Having considered my less successful posts of 2014, lots of people suggested I also talk about the ones that worked well and analyse why they did.
As the year progressed I also guest posted for a few other sites which was a really useful learning experience too.
This was my first guest post for TweakYourBiz. Beginners luck perhaps, it made their top 4 articles for the month. The editor gave it a snappier title, focusing on offering something for the reader. Growth Hacking became a buzz word, possibly over hyped, but people were interested, to see if it could help their own marketing and business growth strategies.
This was my second bite at this piece. It is a shorter article. More concise, less about me, than the first version. I think it is a lot better for it too. It’s a snappy title, asks a question, and was relevant to it’s audience.
This article was a massive success. There were a few key reasons that had less to do with the actual content.
a). The photo of a gold frisbee. Gold does really well in headline images, it just does! We like to see success, and gold, at a visceral level is suggesting this to us.
b) The title is both a question, and also implicitly confirming if you read it, you are, also, to some degree, also one of those successful people too.
c) It got shared in the right places. A few weeks after I published it, views suddenly went through the roof. In one night there were more views than the blog would normally get in 2 months. It was posted it to the right facebook group, one with over 20,000 likes (genuine not paid for), and it went off it like a rocket.
Tweakyourbiz monthly top ten. This resonated with readers because it offered something of value to them. Short, sweet and to the point, it worked. I wonder how it will be with the new TweakYourBiz policy in 2015 for all articles to be over 1000 words. Less is often more.
A few reasons why this did well.
a) Nice photo, always helps.
b) A counter intuitive title. You stop, you look at it, you reread it, you’re curious now because it is not what you expected.
c) Success, people like success stories, especially of the underdog.
d) The offer of replicability. The post did well in Argentina, Brazil and Angola among other places. From the comments it was clear the piece was popular as they wished to achieve similar results, ‘if Ireland can …’.
The Web Summit was a big event, both in terms of the number of people attending and also following it online. Often many of the same people too. Because it was so big, with so much going on, people wanted to validate what they were experiencing. Had they seen the ‘don’t miss it’ attractions?
People wanted to know who you had liked, who did you think was going to be a success. All the articles where we tried to interpret the mass of startups and ideas did really well.
There’s no shame in writing about popular events.
“getting the Bono shot”
Sometimes people want to hear about the topics everyone else is talking about too. This is the ‘getting the Bono shot‘. I climbed over the kids, foreign startups and student volunteers, got to the front, raised my camera over my head, grabbed the picture and retreated.
Find your niche, and write to it. These were on the fun side of things, but they have all did pretty well both within the ultimate community and beyond too. On one hand this shouldn’t be too surprising , I read about sports I don’t play. With Ultimate still being quite a niche sport, I wouldn’t have expected many non players to be reading. However if well written and interesting enough, they will appeal to a wider audience!