4 Field-Proven Psychology Hacks: Unleash the Power of Psychology for Better Content Creation
The field of psychology has wide-reaching implications, meaning there’s always value in picking up some insight into the workings of the human mind — and in this piece, we’re going to look at how you can use time-honored psychology hacks to improve your online content.
After all, the more you know about how someone thinks, the more easily you can capture their attention, entertain them, provide value, and convince them to act in a particular way (and if you’re trying to make your blog a success, then you need to be able to drive readers to act).
Enough of the preamble, then. Let’s get to some key tips for how you can draw inspiration from the world of psychology to create the kind of high-quality content capable of growing your blog:
Break from the Norm
How much benefit is there in simply being different? A great deal, in actuality. There’s a reason why shock value is recognized and used throughout the world. Our minds prefer to operate efficiently (or lazily, depending on how you look at it), and tend to group things together where possible — so when something comes along that stands out from the pack, it’ll prove more memorable even if it’s worse than everything else.
And if you can make something that’s not only different but also better, it’ll be doubly memorable. This is tricky, though, because you need to create content that’s different from everything else in your niche without straying too far from the core. That’s a balance that’s extremely hard to achieve, though perfectly possible if you’re willing to work at it.
I suggest starting by using competitor analysis tools to find the content that’s getting your rival blogs the most attention. Look for the common elements that people seem to be responding to. This will help you learn what your audience wants. What are the topics? How are those other bloggers addressing them?
Your goal should be to create content that both outperforms rival content and offers some kind of unique twist. For instance, if everyone else is doing articles, you could provide videos covering the same themes.
Don’t Offer Too Many Choices
You’re probably familiar with analysis paralysis, that frustrating feeling of wanting to reach a conclusion but finding yourself unable to make progress. Most of the time, that stems from having too many options — this is known as the paradox of choice. Our brains can only handle so much information, and we’re worried about picking the wrong thing.
When you need to select just one option from a hundred, every prospect will leave you worried that one of the 99 alternatives is actually better. You need to factor this into your design approach, and it has to start at your homepage with a simple navigation featuring no more than seven links (people struggle to follow more than that).
After that, don’t try to do too much with any one of your blog posts. If you provide suggestions, stick to just a few important tips — if you use bullet-pointed lists, keep them short. And if you lead to some kind of CTA (as you should), stick to the one action.
The more information you throw at someone, the more it will start to blur together. Less is more.
Tell Some Engrossing Narratives
Since time immemorial, humanity has used stories to establish and build upon shared goals and ideals. If you want to teach someone that tigers are dangerous, for instance, which would be more impactful: simply telling them “tigers are dangerous”, or telling a story in which a likable protagonist takes tigers too lightly and ends up being killed?
Once a good story starts, you naturally get attached to the protagonist. It’s almost automatic. So whether you’re trying to teach a useful lesson, or convince the reader to do something in particular (signing up to your newsletter, donating to your website, buying one of your products, etc.), creating a captivating story is an exceptional way to do it.
Keep in mind that your stories can be fictional or factual — it’s up to you. For example, you could completely fabricate a tale to make a point, and it wouldn’t be a problem (just don’t try to pass it off as a real story). And if you have a legitimate story to tell, then that’s probably going to work even better due to the authenticity.
Talk About Your Feelings
Emotional vulnerability is something that has always brought us together. You can meet a complete stranger, share some painful anecdotes, and rapidly feel a powerful kinship with them. So why not use this to your benefit? Don’t just write in a dispassionate way: be honest about how you feel, whether you’re happy, sad, angry, or even listless. In all likelihood, it will also be an extremely positive experience for you.
The best bloggers do this tremendously well. By sharing their innermost thoughts, they build up communities of people who view them as their mentors, inspirations, or even friends. This doesn’t mean that you need to divulge your most private secrets in an effort to win people over, though. Just don’t hide it when there’s something on your mind, particularly when it’s going to affect the quality of your content regardless.
For instance, suppose you went through a terrible breakup that prevented you from concentrating on your blog for a few weeks. If you simply didn’t mention it and kept writing, the quality would dip and no one would know why. But if you took a moment to let your readers know the situation, they’d want to support you and would forgive the quality issues.
There’s essentially no limit to what you can derive from psychology, because the human mind is an incredibly complex organism, but you don’t need to break out the textbooks before you can start taking advantage when it comes to creating blog content.