Everyone wants their content to go viral, to be read, shared, and enthused about. So how can you make this happen?
With millions of other competing blogs online it might seem to be almost impossible, but there are some tried and true techniques you can use to swing the odds in your favor.
Most blog posts that go viral don’t do so by accident–they use carefully crafted and proven techniques and strategies that work time and time again.
And none of it’s rocket science; these same techniques and strategies can be used successfully by anyone willing to put in the time and trouble to use them properly.
So without further ado, here are
8 Ways to Make Your Content Go Viral
1. Create Catchy Titles
I’ve written around 1500 words in this post, but the most important element is almost certainly the few words that make up the title.
Since studies show that about 80% of readers will only read the title, you’ll appreciate that for your content to go viral you’ll probably need a great one if it’s to stand out from the crowd.
So what sort of titles are most likely to go viral? I’ve identified five basic types:
- Guides, or ‘How-to’ Posts. These usually begin with the words ‘How To’ and teach the reader about a particular topic, e.g. ‘How to Write Catchy Titles For Your Blog’.
- Curated Content. These can be either long, detailed guides or curated links to other peoples posts, e.g ‘The Ultimate Guide to Getting Blog Traffic’.
- List Posts (‘Listicles’). You’ll see Listicles everywhere you look on the net, for the very good reason that they’re proven performers, with a good chance of going viral. (This post is a listicle in case you didn’t notice.)
- Emotive. Emotive titles are where the writer appeals to an emotion, be it humorous, outrageous, sad, egotistical etc.
- Questions. These titles try to intrigue the reader by asking a question, e.g. ‘How Do You Get Massive Traffic To Your Blog?’
2. Follow Trends
Writing a great article about a trending topic will seriously increase your chances for your content to go viral. Here are some strategies to keep up with the latest trends:
- Follow ‘trending’ sections of social networks. These links go to the main ‘trending’ pages for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Youtube.
- Check out social news sites. You’ll likely hear about big breaking stories first on these sites, as well as discovering viral content while it’s still new and fresh. Some of the most popular are Digg, Reddit, Propeller, Newsvine, Fark, and Slashdot.
- Subscribe to the most popular blogs in your blogging niche. To be the most popular they’re probably keeping close tabs on the latest and hottest trends themselves.
3. Utilize Your Email List
Your email list has great potential to help your content go viral, as these are people who’ve already expressed an interest in your work.
This also makes them the most likely to share your content, and thus your email list is the natural place to commence the sharing process.
For a post to go viral, however, it needs to be particularly special and amazing. Here are a few examples of blog posts that made it big:
- Here’s a Quick Way to Get More Likes On Your Facebook Page
- Color Psychology in Marketing
- Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps
- Marriage Isn’t For You
Next to getting your content on page one of Google Search, Pinterest certainly seems to bring in the most traffic for bloggers. Thus getting one of your Pinterest Pins to go viral can cause a sudden and large spike in your daily visitor numbers, sometimes even months after you created and uploaded the pin.
So what can you do to help a Pinterest Pin go viral? I’ve asked a lot of experts in the past (see this post) and here are some of their best tips:
- Use great and well-optimized keywords (via hashtags.) Since Pinterest is much more of a search engine than a social platform, keywords are just as important in pins as they are in your blog posts.
- Design a great looking pin. Since most people view Pinterest on their phones, you may only have a second or two for your pin to make an impression. Use bright colors and large, easy to read fonts (use cursive fonts sparingly, and only the more easily readable ones.)
- Repin your most popular pins. If a pin gets a lot of shares then keep up the momentum by repinning it to your boards (personal and group.) Seek out and repin the most popular versions of your pin.
- Use Tailwind. This is a scheduler (approved by Pinterest) that does the pinning for you at the most optimal times of the day. This is particularly important if you’re normally working or sleeping during those times.
- Use Promoted Pins. For a relatively low cost, Pinterest Pins are an excellent way to drive a lot of traffic to your blog posts. 93% of Pinterest users plan to make purchases on this platform, so unlike platforms such as Facebook, visitors from Pinterest are much keener to spend money when they click through.
5. Viral Content Bee
As its name implies, Viral Content Bee (VCB) is a great tool that allows you to widely share your content for FREE on the social networks of other bloggers and influencers. (Sadly a similar site, JustRetweet, shut down in March 2018.)
The only cost is a few minutes of your time sharing other bloggers content on your own social networks (I mostly share on Twitter and Pinterest, but you can also currently share on Tumblr and Linkedin.)
You can rest assured that content you’ll be sharing is mostly of a fairly high quality, as the moderators won’t approve ‘projects’ otherwise, and you won’t be considered a safe and reliable user until you’ve created a certain number of VCB projects. There’s also a ‘Report as low quality’ button on each project so that users can alert moderators to any poor or suspect content or websites.
To give you an idea of the kind of ‘power users’ and influencers who’ll be sharing your content, check out the following image of one of my posts being shared on Twitter:
As you can see, each of the sharers has around 50,000 followers, and they’re sharing the sweat of my brow with those followers for free! And you can keep earning points by doing your own sharing, followed by spending those points to get your own posts shared, as often as you like.
That’s about as close to free advertising as you’re likely to find, and also a big help in your quest to have your content go viral, so please alert me if you find something better!
For more information on Viral Content Bee, as well as some useful tips to maximize your use of the platform, see my in-depth review.
6. Include Images
Using images in your blog posts is nowadays almost a requirement, as people are expecting much more than just a ‘wall of text’ from blog posts and articles.
It’s also been proven that posts which include images greatly outperform those which don’t, so if you want to maximize the chances for your post to go viral then the decision to include images is a no-brainer.
Totally unnecessary image of a kitten:
My current favorite website for images is Flickr—just ensure that any pictures you download from there or other sites aren’t copyrighted (bloggers have been sued in the past for downloading copyrighted pictures.)
7. Include Video
Possibly even better than images for encouraging reshares of your content, videos are also great for your ‘bounce rate‘ and SEO, since they encourage readers to linger for longer on your site.
They also entertain and educate, give a break for the eyes, and are appreciated by those who’d rather watch and listen than read.
You can create your own video, or simply add a Youtube video to a page by following these simple steps:
- Click on ‘SHARE’ under the video you want to include, then ‘EMBED’ on the left of the popup.
- Now copy and paste all the text within the <iframe and /iframe> brackets into the ‘Text’ page of your blog post.
- You can adjust the numbers in ‘width’ and ‘height’ to whatever fits best in your post – I’ve made width 630 and height 350 in this ‘How to Make Your Content Go VIRAL!’ video by Valuetainment:
8. Create Infographics
Infographics have boomed in popularity on blogs and Pinterest the last few years, and interest shows no sign of slowing down yet. If you check Google Trends, you can see that searches for ‘infographics’ have increased massively since 2010.
People have proven to be much more inclined to share good examples with others, which obviously greatly increases their chances to go viral.
As with this example, they’re clearly much more eye-catching than a few paragraphs of text:
In the words of Jeff Bullas, “Infographics are a visually compelling communication medium that done well can communicate complex data in a visual format that is potentially viral.”
Do you have any tried and true methods of your own to make your content go viral? Let me know in the comments.
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