oceans, and climb mountains.
Less dangerously, they can compel readers to tweet, comment, and subscribe.
The blogger who knows how to tell a good tale is capable of most anything.
Case in point…
This next post has been tweeted 3,104 times.
It’s been liked on Facebook 10,294 times.
It’s been stumbled 53,411 times.
It’s been shared on Google Plus… 104 times. (Seriously? Get your act together, Google Plus.)
What post is it? It’s Jon Morrow’s How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World – possibly the most popular post in the history of ProBlogger.
What did Jon do that was so special?
He told a story.
Jeff Goins knows the power of storytelling, too.
“We all have stories to tell,” he wrote years ago.
And through his blog and four books, Jeff’s told many of them. A recent one that struck me involved his son, Aiden:
What followed was a look at the innocence of a child, and the shame we feel as adults – shame that often hinders our dreams.
It’s a simple story.
But its effect is powerful.
And speaking of powerful storytelling…
There’s simply no way I can write about storytelling and not mention Jaime Buckley.
Jaime is an author, a cartoonist, a blogger, and a friend.
And he tells stories like nobody’s business.
I was 11 years old.
My brother and I hit the grass and started crawling.
…but something was horribly wrong.
“MATT!” I cried out, looking over my shoulder, “What are you DOING!?!”
My best friend was still standing in the middle of the road, bright lights from the cop car shining on him.
…as he unzipped his pants.
(Don’t worry. The story is harmless.)
Jaime is one of the most memorable individuals you’ll meet online, and it’s not just because of his friendly demeanor. And it’s not just because he’s good at what he does.
It’s because Jaime knows the power of storytelling.
Want to be unforgettable? Follow his, Jon’s, and Jeff’s lead.
#5: Give ’em Eye Candy
Who doesn’t love eye candy?
I know I do. So do readers.
According to data I made up just now for the purpose of this blog post, bloggers are a billion percent more likely to read a post with images than one without.
Want more hypothetical data? Facebook posts with photos get a zillion percent more engagement than those with text only!
(For those who prefer actual data, Jeff Bullas says those percentages are 94% and 37%, respectively.)
Fuzzy math or no, one thing is clear: nice graphics can turn a good post into a great one.
And what happens when you add nice graphics to a great post? Well, you get everything ever written by Henneke Duistermaat.
I’ve mentioned Henneke numerous times in past posts. I’m a huge fan of her writing. However, one of the most unique things about Henneke’s blog is her graphics.
Each post she writes includes a custom, hand-drawn feature image. That’s right. She takes the time to draw and color images to accompany her blog posts…
The above post actually has four different hand-drawn images in it.
The result is a post that is unique, memorable, and definitely Henneke.
Of course, it’s difficult to talk about blog graphics and not discuss Pamela Wilson.
Jon Morrow says there is no one he trusts more for smart graphic design than Pamela. That’s because she’s excellent at what she does, and she routinely wows readers with her visual content and know-how.
For one of the guest posts she wrote for Jon’s Boost Blog Traffic, Pamela created a series of wonderful graphics. Here is one of them:
These images were used as examples for making your content more “memorable, shareable, and beautiful.”
That’s what we want.
Think Pamela is impressive? (She is.) Look at what Brian Dean did…
When you see a post with the following title, what are your assumptions?
Would you assume it contained 21 actionable SEO techniques?
Would you assume it’s in-depth and packed with actionable info?
Would you assume it had tons of comments, tweets, and backlinks?
You would be right to assume all of those things. But… would you also assume the post contained a whopping 78 images?
That’s how many detailed, helpful images Brian packed into his post.
An unforgettable post? You better believe it.
Do you really need more examples to convince you that great graphics go a long way in making your posts better?
No, you don’t have to be an artist like Henneke. No, you don’t have to be a graphics guru like Pamela. And no, you don’t have to capture 78 different screenshots like Brian.
But you do need to take the time to find or create a nice, interesting, unique image for every post you write.
Otherwise, your post will be white noise.
#6: Go Big
Let’s face it…
Sometimes, size does matter.
If you’re planning a wedding and there are 400 confirmed guests, a small cake won’t cut it. Right?
And if you have twelve kids like my friend Jaime, don’t you think a one-bedroom apartment is a less-than-ideal fit?
Sometimes, bigger is just better.
This is often true of blog posts.
True, many bloggers have found success keeping their posts under 1,500 words. In fact, I regularly stay in the 1,500 range when I’m writing. It’s served me well.
But there is a reason my five most popular posts have an average length of 3,691 words.
There is a reason Boost Blog Traffic posts are in the 2,000 to 3,000 word range.
There is a reason the examples I’m about to share from Neil Patel and Ramsay Taplin are 6,561 and 9,188 words, respectively.
Big posts impress.
They get a reader’s attention.
That’s certainly what Neil did when he wrote 25 Smart Ways To Increase Your Blog Comments.
The 6,000+ words are packed with useful information, examples, and graphics. It’s virtually impossible to read it and not walk away with a new idea or two to try.
That’s how detailed Neil’s post is – he covers all the bases.
The same can certainly be said for Ramsay Taplin’s post.
At 9,188 words, Ramsay walks readers through the process of starting their own blog.
Picking a niche. Picking domain name. Picking a host. Ramsay covers all of them, and he does it thoroughly.
When you read it, you can’t help but be impressed.
It isn’t all about word count, though.
(Of course, Uttoran Sen’s 4,441-word post isn’t what anyone would call short.)
“Going big” can mean offering an impressive number of tips, too.
Uttoran offered just that with his 43 Creative Ways to Breathe Life Back Into Your Blog.
For each suggestion, Uttoran would provide 50-100 words of detail. The result was a helpful, detailed, memorable post.
Last but not least…
Kate Erickson is the content creator for John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur On Fire. So, you know right away she knows a thing or two about creating memorable content – both in text and audio form.
To celebrate her recent “100 episodes” milestone, Kate wrote The Step-by-Step of an Entrepreneur’s Journey.
As her title promises, Kate offers a detailed guide for entrepreneurs that’s filled with numerous links of additional reading.
Kate decided to go big, and the result was a post that will help (and be remembered by) every entrepreneur who reads it.
Yes, to “go big” is hard work.
Such posts take longer to write. You’ll have to be with your computer more than your spouse for a little while. And your fingers very well may get sore from all the typing.
But as strategies for making an impression go?
It’s arguably the most effective one out there.
#7: Teach Them Something New
There are millions of blogs out there in the big ol’ blogosphere.
So, statistically, it is quite probable another blogger or two or ten is crafting a post about this very topic at this very moment! How cool is that?
Unfortunately, it’s also a problem.
People like variety. When they come across a post with a topic they have already read ten times, they aren’t interested in an eleventh.
This means you have three options…
One, “go big” like we talked about earlier. Take that much-discussed topic and kick it up several notches. Write the most in-depth post on the topic ever!
Two, make everything you write ooze with personality. “I know I have read about this topic before,” your readers will say. “But I’ve got to get Kevin’s take on it!”
Or, three, write about topics that haven’t been discussed ad nauseum.
Let’s dive into this third option…
Have you ever run a webinar?
If you’re like me, the answer is no. Have I participated in a webinar before? Sure. Run one? Man, I wouldn’t have the first clue!
Or, at least that is how I would have answered before I read Mary Jaksch’s webinar tutorial:
Mary used her experience to educate the rest of us webinar newbies.
What once seemed difficult and intimidating now seems… well, less difficult and intimidating!
Similarly, Ann Smarty has demystified expert interviews.
Until I caught my break and received opportunities to participate in a few of them, “expert” interviews and roundups were ciphers, wrapped in enigmas, and smothered in secret sauce…
Of course, Ann didn’t just tell us about a problem with which we’re already aware. She offered solutions!
Bloggers of all experience levels are able to benefit from Ann’s take on this common, though rarely discussed, quandary.
Danny Iny, on the other hand, wrote about a much discussed blogging dilemma.
Specifically, the lack of money our blogs are making (even though we really, really want them to).
Using his background and experience, Danny offered advice to bloggers seeking answers. Were all of them easily implementable? No, but nothing worth having in this world comes easily.
Want to earn money with your blog? Just like being memorable, it’s going to require hard work.
The good news?
Writing posts that teach readers something new is a strategy that can benefit you on both fronts.
Give it a try.
#8: Get Off On The Right Foot
A strong, well-crafted headline can often be the difference in a blog post that’s given a chance and one that is ignored.
Don’t believe it?
Neil Patel, a prolific writer with a readership in the hundreds of thousands, ran a test. He discovered 8 out of 10 people read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will bother to read the rest of your post.
In other words, if your headline is lame, your post is going to be passed over like celery sticks at a Super Bowl party.
That’s why Brian Clark put such an emphasis on headlines when a pre-fame Jon Morrow started working at Copyblogger. Brian made Jon write 100 headlines every day until he perfected them. Over a year later, Jon had gotten the hang of it.
This emphasis on great headlines continued when Jon started Boost Blog Traffic in 2012. Jon and his editors tweak each headline until they are the perfect balance of informational and intriguing…
- 11 Traffic Techniques That Are a Waste of Time for Beginners
- Why Most Writing Tips Are Useless (and How to Really Up Your Game)
- 20 Ways to Be Just Another Mediocre Blogger Nobody Gives a Crap About
- Stephen King’s 20 Tips for Becoming a Frighteningly Good Writer
And, from personal experience, I know this attention to detail extends to the guest posts published on BBT.
The awesome headline for my most recent contribution (“The Ultimate Guide to Writing Comments That Open Doors with Popular Bloggers”) was the work of Glen Long, BBT’s amazing managing editor.
My original headline?
Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?
If you want your posts to stick in your readers’ minds, if you want them to come anywhere near the 300+ comments and 1.2k social media shares the above post has received, you need to get them started on the right foot.
You need to give them great headlines.
#9: Be Generous With Your Time
Chris Garrett writes a lot about making “connections” with people. For some, like the lovely ladies I’ll discuss in a moment, that comes easily. For others, it can be difficult.
So how do you do it? How can you connect with your readers? “Be approachable, friendly, vulnerable, inclusive, and generous,” says Chris.
As usual, Chris is spot on. But I’d like to touch on the last piece of advice he shared: generosity. Specifically, the act of being generous with your time.
How have they done it?
They take the time to respond to each of their readers’ comments. They respond to their emails. They interact with them on social media. They go above and beyond whenever possible to help them.
In short, these ladies are generous.
Generous with their knowledge, generous with their expertise, and generous with their time.
You could be half as good as they are at blogging, and you would still be able to build a sizable legion of followers.
That’s the power of generosity.
Want your readers to remember you? Reach out to them. Connect with them. Make the effort.
You’ll be amazed with the results.
#10: Make Every Post An Event
This is the big one…
When you write, how often are you able to say, “This is the best post I’ve ever written”? How often do you click publish and think, “Readers are going to love this one”? How often can you honestly state, “I did my very best”?
If you’re like most of us, the answers are “rarely,” “sometimes,” and “once… I think.”
That’s a problem.
It’s usually not obtainable, but one of your goals as a blogger should be to have each post you write be better than the one before it.
Meet this goal half the time and you’re a blogging superstar. Try to meet this goal every time and you ensure you’re cranking out quality posts – the kind not easily forgotten.
So how do you do it? How do you best yourself time and time again? Simple:
Think about it…
If you had the chance to write for a website that is read by tens of thousands, what kind of post would you produce?
Would you throw 1,000 words together and call it a day? Would you spend less time than it takes to make a sandwich thinking of a headline? Would you do the bare minimum?
No, I dare say you would go all out if you had such an opportunity.
You would do research. You would tweak your words over and over. You would fill the post with quality links and graphics. You would promote the post like crazy. You would respond to every comment. You would thank every tweet.
In short, you would do your very best.
That same level of effort – that same sense of urgency – needs to be applied to every post you write.
Do that and you’re golden.
The blogging world will be your oyster. You’ll be able to fall asleep each night comfortable with the knowledge you wrote something of substance…
Something that impacted the lives of readers…
Something that was memorable.
Ready To Be Unforgettable?
Crafting amazing, enriching, inspiring posts that are memorable won’t come easily. You’ll have to spend more time on each post than you would prefer.
You might have to miss a night out with the guys or gals from time to time. You might have to wake up early some mornings to write. You might have to cut down your publishing frequency.
But the reward?
Your posts – whether they come weekly, monthly, or once in a blue moon – will be cherished by readers. They will be feverishly discussed and tweeted. They will be repeatedly linked to and referenced.
In short, you’ll never be forgotten.
Sound worth it?
Get out there and do your best. Make it count.
I, for one, can’t wait to see what you do.