If you could create viral blog posts every time, you’d be driving the car of your dreams right now and be posting from the Riviera.
But it’s not really a crap shoot. There is a technique for creating blog posts that people will love to share.
Plus, it’s something that YOU don’t have to guess about because there are lots of places to get information on creating viral blog posts.
The people with the big bucks have already done the research.
Much of the information in this post is from HubSpot and Forbes.
There has been a lot of testing that has gone into creating content that is entertaining, engaging, trustworthy, easily digested, relevant, and shareable.
The use of images, short sentences and using emotional triggers are probably things you’re already doing.
Even the best written content may not go viral but you can increase your chances by doing these 12 things.
Better headlines. Research shows that headlines with numbers are 2X more likely to generate clicks that “how-to” headlines. “Your prospects have questions and want answers,” says Neil Patel, founder of KISSMetrics. “If you can provide them with an ultra-specific headline and the answer to their questions, you can convert them into loyal readers and customers.” The Advanced Marketing Institute has a headline analyzer that is very helpful.
Visuals are a no-brainer. Content with at least one image got 94% more views than other content in a Skyward Research study. There were 150% more retweets on Twitter and 53% more engagement on Facebook with images.
Long-form Content. A Forbes article stated that one researcher found that long-form content was 78% more likely to be shared on social media. Forbes suggested that content be at least 1500 words.[mlsp-cta campaign=”ultimateblogbundle” layout=”standard” align=”left”]
Make sharing easy and obvious. Sharing icons should be seen early in the article, front and center. If people have to look for sharing icons, it is far less likely to be shared. I’ve been on blog sites where the icons were tiny, grey and hard to find. Sharing popups are helpful.
Use Scannable text. Break up your content into bite sized bits. Use lists, short paragraphs, subheadings, and white space to increase the readability of your content.
Make an emotional connection. Storytelling is a great way to connect with your audience. My best performing blog posts all had compelling stories to tell. Emotions like awe, surprise or anger elicit strong emotions and are 28% more likely to go viral. Buying is 85% emotional and 15% rational.
Tagging influencers in your content. That doesn’t mean you have to do random tagging. Mentioning influencers in your content increases the likelihood that your content will go viral. If you quote someone or link to their content, let them know giving them an opportunity to share your content. I’ve had a couple of podcasts go viral because the people I interviewed shared them.
Call to Action. Ask your viewers to share. Simply saying, “share this post” increases sharing but being more specific bumps that up. Saying “share these tips for ….” Increases the likelihood of going viral by 47%. Forbes says, “It’s not enough to have a Facebook page or tweet every once in a while. You have to understand why people share some things rather than others in order to use social media to your advantage.”
Publish and post at the right time. Shareaholic released a study showing that 27% of all social shares occur between 8am and 12pm EST. Know when your audience is active, and drive the content out at the right time. You can schedule blog posts and social media posts to show at certain times.[mlsp-cta campaign=”mysocialmediasecret” layout=”standard” align=”left”]
Include an INFOGRAPHIC. Including an infographic makes your content 2-3 times more likely to be shared as opposed to “how-to” posts.
Promote and use hashtags. Become good at promoting your content in a variety of places. Using hashtags on Twitter increases sharing by 55%.
Use short URLs. People like short URLS. They are easy to remember. Studies show that shorter URLs get more clicks than longer ones.
Doing all these things doesn’t guarantee your content will go viral. There are a lot of other things that influence it. I found that using trending news in my content makes it more sharable. Using thing like Buzzsumo or seeing what’s trending on search engines gives you some ideas.