We are moving through Plutchick’s Wheel of Emotion and discussing how using emotional triggers can make readers care about a boring topic. So far in this Emotionally Appealing Content Series, we have covered Ecstasy and Grief and looked at both sides of Happiness and Sadness.
Now we are moving on to Admiration and Loathing and how people respond to Love and Hate.
There is a thin line between love and hate, so before you attempt to make your readers passionate or scorning, make sure you know the reader well. A misreading of your audience could swing them in the complete opposite direction of your targeted emotional appeal… but that could also be a good thing.
As long as they’re feeling something, you’re doing your job.
People connect to what they accept and trust. They love what they admire.
People also enjoy sharing their passions. Because people often personally identify with their passions, they frequently share content that connects them to the things that they feel define them. If you can get people to admire your content, by connecting to positivity or passion, you will be much more likely to have your content shared by the reader.
Tips for writing to incite admiration:
- Be an Un-secret Admirer – Call out a group or person that has made a positive impact in the world. Readers enjoy content about people they admire. And as added bonus, if the featured person learns of your post, they will likely share it to their followers and spread the word about the given admiration.
- Be Inspirational – As we know, people love inspirational quotes. But what they love even more: inspirational stories or anecdotes that show those mantras in action.
- Be Charitable – Donating time, money and resources is always admirable. Whether you are being charitable yourself (by giving away something) or featuring others who have been charitable, please will respond.
- Make the Reader Look Good – Most people want to be perceived as innately good, so if you can craft a title that makes the reader sounds like they are supporting a good cause or participating in a positive movement, they will probably share it just because it looks like a good reflection of their character.
Make sure that you deliver what you promise in the headline. Hook the readers with a title that tugs at their heartstrings. Then make it impossible for them not to share the content by incorporating strong emotional elements in the content.
Examples of spinning boring topics toward Admiration:
- # Accountants Who Helped Change the World… for the Better
- How to Use Your Accounting Skills To Help Your Community
- How Oprah’s Accountant Saves Her Millions and Helps Her Rule the World
- # Things The World Wants to Save in the Cloud
- # Things You Can Send to the Cloud and Give Back to the Community
- # Insurance Companies That Were There When People Really Needed Them
- How to Help Insure a Home Built by Habitat for Humanity
- The # Most Charitable Home Insurance Companies of All Time
Just as people respond strongly to admiration and love, they respond similarly to things that make them fume.
As ugly and unfortunate as hate sounds, it is actually a very powerful tool because most people absolutely love to hate.
Ragging, mocking and insulting are popular pastimes. And because it’s no fun to poke fun alone, you can expect that if you write something that causes a hateful rise in a reader, they will want their friends to join in the tar and feathering.
Tips for writing to incite loathing:
- Ruin Something People Enjoy – Finding something that is viewed as sacred and expose its shortcomings. People love to hate on a “fall from grace”. (Ever heard of Tiger Woods?)
- Get on Their Nerves – Make people annoyed. Poke at pet peeves. Use highly debatable, or even sensitive, topics to agitate your audience.
- Make Their Skin Crawl – Disgust your audience with something they think is unimaginably gross. People respond disturbing topics like spiders, McDonald’s food calorie counts, or horrific true crime stories.
- Don’t Be Afraid – Pushing people toward hate can be scary. But if you are going to attempt to make someone fill with disgust, you need to comment and be prepared to back up your boldness.
Examples of spinning boring topics toward Loathing:
- # of the Worst Accounting Fraud Schemes of the 21st Century
- # Signs Your Accountant is Screwing You
- Accounting Mistakes that Republicans/Democrats Don’t Want You to Know
- The # Worst Times Your Computer Can Brake and Lose All of Your Data
- # Of the Worst Things You Can Find in Your Partner’s Cloud
- # Insurance Companies That Weren’t There When People Needed Them
- # Insurance Companies That Are Basically Stealing Your Money
- Charitable Celebrities Who Committed Insurance Fraud
Build out your idea so that readers grow more disdainful as they read by developing concepts that incite a visceral reaction.
Remember, admiration and loathing, love and hate, are strong emotions often connected to very sensitive parts of personalities and perspectives. Use them. But use them with caution, and know your audience.
If you have a pessimistic audience who is disinterested in positive reinforcement, don’t even try to get them to admire your posts… unless your content is swayed toward loving to hate something (which sometimes works too).
And if you have an extremely optimistic audience who recycles and enjoys cheering for the underdog, then pour on the positivity and get them to love you by sharing all things right with the world.
Just make sure you know your audience well, because even a football player can insight a complete love fest or a fit of hateful scorn.
Join us next time when we take on some scary stuff, Terror and Rage.