Saturday, February 16, 2019

Creating Content that Sparks!

So excited to have a guest post from my friend Livy Lynn today! She's a sweet young woman doing amazing things (and I just might get to meet her this year?!). Check out these wise words, a giveaway, and her launch of a new blogging course! Without further ado ...

Words are powerful little tools. With them, wars are waged, minds are changed, and cultures are formed. Every word has the potential to flicker like a flame and set the world ablaze.

As a blogger and novelist, my life pretty much revolves around words. Each time I sit down to write a post, I ask myself, “How can I create content that sparks? How can I write a piece that will touch hearts, change lives, inspire my readers to action, etc?”

Today, we’re going to be answering this question.

Creating blog posts that readers truly value is something every blogger strives for! We want our readers to be delighted, connect with us on a personal level, and keep coming back for more!

The first thing to discuss while exploring this topic is to realize that each post serves a different purpose. Sometimes we wish to encourage and inspire our readers them, other times we want them to laugh, or check out a book we can’t stop fangirling over!  

When we sit down to write, it’s important to know the purpose for our post, and what we desire the end result to be in our readers' minds and heart.

Let’s talk about three different kinds of digital content. Now, there are certainly more than three types of blog posts, but I’ve found that most every post can be categorized by these three umbrella categories.
  1. Connection Content
  2. Viral Content 
  3. Monetized Content 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these and find out how you can create that sparks!

1. Connection Content

Connection content is a post focused on connecting with the heart of your readers. Being yourself, opening up, sharing a struggle, or something God is teaching you through your own life: those are all Hallmarks of connection content. Your readers want to know you: the real you.

Anytime you open up and are truly yourself, truly vulnerable, readers respond to that.  

On the internet, oftentimes all we see are highlight reels of all the exciting, Instagram-worthy happenings in the lives of others. It’s easy to place internet-personalities on a pedestal and forget that they struggle just as much as we do.

Many bloggers who build up faithful followings over the years, do so by being REAL with their readers.

On the flip side, we’ve all seen online personalities take this to the extreme. Talk about being real, and we all think of that one friend who never stops posting about their bad days, or the YouTuber who is endlessly venting about their woes. That is not what I’m encouraging us to do. If we’re going to be real about what we’re going through, we have to do so with an air of grace and a HUGE dose of hope at the end! Nobody wants to hear another sob story without a happy ending. Remind your readers why you’re sharing your current struggles and the beauty you believe will come out of it.

Connection posts, if done correctly, can truly SPARK and fling open a door to connect on a heart-to-heart level with your readers! One of my favorite way to do connection posts is by sharing what God’s been teaching me in my Quiet Time and through my current season in life.

2. Viral Content

We often think of viral content as something that’s gone viral, spun out of control in popularity and practically broke the internet! And while that’s true in some cases, the reality is, most of us are not going to write posts that do that.

The majority of bloggers don’t write posts that sky-rocket them to blogging fame. The most common path bloggers travel upon, is one that requires slow, faithful, consistency.

So when I refer to viral content, maybe a better phrase would be, “potential viral content”. In other words, posts that have the potential to be passed around, posted, shared, re-tweeted, etc.

Do you remember the last time someone shared your post on Facebook or Twitter? Do you remember what it was about, or why they shared it?

If you’ve never had anyone share your posts before: don’t be discouraged! The majority of your readers are silent admirers, they will never comment on your blog or share posts, but there are some people who will! So if you haven’t seen that happen yet, hang in there. :)

Not everyone is going to feel the urge to share a connection post on their social media, but they might want to share a post that discusses a trending topic, is perhaps a little controversial in a unique niche, or discusses a fun concept, but with a fresh, creative twist!

One example of potential viral content would be my post: If Disney Invaded Your Youth Group because my readers go to youth group, and love Disney, they totally enjoyed this comedic take on what might happen if these two worlds unexpectedly mesh together!

Another example of potentially viral content is an interview with a celebrity, artist, musician, author, or someone who has a larger platform than you. If your readers love for King and Country or the Willis Clan, they’re going to be really excited about your interview, and potentially want to share it!

Potential viral content can also include hot news topics, popular Google searches, or keyword focused pages, but those are just a few examples.

Are you beginning to see how having a mix of heartfelt, connection content, along with fun, pop-culture (or book culture, whatever you’re into), potentially viral content, makes a delicious mix for readers?

3. Monetized Content

Finally, we have monetized content. This is a post style many bloggers avoid, or simply don’t think about. For most writers, blogging begins as a hobby and the idea of earning income from our blogs either isn’t important to us, or it seems impossible. Or maybe you’ve seen longtime bloggers suddenly switch gears and try to turn their blog into a business, and they’ve done it totally ungracefully, and it’s left a really sour, commercialized taste in your mouth.

One of the reasons that happen, is because hobby-bloggers aren’t creating monetized content, then when they suddenly whip out links to their new affiliate program, everyone is totally blindsided by the shift.

If the idea of earning income from your blog makes you uneasy, because you don’t want to sell out or lose the trust of your readers: that’s a good thing! That means you actually CARE about your readers. And the simple fact that you have the heart to always place your readers first, tells me you can earn income from your blog, in a really beautiful, natural, organic way.

So how can you do that?

I would encourage you to consider adding a new style of posts to your line up: monetized content. Monetized content is simply a post which gives you the potential to earn income from it, through affiliate links, sponsored posts, or brand partnerships.

But here’s the really cool part: you can start doing this before you ever sign up for an affiliate program or begin exploring how to earn income from your blog. By sharing your honest opinions on products, books, music, movies, restaurants, etc. (whatever your unique niche is!) your readers will get used to seeing these kinds of posts. In fact, if you add review posts to your blog on a regular basis, your readers won’t just be used to seeing them: they’ll love seeing them! They’ll know you’re the place to come when they want opinions on a book, hair product, etc.

Monetized content can totally spark and delight your readers! If you do this before you start partnering with brands and affiliate programs, your readers won’t be surprised when they learn you’re earning income from these posts. It will also give brands a “portfolio” of how you do reviews, what your style is, and what they can expect when they work with you.

If the idea of monetizing your website excites you, I would encourage you to start adding reviews to your line-up!

Once you’ve got a fun, colorful, tasty mixture of connection content (your readers trust you!), viral content (new readers are finding you!), and monetized content (they value your opinion on products, brands, and services), then you’re ready to slowly begin earning income from all your hard work! How cool is that?

Brainstorm Your Next Blog Posts!

Are you ready to start brainstorming your next blog posts? It’s not nearly as daunting as you may think! Simply grab a notebook and a pen, and divide your paper into three columns, one for each category, Connection, Viral, and Monetized. OR, take the easy route and use this free printable that I made just for you guys! :)

Write down ten ideas for each category and remember to keep the purpose for each post in mind before you even pick up your pen.

Ready to rock and roll? Woohoo! You’re well on your way to creating 30 new, sparkling blog posts your readers are going to ADORE!
Are you a new or aspiring blogger? Or maybe you’ve been blogging for years and the idea of learning how to earn income on your website sounds really appealing. But where do you even begin? I’m SO excited to share my 20 Day video series for bloggers! It’s called Fire Starter: Launching a Blog that Blazes! This interactive course teaches bloggers (both old and new) how to create their dream blog or website, monetize their site, AND give them all the tools, encouragement, and support needed to be truly successful on their journey! The Fire Starter course is listed at $150.00 but I would love to share my special code with you to get $100 off! You can check that out HERE.

To celebrate the release of Fire Starter, I’m giving away a free Skype Session to talk about blogging goals, writing advice, and how to take your blog to the next level! (Or, if you’re too shy to video chat, we can totally do it over email.) My sweet friend Bella and I love coaching bloggers and authors through our Cheerleader Sessions! This is our first time giving away a free session and we’re SO excited!

Entering for a chance to win is super simple! Just hop on over to my blog and sign up for my free email updates (and I’ll throw in a free e-book, just to say thanks!) and you’re all set!

Keep writing, friends!

Lots of love,

~Livy Lynn

Livy Lynn is a twenty-something author, singer, and songwriter. She enjoys crafting YA fiction that is pure, lovely, inspirational, and of course, entertaining! When she’s not writing, you can usually find her playing guitar, blogging, drinking peppermint tea, connecting with new friends, planning her next trip to Disney, or pinning images of Europe and Golden Retriever Puppies!

Come get connected at


  1. Abi, you're so sweet! Thanks so much for sharing this guest post and OH MY GOODNESS YES I hope we'll be able to meet at the Glory Writers Retreat! <3

    1. You're so welcome! And YES that would be so much fun :D

  2. Livy is amazing. ♥ And these are such good points - especially Connection Content! Building relationships and being vulnerable with readers is vital to blogging. Thanks for sharing this, Abi! And lovely blog design - I really like the mushroom. =)

    1. Absolutely! I read something once about being authentic in your own way instead of in someone else's way. It's all about being ourselves but still being smart. It can be a tricky balance. :)

      Thanks! Glad you're liking the new design.

  3. This is so much great information! <3

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