Now there’s a question we’d all like to know the answer to. I wish there was a quick, easy formula I could whip up for you, but making viral content is nothing like a checking off ingredients in a recipe. It’s more like making hoops in basketball. There are a million and one reasons why the ball went in, and every swoosh has different ones.
Fortunately, there are a few standard guidelines most great articles follow. Follow these, and you are on the right track to going viral!
Content. Content. Content. I know you’ve heard it before, but this list would be incomplete without it.
Why are people at your blog? Why do they read your articles? Content. They want the information you have. That is the only reason. Mess up on this one, and you’ll never make it.
How do you make sure you have killer content? You are your first guinea pig. Write on a topic that would interest you.
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To focus their writing, many authors pretend they are writing to a specific person – a friend or family member. It helps them stay fixated on the most interesting and relevant information.
For me, this person is myself. I write with myself as my most ardent critic. Did I like it? Was it interesting? Did it give me valuable information?
I can’t overstate the importance of this one. Like content, your titles can make or break your blog.
Let me illustrate my point by asking you some questions.
There was once an empty Coke can floating along the California shore. Inside was a 5 carat diamond ring. If you were standing on the sore and saw the can in the sand, would you pick it up and look inside?
What if, instead of a Coke can, the diamond ring was inside a chiseled glass case?
Most likely you would ignore the can and pick the class case.
What’s my point? Packaging is everything. Without pretty wrapping, no one will click on your article. Your article’s wrapping is its title. From the outside, it is the only thing your reader can see of your article.
Make sure your heading is so enticing, you can’t even resist clicking on
it. I gave a few quick tips on making a killer heading in last week’s article.
Make your article easy for your readers to find. This is easier than it sounds. I’ll get into this in greater detail in a future post, but here are some quick tips until then.
Pick a keyword that represents the content in your article. For example, the keyword I would choose for this article might be “viral” or “viral article.”
If you are having trouble thinking of a keyword, go to a search engine. Pretend that you are searching for an article with the content that is in your blog post. What words would you use to find an article on that topic? Guaranteed, the keyword is in your search.
Once you have found your keyword or phrase, make sure that it is in all of these places in your article:
- Permalink – this is simply the url of your post. Normally, if it’s in your title it’s in your permalink. But if your key word is not, it needs to be.
- The first 100 words of your article
- The body of your article
- The last 100 words of your article
- The tags
That’s it! Pretty simple.
Spread the Word!
Just because you have a blog, doesn’t mean you have an audience. Use all of your social media networks to their fullest extent. If you are using WordPress, this is easy. Simply go into the share section, and authorize WordPress to post links to your new articles on all your social networks.
From that point on, it will automatically invite all of your social media fans and followers to view every new post on your blog.
After the initial blast, views tend to die down. So the following week, I usually repost a link to my article on all my networks. If you do this, make sure to not use the same phrasing as your last invite. For example if the first broadcast said, “Get more Twitter followers in three days! <link>” change the wording a bit for your second post to something like this: “Here’s how I got more Twitter followers in just three days. <link>.”
People are sensitive to spammers. If they see repeated information from you they might mark you as spam. Not good.
This is easily avoided by simply changing the phrasing a bit.
Post at the Right Time
I know it is tempting to post your new article as soon as you finish it, but resist that urge! Save the post until the time when it will get the most views.
This optimum time depends on your audience. If you are marketing to businesses, posts in the midday usually do well. On the other hand, if you are marketing to customers, try to post in the evenings.
This formula doesn’t work for everyone; every market is different. But it’s a pretty safe bet. The best strategy is to test out each time to find the best one for your market.
Also, if you want to repost content, the audience in the morning, midday, and evening are usually completely different. Reposting content at different times is very effective for reaching the largest amounts of people.
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