How To Write A Viral Blog Post

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Every blogger dreams of creating the next Jennifer Anniston Sex Tape or that one piece of content that’s going to blaze a path across the Internet. If you’re like most you’ve spent hours, or perhaps even days, trying to create something truly remarkable only to watch it fizzle away into oblivion. Well, here’s a secret about viral content: Writing a viral blog post is difficult as you might think. But launching it – well, that’s another story.

secrets of viral content

You’ve probably already written dozens of blog posts that would qualify as content worthy of “going viral.” Take a look at your blog. See all those Popular Posts that have lots of comments? That’s they type of content you’re looking for. If you have a lot of those popular posts, if your posts just keep attracting more and more comments the longer your blog, then you’re in like Flynn. You already know what you’re doing.

The Basic Recipe For A Viral Blog Post

It must be truly and utterly unique: If you think you’re going to be able to pawn off another Top 10 Tips To Get More Twitter Followers article forget it. Not even if you wrap it up in an expensive-looking infographic. Viral content is original, it’s one of a kind, that’s what makes it so special.

It must create an emotional response: Content only goes viral if other bloggers link to it and your readers share it with their friends, and most people don’t think about sharing or linking because they’re in a hurry. So your content has to be so earth-shatteringly remarkable that they sit up, take notice, and feel morally obligated to share it with everyone they know. Think humor, News, and controversy – these are the types of content that generate emotional responses.

It must make an instant impact: Content that has a clear message that’s easy to see, that’s why you see so many videos and images floating by in your Facebook stream. So your blog post has to immediately grab the reader’s attention and keep them on the page. You’ll need to start with a great title, move on to a very strong and engaging opening paragraph, and keep up the intensity in the body of the article.

You’re Probably Trying Too Hard

Like I said, take a look at the content you’ve already published on your blog. Some of your most popular posts were probably written on the fly, with little or no thought or research. You can do that because you’re the expert. And it’s those articles where you really just let it rip – you provided information or you expressed an opinion, even if it was controversial, and you didn’t worry about “presentation” you were just … you.

That’s the type of content that resonates with your readers and if it resonates with them it would probably have that same effect on everyone else in the blogosphere. The only reason that popular post didn’t go viral is because you didn’t “plan” for it to go viral. You didn’t launch it properly, you just threw it out there and let it flounder on its own.

You Have To Plan Ahead If You Want It To Go Viral

Look, most of us don’t have millions of blog subscribers and even if we did the number of people who’d actually share one measly little blog post is miniscule when you compare it to the billions of people on the Internet every day. To launch viral content successfully you need to have a lot of people sit up and take notice, all at once, all across the Internet. If you don’t give it enough of a boost to start with it won’t be able to sustain the momentum.

The next time you create something you want to go viral, don’t just publish it. Plan to launch it, just like you would if you were launching a new product.

Find three of four other high-traffic blogs who also have lots of Twitter followers and send those bloggers a guest post that links to your new viral content. If possible, plan to have these blog posts all published on the same day. Contact the other bloggers in your network and schedule a date and time for everyone to start Tweeting your link.

All of these people talking about you on the same day in different corners of the blogosphere will make it seem like you’re everywhere and people will wonder what all the buzz is about. And here, it’s just your regular, everyday, remarkable blog post. The only difference is, you planned ahead and gave it the launch it needed to make it go viral.

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Stéphane Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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8 Comments (Add one)

  1. Jan Nieuwenhuizen

    Thanks, that’s just great. It used to work this way but now you told everyone: now they know and we need
    to think of something new.

  2. Robert Oschler

    All excellent points Bojan. At the core though is the very tough truth that a lot of viral videos actually had a ton of either marketing dollars or connections to big “media broadcasters” on the Internet (TechCrunch, etc.) and were engineered pretty carefully. The realilty is that despite the apparent “overnight, effortless sensation” appearance of a lot of viral events, for those not in the well-monied/connected category above, usually it’s the pure luck of being swept up by a “thermal” on the Internet to borrow a hang-gliding term.

    The same applies to the wave of startups or new apps that seem to go viral. Usually they have a powerful or well connected VC or angel investor behind them or aside them. But stories like that don’t sell page views, promoting the get-rich-quick or lottery winner myths do.

    – roschler

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Great comment Mitchel!

    2. Tiana Kai
      Tiana Kai

      Viral is the key word. I hadn’t thought of having all guest posts come out on the same day, great advice.

      I completely agree with Robert’s point though. I’ve seen so many amazing and half amazing sites that clearly have all hands on deck. Some of these bloggers came out of nowhere, struck a chord and advertisers saw money from their pearly whites so jumped on board. They struck gold, but most importantly fame and influence. Not every blogger can be picked up as the new kid on the block, but I guess that gives me something to strive for.

      1. Sté Kerwer

        Thank you for your comment Tiana! And keep me posted when you get picked as the new kid on the block ;)

        1. Tiana Kai
          Tiana Kai

          it’s only a matter of time ;)

  3. Bonnie

    Enjoyed your blog post. Never thought of releasing a post like a product launch. Great idea. Creating a buzz is a good way to launch. Thanks for sharing!

    Jan, you’re just going to have to find a new topic. :)

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks for your comment Bonnie. I’m glad if I helped.