As digital content marketers, we all dream of writing viral content. We want to develop stories that are so interesting and engaging that our readers can’t help but share them with their friends! One of your main goals as a blogger is to retain your audience and attract more and more people to your blog. Something that can only be achieved by creating interesting content that inspires your readers to share.
But how do you achieve that? How do you create your first viral post?
By mastering the best blogging techniques. It is not difficult when you know what you are doing. If you want to expand your audience and elevate the performance of your blog, you have to do the following:
Appeal to Your Reader’s Curiosity
People only pay attention to things that capture their attention. So, this should be your first goal. Pick a headline that piques the reader’s curiosity and gets them thinking “What does this mean?” “Where is this going?” or “Why would anyone write about this?”
Notice how the reader starts thinking about where you are going with the article by just reading your headline. He already has questions that need to be answered and will continue reading to address them. So, the first thing you want to do is create headlines that sell.
3 Steps to Creating the Perfect Headline
1. Choose something that your audience agrees with.
For instance, “6 reasons why Entrepreneurship is the best choice you’ll ever make” is an example of a headline that will interest your readers. You and your audience already know and agree on the fact that running your own business is a smart investment. As a business blogger, supporting as well as strengthening this belief will keep you in good with your readers.
2. Select a controversial subject.
“8 reasons why Upwork is better than Guru” is a great example of a controversial topic that will make your headline stand out. Here, you are not just attracting Upwork fans but freelancers who already have Guru accounts. One group will want to prove a point to their peers and emphasize that their preferred freelancing platform is the best. The other group will want to read on to disagree with you or perhaps learn a few important things. Both classes will click on the headline for two or more reasons important to them. You may also attract beginners who are still trying to figure out which platform to go with.
3. Pick one that promises proficiency.
“The ultimate roadmap to YouTube marketing” is a headline that promises in-depth information that will turn the reader into an expert YouTube marketer. Already, he or she is interested in finding out more. The headline itself promises proficiency in a specific field and attracts people who are looking for ways to grow their businesses on YouTube and becoming pros. The most important thing to remember when using such headlines to grow your traffic is to ensure you deliver what you promise. Provide well-researched information and turn your readers into the experts you say they will be step by step. Do not write for the sake of getting more people to your site because that is how you lose readers.
Retain Your Reader’s Attention
Use questions and interesting points to get them to the end of the article. Pausing as you write is a great way of keeping your readers concentrating on what you are saying. It is the only way of getting them to read the entire post. So, ask a question or two here and there. Capture their attention by raising interesting points about the subject at hand. That will keep them thinking “I didn’t know that” or “There is more to learn.”
Another great tip is to write in such a way that raises an emotional reaction because losing your readers is impossible once their feelings are tied to your content. That’s how most posts go viral. Induce laughter, frustration, joy, or confidence and keep them attentive as well as curious about what happens next.
Remember, your goal is to entertain and inform while providing content that keeps your audience hitting the ‘Share’ and ‘Like’ buttons.
Give Valuable Advice
People appreciate, like, and share posts that add some sort of value to their lives. Therefore, know your audience and offer invaluable content that will encourage them to go where they desire to be or take them there.
“8 rules to attaining your business goals this year”, “A step-by-step guide to becoming a successful Entrepreneur” or “6 must-know DIYs that will save you tons of money” show that you care for your readers, their business ventures, and successes.
Write content that will take their businesses to the next level, meet their goals, and help them keep up with new trends. The kind of information they may not get anywhere else for free.
Here’s how you accomplish that:
Use How-to Guides
How-to-guides are one of the best ways of making your content go viral. You don’t just tell your audience what needs to be done to achieve something, you show them how it’s done and get them sharing it with their friends. You take them through the entire process one step after another, give useful advice, and help them achieve what they desire.
The important things to reflect on when writing how-to-guides.
1. Make Sure Your Post Solves a Pressing Issue
Gather enough information about their pressing needs or pain points, research on it, and offer effective solutions before producing the content. Ask them to mention one thing they wish to accomplish but can’t because of money, a lack of skill, or any other reason. Go through all the comments, figure out how many people have the same problem, and start writing.
2. Offer Truthful Advice
Make sure you do enough research on the topic before posting. You don’t want to lose your credibility or taint your image as a blogger.
3. Guide the Reader in the Right Direction
Easy-to-follow useful content should be your aim. Structure it in such a way that easily guides and leads to the final solution. Don’t skip any steps. Assume that the reader has no idea how to do what needs to be done at each stage and walk them through.
Give detailed step-by-step instructions and be invested in the process. Don’t rush through the content. Make sure your directives are clear and doable.
Use the Right Structure
Your post should include the following; a description of the problem, detailed steps to finding a practical solution or solutions, and a few tips to avoid the same problem from recurring.
Pay attention to the structure of your content because it is important. It will determine whether or not the reader believes you, continues reading or applies the given instructions.
Use Reference Guides
Reference guides are an easy way to help your visitors quickly and effortlessly find what they are looking for. If they know that all it takes to find information about the subject is a click on your blog, they won’t stay away. They will easily and willingly share your content as well. So, include cheat cheats or reference guides on your posts and go viral.
Know the Right Structure
Your reference guides should provide the right solution to a specific problem. They should be easy to read, easy to follow, and straight to the point.
Therefore, group your information into two classes or keep it under two sections; ‘Problem’ and ‘Solution’. Avoid extensively talking about the problem. Remember, it’s a quick reference guide.
Use the Right Format
The first thing that a person sees when visiting your blog is the layout of your content. Such as the headline, your image, choice of font, size of the font, as well as how your article is structured. Did you open with a thought-provoking question? Does your image go with the subject line? And is your content readable? That is; did you use subheadings, numbering, etc. to keep your article easy to follow and understand. These are some of the most important things to always bear in mind because your first-time visitor will judge the quality of your content based on that.
4 Secrets to an Eye-Catching Content Structure
1. Choose the Right Theme
Your Theme represents your brand and speaks volumes. So, be careful when selecting one for your blog. Be as conscious of your choice as you are of your writing. Picking the right theme can be difficult because there are thousands of options to choose from. To make it easy for you, use one that represents your business or brand right.
First, decide whether you want a free theme or a premium one. If you choose to go with the free one, consider a few important things. For example, the developer or designer and their reputation. Is the template compatible with popular browsers? Is it responsive? Are updates available? Does it come with technical support when you run into challenges? What privileges do you get as a user? Meaning, will you be able to customize it fully to your liking or there are certain restrictions?
Gather the same information even when you choose to go with a paid Template. This will make your work a lot easier and help you to solve issues as they arise. The layout of your blog is also important. Hence, think about how you want to structure your blog and use a template that gives you the flexibility you need. You can also Google the best themes for business blogs, premium or free. You will get extensive advice on which one to go with.
2. Use Proper Images
Images give life to your blog. They add a certain level of professionalism and quality to your posts. Therefore, when choosing an image for your post, use one that goes with your message. For example, if your next article is about teamwork, open it with an image that portrays teamwork. Such as two or more people shaking hands or helping each other. A group of footballers passing the ball to each other or three or more people working on a project.
Also, consider quality, size, and color. Stick to well-cropped, high-resolution ones with colors that go with your brand. You can find free high-res images on unsplash.com, pixabay.com, or pexels.com.
3. Organize Your Content Well
Use simple language and organize your thoughts well. Avoid sharing random thoughts or ideas. Add structure to your content. Your readers should be able to flow through your content and effortlessly move from A to B to C. If you are giving instructions on how to build an e-commerce site, for example, don’t skip to the ‘add products to your cart’ section before teaching them how to layout the site.
4. Use Short Paragraphs
Your readers can easily interact with your content if you use short paragraphs and sentences. This is because they are easier to skim through, understand, and are generally more attention-grabbing than longer ones.
Connect with Your Audience
Most viral posts, if not all, were written by bloggers who were able to somehow connect with their audience at a personal level. So, talk about your personal experiences once in a while without going off-topic. Share some of your frustrations, joys, aha moments, and interesting discoveries as a blogger.
For instance, you can blog about that rewarding business trip you had. How you got invited to one of the most important business seminars in your field, some of the challenges you encountered along the way, and what you learned from the experience. Your audience will appreciate you more when they see that you also have challenges, frustrations, or ‘bad days.’ They will be encouraged to launch that long-overdue startup, enroll in that important course, and pursue their dreams because they know that every success story has its ups and downs.
Talk about Your Journey
You could also write about your blogging career. What inspired you to become a blogger, how you started, challenges met, lessons learned, and what you gained. The trick is to share information that resonates with the reader. You have already found your niche and understand your audience. So, share personal stories that give your followers the “I can attain any goal” mentality. Boost their confidence by sharing useful and much-needed resources to reach their goals. For instance, if you are writing about your success as a blogger, share useful links to sites that met your needs at different levels.
Share Links to Useful Resources
Show them how and where to get important resources such as the perfect hosting plan to advertise their products or services to the world or the best bookkeeping tools. Mention which hosting company or financial software you prefer. How many you have tried, your experiences with each, as well as why you ended up sticking with the one you are currently using. This will prove that you don’t just love what you do but you also know what you are talking about. Two things that will make your readers love you even more.
Feature Business Tycoons
Your audience will easily connect with you when they see how much you want them to succeed and what lengths you would go to, to keep them motivated. So, interview successful freelancers or entrepreneurs and feature them on your blog. Ask about their journey, how they managed to overcome the challenges that every aspiring business owner has, how they raised the capital, why they chose that specific field, how they are growing the business, and what advice they can give to those who are just starting.
Get Your First Interview
Getting an interview with the right person may be challenging especially if you are starting. Nonetheless, many successful entrepreneurs are more than willing to share their knowledge with the rest of the world. Start by approaching three or more people in your region, explain why you want an interview, introduce your blog, and hope for the best. If you fail to get at least one person to say yes, search for the best interviews online that are related to your niche and ask for permission to feature them on your next blog post. Most influencers would hardly say no to this.
Learn From the Professionals
Last but not least, learn from the professionals. That is by far the most effective way to produce viral content. So, go online, search for top blogs or highly influential bloggers, and learn from them.
This is the best method for beginners or someone who has been blogging for some time but hasn’t had any luck attracting at least 3000 people to their site.
If you match any of both descriptions, read on!
Study Their Approach
Visit 4 or so viral blogs and study their approach. Draw your attention to posts with high hits, 5000 likes and 3000 shares should be your minimum target. First, pay attention to the headline. How did it grab your attention? Did it pique your curiosity? Did you feel it was something you had to know? Perhaps, it made you angry? Whatever the case, notice how the headline quickly received some sort of reaction. That should be your goal. Get an emotional or mental reaction from your visitors through your headlines.
Next, go through the entire article. See if you can read it to the end. Concentrate on how the writer connects with you. What are some of the emotions you feel as you continue reading? Do you feel inspired, smarter, or informed?
Pay Attention to the Content Layout
Notice the use of subtopics, questions, lists, short paragraphs, and perhaps statistics. That is how the writer keeps you engaged. It makes it easier for you to easily go through the content, understand it, and find the information you need. Posts that are structured this way enable you to quickly jump to what you want to know without going through the entire article. Adopt it in your style of writing as well and keep your readers engaged.
Keep your articles readable and engaging by opening with a question or closing with one. Pausing a question at the beginning will give them the right foundation. The reader will go through the content expecting to learn or discover new things. Already you have given him something to think about. If you close with a question, you cause him to easily digest what he read and keep him coming back for more information. For example, at the end of your how-to-guide, say “Where do you go from here? Find out more on the second edition.”
Selectively Apply What You Learn
When you understand the best methods of creating viral content, go ahead and apply what you have learned. Nonetheless, be careful of how you go about it. Don’t be a copycat. Realize that what works for one influencer might not work for you and be selective when choosing what methods to use on your posts. Find your voice and only use what works for your brand as well as your audience.
- Avoid changing your style of writing to such an extent that your followers no longer recognize you. Continue blogging about the latest business trends, keep offering the best advice on how to run a successful business, etc. but change your approach.
- Add images, number your lists, use compelling headings, write short sentences and paragraphs. Provide statistics on specific subjects and include graphs where applicable.
- The most important thing to remember is that your brand is unique, your audience is unique, and your content is a direct representation of your business.
- Bonus tip: Use Grammarly or Pro Writing Aid to proofread your work before publishing.
Good luck with creating your first viral post! Let us know how it goes!