Over the past few years, zombies have gone from being a cult favorite to being widely loved as a part of mainstream pop culture. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people about the best zombie apocalypse strategy. Zombie books are invading best seller lists. Zombie movies and video games are more popular than ever. So tell me, why did you decide to read this article? Was it because you say “help your blog” and thought that you might pick up some tips? Or was it becauase though, “Oh, cool. This should be interesting.” after seeing the word zombies in the title?
Let’s be honest here. We’re all friends. You were attracted to the title, weren’t you?
And that’s exactly how zombies can help your blog. Good post titles will draw in readers every time.
I’m being a little unfair today, because this post actually doesn’t have anything to do with the undead. You could, though, create a post centered on a popular topic, like zombies. Drawing a parallel requires a little creativity to be sure, but it can definitely be done. Point in case, a few months ago, I wrote “Zombie Blog: How to Revive a Dead Blog” here at BlogWorld. Since then, we’ve changed around our counters, but I can tell you firsthand that a lot of people retweeted and visited that post.
Zombies aren’t the only hot topic. For example, I’ve written pieces comparing to blogging to Lady Gaga. This blog has about as much to do with pop stars as it does with horror movies, yet the posts work because I can create parallels – and packaging tips or techniques around zombies or Lady Gaga automatically makes the post more interesting.
Here’s the sad fact: no matter what your niche, there are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of other bloggers writing about the same things. Yes, you have an original take on the topic for the sheer fact that you are the person writing the post, but there are probably even other bloggers who have a similar writing style. Sometimes, posts start to seem like white noise, simply because everyone is writing about the same topics.
Pulling in some kind of parallel with an unrelated, but popular, topic helps you stand out from the sea. People are more likely to recommend your post over others covering the same topic, and if people have ten minutes to read 100 new posts in their feed reader, they’re more likely to pick yours because it sounds as entertaining as it is informative.
My point here isn’t just that you should have good titles, though. Yes, titles are important, but you have to deliver in your post as well. Is your post presented in a fun way? Are your tips, how-tos, techniques, reviews, etc. thought provoking and original, not just rehashing topics that everyone in your niche is covering? Zombies can help you create a popular post, but only if you aren’t a zombie when you’re writing. Readers want articles that are not only full of brains*, but that are also entertaining.
I think that’s where we all fail sometimes. We are so concentrated on getting out the best information possible that we don’t write posts that are fun to read. You don’ t have to necessarily be funny (though that’s definitely one route you can take), but if you’re writing boring “top ten tips” post after “top ten tips” post, your readers are going to start to desert. Try adding personal stories or pictures. Try adding your opinion. Try being controversial.
Take an objective look at your last ten posts. Regardless of how good the information is, are any of them unique and interesting? Or are they all pretty cookie cutter? You have awesome ideas to share with people, but sometimes we all need to use zombies to actually drive traffic.