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How to get Readers’ Attentions
By Patrick Lin
A while back someone posted about how to create a virus for Linux very easily. The post basically spread like wildfire through the Linux community, and received huge amounts of attention.
So how can one grab people’s attention?
- Write controversial posts
The Linux virus post was very controversial. There are many who believe that there are no viruses for Linux, and as such, heads turned. If you write something controversial, it will spread. People, especially those that have nothing better to do, like to be perverse. You give them bait and they will pounce on it. Write something people will denounce and they will spread your words to the world (bit of irony, eh?).
- Write responses to controversial post
If you can’t create original controversy, piggyback on someone else’. If you find something that is controversial enough, any response you make will be treated as just as controversial as the original.
- Use strong titles
Before reading anything else, the user will probably read the title. Weak titles will be ignored, while strong, to-the-point topics will usually be acknowledged. Advertise something well and people will respond to you.
- Write tutorials
There are never enough tutorials in the world. For every subject, there will be people that figure it out easily and people that don’t. And the people that don’t figure it out right away will find something to help them figure it out.
- Write about obscure (but interesting) subjects
People also have a tendency to be curious. Give them something to stare at and they’ll stare for hours. For example, why write about jQuery, which is insanely popular, when you could write about YUI, which is much less seen in the wild?
- Write about the same stuff as others, but better
In contrast to writing about something obscure, you can try writing about something that’s been done to death, but maybe you have some new life to breathe into it. If someone has a tutorial up and you can provide a better tutorial, why shouldn’t people come to you?
- Use images in your posts
Let’s face it: pure text can get boring. Spice up your posts. Put a relating comic in there.
- Start with a story
People love gossip. Start with a story and people will be enticed, wondering what will come next. Tell an interesting enough story and they’ll hang onto your very word until the end. If they don’t, they probably have ADD.
- Write list posts
People love lists. Everything in life can be seen as a list. Your schedule is a list of things to do. Blogs are a list of posts or articles. People like lists because they are consistent and easy to follow. List posts are easy to read and easy to understand. Try a few out.
Of course, there are many other ways to grab peoples’ attention. This is just a short list of a few of them.
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