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  • The quick 3: Killer content is not always pillar content

    To succeed with or on social media like del.icio.us, StumbleUpon or Mixx (I leave out social news sites Digg and Reddit as these sites boycott any SEO related topics) so called killer content is needed. It does not suffice but it’s a prerequisite to get to the front-page. Bloggers often call such outstanding content “pillar content” as it’s one of the pillars of a blog. As most blogs do not break news unlike Techrunch e.g. this killer content in most cases will be a huge list of resources:

    • 101 ways to…
    • The ultimate list of * tools
    • 50 great * web designs

    Such posts are really popular and get bookmarked and linked as well for later. The biggest drawback of them for the blogger or writer: It takes days or weeks to write such a resource list in many cases.

    In recent weeks I noticed a different pattern while blogging: My most popular posts took me in between one and one and a half hours. In contrast I usually need at least 2 hours for a good post.

    One of these posts got popular 3 times on StumbleUpon during one month, bringing more visitors each time. Another post got 300+ bookmarks on del.icio.us and others became popular on Mixx, my favourite social news site, four times in a row in the last two weeks.

    There are 3 main ingredients of such low workload popular posts. They do not have to contain all of them but each helps tremendously:

    Present serious information in a humorous way, make people laugh in unexpected contexts.
    Broad audience
    Write about something everybody knows of or better deals with, like the Internet, Google, Windows, Firefox etc…
    Quick overview
    Enable your audience to quickly digest much information, which they otherwise would need hours or days to research.

    Just consider this headline example:

    10 web tools “computer illiterate” John McCain needs to beat Obama

    It has all three aspects.

    These 10 tools might be the 10 must have tools for new Internet users who want to become pros quickly, something like:

    1. Firefox (Browser)
    2. Gmail (Webmail)
    3. Skype (Phone)
    4. Zoho (Web office tools)
    5. Pidgin (IM client)
    6. Twitter (Microblogging)
    7. PayPal (Online Payment)
    8. Flickr (Image sharing)
    9. YouTube (Video sharing)
    10. del.icio.us (Social bookmarking)

    Usually people would yawn when encountering such a list, but with this twist these tools for web noobs list might succeed big time. Now you might add some humorous descriptions like “Gmail, a widely used electronic mail service by ‘the Google’. For electronic mail you don’t need pencil or paper!”

    You see, it’s easy. Now the time is up.

    I help people with blogs, social media & search. I help you succeed on the Web. I've been online publishing for 15 years. I started back in 1997.

    One Response to “The quick 3: Killer content is not always pillar content”

    1. Steve Olson says:

      Early on I had a lot of success on social media, especially stumbleupon and reddit. I realized that the more of myself I put into my post the more I connected. I tried humor, one worked very well and it still get 100s of vists per day. What really made that post take off was that it was FARKed. I think I got 100,000 visits from FARK. It one thing to write humor and another to write good humor. Good humor will take your blog to the next level.

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