Mental Floss Magazine, always masters at making unlikely connections among seemingly unrelated topics, did it again in “25 Flossiest Cities in the World”. The term “flossy”, the editors explain (lest we envision dental care), means “exhibiting qualities of charm, quirk, and brain-boosting power in equal measure”.
The article is all about places that don’t come to top of mind, steering readers’ minds away from the tried and true and introducing them to new ways of looking for travel destinations.
I explain to newbie content writers in Indianapolis that steering away from the tried and true gives business owners the chance to showcase their own knowledge and expertise. Even more important, the technique of myth busting helps engage interest. A different approach can serve to answer readers’ concerns, as in the following examples:
- Dentist’s blog:
Do amalgams used for fillings cause mercury poisoning?
- Beautician’s blog:
Does makeup cause acne?
- Internet security firm blog:
If you don’t open an infected file, can you get infected?
- Home décor firm blog:
Should small rooms be painted in pale neutral colors?
Visitors arrive at your blog to find information on specific topics. But, once your opening lines have reassured them they’ve come to the right place, it’s a great idea to use some unlikely connections to give them the sense of being ahead of the crowd, having some unusual “inside information”…
- Giethoorn, Netherlands, Mental Floss advises, is flossier than Venice, with four miles of canals dug in the 13th century.
- Lavenham, England is flossier than Pisa. Many of its buildings were constructed in the 15th and 16th centuries, are crooked because they used green timber which warped as it aged.
- Huizhou, China is flossier than Austria. China’s duplicature craze resulted in Austrian, English, Swiss, Italian, and Spanish copycat cities.
What flossy topics can you use to unexpectedly engage blog readers’ interest?