The best stories come from the most unexpected places. Rarely can they be planned in advance or manufactured. Oddly enough, stories arrive in the most mundane moments of life. If you want great writing success, you need to pay attention to those moments that matter, moments that drive emotion, moments that connect with your audience.
My highest traffic blog post of 2015 was completely off-topic for me. I write about personal finance and, from time to time, marriage. I don’t write about the day-to-day experiences of my children. However, it was one of those moments in writing I knew I couldn’t miss.
Shortly after the school year began, I received a phone call from my second-grade daughter’s art teacher. As a veteran parent, my heart automatically jumped to the worst conclusions when I answered. Was she sick? Was she in trouble? Had someone bullied her? The teacher’s quick conversation brought me to tears in minutes and I headed to Facebook to share with my friends and family.
The likes, comments, and shares of my simple status caught me off guard. At once, I knew that if I didn’t blog this story myself, someone else would.
Like it or not, we live in a click-bait world. Why in the world I get drawn into the “You’ll Never Believe What These ’80s Superstars Look Like Now” trap every time, I’ll never know. I chose the title “What I Wish I Would Have Said to the Teacher Who Called About My Child’s Behavior” because I knew readers would be drawn to the story before ever clicking a button.
Platform Is Everything
In eight years of blogging, I’ve learned which platforms work best for what pieces. My readers can typically be found on Pinterest searching for recipes and DIY tips. On Twitter, they want and need information – just the hard, cold facts, please. Right now, Facebook is a hotbed of emotion. From funny memes and videos bringing belly laughter to political posts that make our blood boil, each status and link drips with passion.
Before I hit “publish,” I knew this particular post had the greatest potential on Facebook. I carefully crafted graphics with the correct dimensions to be shared and wrote a killer emotive tagline certain to intrigue users enough to read the post:
Work Your Network
No writer goes it alone. Surrounded by others who sharpen skills, give valuable feedback, and ask valuable questions, you will gain more success. Your writing community can also provide vital support in sharing content online. My blog post, written and crafted, still needed to be shared. I reached out to other bloggers to ask if they would schedule a share on their platform. As the piece produced more and more traffic, I pulled in favors from authors on much larger platforms. Eventually, the story garnered over one million views on Facebook and 142,000+ views in one day on my site.
Emotion and narrative hold hands in successful writing. Don’t be afraid of sharing the moments that matter most.
Cherie Lowe has an alter ego – The Queen of Free – and is the author of the popular books Slaying the Debt Dragon: How One Family Conquered Their Money Monster and Found an Inspired Happily Ever After and Keep the Happy in Your Holidays: 21 Ways to Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity this Christmas Season.
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