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The Secret About Secret Posts

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Shhh…I have a secret. Come closer so I can tell you. Closer. Closer.

Well, to be honest, this is text not spoken word, so it isn’t like you actually have to come closer. Unless you have bad eyesight. That’s right, I have a big secret, and I’m going to share it on my blog. And it’s going to drive traffic. And it’s going to create a stir. It might even go viral.

We’ve all seen them – posts that share secrets. They’re usually titled “X Number of Secrets About…” or “The Secret to…” or something similar. You aren’t alone if you click on links to these titles. In fact, you probably have clicked on the title to this post to read it because of the title. Why?

Because secrets are juicy. More than that, I think it’s because we don’t want to feel like we’re left out. If everyone else knows some kind of awesome secret, we don’t want to be the sucker who has no idea what’s going on.

So we click…and nine times out of ten, we’re disappointed. Why? Because secret posts aren’t really “secrets.” They’re just tips. Often, they’re not even new tips – they’re rehashed tips we’ve seen before, collections of tips that the blogger him/herself has already posted, or tips that aren’t really tips at all, but rather common sense. We’ve fallen into their click-trap because everyone once in a great while, someone actually does post some kind of secret, or at least a really good tip that we’ve never considered.

I’m not saying that you should stop posting “secret” posts – but please, for the love of blog, when you make the promise that you’re going to post a secret, deliver. If you don’t make good on your promise, I’m going to wrinkle my nose and click the back button. Next time, I probably won’t believe you, and like the boy who cried wolf, when you really do have a great idea that you want to share, people won’t be as likely to click through.

So how do you do a real “secret” post?

  1. Identify a problem in your niche.
  2. Brainstorm solutions.
  3. Test your solutions to find out what works and what does not.
  4. Share your findings.

The key here is to come up with something original that hasn’t been done before. It’s only a secret if it’s something that only you know. Come up with something new and share it on your blog. people are hungry for secrets. Secrets really can drive traffic, and if you share something amazing with people that they haven’t heard anywhere else, they will be back to read more.

This post breaks my own rules, so to speak – I hope most of you already realize that most “secret” posts aren’t actually secrets. I just wanted to make a point. Why did you click on this post title? Are you disappointed that it doesn’t actually contain some kind of secret?


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