Which Gets More Engagement: Meeting or Violating Expectations?
There are two ways to increase engagement with your audience: by surprising them and by getting rid of surprises.
Not very helpful information!
On the one hand, surprises -- violations of expectations -- are useful for shaking people out of the stupor of their daily routine. On the other hand, once someone has come to regularly expect good things from you, they'll make you part of that daily routine.
Let's apply this to blogging. The other day, Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income wrote:
...is there some type of post that you publish consistently over and over again that becomes a true unique element to your brand?
As many of you know, I religiously publish income reports each and every month here on SPI...
Whatever that recurring content may be, it gives your audience something concrete to look forward to, something that they already know about, they just don't know what the outcome or result will be "˜this time'.
I've tried two kinds of recurring posts here at White Hat Crew: the Monday Question, and monthly reports of which of my email headlines got the most opens and clicks.
The Monday Question was a flop. Not because it was a bad idea, but because there just isn't enough commenting going on here yet to sustain it. So I dropped it...for now. Lesson learned.
My Most-Clicked Headlines series has fared somewhat better, with some of those posts making the next months most-clicked list. They haven't all done so, but that's partly my fault for making some of the most useful details premium content, available only to White Hat Crew Inner Circle members.
For example, one of the things revealed by last months numbers (I'll leak this one for you) is that questions make powerful headlines. (In fact, I'm going to rewrite this post's headline right now and make it a question...maybe it'll make up for the fact that I'm posting late on a Friday :-).
My opens and clicks reports have the same sort of draw as Pat's income reports: they're case studies containing recent, real-world data and insights that readers can apply to their own businesses.
What other types of recurring posts have you seen people do?