content that drives traffic

If you are looking to create content that drives traffic to your blog, my first question for you is this: Does any of the following scenarios sound familiar?

I have been creating content on my blog, but it is not generating traffic”

“I am writing blog posts on a daily basis, but it is not generating traction from the social media”

“When I checked my Google analytics reports, it looks like people just read my posts and go”.

If your answer is “yes” to any of the above, set aside time to read this article.

The point is:

It is not your fault!

Here is the truth:

Creating typical content filled with practical information will not get you the traffic you crave so much.

In order for you to create content that drives traffic, it must evoke an emotional reaction in your readers.

Content can only generate traffic to your blog when it has the element that makes people go “wow! That was an awesome article – I need to share it with my friends“.

The secret formula I want to share with you in this article is how to create an emotional reaction in your audience that will make your content go viral, bringing you shares and loads of traffic.

Invoking an emotional response is an important element of a successful content marketing campaign. Readers will always share contents that stimulate their emotions.

According to a research carried out by Jonah Berger and Katherine L. Milkman of the Wharton Business School in 2010, titled, “Social Transmission, Emotion, and the Virality of online content“, they discovered that there is a relationship between emotion and virality, whether it is negative or positive emotion.

The highlights of the research are

* Positive content seems to generate more shares and traffic than negative content

* Content that invokes emotions tend to generate more shares and traffic

* Useful content get’s shared the most

It may interest you to know that people considered negative content to generate more buzz than positive content. Just like we always see in the news.

But the reverse is the case here. Positive content always generates lots of share and traffic. This is because there are lots of unhappy people in the world and when you create a positive content, it lifts them out of their situation.

So now, the secret to creating content that drives traffic is to write a highly useful content that activates emotions.

What are emotions?

Emotions according to Wikipedia are any “relatively brief conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a high degree of pleasure or displeasure“.

Emotions in a lay man’s language are positive or negative feelings, such as awe, anger, anxiety, fear, joy, lust, surprise e.t.c.

The reality is:

It is not easy to incorporate emotions into your content. You need to first decide on which emotion you want to target and hit it straight on the head.

Different types of emotions

Conventional scientific wisdom reveals six classic emotions: happy, afraid, disgusted, angry, sad and surprised. However, a new study says there are only four basic emotions.

Let’s break down these emotions and learn how we can leverage them to create content that drives traffic.

The 4 emotions that make your content go viral and generate traffic to your blog are:

1. Anger

The part of the brain responsible for anger is the hypothalamus. It also controls hunger, thirst, response to pain and sexual satisfaction.

The New York times viral content study, revealed that anger, especially is associated with virality.

content that drives traffic

When you create a content that gets people angry, they will share it on the social media networks (Twitter, Facebook, G+, e.t.c) write blog posts and link to it, etc. All these actions will help you generate more traffic to your website.

A good example of a content that achieved this feat is titled “Content is King Myth Debunked“. It was created by socialtrigers’ Derek Halpen.

content that drives traffic

In the article, he challenged the popularly believed assumption that “content is king”. He backed it up with data.

The article made people angry because they believed that content is king.

The result:

He got thousands of traffic and hundreds of retweets and Facebook likes.

It received 140 comments.

So, how do you leverage on this emotion to create content that drives traffic:

Create content that challenges general beliefs, assumptions or opinions. Take the negative side of the debate.

A note of warning, though: I am not saying that you should write content that will get people angry all the time. That will not augur well for your brand. Make sure that your approach is balanced.

2. Happiness

It is a fact that happiness or joy is wired into all of us from inception. Our first emotional action in life is to respond to our mother’s smile whenever they smiled at us.

Happiness resides in the left pre-frontal cortex of the brain.

Happiness is one of the drivers of social media shares. People tend to share what makes them laugh. There are lots of things that make people laugh – it can be things that are funny, inspiring, or uplifting.

A good example of a content that we can use here is a post written by Jon Morrow titled “How to quit your job, move to paradise and get paid to change the world

content that drives traffic

The post is an inspiring and an uplifting one. In it, Jon morrow narrated how he had an accident that almost caused him his life and how the incident led him to discover his career. It is a must-read for every aspiring blogger.

The result of the post:


Touched the hearts of more than 5 million people:

content that drives traffic

You can’t but share the post, when you read it.

How can you leverage on this emotion to create content that drives traffic?

Use the storytelling method to connect with your audience. If you notice in the content, Jon morrow shared his life’s story. One thing you can do is to include your life’s story that can inspire and uplift readers in your content.

3. Surprise

People are surprised by a lot of things that goes against their beliefs or expectations. Here, you can write content that challenges people’s expectations and assumptions and attempts to prove them wrong.

A good example worth mentioning here is a content with this title: “Marriage isn’t for you“. It was written by Seth Adam Smith.

content that drives traffic

The post evokes surprise and makes readers curious.

When you read it, you think “what is the problem with this guy”?

Almost everyone believes in marriage. Why is it writing against it?

But actually, in the post, the author made it clear that “marriage is not about you, it’s about giving yourself to someone else” and this point made it go viral on the social media.

The result?

It received over 1.8 million shares on Facebook.

It has been featured on The Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Mailone, Cosmopolitan,,, The Matt Walsh Blog, Deseret news,, The Today Show, KSL News, TheBlaze, and Fox & Friends.

The author has made several appearances on national television.

He landed a book deal as a result of the popularity of his message.

How can you leverage this emotion to create content that drives traffic?

Create content that will make people look surprise and good to their peers.

4. Fear/Anxiety

The fear emotion is controlled by a small almond-shaped structure in the brain known as the amygdala. The amygdala helps us to know the significance of anything scary and how we respond to them.

Fear is one emotion that motivates a lot of people to do things in life. People find it easy to take action when they are afraid.

People also hate anxiety. For example, if your content is about losing out on something good in life, people will read it because they hate losing the things they have.

A good example of this emotion in action is a post written by Derek Halden ” The #1 conversion killer in your web design (are you at risk?).

Content that drives traffic

The post elicits the emotion of fear and anxiety.

How do you leverage on this emotion to create content that drives traffic?

Create a content that makes people worry that they are making mistakes they don’t know. Use the fear of loss, i.e. limited quantities. etc.


You don’t have to fret about getting traffic and conversion. You can create content that drives traffic by implementing the emotions listed above – Anger, happiness, Surprise, fear/anxiety.

In addition to that, make sure you take your time to create a highly useful content that shows people how to implement a given advice and the next step to take after reading your post.

So, what are your experiences? Have you ever created a content using any of these emotions? Share it with us in the comment section below.