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How to REALLY Write Epic Shit

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How to REALLY Write Epic Shit (7 Types of Epic Content)

Unless you’ve been living under a rather large rock, you will have most likely heard of Corbett Barr’s innovative post Write Epic Shit at his blog Think Traffic.

Whilst the sentiment of the post isn’t anything startlingly original, Corbett expressed the age old idea of ‘quality content is king’ in a memorable, inspired way. As a result, ‘Write Epic Shit’ has been a term much talked about within the blogging community.

Corbett essentially places social media, promotion, branding and all those other juicy things as entirely secondary to epic content. He also goes on to stress the importance of the epic over the mediocre.

If you haven’t read his post I recommend that you do so today. Not only does it make a lot of sense, but whenever I read the post I get a burst of motivation, and a desire to better my own content.

Corbett – if you’re reading this, thanks for the continued inspiration!

So Exactly How Do You Write Epic Shit?

I’m a big fan of Corbett’s post, and I think it’s exactly what it needs to be. It’s succinct, inspiring and memorable.

However! Asides from mentioning that ‘epic comes from experience’, Corbett doesn’t actually break down how to write epic shit. I know that I’m probably not alone when I say that I read his post, felt a burst of motivation and then wondered ‘ok, so exactly how do I make my content more epic?’.

Today I aim to build on Corbett’s philosophy and give you guys some practical ways to produce epic content. These ideas are all based on some of the most popular posts from various blogging experts. As well as discussing each of the 7 points raised, I’ll also give some real post examples that you can read through and try to emulate. Very simply, I hope that this post is a formula for you to produce your own epic shit!

1. Write Comprehensive Guides that Cover Everything To Do With a Specific Topic

These posts are typically very long, very in depth and take a hell of a long time to write – hey, nobody said writing epic shit was easy!

The idea is that rather than give a few generic tips, or breakdown a specific sub-element of a blogging topic, you literally provide a complete guide to everything people would want to know about that topic. Try to think of these posts as Ebooks in blog post format. Imagine being able to say that each one of your blog posts was as in depth as an Ebook and that each one of your posts was content that you could easily be charging for, but you give it away for free instead.

These types of posts get recognized, and instantly show your readership that:

a.) you know your stuff
b.) you are committed to writing awesome content, not fluff
c.) you’re awesome because you’re giving away premium grade content for free (people love this)

Also, like an Ebook, people will bookmark these posts and refer back to them frequently if they need any information on that topic. Rather than your readers needing to skim through multiple posts to get a full understanding of a topic, you break it all down for them in a single post.

Examples from Popular Bloggers:

Timeline for Facebook Pages: THE COMPLETE GUIDE – Pat Flynn over at SmartPassiveIncome wrote a comprehensive guide to Facebook timeline pages for bloggers soon after they became available. As a result, this post became the go-to resource for a lot of bloggers. It offers code snippets, in depth explanations of the new format, and detailed videos showing you how to get setup with Facebook Timeline pages.

The Marketers Guide to Blogging – In this post Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com says “I’ve tried to do my best in giving you everything I’ve ever learned about blogging in the ten years I’ve been doing this in one giant post.”. However, it seems that all his posts fit into this format, as he almost always makes his posts very long, detailed and comprehensive. It’s worked out for him, as his blog is one of the most trafficked in the world!

2. Share Real Life Success Stories

Nothing is more inspiring than a good success story, and this type of content definitely classes as ‘epic shit’. I consistently see posts covering a good success story blowing up, as people read and share them like crazy.

Of course you need to have had some level of success to write this type of post. However, that doesn’t mean that you must be an internet millionaire. I write about my success growing PSDFAN to 7 million readers sure, but I’m also planning a guest post about growing a tiny niche forum to 200,000+ posts. This forum didn’t make me more than about $10, but it’s still a cool example of building up a super loyal online community, and definitely worth sharing.

Success stories come in all forms, and can be online or offline. If you lost a load of weight and ran a marathon that’s a success story. If you quit your job to do what you love, that’s a success story. It’s not all about money, you can measure success in terms of community reach, personal/physical development, charity, feats of endurance, you name it…

I will say that if you want your success stories to be widely read, then they should include at least one (preferably more) of the following:

  • A big number. Everyone loves to see big figures, whether it’s traffic, revenue or number of comments.
  • Proof. If you’re backing up your numbers with proof in the way of photos, screenshots, links etc… it will make your post much more shareable.
  • A Story. People like to understand the story behind successes, and connect on an emotional level. Don’t just thrust figures at you readers, really draw them into the action.
  • A Killer Headline. Be sure to put the details of your success in your headline to entice people to read on.

Examples from Popular Bloggers:

My $4738 Iphone ApP Weekend and 11 Lessons to Help You
The Adsense Check for $132,994.97
How to Earn $12,840 from a Single Guest Post (Plus Email Scripts and Checklists)
How to Get 2281 Subscribers and Increase Traffic by 69% in 27 Days

Write Epic Shit

The check that started it all: Jeremy Schoemaker’s photo of a 132k Adsense check was one of the first huge online success stories and remains his most viewed single piece of content to this day. Success stories are epic content.

3. Be Transparent

Sadly not many people online are very transparent and there are a lot of gurus who mislead people through false figures, and hyped up claims. The upside of all this is that if you choose to be transparent it makes you stand out in a big way!

Offer up your website stats for public dissection. Post about how much you’re earning online and break it down for people. Detail the exact strategies you’re using on your own sites. Give people a behind the scenes approach to what you’re working on.

There are several reasons for being transparent:

  • Trust+authority usually leads to money. Being transparent is one of the best ways to get your readership to trust you.
  • You will stand out, and transparent content is often shared a lot because it’s so rare.
  • Most importantly, transparent content is usually epic content. If you’re really breaking down things for people, rather than giving them generic tips, then they are going to learn a whole lot from you. Seriously, detailing the specifics of your own online ventures is one of the most effective ways to write truly epic shit.

Examples from Popular Bloggers:

Smart Passive Income: Income Reports – Pat Flynn details exactly where he earns tens of thousands of dollars each month. These breakdowns are gold!
ViperChill: Revealed: Behind the Scenes of my Premium Product Launch – Glen Allsopp gives us an exclusive behind the scenes look at the launch of his OptinSkin product.

Write Epic Shit

Pat Flynn’s income reports at SmartPassiveIncome.com are the perfect example of being transparent. They’re also proof that transparency results in epic content, as they’re among the most popular posts on his site.

4. Publish Less Frequently

This is not a fast track to writing epic content, but it can certainly be a big help. Of the blogs I’ve mentioned in this post the majority only publish content around once per week. In a world where everyone seems set on publishing several times per week it can be helpful to look at how the pros do it.

Think about it – these top bloggers who spend between 6-20 hours on each blog post simply couldn’t afford to write every day. It’s far more beneficial for them to post one piece of epic content each week rather than mediocre content each day.

Try doing this today. Cut back to just one post per week, but spend 2 hours each day working on the post. I guarantee it will be the best piece of content you’ve produced!

Write Epic Shit

Writing epic shit takes time. Set yourself a realistic posting schedule, and make sure every post is epic!

5. Be the First to Cover Breaking News/Technology/Trends

Think about what types of content are NOT epic. It’s always pretty lame to see someone posting about a ‘new’ trend, app, website or news story when you’ve already read about it dozens of times for the last month or so.

However, if you’re fairly aware within your niche, you may have a chance to post about a large development before the other bloggers in that niche do. This can be HUGE for your blog, and definitely constitutes writing epic shit.

Think about it, it’s like any form of media, getting there first is everything! Often when a blog is first to cover an important industry story, they are far more widely shared than those who blog about the story later. Not only that, but they will be regarded as an authority within their niche for being so tuned into the industry happenings.

You should use social media and diligent research to keep up with trends within your industry. Once you identify a breaking trend or news story, don’t hesitate. Get a post out there ASAP. The online world is fast-moving, and if you don’t get something publishing right away then someone else will probably beat you to it.

Examples From Popular Blogs:

DailyBlogTips: What is Pinterest?

Danny Brown: The Instagram Success Story

(Note: These two posts aren’t actually the greatest examples of what I’m talking about, but should give you some idea of the types of things that can be covered early, before they become too widespread.)

6. Write Totally Unique Content

Writing totally unique content is epic for a number of reasons. It sets you apart, captures your readers intrigue a can help further your personal brand. Of course to classify as epic shit the content must be insanely helpful, entertaining or informative.

Regardless of the quality of content though, if you’re being totally original then you will at least distinguish yourself from the hoards of uninspired bloggers regurgitating the same old rubbish.

If you need some inspiration on creating truly unique content then check out our article Why Your Blog Needs a Unique Post Series.

Examples From Popular Blogs:

30 Minute Redesigns – Our very own 30 minute redesign series is a perfect example of truly original, epic content. They’re some of the most popular posts within our network and have established me as somewhat of an authority in the field of web design.

How to Get Major Media Coverage For Your Business With No Connections – Derek Halpern is great at producing not just original content but also theories. In this post he discusses his ‘drafting technique’, which is a great example of an original concept becoming epic content. If you have an original theory or concept then definitely get it out there and soon people could start referring to it in general conversation!

Write Epic Shit

Our 30 Minute Redesign series really caught on in the design community and is still one of our most popular parts of our network. I’m currently working on an Ebook that expands on the series, after several readers requested it!

Write Tutorials and ‘How To’ Posts

The final type of content that I class as epic shit is tutorials and ‘how to’ style posts. These are epic because you are directly helping your readers, be it through a quick tip or a lengthy tutorial or guide. If you are teaching your readers a new skill, or helping them improve something in their lives then nothing is more epic!

I recommend throwing video content into the mix here where applicable, as a lot of people find learning through video easier than written content.

The key to writing epic shit that helps people is to first identify the needs of your readers. If you get a reader question then answer it in depth as part of a blog post or video and talk them through it. If you discovered something that makes your blogging life easier, then share this tip with your readers and I’m sure they’ll also appreciate it.

Examples From Popular Blogs:

How to Create a Facebook Landing Page – Pat Flynn’s article is now defunct after Facebook have upgraded to their timeline format. However, in this guide he walked his readers through every stage of setting up a killer Facebook page, including helpful videos, code snippets and more. It was one of his all time most popular posts and for good reason. He helped thousands of people do something that they were struggling with.

Become a Master of the Pen Tool in Under 30 Minutes – At PSDFAN we recognized that a lot of our readers were really struggling with how to use the pen tool in Adobe Photoshop. As a result, we commissioned an article detailing exactly how to master the basics. It was incredibly well received and our readers expressed how grateful they were that we’d helped solve their problem.

Write Epic Shit

Our ‘Master the Pen Tool’ article has received over 20,000 pageviews in just over a year. It also has a very high time on page (3 mins 45 secs). To this day it continually brings in around 100 pageviews per day. This is proof that if you solve your readers problems you are producing epic shit!

What Do You Think?

As always I’d love to know what you guys think. Do you agree with Corbett that writing epic shit is the key to blogging success? Do you think I’ve missed any types of epic content in this post? What types of epic content are producing on your own blog? Let me know.


About the Author:

Tom is the chief editor at Blogs.FanExtra and founder of the FanExtra network. He loves interacting with the community, so if you have any questions hit up the contact page and he'll get back to you.

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2 Comments:

  1. As I have tripped and stumbled here from some Google search on writing better content. I read, absorbed and loved your ACTUAL list of items I can start doing right away or places where I can learn from.

    I can’t believe Schoemaker and ViperChill (Glen Allsopp) made so much money wow !! I can’t believe anyone is doing that haha! Amazing!

    So, sold on your writing style, I clicked on your Blogger Challenge article to read next and saw there were no comments on this fantastic post on writing better blog posts so I hit the back button to give you some praise and love!

    Leif

    • Tom says:

      Aw thanks so much for the kind words Leif! I do always try to make my articles/tips actionable and practical for people, so I’m really glad you found this post useful. I have some more great content lined up soon so I hope you’ll check it out.

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