5 Classic Content Tricks…Western Style

By Andy Crestodina

Saddle up! It’s time to clear the tumbleweeds out of your blog and wrastle up some content. Even if your well of ideas is as dry and dusty as the South Dakota badlands, here are some classic content ideas that’ll get your site back on the trail.

So get your spurs on. Let’s ride! 

The Roundup: List Posts

Get out the lasso and gather up a list. Round up a parcel of tools on a single topic. Saddle up with other cowhands, email them a question, then combine the answers into a single post. Lists posts are popular because they’re easy to make and easy for readers to scan.

Write an article that lists opinions of five or more experts, or curate a list of similar items on an issue, event, or topic. 


The Bar-B-Que Sauce Recipe: Practical “How to” Posts

Some of the most shared content on the internet is the practical stuff. People love learning.  If you give the recipe for your “secret sauce,” you might find a lot more people hanging around your kitchen.

Write an article that gives clear, step-by-step instructions for doing something useful. (example: How To Research Keywords)


Ride the Wild Stallion: Connecting You and a Famous Brand

If you can jump on the back of a big brand or trending topic, you might be able to ride off into a sunset of shares, likes, tweets, and links. Take your topic, and give it a theme that is popular now. Or jump on a news story. This “newsjacking” bronco is tough to tame, but it might get you a ton of traffic.

Write an article that connects your topic to a popular brand, a recent meme, or current events. (example of a popular brand: A Fantastic Starbucks Customer Experience Story)


The Weather Report: Trend Spotting

Everyone on the ranch has one common concern: the weather. We all want to know what’s coming and how to deal with it. Sure, no one expects it to be right all the time, but it’s the topic we all have in common: talking about big picture trends. The trend spotting article is always a favorite.

Write an article that sums up the direction of the industry or the coming changes that may affect your readers. (example: Google Authorship and Author Stats)


Tall Tales: Stories and Opinions

After a long day on the trail, circle the wagons, and sit around the fire. It’s time to shoot the bull. People love stories and sharing opinions. Take a strong stance, and you’ll be rewarded with the attention of other cowboys. Use story elements, and you’ll keep their attention longer.

Write an article with strong opinion on a relevant topic. Make a stand. Give your articles a story-like structure, with characters, conflict, and resolution. (example: Unicorn Maintenance and Website ROI)


Don’t forget your branding iron!

Stamp all of your content with your personal brand (Google Authorship). That way, if your post shows up out in the wild (Google search results), it will stand out from the other herds, and readers will be able to track it back to your ranch (your Google+ profile and other articles).

Got a humdinger of a content idea you’d like to share? Leave us a comment down below. Extra points for using cowboy slang

There is more where this came from…

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