There’s a lot of talk these days about “viral” content and it almost makes you feel like a loser if you’ve never crafted an article that got a million page views. But you’re not, so relax. If every post that every blogger ever published went “viral” then viral wouldn’t be anything special. It’s a good goal, though, so here are two tips to help make almost every article you write go viral.
“Viral” Is A Relative Term
Is it possible to make almost every article go viral? Well, before you get started it’s important to understand that “viral” is a relative term, it means something different to everyone. If your blog is new and your average post has 1,000 page views, then a post with 10,000, or even 5,000, would be considered “viral.”
While your goal is to create content that gets shared around the Internet as much as possible, a blogger with only a few loyal followers won’t see the same results as an A-list blogger with thousands of followers and a powerful network of blogging friends. However, as your blog continues to grow and you continue to extend your reach, you’ll see more and more traffic.
Elicit An Emotional Response
Take a look at the links you share yourself. Typically you share content that is either very unique and informative which makes you sit back and think, or you share humorous content or content that makes you angry. And if you’re sharing, chances are other people are, too, which eventually makes that content go viral.
If you stop and think about it, you’re sharing the content that elicits a strong emotional response. It’s very intriguing, is very funny, or it makes you very angry. Notice that I used the word very in front of each response. We’ve all seen articles that make us chuckle or give us reason to pause for a moment. But it’s the content that elicits a strong emotional response that makes you almost subconsciously reach for the share button.
There’s one other important aspect of viral content: Generally it makes a personal connection between the blogger and the reader. It’s one thing to quote a surprising fact. But, depending on how you do it or just how surprising it is, you may or may not get that strong emotional response. However, make that fact personal and relevant for your audience and you have a good shot at viral content. How do you make it personal?
Tell A Story
Again, take a look at some of the content you’ve shared or linked to recently, and look at the content that your followers are sharing with you. Chances are it’s either over-the-top quality or it’s written in a story-telling style.
Your readers can get the “facts” on dozens of different blogs from dozens of different bloggers who do nothing but sit there and regurgitate content all day. After a while, that gets old and boring. Those blogs also lack credibility. Everybody’s stating the facts but nobody’s doing anything to prove them or put them in a relevant context.
Let’s say you’ve just purchased some new image editing software. You could tell your readers about all the features and benefits, but they’ll get that same information from dozens of other bloggers. But when you tell your readers about your own personal experience using this software, recounting your humorous misadventures, they’ll sit up and take notice. Not only are you offering them proof that the program works when used by an actual human being, you’re turning those boring facts into an interesting personal story.
It takes practice to become a good story-teller. Your readers are still coming to your blog for information so you don’t want to wander too far from the facts. Your story should be used to illustrate your points, but not overshadow them. Once you get the hang of it you’ll find that almost every article you write can go viral.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!