But how do we go about making that happen? Should we sit back and wait for fame and glory to find us? Nope. While luck and happenstance do play their role, us writers have to do some of the legwork too.
Before you even type a word of your future viral post, you need to come to one very important understanding. You need to be you. Write your post in your own voice. There is no need to pretend to be someone you’re not.
The only way you are going to gain readers is to post regularly. And you won’t achieve viral status without readers. So be regular!
If you publish one post per day for a week and then take a month break, your readers won’t know what to expect. Instead, establish a posting schedule and stick to it – whether you post daily, weekly, or monthly.
Also, don’t be afraid to give your readers a heads up. Build anticipation. On Facebook or Twitter, post something along the lines of, “A super awesome blog post is coming your way tomorrow.”
That’s right. Be negative. Tip your blog post title on its head. Instead of writing “Top 10 Dieting Tips,” write “Avoid These 10 Diet-Busting Mistakes.”
Make readers feel they will be missing out on vital information if they don’t read your post. Use negative words like stop, avoid, don’t, etc. They’ll read your post just to make sure they aren’t doing something that’s on your list.
Online readers like to skim. In fact, a recent study shared some surprising information. While visiting a website, the average reader takes in 20-28% of the words on the page.
Therefore, you need to make sure you blog posts are easy to scan. Offer bite-sized bits of information. Lists are the perfect format for a viral post. The visitor can read one of the tips or all 20.
SEOmoz recently shared an interesting graphic. While trying to determine which posts go viral, they reported the importance of cognitive impact and how that relates to the likelihood of appearing on the New York Time’s most-emailed list.
The most popular blog posts were the ones that were surprising (16%), interesting (29%) or had practical utility (34%). These posts were much preferable to the ones that had obvious or useless information.
Whenever possible, provide hands-on, practical tips the reader can put into practice. If you can add an interesting twist to the information or a shocking surprise, you’ll really have a winning combination.
We just established readers want practical, useful information. It is extremely difficult to cover all aspects of a topic in a mere 300 word post. Provide depth and detail – leave no stone uncovered.
Meanwhile, make sure the quality remains top-notch throughout the post. Tip number 20 should be just as helpful as tip number one.
Include a visual aspect with each blog posts. This can be a chart, graph, photograph, infographic, or video. Just make sure your post is visually enticing. Use relevant, current (no out-of-date stock photos), original, and free for the taking (no copyright infringements) images.
Be obvious about what you want readers to do. If you want them to share your post, don’t forget to include sharing buttons. This should be a no-brainer, but some bloggers really miss the boat here.
You will get way more shares if you include the share buttons right in the post. In fact, list them at the top and bottom of the post. Make it easy.
Over time, readers will learn to come to you for valuable information. You’ll establish a foundation of loyal readers. However, not all your readers will be repeat customers. Quite often, you’ll have new visitors stop by. Make sure these newbies understand your authority.
Emphasize the number of likes and tweets the post has already gotten. Share a list of your previous posts that relate to the topic. And showcase the number of comments made. People will be more inclined to join the conversation if they know people have already done the same. It’s the same as arriving fashionably late to a party.
At this point in the game, you have already invested hours in the post. You’ve researched the topic, written the post, edited the content, and found a graphic. But you’re not done yet. You still need to promote your post.
We are all well aware of the phrase, “If you build it, they will come.” When it comes to blogging, the phrase should be, “If you market it, they will come.”
- Share your post on each of your social networks:
- Put a link to your blog post on your personal and business Facebook page.
- Schedule several Tweets to go out over the next few days.
- Create a Pinterest board specifically for your blog posts and pin each one.
- Broadcast your post in any LinkedIn groups you are a member of.
- Check the privacy settings in your Google+ account; make sure your blog post link goes to everyone in your circles and to the public.
- Utilize valuable blogging tools like Digg, Reddit, Technorati, and StumbleUpon.
- Add your latest blog post to your email signature.
- Share a link to your post in blogging networks, groups, and forums you belong to.
- Comment on relevant blogs and include a link to your post.
- Ask influential bloggers to link to your relevant post in one of their posts.
Combine all these elements into a single blog post and you have a very good chance of going viral.
Know Your Guest Author:
This post was written by Steve, who is a custom thesis writing professional and content manager at FreshEssays.com. He focuses on writing of papers on history, education and college survival. Follow Steve on Google+.