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We are making our way through the Emotionally Appealing Content Series.
Today, we hit on intensity as we cover Rage and Terror.
To understand how people move from annoyance to anger to full blown rage – think about how you feel when you are in a hurry and a slow moving, rickety hoopty creeps into the fast lane and goes ten under the speed limit.
If you can create content that accelerates emotion in readers as fast as no acceleration in the fast lane, you have social sharing gold. People love to share their rage. Why?
Most of the time when someone is getting red in the face, the only way they can find relief is by sharing their tantrum with someone else. So push the buttons of your readers to get them to push their social sharing buttons.
Many of the tips for causing Rage are similar to writing for Loathing because when we really hate something, it usually pisses us off too.
Tips for writing to incite Rage:
Examples of spinning boring topics toward Rage:
Remember, when people are so mad that they don’t know what to do with themselves, they typically will do at least one thing – tell their friends.
If you want some examples about how well fear works as a motivator, just watch some mainstream news stations. News that incites apprehension stirs up emotions, but news that incites terror stirs up high ratings.
The same is true for online content. People watch Nancy Grace because she taps into her target demographics’ main fears (being kidnapped, being kidnapped, yea well, mostly being kidnapped).
If you can use Nancy’s tactic of understanding your audience and playing off of their fears, then you can get them to share content, because if they are scared about something, they will want their loved ones to be aware of the scary secret too.
Tips for writing to incite Terror:
Examples of spinning boring topics toward Terror:
Remember to know your audience; what is terrifying to one audience may be something completely mundane to another audience. (This chart could really scare women in their late 30’s.)
Tackling Rage and Terror is a risky subject. We always stress the importance of knowing your audience before you dive into inciting any sort of exaggerated emotion; that’s true here too, but in this case you also really need to think about the intended direction of that emotion.
Make sure that you are directing Rage and Terror toward something that you don’t mind shining in an unbecoming light. If you are trying to get people to come to your blog about Hollywood Dogs, don’t write about 7 Movies with the Worst Conditions for Their Animal Star. And if your client is a beach resort, don’t send over a piece on the 14 Most Gruesome Shark Attacks.
These examples are pretty obvious, but always make sure to really think about out the ideas that seem great on the surface buy may hold some underlying negative attention.
Join us next time, when we take on the final of the Emotionally Appealing Content Series – Vigilance and Amazement.