What is a Viral Blog Post?
Viral blog posts pertain to a piece of blog content which are circulated rapidly and widely from one web user to another.
If that’s so, why does certain content spread like wildfire, and some just gather dust in the rubbish bin?
I guess that depends a lot on the value of the content.
About this kind of content the famous digital personality, Neil Patel says “Looking at the anatomy of viral content,you have to keep in mind that the content itself must be worthy of being shared. It has to solve a particular problem, enhance your reader’s life or make something better. If it doesn’t do any of these, no one will share it with their social network.”
With the explosion of the internet and social media, there is increasing potential for a lot of content to turn viral. Media content like images and videos, infographics are particular force multipliers for virality.
Efficient bloggers frequently mix a healthy proportion of media and images within their canvas of wordy text. A famous eastern quote says “an image speaks a thousand words”. Well, this shows results rather prominently in online content.
That’s why, unknown to us, tons of images and videos spin around the globe on the internet. And for social media consumers, this visual content is constantly bouncing off Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube with dizzying speeds.
Well, these are a force multiplier, and also building blocks of viral content.
However, all this is only factual data
But what does it mean to make a post go viral?
What is that hidden X-factor that ultimately contributes to the virality of a post?
Something Makes Content Spread Fast.
Firstly, to spread fast and far, your content must trigger some element of awe in your readers. If you can strike that chord and resonate with them, your content has done its job. Some factors that are found to deliver this magic in a post are:-
Humour in a post
Arousing curiosity or debate
Offering unexpected value
The immediacy of impact.
In fact, rarely does a post consist of all the magic ingredients, yet you need only a couple of them to help spread your content far and fast.
Of course, some aspects are dictated by your niche itself. For example, depending on the niche, certain images have a predictable impact on emotions.
That’s why images kids and pets invariably evoke tenderness and lightness.
Likewise, hot & trending topics that are current and impacting your audience’s lives are likely to grab eyeballs.
Unfortunately, the term trending is often wrongly, associated with narrow niches like fashion, lifestyle, and news only. But this equally relates to real-life events that include industry, economy, health, medicine, natural calamities, etc.
Trending topics also include disturbing information. But be advised, when you promote disputable or controversial content you are likely to evoke surprise, indignation, or even fear. For instance, the suspicion, fear, and apprehension unleashed globally after the coronavirus outbreak is a prime topic to write around.
But it is wiser to be considerate, sensitive, and constructive when you create content around such subjects.
Make sure that you never become the epicentre of rumour. Because content on the internet flies in real-time across continents.
So you have to be prepared to deal with the ramifications of triggering rumors in the exuberance of creating viral content.
7 Great Ways To Create Viral Blog Posts
There really isn’t a cookie-cutter formula for writing epic blog posts that start flying off the shelf. And though there does appear to be a hidden secret to creating great content, it is a pretty dynamic process. Yet, if you follow certain rules you do raise your chances of coming out with useful and captivating content.
1. Write Tons of Quality Content
Firstly, be very, very conscious of the fact that not everything you churn out, and fling at your audience indiscriminately, is going to go wild online.
No wonder bloggers often make the mistake of churning out lots of long-form content that is perhaps good in their own eyes. But it’s not what their audience wants. And so it doesn’t rank well.
That’s why you must keep your audience center stage. And honour them.
Remember, you are writing for them, not for yourself.
On every topic that you write about, keep in mind the reader’s choice. Then make sure you write with your own flair, personalizing it, infusing your own experience, adding your own story. Because all said and done, at the end of the day, your reader is that man or woman who’s going to consume your content.
What I mean to say is that your reader online are human beings and they deserve that respect.
They are not google bots who will go over your content, machine- fashion. They simply want sensible, emotive content that satisfies human needs.
And because they’re human, and they naturally yearn for a human feel, you bear a hidden responsibility. That is, as a content creator you have to travel the extra mile to meet that reader’s need. So you’ve got to bring yourself in, somewhere in your content.
Share bits of your personal self.
Weave in your uniqueness into the content you’re plastering on the post. Don’t just build a big wall of text, and sit back for results.
2. Effect Of Titles On Viral Blog Posts
Next thing. Your post title or headline is the first point where rubber meets the road. It’s your initial contact with the reader. So what are you telling them about your post through your title?
Make sure you do that.
Often bloggers make this terrible mistake of writing vague titles. And the reader is needlessly burdened with guesswork about what your intent is initially.
So instead of dryly saying “write a book” in your title, give them something specific like “How To Write A Great Book: Bookwriting 101” in your title. Your title must define what you’re saying in your blog. That’s what long-tail keywords are about!
In a way, your title is a good means of conveying to your readers why your post is worth reading further.
As a general guideline, try and include some valuable aspects in your title, like :
3. Viral Blog Posts In Obscure Niches
Here’s the interesting part…
It’s possible that your niche is relatively unpopular and obscure, and yet you’re passionate enough to pursue it as a blog.
There is nothing wrong with that, but it’s wise to be realistic too. The fact is, your posts are not going viral so soon with that ‘un-needed’ content.
But don’t lose hope.
Keep that passion alive. This takes time. Rome was not built in a day.
All you need is to smartly incorporate trending aspects into your posts.
And how do you do that?
Well, there is always some trending content indirectly associated with your obscure niche too. So do a little extra digging, and also write about the popular aspects surrounding your niche. This may require twice as much effort initially, but if you’re truly passionate about your niche, it will eventually turn out to be worth the effort.
So I would say be on the lookout for trending topics closely related to your chosen niche or even distantly related.
If they are relevant to your niche, don’t hesitate to include them in your content.
Here’s what you need to do.
Just head over to sites that scream about current and trending stuff like Quora, Google Trends, Reddit, and Medium. See what people are reading and discussing on popular forums. Observe what’s exciting and engaging people on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Surely you can have an original angle to add to what you find going around.
Now don’t hesitate over that. Write it down.
I’m sure you’re with me on this…
That eventually, it’s you who has an enormous role in popularising your own content. And you’ve got to ride over three bumps that slow you down in that department. Your awkwardness in promoting your content, your laziness, and your lack of knowledge about it.
4.What About Media, Images & Video?
Don’t you wish you knew some secret ingredient to send your posts into the viral-world?
Well, there is no such secret. But one thing is pretty certain, how you play with images decides a lot in your favor, or against it. The power of images, video, or infographics can never be overemphasized.
Adding catchy images to your content, oftentimes says much more than a mountain of text in your post.
But let that image or video be relevant. Readers simply sink their teeth into good visual content. So the chances of you creating a viral blog post simply zoom.
On close examination of most successful blogs, it is found that they invariably:-
• Care to add most topic-relevant images.
• Support their points often with strong images.
• Have more attractive visual content in their posts.
At the cost of repetition, I’m saying again, that images and video are supercritical to a blog’s value.
Here’s the big secret…
After extensive research, it is a proven fact blog posts with images or video get 94% more views than those without them. And that Images can almost double your post shares.That posts with images attract over 100% more comments than the posts devoid of images.
So the punch is “visual content is the steroid that your blog can hardly abstain from”.
5. Virality And Social Media
Remember, viral blog posts are made for readers out there on the net. They are meant to be shared, and not tucked away under a bush, in unintended obscurity.
You must go out of your way to share your posts on social media.
Perhaps a few and rare blogs may succeed without sharing. But not all do.
And even those that appear to, at some time in the past did rely heavily on sharing on social media. You have to stretch your arm to reach out to your cherished readers.
The more effort you put in to share your posts on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, Medium, and article directories, the faster word travels, and the higher the chances of your great content going viral.
Be absolutely ruthless and relentless in this.
Share. Your. Blog. Posts. On social media.
6. Others Have Tactics for Viral Blog Posts
Every day there are scores of the latest posts by other websites that are going viral. So the easiest way out is to study those blog posts . Also observe your competitors, if they have posts that are going viral.
Let me lift the veil for you a bit.
Today there are a number of superb extensions that can tell you what your readers are interested in too.
For example, BuzzSumo is one such platform that assesses what your readers are sharing. Not only that, but also how many times, and on which medium a particular post was shared by them, and what their other preferences are.
This way, once you know even the other preferences of your readers, you have already stolen a march over the average blogger. Over someone who doesn’t care to analyze or study these invaluable metrics.
Unquestionably, in the long term, it pays hugely to get into the shoes of your readers and understand things from their viewpoint.
7.Clear Vision & Goals
Be extremely clear as to why you desire virality of your content. Is it just for the short term kick?
Is it a long term passion, where you want to deliver value? Or to gain a ton of viewers online and rest content. What is your vision for your blog?
Once you are clear about your own motives, you can go about putting a system in place. A clear long term vision for your blog is your blog’s spinal cord. Once you clarify your core essence, you are bound to generate epic content on your site, more often than not.
With that done, a couple of action steps are critical:
Research: Be thorough in your research. It makes for extraordinary content. And frankly, without it, you’re only groping for light in the dark.
Goals: Think over this deeply. Your goals are your lifeline, so be very specific and time-bound about them. Write down clear goals for yourself to pitch your posts to the next level.
Be Systematic: Put a simple and workable system in place. Be consistent. Let the system run your blogging more than any passing diversion.
Know the Purpose Behind Each Action: If you are adding visual content to your posts, then why are you doing it a particular way? Don’t do things just because it’s a norm. Once you know the reason behind it, the outcome is going to be way different.
Stand In the Reader’s Shoes: Be willing to honour your readers at all costs. Write content for them. Because it’s all about them. Not about you and your fleeting, viral content. Once you acknowledge your commitment to them you will create viral content more often than not.
Creating great content that goes viral is definitely a cherry on the cake. Make sure you generate great quality content for that. You also must understand why you are doing things, in the first place. Then go the extra mile to share your content on social media.
Besides, try to analyze and study other successful viral posts.
Most of all remember that your reader takes priority over every other objective you may have. Even creating viral content. That’s when you will set the law of success in motion!