Writing viral blog posts is not an easy task.
Today with the endless sea of content all seeking attention from the focus deprived netizens with goldfish attention, it’s tough creating content that goes viral.
Most viral content comes with an inexplicable element of luck and timing, but with strategy and attention to detail, a content writer can consistently write magnetic blog posts.
Top viral content platforms such as BuzzFeed have come up with a system to consistently create content that attracts people’s attention by trying and testing many strategies.
Sadly, we’ll not go through these strategies today. But we’ll be picking some of their gems. Gems that apply to regular blog writing.
We’ll cover essential elements for creating great posts that go viral.
1. Great Headlines.
Blog posts get traffic courtesy of headlines.
A headline is what attracts the clicks. It’s the first thing people see, whether as a SERPs result or social media post. It makes people come to your article.
Therefore, it should be compelling enough to get people into clicking
To do this, there are several things you need to include
Specific, actionable information; precisely what you’re going to talk about in the content to give your blog potential reader an idea of what they’re getting into.
Promise an emotional response. Emotions eliciting content builds a personal connection with a reader and makes them more likely to share
Statistical information, such as “10 tips”, “20 reasons why,” give them an idea of the nuggets they’ll pick from that content.
People seek content that promises a reaction because we know when we react to something, we’ll likely share that information with other people so that we can get their response too.
Nonetheless, even when you apply these tips, it’s still hard to create perfect headlines with one tick. That’s why you should copy BuzzFeed’s strategy of creating more than 50 headlines before choosing one.
Well, 50 is a lot. Let’s bring it down to 10 headlines.
And then use a tool such as CoSchedule headline analyzer, which rates headlines. It’s free! Pick the title that performs the best. It’s most likely to create the virality that you are seeking for
Whatever title you choose, ask yourself whether it would make you curious about its content.
2. Write Great Content.
Having captured the attention of your readers using a great headline, it is now time to deliver.
You have to follow through by offering the information or inducing the emotion you promised your readers. There is no other way out.
And it starts from writing a great introduction. A captivating introduction makes people want to stick around more.
They give your readers the confidence to spend the next few minutes reading, despite the many distractions bugging like the buzz of a mosquito at night.
You also need to give out some considerable stake.
People are very impatient today.
If you play the game of reserving the information for the middle or end of the content, then you’re joking with the wrong people; they will bounce.
Once you have given out something good, dive into the content, and explain your concepts better.
You also need to stand out to go viral. Look at other competing articles on the internet and see what you can do better and whether you can add more value by including more resourceful information.
Don’t forget to be authentic. People are shifting away from the picture-perfect content as seen on social media such as Instagram, which profess a fake perfect life.
Today people want content that they can relate with; content from people with lives they connect with. No need to fake anything, be authentic and have your voice.
Lastly, you must take into account your audience.
Have a persona card that describes the ideal customer you’re writing for.
Based on your niche, you should know the kind of content that your ideal audience is looking for. Then use that information to cultivate your post to play with your audience’s interests.
It will take a lot of experimentation to find out exactly what makes your audience enjoy your content.
Use Google Analytics to find the most viral blog posts and then create more of such content.
3. Engaging Visual Elements
You can have the perfect headline, high quality, and valuable content, but if without engaging visual elements, you will most likely not keep your audience in your content.
No one wants to read a novel when seeking a quick fix for their problems online. People want information fed to them in exciting bits. That’s why you need to add visual elements.
Visual elements such as images help your readers take a break from the monotony of reading content. Thought-provoking photos are necessary for viral content.
You achieve this by customizing your images or taking photos and using them.
Please stay away from stock photos; they have become banal in today’s society. Personally captured images are way better.
Infographics. Research has shown that infographics are the most frequently shared content types on the internet.
Why? Because they appeal to the visual mind of a person while educating them in exciting small chunks of information.
If images can do very well with making the content enjoyable, imagine what videos can achieve.
Videos have become the most popular consumed content on the internet. People are spending hours on YouTube watching videos after videos.
And this is something you cannot ignore if you want to grasp the attention of your people using viral content.
If you can create a short, exciting, and easy-to-understand video based on your blog post, you can direct attention to your content or make people read your work.
Publish this video on YouTube and do a little promotion.
- Make it short and easy
- Have a strong, captivating title also,
- Use attention-grabbing thumbnail
If it gets viral on YouTube, your blog post will most likely get a good share of the firework.
So with all these three elements, you are most likely to create very viral blog posts.
Buzz Sumo discovered that the most shared content
- Elicits positive emotions from people.
- It makes people look smarter for sharing
- It’s either a listicle or infographics
- References trusted sources.
Posts with the following terms on the headlines also do well.
- Love. Triggers people’s desire for deep connections
- It’s not what you think. This tag challenges people’s perceived ideas.
- Success: Triggers people desire to be successful
Now lastly, ask yourself the following questions while you’re creating content
- Can you do original research and challenge conventional wisdom?
- Can you alert or warn people about a risk they are taking unknowingly?
- Can you summarize critical trends and predict what is coming in the future?
- Can you focus your content on enabling user success?
- Can you write content that surprises people?
Wrapping it up.
Viral content is rare. Even the most prominent publications such as BuzzFeed only have less than 5% of their content stands out.
So it’s something you have to work on. Experiment until you know what needs to be done to create a system that enables viral content production.
After all, the person who does the most trials has the best chance to succeed.
It could take days, weeks, months, or even years, but in the end, if you get this formula, you’ll have the power to attract traffic that many can only dream of.