To quote Paul Graham

“The most valuable insights are both general and surprising”.

It is also a difficult combination to achieve.

What people generally do when writing content is they’re either being surprising without being general- which is what gossip mostly is.

That, or they’re being general without an element of surprise – which is what platitudes are.

It is the insights that add value.

A less common idea in content that should be tapped into is to focus on the general ideas and find ways to add something interesting to them.

There are 2 ways to get people engaged with the content you write:

– Write what your readers already knew, but didn’t know how to articulate.

– Familiarise them with a problem they didn’t know they had.

These two approaches follow the “surprise in familiarity, or familiarity in surprise” rule that will help your articles get those much needed shares.

Credits: David Perell on Twitter

TO DO: While writing content, combine a general idea people knew about but couldn’t articulate and add the element of surprise by providing valuable insights.

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