viral

4 Secrets to Creating Viral Blog Posts

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 14th July 2019

In the digital world, where everyone’s constantly competing for attention, there’s one thing every blogger hopes for – going viral. All those likes, shares, and retweets can help you get from being a small blogger to being an online rockstar, and generate some serious fanbase in the long run. But is there a tried-and-tested way to achieve this or do you just have to get lucky? Keep on reading to find out.

Do your homework

Sure, sometimes a blog post just accidentally strikes the right cord and explodes online. However, it doesn’t always happen by chance. If you’re trying to intentionally make your content go viral, you have to do some serious research before. First of all, take a look at the articles that have previously gone viral. What do they have in common and what sets them apart? In general, viral blog posts have one or more of these features: they’re either trendy and topical, funny, shocking and controversial or extremely useful. Choosing which aspects to focus on depends mainly on the type of attention you want to attract. For example, if you want to go viral at any cost (which you probably shouldn’t do), creating controversy will certainly attract attention, but if you want to build a positive reputation, you should focus more on getting high-quality, useful content.

Follow the trends

Following trends doesn’t have to mean jumping on the bandwagon and writing about the most mainstream topics everyone’s buzzing about. However, even if you’re not going for the mainstream and want to focus on a niche audience, you still have to figure out what the most relevant topics are. It’s simple – if people are not interested in a topic, they won’t search for it and your article will most likely never be discovered. Before you start writing, check out popular hashtags and trending stories or use a social mention monitoring platform to set up alerts for certain buzzwords in your industry and figure out which brands and topics are trending at the moment. Once you figure out what spikes their interest, you can start working on giving your audience the answers to the questions they’ve been asking.

Work on your titles

If you want to get readers’ attention, a catchy title is an absolute must because that’s the first thing they see. Unfortunately, using shock and controversy to clickbait has become far too common, but it only goes to show how powerful the titles can be, even if the article doesn’t have any actual value. However, crafting a perfect title isn’t simple and easy. You have to balance between making it attention-grabbing, but not too clickbaity, informative, but still enigmatic. Make sure to know who your potential readers are and how to evoke their curiosity. Do they want a quick fix for their problem or want to dive into details? Are they looking to get amused or learn something new? Psychology of social sharing is an important part of going viral, so try to understand emotions and motivations that go behind it.

viralDon’t forget about the quality

Although titles are essential, you still need to have something to offer once the readers actually click on your blog post. Sure, fluffy content with a catchy title might blow up for a moment and get you a decent number of shares, but it won’t get you much in the long run. The point of viral content shouldn’t be getting your five minutes of fame on the internet but attracting dedicated readers that will follow your blog in the years to come. Viral content is just there to attract their attention in the first place, but the quality is what will make them stick around. Aiming for quality is especially important for blogs with niche audiences, who respond better to longer, hands-on articles. In that case, offering a go-to resource on a topic and covering it in-depth will give you a better chance at going viral. Although it requires much more work in the first place, it will pay off in the end.

Over to you

Even though there’s no magic formula that will make your blog post go viral, following these tips will certainly help. Use every tool in your arsenal to figure out what has worked for others and draw inspiration wherever you can. And remember, if you’re consistent and determined, the results will eventually show.

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