Out with the new – why ‘most popular’ beats ‘brand new’ in the content stakes

Sharon Tanton

Be your own content curator. Remember: the posts that get the biggest hits aren’t always the newest ones. ‘Most talked about’ is a great category to share.

You know the feeling. Being first to a party is awkward – all that standing around making small talk with a nervous host  is embarrassing – but turning up when the party has just got going is fun. Sometimes response to a blog can be like that too.

We’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon over at VC Towers. While we’re always pushing you to create new valuable content – Google loves fresh new content so you’ve got to keep feeding the machine – the posts of ours that get the biggest hits of all aren’t always the newest ones.

The biggest spikes come when we check the stats, and point out the most popular posts to our networks. In our experience ‘most read’ trumps ‘brand new’ as a lure to click on a link.

It seems not missing out is a far bigger driver than being first.  Maybe it’s because we’re all busy, and a tried and tested post promises a quick win – there’s safety in numbers. Or maybe it’s because we all hate to be left out – if everyone else is in on something we want to be there too.

I suspect it’s the same reason that has us hesitating to be first to comment on a new thread, but happy to chip in fourth or fifth. Once the bar has been set, once the thing is a thing, we’re all more confident to dive in too.

Whatever the logic, this has implications for you and your content.

It means your content archive is precious – so nurture it. Content really is the gift that keeps on giving, so never feel bad about recycling your vintage posts. Look at your stats and be loud and proud about the ones that have really hit the mark.

Be your own content curator. Publicise the blogs that have received the most comments – ‘most talked about ‘ is a great category to share.

No one likes feeling left out, so spread the word and let everyone join in.

How about you? ‘Most popular posts’ or ‘new posts’ – what floats your boat? We’d love to know.

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2 Comments

  1. I recommend asking your network for a photo for your blog post, and select the photo based on who has the biggest network (and the best photo, obviously). Once the post has gone live, send them a message to show where they can see it. Most people are really happy to be ‘featured’ in this way and instantly share it with their network. Bingo! Everyone wins 🙂

    Reply
  2. Great idea! Thanks Mark. I’m going to tweet you now to let you know your comment is live!

    Reply

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  1. The Crazy Power of Social Proof (and How to Avoid Reader Apathy) - Enchanting Marketing - [...] can either use a plug-in or just decide yourself which “popular” posts you want people to read. Sharon Tanton…

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