First of all, think about the joy that comes with knowing that your blog post is the most talked about on social media, other blogs and even in people’s everyday conversations. After you might have spent hours or even days writing a great article, you would expect that lots of internet users will read and share it, generating more traffic to your website.
However, when it doesn’t happen, you wonder where you went wrong. In fact, what makes it more annoying is when a similar post (you think) that is of less quality than yours goes viral. It only shows they are doing something different from what you are doing.
What does it mean for a post to go viral? For those who do not know, it simply means that a lot of users are reading the post and talking about it. Therefore, the post has been shared a lot, traffic has been driven to the site where the post was published, it’s been talked about on a lot of forums, the pictures are even used as memes, the video is converted into GIFs, while the content has been referenced in print and other media. Don’t think about those YouTube dog and baby videos that get millions of views in just a few days. This article will focus more on written content. Simply put, how the content you create for business purposes can reach your targeted customers and even beyond.
It’s important to note that for a post to go viral, it means a lot of people are sharing the content. Most internet users share content in order to entertain or educate their friends, family, colleagues or followers. Others do so to show a reflection of what they like. There’s a fraction that just want to render support to a particular cause and want the world to probably feel how they feel. Whatever the case, you the blogger or writer need to always make sure that your posts are engaging and readable.
With that in mind, here are 12 easy steps to making your blog posts go viral.
1. Create an Easy ‘How To’ Post
What is your blog about? Have you thought of creating a post as a tutorial on how to accomplish certain tasks? For example, if you own a food blog, think of creating a ‘How to make home-made pizza in 10 minutes’ or ‘Step by step methods in mixing your own cocktail’. Visitors on your blog want to learn something new every day. Therefore, you can also include pictures and videos – if you have any. Your beginner audience will gladly share with everyone else. Even those who are more advanced in what you’re teaching wouldn’t mind learning some more. However, in tutorials you have to sound like an expert – so avoid unnecessary jargon.
2. Write a Review
As funny as this may sound, when you have something to say about a particular brand or their products and services, it drives traffic to your blog. You don’t necessarily have to bash them for doing a horrible job or focus on the negatives. You can just create a post that views the particular topic from a totally unexpected angle. For instance, if a fashion brand decides to make dresses for men, the first thing most people will talk about is how ridiculous a ‘man-dress’ would look. You on the other hand, can decide to take a picture of yourself in the dress and review the good side. However, you need to carry out a lot of research, so as you don’t sound like someone just seeking undue attention.
3. Do a Review for a Popular Brand and let them know
It’s almost like the previous step, but in this case, you’re not just writing for the sake of it. You will let the company know what you feel about the particular product you are reviewing. Carry out in-depth research on the product, use it, list the benefits and every other detail and then send a message to notify them that you’re going to publish the review soon. You can even send a summary of the content. When you publish it, they will definitely share it (if it’s good) and that will get you a lot of readership. Imagine Apple sharing a link to your post on its latest iPhone or Microsoft users clicking on your URL to find out more about the latest Windows. Mad traffic right?
4. Write a ‘Grass to Grace’ Documentary
Everyone wants to know how a popular brand founder or an art legend went from nothing to an iconic figure. If the story is well researched and part of it can be verified, it’s likely to go viral. You can also include facts that people probably never knew. Use your storytelling skills to make it as engaging as possible. You can also write a story about yourself and other bloggers. A ‘from nothing to fame’ story always appeals to the emotions of the audience.
5. Post an Interview
This might seem clichéd, but it always goes viral when the person you’re interviewing reveals a secret or tells their own side of a story nobody has ever heard. Furthermore, you can also carry out a one question interview – where you ask different people a particular question. Get all their answers and post them together.
6. Do your own Version of Trending Topics
Every niche has trends. Take a look at your competitors’ blogs and find out what they are all talking about. Research the most trending topics within your niche and write an entirely different version that the audience won’t expect. Better still, you can even link the content to a particular event. For example, if you own a news blog and other bloggers are writing about attacks on 31st October, you can link yours to a Halloween story.
7. Make your Content Interactive
When writing a post, use lots of ‘you’ and ‘your’. This makes the reader feel like they are actually communicating with a human and not a robot. Put yourself in a scenario where you are indeed having an actual conversation with members of your audience. What are the things you would tell them? How would you place your words? How would they feel when you talk? You can even make it a quiz. People like to compete (and win). Give them that chance to feel like conquerors. But endeavor to make it fun. Alternatively, you can ask readers to give you ideas on what to write about. Have a forum where they can drop ideas and topics.
8. Get the Right Headline
At the beginning of this article, you can see the ‘How to’ step. A headline with ‘How to, when to, what to do, ways to’ catch the eyes of the audience. Get a writer that knows the importance of using the right headlines. This is the first thing every reader sees before even clicking on your link. A more controversial topic with a catchy headline will definitely go viral, while a terribly constructed headline will just look like one of those amateur posts. Invoke the curiosity of the reader and you will get more than enough clicks than you can ever imagine.
9. Get the Introduction and ‘Call-to-Actions’ Right
When people look for specific topics on search engines like Google, the first thing they notice after the headline is your intro and meta description. This determines if they want to continue reading or not. You can start by asking a question, stating a fact, dropping in a startling phrase or even unbelievable statistics. Afterwards, you should include a ‘Call-to-Action’ (CTA). This can come at the end of the post or in the body. CTAs like ‘Share this with a friend who needs it’ and ‘Leave a comment’ can go a long way.
10. Stir up Mixed Feelings
Any content that can make the reader happy, shocked, angry, aroused – or even confused – is likely to go viral. They will want to share the content with other readers to see if they will feel exactly how they felt. If the post debunks a claim or disputes a popular fact, other readers will want to find out more, but this means you have to do a lot of research to make sure you aren’t just blabbing to get hits. It will only affect your ratings and reputation.
11. Drop it like it’s Hot
When communicating to readers, you need to make sure your post is one of the first on that particular topic. For example, if you own a lifestyle blog, you ought to be amongst the earliest to release latest updates on celebrities. If Beyonce gives birth or Kim Kardashian photos get leaked, your site should be on the news before anyone else. Make sure the facts are true though and not something just spun out of your head.
12. Share on Social Media
Saving the best for last, share your posts on social media. Social media has become the first ‘go-to’ for anyone looking for the latest information on happenings from around the world. With over 2 billion Facebook subscribers, 500 million users on Twitter and more than 400 million Instagrammers, your post will definitely go viral if you can optimise all the options at your disposal. Embed not more than five sharing icons on your page, and then use your accounts and those of influencers to boost viewership.