How do you know if you have a generally entertaining piece of content on your hands? How can you measure that entertainment level?
I call it the Reddit test.
If you don’t know what Reddit is, check it out now. It’s basically a filter for good content. Content that’s entertaining gets voted up, and content that’s not entertaining gets voted down and moved to a place where people won’t see it.
Due mainly to Reddit’s community and ability to target niches, Reddit is a quick and effective way to test whether or not you have a piece of inherently shareable content.
If you post on Reddit with varying titles, in the right Subreddit (boards targeted to specific audiences) and the post doesn’t do well, then your content has failed the Reddit test.
If your posts do anywhere from mediocre to very well, then you have passed.
Very well doesn’t require definition, but mediocre does.
Mediocre means that many people voted on it. Suppose the post has an aggregate score of -2, composing of 13 up and 15 down. You might think this is bad, but it means that you have something on your hands that can be spun (title manipulation) into something more successful (perhaps by creating a title saying that you don’t like said piece of downvoted content).
You’ve passed the Reddit test.
Your content is provocative.
“Your post not doing well” also requires definition.
Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that you receive a ton of downvotes. Again, that could be good because it means that your content is provocative enough to reach people.
“Your post not doing well” means that no one cares. It means that it’s bland. It doesn’t elicit much reaction from the audiences you’re reaching out to. Pieces of content like that are harder to spin and are not worth spending time and resources on promoting.
If you fail the Reddit test, you’re better off creating something entirely new.
If you pass the Reddit test, you’ll know that it wouldn’t be a waste of time to continually promote your piece of content.
Let me end this essay by stating that I believe all content can be spun, but like I’ve written many times before, spinning a bad piece of content into something that’s appealing is far less effective than learning to create content that people feel compelled to share in the first place.