Would you like to quit your job, move to paradise, and get paid to change the world?  Jon Morrow did it.  He continues to change the world with his inspiring blog posts and by giving an occasional butt-kicking.  Let me tell you, Jon is one smart cookie.

I first read one of Jon’s blog posts on Copyblogger and it made me cry.  But it also inspired me as I was beginning my entrepreneurial journey.  So when I got the chance to meet Jon at New Media Expo, I booked my flight.

And I got a few hot flashes when Jon agreed to let me interview him!


Here are some of the main points from the interview and from the New Media Expo session where he spoke:

#1  Write Headlines that Attract Attention

Jon has a great tool called Headline Hacks that’s a cheat sheet for writing better blog post headlines.  I downloaded it and it’s fantastic.  But his other tip is to just spend more time on your headlines.  Find out exactly how long Jon spends on his headlines in the interview.

Jon’s most popular posts have been a combination of great content and great headlines:

How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World

20 Warning Signs Your Content Sucks

On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas


And as he says, it doesn’t always have to be hard – sometimes simple works best:

How to Be Interesting


#2  Two Types of Posts That Can Go Viral:  Instructional Posts and Bonding Posts

Jon talked about this in his sessions as well, Bonding Posts are written specifically to bond with your audience where you share your story.  They won’t get as many shares but they will get more comments.  Instructional posts teach your audience how to do something. If you can do both, share something instructional but also share your own personal journey that has a life lesson, you can get a lot of traffic.  See what Grandma Mary has to say about bondage in the interview.

In his session, Jon shared a couple more points on how to help your blog posts go viral.  Here are some of the tips from the notes I took:

#3  Viral Posts Live at the Intersection of Niche and Normal

If you have a niche topic, you need to connect that to something more normal that everyone can relate to.  To get more traffic, more people who aren’t a target of your niche need to be inclined to share it because of the larger story or theme.

#4  Evoke Explosive Emotion

If you can make someone cry, scream, or throw their laptop out the window then the post will get shared more.  Jon also says if you can surprise or shock people, you will get more shares and traffic.

#5 Ride on the Back of a Detachable Rocket

Put your best content on big blogs with big audiences.  You want to find a big stage for your ideas. Get noticed by connecting with a ready-made audience that will be receptive to your post.

#6  Catch a Traffic Jetstream

Use sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, and social media sites to help your post go viral.  Ask people personally for the retweet by sending them an e-mail or DM.  Keep working it!

Jon said, “As bloggers, we are street performers, is your blog worth stopping for?”

He summed up everything with three easy-to-remember points:

  1. Find a big enough stage.
  2. Choose the right song.
  3. Perform your heart out. 

Inspiring words indeed.

jon morrow with gma