The viral blog. It’s the most elusive of all the blogs. Having your writing passed from screen to screen and shared over all the social medias is what blogger dreams are made of. It’s sure a sign you’ve got something special, something that people want more of. Baby, it’s your ticket to success….sometimes.
But guess what, it doesn’t have to be so elusive!
I’m not saying that if you do whatever I’m about talk about in your blogs that you’ll have the next Huffington Post trender. But I can say that if you’re looking at blogs that go viral from a high-level view, you’ll most likely see that they have many of these key aspects in common.
So what makes a blog post viral-worthy? What are the key ingredients you need to bake up a deliciously shareable post? I believe it’s a mix of content and strategy.
For a post to go viral, it’s got to be chock full of good content. The subject matter needs to be either catchy, timely, informative, or a mix and match of all three. And once you’ve got a blog written that you know people are going to pass around, you need to have a solid marketing strategy ready to go to get it out in the bloggy world.
No matter how good your content might be, if it’s not backed up by a promoting plan, it’s just not going to be seen.
The 8 Secrets of Creating Viral Blog Posts
Is there a hidden secret to creating viral blog posts? Unfortunately, there is no one action you can take that will guarantee that your post goes viral. Yet if you follow certain rules, you can increase the chances.
#1- Choose the Right Topic
Everything hinges on this step. You’ve got to choose the right topic, pair it with the right title, and make sure the thing your writing includes these elements:
- Write about the things you’re most passionate about. (People will only react to passionate writing. You can’t fake it either.)
- Make sure your topic is either super helpful or elicits some kind of strong emotion. (e.g. You’re giving away the algorithm for choosing the winning lottery numbers, or taking a strong position on one of the most controversial issues of our time.)
- You know your topic well, either through experience or through original research.
#2- Create Lots of Great Content
Remember that only a good blog post will usually go viral. So don’t expect that everything you write is going to be wildly popular. One of the tricks to creating viral content is to consistently post lots of quality posts. That increases your chances of having some of these posts go viral.
Make sure you give a unique angle and article never miss out the personal touch. Specially, when we read blogs, we expect to read something based on personal experience or personal opinion, without this a Blog post is just another article.
#3- Play with Negatives
People are attracted to topics that solve a problem, but they are even more attracted to topics that identify a problem. Of course, this could be in list topic form also but this time around in a negative context. For instance: “12 reasons why your blog post is not going viral” or “5 top reasons you are not getting your dream job”.
People want to know what they are doing wrong as much as they want to know what to do right. Find a way to make your blog topic appear in a negative context. It can also give you a spot in Google’s featured snippet if someone is looking for specific reasons why something specific is not working and you happen to have a blog post that tells why.
#4- Read the News
Hot trends and news of the day are obviously already on everyone’s mind, so piggybacking on them only makes sense, right?
If you choose to go this route, please make sure that you have a new spin or original angle to what everyone else is saying. No need to add to the mountain of already stated facts and statistics. Take a different stand than your peers by flipping the script or playing Devil’s Advocate and your blog is sure stand out.
#5- Use Images and Video
Images and video can help to make a blog post more popular. You might make a short video where you give your thoughts on a topic. Rather than just trying to spread the video, however, you can embed it into a blog post and make some relevant comments as well.
Photos are also good for attracting people’s attention and making it more likely that they will share your post.
#6- Properly Post On Social Media
Once my blog post is done and I’ve settled on the images and the title, now it’s time to get some eyeballs on the post.
When I first started blogging, I could post the blog on social media and it would be seen by thousands. That was in the days that you could actually boost a post on a personal Facebook account for about $5 bucks and it would show to massive amounts of people.
But of course, times have changed. Now I’ve been forced into a new process.
First, Facebook is still the most likely platform for helping a blog go viral. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and other platforms just aren’t great at presenting articles and helping them get shared a lot.
They can be used for many other purposes, but making a blog go viral is typically not one of them. (Unless you’re a celebrity of course.) But… since Facebook owns Instagram, you can also take advantage of Instagram while you’re using Facebook.
So, in order to take advantage of Facebook advertising, you’ll need to set up a what’s called a “Facebook Page” instead of using just your normal personal Facebook account.
#7- A/B/C/D and E Testing
Now many times you’re going to hear about people a/b testing their post titles or their pin images. But what I learned from bloggers like Upworthy was that more than two titles in order to gain virality was necessary.
One of the best tricks that I’ve learned when it comes to promoting your posts on Pinterest is to make multiple pins for every post. It sounds like a lot of work, but it honestly doesn’t have to take very long.
Make a list of 4-5 titles that grab the reader’s attention and create a sense of urgency and/or curiosity. Then, once you create your pin image, you can simply put the different titles onto the picture and save each one. You can do this whether you’re just using one image or more.
#8- Know Your Goals
I think when it comes down to it, getting a post to go viral will help you hit two major goals.
Creating value. Above all the 15 minutes of fame and Internet success, let’s keep our eyes on the prize. The most important thing to remember when writing a hopefully viral blog is that it’s all about giving your audience value.
Yes, it would be amazing for your posts to go viral and be shared across the Internet lands, but let’s stay on track. The more valuable content you’re creating, the easier it will be to hit your next goal…
Conclusion: Creating Viral Blog Posts
While it’s great to have the goal of writing viral blog posts, you should not expect everything you write to go viral. This only happens once in a while, and it’s impossible to predict exactly which posts will be the lucky ones. The best you can do is increase your chances by keeping the above tips in mind.
What kind of content from your blog usually goes viral? How’s your experience and if there is any tip you would like to share here? If you find this post useful, don’t forget to share it on Facebook and Twitter.