How to Write a Blog Post that Goes Viral.
Every content marketer and blogger dreams of writing a blog post that will go viral. Viral content has now become part of Internet culture, with some bloggers cashing in on the amazing success that follows a viral content — the tons of traffic, leads, conversions, and sales.
This is what every blogger is looking to achieve but few get to make their blog posts go viral. The big question: Are there any secret or magic to making one's content get tons of shares? Actually, there is no secret sauce to getting your post go viral, however, you can increase your chances of making it go viral. That’s what this post is focused on. We’ll be showing you some strategies you can apply to increase the chances of your content going from one click to thousands of clicks. To start with, let's get to know what viral content is, and why people share content
WHAT IS A VIRAL BLOG POST?
A viral blog post is a piece of content that spreads quickly across the Internet, reaching a larger audience within a short space of time. It could be a video, meme, or blog post which goes from obscurity to limelight overnight. And what makes a blog post go viral? Why do people share content rapidly? Knowing the rationale behind sharing content will help you create share-worthy content.
Let's see the reasons.
REASONS PEOPLE SHARE CONTENT
The New York Times conducted a study to know why people share content. Here’s what the study revealed as the reasons:
To bring valuable and entertaining content to people they care about — If the content can add value to the recipient's life, they will share.
To define who they are and what they aspire to be to people — A content that gives a reflection of who they are gets to be shared.
To grow and nourish their relationships — Content is shared with people who have similar interest as a way of creating stronger bonds.
To feel valuable — Sharing valuable content with others, and to be acknowledged for it, makes them feel valued.
To be part of a cause they believe in.
All these reasons boil down to one thing: Social currency. People want to appear good before others and that's human nature. If you can write a blog post that provides useful information and resonates with the person reading it, then your content stands a chance of being shared.
Now armed with this information, how do you create a blog post that will go viral? Here are the steps:
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Getting your blog post to go viral begins with knowing who your target audience is and what they are looking forward to achieving in their life. Ask yourself these questions:
Who is my audience and what type of content do they engage with most?
What are they struggling with and want to overcome?
What makes them happy and sad?
How can I fulfill their needs?
Knowing your target audience is the key to creating a blog post that resonates with them, and which they can engage with.
CHECK OUT OTHER VIRAL CONTENT — SPY ON YOUR COMPETITORS
The first step talked about knowing who your audience is and the type of content they engage in. Now, this is the time to check out those blog post that was written by your competitor's which received thousands of shares. How do you do it? Use Buzzsumo. If you've probably not heard about it before now, Buzzsumo is a great online tool any user or content creator can use to discover the content that is popular based on topics and the websites. It shows the most shared content on social media, who shared it, and who linked to it. It's every content creator's buddy. It just lets you know what's working and what's not working in your niche.
With this tool, you can search for the type of content your audience is engaging with on your competitor's site. Whether it is a list post, a how-to article, an infographic, or a video, you can type in a URL or keywords to know how it's performing. This will help you make an informed decision for your content strategy towards creating viral content. There's a lot of buzzes online. You need focused content to get your target audience engaged.
CREATE EPIC CONTENT
You might ask, what's an epic content? Everyone seems to be talking about it. This is because an epic content is a key to getting lots of attention online. And when you get the attention, it will lead to massive shares, comments, and backlinks — which are just good for business. Here's a shot at what epic content is: Epic content is relevant, very detailed, highly engaging and action-oriented. It’s the type of content that helps readers achieve results and show them how to move forward. Readers just know epic content when they see it because it has an impact on their lives. Here's an anatomy of a great blog post, as created by SocialTriggers:
Let's look at ways you can create epic content:
1. RESEARCH YOUR TOPICS TO SATURATION
If you think you don't have the wealth of knowledge or experience on a topic, then research is the solution. You have to put in the work to produce epic content for your readers. It’s your chance at making your blog post go viral. Researching a content thoroughly is the fuel for a detailed-rich topic. Readers love content that is well-researched as you've taken out the time to do the legwork for them and piece it together for an easy read.
II. TELL PERSONAL STORIES
People simply love stories. Stories that they can relate to, which passes a message across, and challenges them to become better. Such stories get more shares. Back in 2012 when Jon Morrow of SmartBlogger was a contributing editor at Copyblogger, and yet to have his own website, he created an epic blog post based on his personal story. The post was titled "How to quit your job, move to paradise and get paid to change the world."Jon's epic post shook the blogosphere and received 15,000 shares on social media. His post got lots of engagement because he told a personal story which challenged a lot of bloggers to keep pushing to live the life they've always dreamt of. And it kick-started his popularity in the world of blogging.
Try to infuse your own story, give your readers a peep into your life. It makes readers connect with you more. If you don't have a personal story to share, use case studies and data.Personal stories, case studies, and data pull your content out of just being a theory and into the real world. It gives readers the assurance that if they follow the same approach, they will be getting the same result.
III. UTILIZE THE POWER OF A COMPELLING HEADLINE
No matter how wonderful your content idea is, the only way you can make readers check your content out is when you grab their attention. This is the duty of a headline. The first impression a reader has of a blog post is the headline. It’s either a headline draws readers in or pushes them away. Research finds that you have 8 seconds to grab a reader’s attention. Reports find that on average, 8 out of 10 readers will read the headline while only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of your content. What this means is that if your headline is powerful enough, it'll draw more readers in and vice versa.
With gazillions of content on the web competing for your reader's time and attention, how do you get them to look your way? It starts by creating a compelling headline that will make them stop whatever they are doing to read your blog post, engage with it and then share it. Take a look at this headline:
"Marriage Isn't for You"
On the first contact, does it spark up anything in you? Curiosity, right? Everyone around you is getting married and here's a headline that's saying, marriage isn’t for you. You definitely will want to satisfy your curiosity by clicking on the headline. If the title had said something like "marriage is for you" you would have moved passed the headline to something else, right? Well, because you already know that marriage is for you.
If you can make readers curious or tell them you will help them solve their problem with your headline, you’ve grabbed their attention. Create a headline that evokes curiosity or promises a specific benefit. Then, watch as it hooks readers into your content. By the way, do you know how many shares that content with the headline "Marriage Isn’t for You" got on Facebook? 1.8 million! Yes, that is one point eight million shares on Facebook alone. No mistakes!It also received 5,100+ comments. And not just about the headlines but also delivering what the headline says in the content.
IV. A GREAT INTRO WILL KEEP THEM READING
Your headline worked fine and it's getting many clicks, great! So, how do you make readers keep reading your content? Write a great introduction! If your introduction is bland and not captivating enough to make them continue reading, you will lose your readers and your content can't go viral that way.
You can start your introduction by asking a question or making a startling revelation. You can equally start by presenting your readers' challenge and then telling them you'll provide the solution. Whichever way you want to go, make sure you capture their attention and hook them with your introduction.
V. INCLUDE A CALL TO ACTION (CTA)
For a post to go viral, it has to be shared. It’s surprising that many bloggers write content and don't include a call to action at the end of their post, yet they want it to be shared. At the end of your content, always let readers know what you want them to do. Is it to share on Facebook or to tweet or to sign up on your email list, just go ahead and ask them.
Include a call to action asking readers to share the content with those who are likely to benefit from it
VI. MAKE YOUR CONTENT VISUALLY APPEALING
Have you ever clicked on a post only to discover it contains only a body of text? There are chances that you didn't read the whole content. Content with images and graphics always performs better than content with no images. A study revealed that people retain 65% of a content paired with image three days later, while they keep only 10% of content with no image. Again, content with images generates 94% more views according to research by Skyword.
Add relevant, beautiful images to your content to make it more credible and compelling. Readers love images and may likely share content with images with their circles.
VII. EMPLOY THE SCIENCE OF EMOTION
People are emotional beings. They are capable of expressing their emotions in any given situation and it's a driver of actions. There are some emotions that elicit more response from people than others. They attract the most engagement in the content. Buzzsumo and okdork analyzed top 10,000 most shared content to know the type of emotion they invoked.
Each of the content was mapped to emotions like joy, amusement, laughter, sadness, and anger. The result revealed the 3 most popular emotions invoked to be awe, laughter, and amusement while the least emotions were sadness and anger. From the research, people are more drawn towards positive emotions. So, you need to trigger the right emotions to get them to want to share your content. To do that, you'll have to create an inspiring content that makes people smile, feel good and entertained. Content that elicits such kind of emotions in them increases their chances of being shared. This is because they would also want other people to experience the same positive emotions as well.
Sure, you want your blog post to get thousands of shares. Then teach something useful. People love to be educated or acquire a new skill. And they always can't wait to share the resourceful content in order to educate another person.
How-to posts or guides are known to have a high shareability rate. Brian Dean of Backlinko is a master in the game of creating guides or in-depth posts with images and screenshots for better understanding. It isn't surprising that he gets lots of share for each post he publishes on his site. Another example is Neil Patel of NeilPatel.com. His blog posts get shared thousands of times because he teaches his audience with in-depth knowledge. You can do the same for your audience by looking for a problem that they are facing and providing a step by step guide to solving it.
STAY ABREAST OF TRENDING NEWS IN YOUR NICHE
Readers like getting behind content that has to do with the latest happenings around them. However, you can take a different stand based on the trend and present your own case in another way. For example, when the "work online,” “travel around the world and live your dream” and “become a digital nomad" clichés were trending online and every online entrepreneur was hitting at the great benefits, Mark Manson decided to go in a different direction. He presented the challenges and sacrifices that come with it. He wrote a blog post titled "The Dark Side of the Digital Nomad.” His story got featured on CNN but under a different title. He simply told another aspect of the digital nomad story other people had not talked about. You can do the same in your niche. Check out the latest stories and take a different stand. Don’t be afraid to add a twist to it. Use Google Trends to stay alert of recent news in your niche so you can write about them.
MAKE SHARING YOUR CONTENT EASY
If your content is going to be shared, make it easy for readers. Provide social sharing buttons for your readers on your blog post to enable them to share it. Also, create “click to tweet” quotes from the post for any thought-provoking phrase or revealing statistics that might be worth sharing. Don't overwhelm your readers with 20 sharing options to choose from. Limit it to the most popular social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. You can check your sites social shares here.
PROMOTE YOUR BLOG POST
It's time to promote your content. Remember, every viral post started from one click. Head over to the social platforms you participate in and where your target audience hangs out at. Then promote your content there. Get on Facebook groups and pages to share it. BONUS POINT: You can also do paid ad to push the content out more rapidly.
Though you want your blog posts to go viral, you can never tell which will get the viral shot. A lot of factors are involved in making content go viral. But with these laid down strategies, your blog post will stand a chance at going viral. Remember to check out our gallery of content tools. They can help you create better content that gets shared more.