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I ran a poll in the sidebar here for a few days asking people what their main goals were for 2010 in terms of internet marketing. The two clear favourites were: “Quitting your job to make a living online” and “Increase website traffic”. The latter, of course, is people looking for more eyeballs on their content. And, although it may not be obvious, so is the first.
You can make a beautiful, well-structured site that contains excellent content, but it isn’t going to make any money unless it starts getting visitors. No matter what webmasters like to say is ‘king’ online these days, everything we do is for traffic. It’s what matters on the web.
Because of this, I constantly share with you guys new ways to get traffic to your site. For example, I wrote this post on how I rank for 66,000 visitors worth of keywords on Google and the lessons behind the most popular blog posts (in terms of links) on some big blogs. That second post went down very well, so I’ve decided to publish something similar.
I’ve picked 10 high-quality blogs and taken their top two most tweeted posts of all time and analysed what makes them popular. This should help give you tons of article ideas and allow you to see the type of content that Twitter users respond to.
I have tried my best to ensure that the posts I have found were the most retweeted articles from the respective sites. There may be some small discrepancies, but I assure you that each of these articles have been very viral with the majority receiving thousands of tweets.
|13 Types of Posts that Always Get Comments||Lists posts are often popular and this one from Darren is no exception. Try finding something that your audience wants and give it to them in a practical list.|
|5 Ways to Get Your Blog Indexed by Google in 24 Hours||If there’s one thing we like more than getting things done, it’s getting things done quicker. Note down the things that are most important to your audience, and write a guide on how the process can be sped up.|
|Exclusive: Google Nexus One Hands-On
||Get early access to new products or services and give them in-depth coverage on your site before the competition.|
|Phil Schillier Keynote Live||Go to a big industry conference or press-event and live blog the coverage. I’ve personally found this to work well in many industries.|
|Google In Talks to Acquire Twitter||If you talk about a service, there’s always a large number of their users that are going to care. Talking about Twitter is obviously still hot with their users|
|Facebook Acquires FriendFeed||Be the first to announce breaking news in your industry and get the message out there as quickly as possible.|
|Facebook’s New Terms of Service||Share any flaws or your disappointments with a popular service that many people also use. If relevant, highlight any issues that could affect them personally.|
|KFC Has a New Bacon Sandwich||Use your blog not only to share news that is relevant to your audience, but updates that are completely ‘out there’ when it comes to creativity.|
|61 Free Apps We’re Most Thankful For||Run an end-of-year compilation that contains the favourite tools you use or freebies out there your audience may be interested in.|
|Google Wave 101||Write an in-depth guide for a new service that your entire industry is talking about.|
|Michael Jackson Rushed to the Hospital||Breaking news is always going to help set sites apart from others. When it’s the death of a major celebrity, then people are going to care.|
|DJ AM Dies||Again, the rule of breaking news applies here. Tragedy and shock to any audience is always going to gain attention.|
|50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business||Writing about a service is always going to be popular to users of that service. Twitter has a huge userbase that could relate to (and apply) Chris’ post.|
|19 Presence Management Chores You COULD Do Everyday||We live in a world where people want things, and they want them fast. Give your readers your best advice on getting big results in a short amount of time.|
|URL Shorteners: Which Shortening Service Do You Use?||If you’re going to talk about something that millions of people use and use your network to get it in front of them, they’re going to talk about you.|
|Google Now Personalizes Everyone’s Search Results||Again, Danny shows that announcing big news or asking questions about a popular service always has the chance to go viral.|
|70 Minute Video Review of Star-Wars||If you’re genuinely disappointed in something that thousands or even millions of people love, write about it. Those who agree will come out of their caves.|
|First Photos: Alice in Wonderland||If you can get exclusive content in any industry then you’re going to start getting noticed. A great example here in the film niche.|
|Mother Lover: Justin Timberlake Mother’s Day Video||Mashable didn’t create the content here, but giving a large audience something that is both humorous and holiday related is always going to go down well.|
|Microsoft Apologizes for Photoshop Trainwreck||I don’t recommend ‘outing’ companies but if they’re going to make such silly mistakes then highlighting them can flood your website with traffic.|
As another interesting ‘lesson’, I decided it would be good to see if there was a certain length of content that Twitter users prefer. Do longer articles go down well, or is quick-to-read copy the best?
After manually checking the statistics for each post, here are the stats:
Here is also a graph of the data taken:
I’m personally quite surprised to see that the average length of content that Twitter users seem to like is over 1,000 words. Of course, the message of the content matters far more than how many words it is said in, and short content can still do well. Nevertheless, I still find the results interesting. When we looked at the most linked to blog posts on the web, it also turned out that the most popular posts all had over 1,000 words.
I know I’m one of few bloggers writing that much content per post in this niche. How many are there in yours?
I love doing posts like this because it’s clear to see what is working on the top social media sites and what isn’t. No speculations; just pure fact. I did something similar recently with the most linked to blog posts ever which had a great reaction but also one common suggestion: include a broader range of sites across different industries.
I did mention that sites in a lot of other industries “just” need to break news to become popular, but I have still broadened my coverage. I hope this shows that I love the feedback you guys give and I’m always open to more. On that note, if there are any other social sites or stats related posts you would like me to write, you know where the comments are.