The first time one of your posts goes viral you’re going to be shocked and surprised. Sure, we all try to create viral content but it doesn’t always work out as planned. Sometimes the post you least expect takes off like wildfire. When that happens you may have thousands upon thousands of visitors hit your blog. Are you ready for all that traffic? Because you just never know when lightning might strike. Here are six steps to make sure your site is ready to go viral.
1. Set up a blank page
Create a blank page or post with no text, images or forms. Just a blank page so you can see your blog design with no distractions. What do your sidebars look like? Your title? Your footer? Look at the overall picture and see if it represents your blog and your goals. What will readers think when they land on your page?
2. Where is your opt-in form?
This is one of the most important elements on your blog. More important than any affiliate banner or ad. It should be placed above the fold, beneath your logo but above your content. Make sure there’s plenty of white space around it so it’s not crowded and your readers won’t miss it. And make your form a contrasting color so it stands out from the other elements on your page.
Be sure to include a message inviting readers to subscribe for updates or your newsletter or your free gift.
3. What do you want visitors to know about your site?
Remember, when visitors come to your blog to visit a specific post they’re not going to land on your homepage. If there’s pertinent information on your homepage that’s not visible anywhere else, move it into a sidebar so everyone sees it, no matter how they enter your blog.
4. What do you want visitors to do?
Highlight important content in your sidebars. If you have “Start Here” posts or popular pillar posts or any type of content your specifically want visitors to see, highlight it in your sidebars. Seriously, if you have a lot of banners cluttering up your sidebar, or blog rolls or tag links, and these elements not performing or producing income, get rid of them. Put them on their own page or just get rid of them completely. Feature your content in your sidebars, instead. That’s what brings readers to your blog.
5. Are your sharing buttons prominently displayed and working?
Don’t just add sharing buttons, make sure they work. Place them at the bottom of every post for best results and include a call to action telling your readers to share – now.
6. Are your Follow buttons prominently displayed and working?
This is your chance to snag some new followers, too. Again, make sure your Follow Me buttons are prominently displayed and working.
You really never know when a post is going to go viral and most of the time it’s a surprise. So don’t wait for it to happen before you take time to clean up your blog. Clean it up now and be ready so you can sit back and enjoy the action.