I’m a business blogger. I’m interested in how to write posts that will get search engine traffic and get shared. If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in the same thing. I won’t tell you you’re going to instantly be successful with this “one weird trick,” or that I have figured out how to write posts that will go viral every time. But I have noticed something about virtually every business blog post I’ve ever read that has gotten a lot of traffic and a lot of shares, and it’s this–they teach people how to get rich quick. It doesn’t matter if they’re talking about why you should turn off your cellphone or a review of a recent business book, these posts all tap into our desire to be financially successful.

The words “get rich quick” are taboo in our society, because they’re usually followed by the word “scheme” which is synonymous with the words “rip off” or “scam,” at least in the United States. Since moving to Hong Kong I’ve learned that “scheme” is apparently the word the British use for “plan.” Either that, or there are a lot of people cooking up schemes and being very public about it. Regardless, many of us are suspicious of any promise made to help us get rich quick, and yet that’s precisely what many of us want. But since the more circumspect among us aren’t going to be lured in by someone blatantly telling us they know how to help us get rich quick, due to the aforementioned guilt by association, we have to say things like “How to Grow Your Blog to 100,000 Visits a Month Within 1.5 Years” or “The 14 Keys to Writing Advertorials That Sell” but it all adds up to the same thing–these people are writing content that activates the part of our brains that latches onto information we believe will help us to make more money. And the more quickly and easily we can make money by following the advice in that content, without the content crossing the line and stretching credulity, the more we fall prey to that content and share it about. So, want to write a successful blog post? Tell people how to get rich quick, but not in exactly those words.