Do you want to create content that lives on in th ememories of those who read it? If so – this episode is just for you.

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Create Content that Makes a BIG Impression on Your Readers

I get to meet a lot of ProBlogger readers at conferences and often when I meet one who has been reading for a while I ask them if there’s a blog post or podcast that we’ve published that stands out in their memory.

It struck me recently that a number of blog posts get mentioned more than others and it got me wondering why?

Memorable Blog Posts

In This Episode

In this new episode (which you can listen to above or on iTunes or Stitcher) I share 7 types of blog posts that seem to create memories in your blog readers.

We talk about:

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I’ve put the examples of the posts that I mentioned as examples in the podcasts above but would love to see examples of such posts that you’ve written in comments below.

Good day and welcome to episode 93 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger. Today’s podcast, I want to talk about how to create content that lives on in the memories of your readers. It’s a special topic content because it helps to build your brand and it helps to build a personal connection with your audience. Today’s show notes are at I can’t believe we’re at 93 already, almost at a 100. 

Today’s podcast is actually brought to you by the ProBlogger event. It’s my own event. We’ve been running it now for, I think this is now our seventh year. Those of you in Australia, many of you have been along to that event. Last year we had 750 bloggers and speakers. We did have quite a few people fly in from around the world, some of our speakers but also a few attendees.

So if you are overseas, we do welcome you at this event, and we hope to try and arrange some sort of a virtual pass for you this year if you can’t make it live. But if you are in Australia or if you’re willing to come—it’s a great place to come—the event is on the 9th–10th of September this year. Tickets are going on sale on my birthday, 27th of April, so just a few weeks away now.

You can subscribe to get updates about our speakers which we’ll be starting to announce over the next week or so, and our schedule. You can get those tickets over at We’ll link to that in the show notes. There’s also a Facebook group if you want to do a search on Facebook for attendees of that event. So we do limit that just to Australians or people willing to come out to the event in Australia. It’s purely for an event kind of discussion, so it’s not a general work for everyone.

Okay, let’s get into today’s show.

Speaking of events and conferences, I do get to go to quite a few of them. I’ve got one coming up next week, actually, in Sydney. One of the things I love about going to events to speak is I get to meet ProBlogger readers, and that’s a great opportunity, (1) because you get to learn who’s reading your blog and that enables you to serve them better, but (2) I like to ask them questions.

I don’t ask them all questions, but one of the questions I do like to ask occasionally to really engage readers, people who I get to sense have been reading for a while, is if there’s any blog posts that we’ve produced that lived on in their memory, any specific posts. It’s a great question to ask a reader because you find out what’s living in on in their memory. This is often the kind of stuff that they would describe as your brand. It gives you all kinds of clues as to how people see you. It’s really interesting that it’s very rare when I ask that question for anyone to mention any of the tutorials that I’ve published.

This is a bit frustrating in some ways because 99% of the content on ProBlogger and Digital Photography School is how-to tutorials. Now, I’m not saying that no one’s reading them, I’m not saying they’re not useful for the people, but those aren’t the type of posts that people mentioned when I asked what content do you remember. There’s a whole different kind of content that people remember.

Now to me, this is not an excuse to give up my how-to content because I think that still has an impact. But I think it’s really important to trickle into that how-to content. Some of these are the types of posts that live on in the mind because that type of content creates a memory in your reader or your listeners of your podcast, and it’s what people tell other people about you. When someone says I met Darren Rowse they don’t say “He wrote this great post about SEO or WordPress plugins.” They tell something else. It’s these types of posts that they often recount in their sharing.

So I’ve come up with a list of seven types of posts that I’ve noticed that people seem to remember. I think these are really important types of posts because they help you to make a connection with your readers on a deeper level. They create a memory for them, so let’s go through these. I’m not going to take a whole heap of time. I’ll give you a few examples of each one as well.

The first type of post that people always say is any kind of story post. Stories live on in people’s memories. The number one post that people remember is a post I wrote in 2009. It’s now seven years later, but people always tell me about this post. I think I called it, The Number One Reason My Blogging Grew Into A Business. It’s not a technical post, it’s not a how-to post. It’s me telling a story of when my wife gave me a six-month ultimatum to either get full-time as a blogger or get a real job, and it’s me telling that story.

Now, it wasn’t really an ultimatum, although I did tell my wife, Vanessa, is not really an ultimatum-type person, but it’s the story, and it’s the story that people remember. I tell that story in the book that I wrote, the ProBlogger book as well, and that is a section of the book that people always tell me that they remember from the book. Stories build connections. They build memories. People relate to stories, so stories are really important to tell on your blog. Will they be your stories or other people’s stories?

It’s interesting a few episodes ago I told the story of the Cavanagh brothers, the gold miners. A number of people shot me emails straight after that episode and said that they felt more impacted by that episode than a whole heap of other ones, and I think that’s because I told the story. Now, that story wasn’t my personal story, but it connected with some people. Stories do that. So, the number one type of post that you might want to weave into your tutorials, your news, or your other sort of head-orientated post are heartfelt stories.

Number two is playful posts, so posts that kind of surprise people a little, they might use humor, or they might be written in a different voice. A good example of this that people often tell me about is another post that I wrote back in 2007. This is now nine-year old this post, but it’s a post that I wrote in the voice of my son, who I think at the time was two or three. It was called, Five things you should know about my dad, the ProBlogger.

I wrote the post. He was two, but I wrote it in his voice. Because I never written in the third person before and because I included a cute picture of him poking his head out above my laptop computer, it stood out in people’s minds. And it did (I hope) contains some useful information about blogging, but because it was written in a different way, it was playful. It created a memory. It also created a personal connection. I revealed something of myself and my family in that as well. So playful posts, surprising posts can work quite well.

Another type of playful post that I used to do on ProBlogger quite a bit were April Fool’s Day jokes, where on one year, I announced that Google had bought ProBlogger to extend their brand and it was for professional bloggers. Because I’m in Australia and April Fool’s comes 12 hours earlier than a lot of you get it, we sucked a lot of people in. Those are the playful, funny, joking kind of posts that can do quite well.

Of course, you’d want to be a little bit careful about how playful you get. I still get people today who congratulate me for selling my blog to Google and I have to break it to them that it was an April Fool’s joke that’s now lasted for seven years.

So the third type of post that you might want to weave in—it helps to create memories—is more emotive posts. Posts that have some sort of emotion attached to them. Now, you want to be a little bit careful here about perhaps getting too emotional on your blog if you’ve got a really hardcore business blog, but do allow your emotion to come into them.

Now I’ll give you some examples of these in the show notes as well, but three of the examples of that I’ll give are open letters that I wrote to Youtube once I got kicked out of Youtube. One of my posts got deleted (I think it was) and I got banned from Youtube. So, I wrote an open letter to Youtube on ProBlogger. I wrote an open letter to the Amazon Associates Program when they changed one of their policies once. And I wrote another open letter to AdSense way back in 2008 when they changed one of their policies.

These are the posts where (again) written in a different voice, are a bit playful. They were also me putting my heart out to these big corporations. Interestingly, I heard in each of those three cases, that those posts not only connected with my readers, they showed that I did get a bit fired up at times, but they also got onto the attention of people at Google, for Youtube; Amazon for the Amazon’s Affiliate Program; and AdSense at Google again. Each of those open letters got through to the people I was trying to write to. And because I wrote to them in a kind of critical way, I wrote to them about things I didn’t like but I did it in a playful way. I was able to bring in some emotion, but I also brought in a bit of humor.

One of them was a love letter to AdSense about how I love them, but this change they were doing was impacting me. It was received very well. In a couple of the cases, they changed their policies back again. Now, that was partly perhaps because I had a big readership. But it also (I think) was because I expressed my opinion, I expressed my emotion, but I did it in a respectful, humorous way. It had an impact.

I actually heard that the open letter or the love letter that I wrote to AdSense back in 2008 actually got read at one of Google’s open meetings for their employees in front of Larry Page and some of the other big-wigs at Google. You never quite know where those sorts of posts are going to go, but they do create memories. Again, they’re the three posts, another three posts that people do remember from eight or nine years ago.

We’ve covered stories, we’ve covered playful posts, we’ve covered emotive posts. The fourth type is inspirational posts. Another post that people mention to me all the time is when I wrote back in 2013 on ProBlogger, and it was 12 blogging income streams.

Now, that kind of sounds a little bit dry, it sounds a little bit boring, sounds a little bit technical, but I told it as a story. I also tried to bring some inspiration to it. I tried to tell how life was before, I tried to tell about the first few dollars I was making, about how it grew into a part-time job, and then it gradually grew to a point where I was able to be a full-time blogger and then beyond.

It’s amazing how these people tell me that that post is one that they remember because it showed them that I had humble beginnings, that I was just like them when I started, I was earning just a few cents a day (if anything) in the early days. That gave them a sense that they could do it, too, because it was a similar journey. They could find themselves on that journey. They weren’t just being presented with, “I make this much money.” They were being presented with the fact that, in the early days, I didn’t really make a lot, and they can connect with that. So, inspiration is really important.

Another guest post that we’ve published on ProBlogger is from John Murray. Many of you have read this post because it’s one of the most-read posts on ProBlogger. He wrote How to quit your job and move to paradise and get paid to change the world. John tells his story from a wheelchair and using word-recognition software because he’s unable to type. He was able to build a business through blogging. Again, that’s an inspirational post. It’s also a story post. You can see he’s […] between some of these types of posts.

So number four is inspirational posts. Actually show people not just the end result, but take them on the journey, give them an opportunity to connect with the early stages and where they’re at at the moment, but show them what could be. Paint a picture of how things could be for them as well. Those types of posts can work quite well.

Now, with all of this, you need to be a bit careful. You don’t want to manipulate people, you don’t want to manipulate their emotions. You want to be realistic. There’s plenty of posts on ProBlogger where I try and say not everyone is going to have that dream come true moment. Being balanced with the inspiration but the reality as well is really important.

The fifth type of post that seems to create memories for people are opinion posts. Now, I’ve already given you some examples of those, particularly those emotive posts, the open letters that I wrote, they contain my opinions. One of the reasons why I think they stood out from a lot of the content that we produce on ProBlogger (which perhaps is a little bit more how-to) is that they did have some strong opinions in them as well.

Opinions are one of the things that can really differentiate your content from everyone else’s because your opinion is quite different to anyone else’s as well. You do want to be aware that when you do share your opinion, you get opinions shared back at you though. Be willing to have a dialogue, be willing to have some debate, and to perhaps moderate some of those discussions. But opinion posts can create those memories.

The sixth type of post—I’ve kind of given you some examples of this one already—is where posts get a little bit more personal. Anything that shows a little bit more of your own journey and perhaps some behind the scenes of your life. Now, you want to be a little bit careful here because you want to have some boundaries around your family. You want to have some boundaries around personal security and some of those types of things, so be careful about how much you share. But when it’s appropriate, I think it’s good to just give people a little bit of an insight.

There’s a couple of posts on ProBlogger, not many but a couple of posts where I talk about family. There’s a post I was sharing in the show notes where I wrote some tips on getting the family-blogging balance right. And I shared a little bit of my own personal life in that post. 

Another example of this is back in episode 38 of this podcast. I talked about my own health journey and I talked about how my weight kind of got a bit out of control and shared how I wasn’t looking after myself on a health perspective, but also I guess my mental health and the way I was inspiring myself.

I shared quite personally in that type of post, and it was amazing how the people have come up and said that that post is the one that they remember. How I wrote a post about it, I did a podcast about it, and that really had an impact on a lot of people and it got shared around a lot as well. I think it’s because I sort of stepped back from the normal type of post that I was doing, did something slightly different in terms of topic (although I did bring it back to blogging), and it had an impact, it created a memory.

The seventh type of post—it kind of relates to the sixth one as well, the personal post—is vulnerable posts. So posts about failure, posts about the problems that you have as well. We’ve done this in a number of ways. One example is back in 2011 where we sent an email out to the wrong list. We sent an email that was supposed to go to about a hundred people up to about a million people. Big mistake.

It was something that we panicked about as a company, we didn’t really know what to do, and we tried to fix it the best we could. Then I shared that story on ProBlogger with Shayne Tilley, who was working with me at the time. That post created a whole heap of memories as well because it did contain some practical information. It contains some tips on how to avoid doing that. It was a story, but it was also vulnerable. It showed that we make mistakes, we stuff up, we fail as well.

I think by sharing those types of posts, you not only show people that you know what you’re talking about. You become a little bit more relatable, and you’re making more of a personal connection because everyone makes those kinds of mistakes. You build trust with people as well, which is kind of ironic. Before I published that post, I was like, “Is this going to show my audience that I don’t know what I’m talking about? Is this going to show my audience that they shouldn’t trust me with their email address?” Maybe some people did read it that way, but I actually think that by telling that story, I showed my audience that I trusted them.

I love that quote from Bob Berg, “People do business with people that they know, like, and trust.” It’s true, but I also think people also do business with people who know, like, and trust them. So it’s a flip side. When you can show your readers that you trust them with something personal, with something vulnerable, you’re actually building a deeper connection with them. With a lot of people, that is going to be the difference between them seeing you as a person and seeing you as a brand. And seeing that you are real and making a connection with you. That’s a very powerful thing.

Again, I’m not telling you to write these types of posts so you can manipulate your readers. I’m telling you this so that you can build a connection with your readers. That you can shape your brand in the way it is more heartfelt. There’s nothing wrong with content that aims to impact the head, but you also need to create these types of content that makes a personal connection with your audience as well. That’s a very powerful thing. These are the types of posts that people remember. These are the types of posts that shape your brand, these are the types of posts that people will share with other people when they talk about you.

I hope this has been helpful. I encourage you this week to take one of those types of posts. Either a story post, a playful post, an emotive post, an inspirational post, an opinion post, a personal post, or a vulnerable post, or some combination of those, and include that on your blog this week. Once you’ve done it, I’d love you to share with us over at Share a link to your post, I’d love to see what this podcast inspires you to go away and write. I’d love to read that post and I’m sure other readers of this podcast would like to do that as well. You’ll find links to all of those posts that I’ve mentioned as examples on the show notes at

Thanks for listening and I’ll chat with you in a few days time in episode 94.

How did you go with today’s episode? Take This Challenge!

I really hope this episode stimulates some ideas for future blog posts and would love for you to share the posts that you write as a result of it. Please take the challenge of writing one and leave a comment below with a link to it so we can check it out.

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