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How to Create Content People Will Still Remember in 5 Years’ Time…

What the heck happened?

You had a brilliant idea for your blog.

You spent days (or even weeks!) bringing your idea to life — editing, tweaking, and perfecting every syllable.

You used every promotion strategy and technique in your arsenal to ensure the world would know about your blogging masterpiece.

So when you laid down to sleep that first night, you were certain you had a winner on your hands — the kind of content that could stand the test of time and be spoken of with reverence years later by adoring fans who named their firstborn after you.

But faster than you can say “Keyser Soze,” your content was — poof! — gone.

After its initial wave of popularity subsided, your masterpiece faded into the background as newer and newer content popped up.

Instead of standing the test of time, your content was forgotten.

And the only adoring fan willing to name their firstborn after you was your spouse.

Seriously…

What the heck happened?

The Painful Truth: Most Content Will Disappear Into Obscurity Days after Hitting “Publish”

It’s sad but true.

Most online content, even when it’s excellent, is quickly forgotten.

Sure, it may be popular for a little while. For a few glorious moments, it may be flush with laudatory blog comments, congratulatory emails, and social media love.

But, eventually, its popularity fizzles out.

With two million new blog posts published each and every day, only a select few are able to stick in the minds of readers.

How do these select few do it? How are they so memorable?

More importantly, how can you repeat what they do so your content has a chance to still be remembered years from now?

That’s what this post will teach you.

The 5 Crucial Qualities of Unforgettable Content

If you want to create content that people will remember and reference for years — not just days — after you click publish, you need to give it one (or more) of the five qualities we’re about to discuss.

Ready?

Let’s get started.

Quality #1: Gives Readers an “OMG!” Moment


Remember the end of Se7en when Kevin Spacey’s master plan was revealed?

Remember when your mouth dropped open after Darth Vader made the shocking (and often misquoted) revelation that he was Luke’s father?

Remember how stunned you were at the end of The Sixth Sense when you learned that Bruce Willis’s character had been wearing a toupee the entire time?

These movies caught us off guard, jolted us to attention, and got us talking.

And years later, we’re still talking about them.

Why is that?

They’re quality movies for sure, but there’s more to it.

As Chip and Dan Heath discuss in their book Made to Stick, our brains filter out consistency in favor of focusing on differences.

So instead of remembering by-the-numbers movies that end exactly how we expected, we remember the ones with unexpected twists and surprising revelations.

Those are the stories that stand out, stick in our minds, and get us talking about them.

How does this relate to blogging?

If you want your content to be remembered, try surprising your reader.

It’s a tried-and-true method for crafting content that sticks.

Gives Readers an OMG Moment

How It’s Done

Have you ever come across a headline that stopped you in your tracks?

Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants is such a headline. It’s surprising, different, and catches you off guard.

But it’s nothing compared to the surprises inside the post.

The first revelation is that James Chartrand is actually a woman; however, the big discovery is why she took and continues to prominently use the name James Chartrand as her pen name.

She explains how a simple name change was able to take her from a struggling freelancer to a well-known blogger.

While the result was unintentional, she reaped many benefits from taking on a male persona — an easier time getting jobs, more respect for her work, and more recognition.

Undeniably, the post is brilliantly written. That makes it great.

But it’s the surprise factor that makes James’s post so gosh-darn memorable.

How You Can Do It

Creating surprising content is not an easy task, and it requires a well-thought-out idea to achieve it. But here are two ways you can get it done:

#1. Drop a Bombshell

Do you have a secret your readers would find surprising?

You’re a travel blogger who’s never flown on a plane? Do you blog about healthy eating but stuff your face with cake on a weekly basis? Are you a fashion blogger who once wore an orange tuxedo to a charity gala?

Tell your readers. Give them your reasons. Get them talking.

#2. Break the Norm

Let’s be honest… Most tips, advice, and strategies you find online — regardless of the niche — are unoriginal. You’ve seen them before, and so have your readers.

Want to surprise your audience?

Offer them unconventional advice they haven’t heard a thousand times before. Give them a truly new idea or insight. Provide a simpler technique or shortcut that makes them cry over all the time and effort they wasted doing things the regular way.

A surprising revelation doesn’t have to be extraordinary or outlandish for people to remember it.

Sometimes, it just needs to thwart you reader’s expectations.

Tweetable Takeaway

tweet thisWant a proven method for crafting content that sticks in your readers’ heads? Surprise them. (Tweet This)

Quality #2: Overwhelms the Senses (Including Taste Buds)


Remember the final scene in Field of Dreams when Ray Kinsella has a catch with his dad?

You can hear the sound of the baseball hitting their gloves. You can smell the grass on the field. You can feel Ray’s years of guilt melting away as he closes his eyes, smiles, and tosses the ball back to his dad.

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