Topics that make you popular

I’ve been meaning to find a topic to write about that will make people sit up immediately and say, “Here! I can’t ignore this. I can’t scroll down. I have to read this. You can’t stop me from reading this!”

But alas, as I’m rummaging through topics, turning them in my head, checking them for possibilities, I can’t think of a single one that can prove to be the common denominator between me and other people.

That’s not to say I don’t have topics or that they’ve lost interest. It’s just that the connections are hard to spot.

Thoughtful topics are lonely roads. Cerebral ones more so than others. Descriptions? Ummm. Overlooked unless accompanied by pictures. Is the age of a good description over then, driven out by its more vivid cousin, the photograph, now so easily taken and rendered visible that the last nail in the coffin of the descriptive vignette is almost audible?

Do I care about people?

I have to be honest. It’s not like I don’t care at all if any of this is read.

But I’m also flexible. Or so I think. It’s not like I care about one topic and one topic only so much so that I’ll keep at it no matter what. It’s not like I have an agenda. It’s not like I want to keep writing playing the same persona saying the same things over and over again.

I don’t have a mission.

My mind is a kaleidoscope. I have many thoughts arranging themselves into various shapes through the day. Too many to give form to a single perspective on life. I don’t mind if I’m able to put some and not others out there for people to see. I can do what people like. I can perform. If you can’t separate yourself from yourself a bit, what’s the use of writing, I think.

I’m not very cerebral either. Colours and shapes fascinate me. I like to leave the connections to folks who take the time to read. My job is simply to present things as they are. Perhaps a little as they could be. But never what should or shouldn’t be. I let that slip ‘coz that’s not my job either.

And yet, what do people like to read? What do people like to share? What kind of writing is able to accrue readers’ energy, so vital to survival on the internet where individuals are mostly moving along driven by their own steam with little to prop them up?

To me, three topics seem to attract instant attention. I wish I could do them.

Love, funny and weird.

Love. Romance. Sex. Fantasy love. Hallmark-y love. Dating. Relationships. Everyone wants to dream. Everyone wants to find the way. Everyone wants. Period.

Humour. Let me think. I can be funny sometimes but all the time? Everyday? Should I dare? A joke that falls flat is worse than a joke not made at all. Do I have the gift?

What about Weird? Weird funny or just weird weird? Words, pictures, art. Weirdness defies definition. It can only be recognized when presented successfully.

No, I don’t have that gift at all.

Is there another way?

I’ve noticed that the only other way to get people involved is to invoke some strong emotion in them. Make them angry. Make them want to say something. Or throw something. The stronger the emotion, the better the chance of something being thrown. But of course they can’t see you, so they can’t aim at you. So they do the next best thing they know. They share. They even like or follow!

But make them experience beauty for a few moments or see a pattern? Nah! Too passive a reaction to collect critical energy to survive.

So is there a positive emotion that could make you popular?

Sure there is. Cute kitten pictures.

So here’s one:

cute kitten
(Photo credit: rchughtai — “not very active”)
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49 thoughts on “Topics that make you popular”

  1. You’ve hit the nail square on the head. Emotion is the key to drawing in an audience. It can be love, hate, fear, sadness (tragedy), awe, shock… It doesn’t matter what emotion, as long as it’s strong. Keep writing! 😉

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  2. I stopped trying to write topics that kept peoples interest, it was just too hard. Now I write about topics that I’m interested in and try to appeal to others. Hopefully someone will find my varying topics interesting…Good post, even better topic 😉

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  3. I’ve only been blogging a few months, so there is still no ‘duty’ to it. I also blog on at least three separate topics – sometimes all in the same post, so there is always something I feel like saying. I notice though, that writing about writing gets many more followers than other topics, even though the gardening ones are picture-rich. I can’t do funny or weird or sweet romance either. From the number of your followers and responses, that clearly does not matter.

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  4. I’m random in my writing, and write because I’m either bored and want to fill some time, or because I have something to say. If someone reads me, all good. If no one reads me, all good.

    I, just like you, struggle to even come up with what I want to write about at the best of times, and I marvel at some bloggers ability to write very well, with a clear and concise idea about what they are writing about, and I sometimes spew at the seams, when I see something that’s been written badly and more than likely, won’t go back there!

    It is random. Looking at who I follow to read, it’s so random that I can even say what it is I’m interested in reading. I guess, if I have you bookmarked, which I have, it means that I am interested in what your write and how you write it.

    As most Aussies say; “She’ll be right mate.”

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  5. What a desperate, albeit quietly so, tross into what makes popular pop. I mean that not to be degrading, but perturbing because you’ve absolutely nailed it on the head.
    I write on my blog and pray somebody will actually read it. Considering the mass body of political ranting I’ve built up, it’s rather amazing everyone who has followed me hasn’t blocked me out. 😀
    Then I started looking at what I READ. What a mess. There’s no specific topic, no one standout blogger, no…cohesion to what I read. I swear it’s based on how I feel that day: do I want to look at anime blogs, or do I want get philosophical? I’m I looking for romantic prose that seduces my senses, or do I simply want what’s sensational today?
    All that to say- I don’t believe there’s a formula. If you read your comments, it appears you’ve got quite a following always waiting to see what part of the kaleidoscope of life you put words to today. Keep doing that, and it just may be okay.

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    1. James, I tend to agree with you. I’ve read many Freshly Pressed blogs and plenty more that are not. I’ve seen plenty of posts that are just as interesting as the FP ones, and many that have hardly any readership. And my reading, like yours, is all over the place.

      As is my writing….. I write because I like to read what I have written. It’s a completely narcissistic thing, apparently. If there are others out there who read my stuff and find it interesting to comment on, that’s fantastic. But I need to love it myself first.

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      1. Hello Slo-Man, it’s nice to meet you. I believe all writers are more than moderate in their narcissism…even more so those who finish a blog post on any kind of regular schedule. You are not alone.
        For me, I am the worst kind of narcissist: I wrote this, I edited and made sure these words make sense. It must be important, for otherwise, spending so much time on a thing is insanity. Right?
        We write to tell a story. Our story (stories, if of the lucky and hardworking type). We chronicle the world’s events, sometimes blatantly, other times with subtlety. What we write about is, by far, less important than being honest as we write it…both with our readers, and ourselves.

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        1. LOL – “if of the lucky” so much for spending too much time editing, making sure it reads right etc. Having said this, I’m certain we all do it though. The countless rechecking of grammar and spelling, and still, we miss it! I call it being overly anal, lol. We need to relax, right?

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          1. I suppose “if among the lucky” would have read better. Far less of a mistake than attaching the wrong President to a quote, which I’m also guilty of doing.
            As far as relaxing? If I’m going to be honest, I have to say no. If you’re going to be a grammar Nazi (and we ARE writers, after all), then be one. Just make sure you’re as harsh on yourself.
            Nice to meet you!

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            1. That’s the thing! Unfortunately, as harsh as I attempt to be on myself, it’s still not right! I can look over a piece of work a million times, and seem to go blind, unable to see the bleating obvious.

              Nice to meet you too!

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  6. It is hard to know what is interesting and unusual. I started a series of interviews with readers, for example. I know why I like a book but what about the next reader, what does he or she think? Those ones get more traffic than the author ones, and more than that are the non-promo type ones – how useful are reviews? What are the choices for low-sighted readers? Those have been my most popular ones. I struggle to find topics I admit it.
    I am in agreement with most of the others, this is an interesting post… reblogging.

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  7. Bottleworder —ummmm- can I buy a vowel? There are only a few blogs I have sent straight to my email and yours is one of them. Absolutely love your writing style and topic! Your friends Alesia and Linus!

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  8. It’s always a mystery to me which topics attract readers. I write from the heart, typically centering on something that’s been on my mind in the writing life. Sometimes I get the hits, sometimes I don’t. I suppose that’s just the way it goes, isn’t it?

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  9. When you write something, write it with your heart in it. Something written from the heart with dedication will definitely reach the right people with time. Follow your heart. That’s the key.

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  10. Maybe it’s just me but from you I haven’t do much got: ‘love, funny and weird’ as ‘life, the universe, and everything’. In fact the one word I would use to sum up your posts, and the reason I not only follow them but look forward to reading them (rather than see it as a chore), is ‘thoughtful’. Anyone can throw in a cute kitten or two but can everyone induce someone currently off sick because reading emails makes them dizzy to write a long comment, even though they will feel like the bed is spinning at the end of it, and not because they’re angry about an issue but because… Well actually I am angry. I’m angry that you don’t know what a rare gem your blog is and afraid that you might change it. Don’t.

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  11. Isn’t this very subject the trouble with our media? Writing, filming, creating for the “like” and the “buck”. How does authenticity stay in this game? What about other things like, length. My posts are long – that could be something to think about. I’ve tried with the keywords, sometimes they are just fine – even though in my heart I feel weird using them. But, think about it, People read, engage with ‘things’ that speak their own language. THAT sparks an emotional reaction. But, this can become formulaic as ALL of television is today. OMG, I cannot bear it. (I don’t have my own TV, but being around others who do…it’s simply…I don’t have the words.) My old self, would have been completely focused on the emotional reaction and the dollars tied to it. Back then, I didn’t understand true nature, depth, authenticity or spirituality. Now I do, and what should I do? This all feels so complex. But is it? I think not. Write and choose. Do I want the “likes” or do I want to use my voice? I think we have to do both. What is the sense of writing if nobody can find what you’ve written?

    Let’s start a contest. Who can be authentic and attract at the same time?

    With love, Amanda
    http://defineyourspirit.com

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  12. Come, come! You can do better! I’ve used the kitten thing and while I did see an uptick in visits and a couple of Followers, it just seems too weak a ploy.

    I’ll just plug along and write what pleases me. And if it does please a handful if others ’tis enough, ’twill serve.

    For now….

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  13. :Love, funny, weird, oh my! This defines ME. And I liked your post too, very much indeed. Thank you for visiting mine, and I will definitely be back for more of yours.

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  14. One of my most successful posts was written in a moment. It was titled “hello i’ve posted is anyone out there?”. I happened to put a picture of a kitten on it. I was not aware enough to have really appreciated what i did. One of my regular commenters wrote asking was I freshly pressed to have got so many “likes” and then she said “only pictures of cute kittens get that many likes”. Then later she realised her phone had not shown the little kitten! She was mortified. But I actually agree with her. Sometimes it is the presentation that gets the likes and traffic not always the content.
    Interesting post!

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  15. Haha – I like this. Personally, I love it when a person opens their thoughts to scrutiny. I like to read how people think and feel, what they ponder on and what motivates them (I suppose that’s the people-watcher in me).

    Cute kitty, too. 😀

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  16. I know we bloggers worry about this, but I gave it up a long time ago. The worry. I just write what I feel, what I’m thinking or laughing about or pondering about at the moment, and I write it. If we write a blog (or a book) to PLEASE others, well, it just doesn’t ring true, you know?

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    1. A hearty second to this. Writing only killer blog posts is like a publisher or movie producer funding only the projects that will make the big bucks. They can’t–because they don’t know until after the fact which ones those are!

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  17. Fantastic piece! I’ve been thinking about this myself to motivate myself to write. I think you’re right about the three topics. When I look at my most read entries, the top one is the story of how I got engaged. Now there are only so many times I can get engaged to write about it.

    The connection is difficult. If you figure it out, bottle it and I’ll buy it from you!

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