Having a blog post go viral is every blogger’s ultimate goal.
Writing blog posts that go viral brings thousands, if not millions of new eyes to your blog.
Therefore it should be your #1 priority to write viral content.
But how exactly do we write these viral blog posts? Is it luck, or is there some kind of system to it?
Research shows that viral content tends to contain specific elements that push people to share it.
And that my friends is what we’ll focus on today.
But before we do, I’d like to thank Brian Dean from Backlinko for putting together this beautiful infographic illustrating the 21 techniques you must follow to make your content go viral:
What can we learn from this information?
1. Use Numbers
Your headline copy (blog post title), is the most important aspect of every post you write. If the title isn’t enticing enough, nobody is going to click on it.
Research shows that headlines with numbers are 36% more likely to be clicked on.
Odd numbers seem to work better so keep that in mind when coming up with your list.
Note: Not all blog posts need to be a numbers list, but keep in mind that they’re more likely to be shared so they should be an important part of your arsenal.
2. Use Brackets
In a study of over 3 million blog post titles, Hubspot found that titles with [brackets] were clicked on 38% more than those that didn’t use them.
Therefore it’s a good practice to use brackets in your blog post titles whenever possible to improve its virality.
3. Use Short URLs
Marketing Sherpa found that short URLs are more than twice as likely to get clicked on than their longer counterparts.
Which would you say looks better?
That’s an easy answer so shorten your URLs and only use the keywords needed to give your readers an idea of what’s inside.
Short URLs are also good for the search engines as they are much easier to decipher.
4. Use Desciptive URLs
A Microsoft study found that trusted domains get 25% more clicks.
Keep your URLs short and descriptive to avoid raising red flags.
5. Use Colorful Images Above Fold
Xerox found that colorful images made people 80% more likely to read the content.
Adding colorful images to the top of your blog post automatically makes your posts more appealing.
Make it a habit of using images above the fold on all your blog posts.
6. Use Share Buttons Above the Fold
A key aspect of blog posts going viral is the ease with which people can share it.
The more shares a blog post gets, the more possible readers it will have. Regardless of how good or bad it is.
A Google study found that elements above the fold are seen by 58% more people than those further down.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you have share buttons above the fold on all your blog posts.
7. Lead With Short Sentences
Don’t overlook your blog post introduction if you wish for it to go viral.
Only 16% of people read a blog post word-by-word. Much of this is because the introduction doesn’t entice them enough to continue reading.
So what makes a great introduction?
For starters, Dr. John Morkes found that short sentences boost content readability by 58%.
Therefore, when constructing your introduction, use short sentences to keep your readers attention. Try using short sentences throughout your post as well.
Avoid big blocks of texts at all cost.
8. Use Images to Add Credibility
Believe it or not, a Claremont University study found that images boost a blog post credibility by 75%.
Doesn’t even matter what image you use which is hard to grasp. Shouldn’t the image be related to what’s being talked about?
Apparently not… I would recommend keeping your images within the context of your blog post, but if not possible just use any image to add credibility to your post.
9. Make Text Easy to Scan
This one is obvious, but many bloggers don’t place much emphasis on making their text easy to scan.
Dr. Jakob Nielson found that scannable text boosted online content credibility by 47%.
Below are some ways to make your text more easy to scan?
- Highlight keywords
- Use meaningful sub-headings
- Use bulleted lists
- Keep it simple. One idea per paragraph
10. Be Insanely Practical
A study done by Jonah Berger and Katherine L. Milkman found that highly-practical blog posts are 34% more likely to go viral.
This means your blog posts should be simple to understand and easy to follow.
People don’t want complex solutions to their problems. They want simple, easy to follow solutions to all their problems.
11. Use Professional Images
Image quality is very important. An internal Marketing Sherpa study found that professional images received 45% more Facebook shares than “semi-professional” photos.
This doesn’t mean you have to hire a photographer to take your pictures. Just make sure you use good high-quality pictures.
Stay away from blurry and dark pictures, as well as pictures that are too busy for one to understand its point.
12. Get Emotional
A study published by The Journal of Marketing Research found blog posts that elicit the following emotions are 28% more likely to go viral:
This applies to video and audio (podcast) content as well, so try to elicit these emotions from your readers with every blog post you publish.
13. Use Infographics
Infographics are visual images such as charts or diagrams used to represent data or information.
Buzzsumo found that blog posts which make use of infographics generate 2.3x more shares on Facebook than how to posts.
Human beings are drawn to images, this is why you see billboard advertisements everywhere you go. Movie theaters are full of posters advertising upcoming movies. Car dealers are full of magazines filled with pictures of their cars, etc.
Images work and infographics work best.
Make infographics part of your content marketing strategy. I try my best to publish two infographics per month and make use of graphs on many of my blog posts.
If you aren’t currently using infographics, try them and let me know how it goes.
14. Use Images to Increase Shares
Get the point? The importance of images to your blog post virality cannot be understated.
A study done by Skyword research found that blog posts with at least one image generated 94% more views on social media.
Social media views are crucial to your blog posts virality. Use images to increase its views, but don’t oversaturate it with too many images.
15. Mention Influencers
Mentioning and contacting influencers is one of the most important things you must do after publishing a blog post.
For instance, in this blog post I mention Brian Dean. This makes it more likely that he would share my content if I contact him asking for a share.
Influencers have a massive following of people who hang on every word they say. You can see how important this can be to making your blog posts go viral.
And if that’s not enough, A Columbia University study found that for your content to go viral, influencer shares were”critical.”
16. Ask Everyone You Know to Share Your Post
The more eyes that see your blog post, the more chances it has of going viral.
Include a CTA (Call To Action) at the end of your post… and make it personalized.
Hubspot found that targeted CTAs (“Share these car painting tips”) outperformed generic CTAs (“share this post”) by 42%.
Aside from including a CTA at the end of your post, tell all your friends to share it. This will ensure a greater number of eyeballs seeing your post.
17. Publish Long Form Content
Professor Dr. Jonah Berger found that longer blog posts were 52% more likely to be heavily shared.
Moreover, According to serpIQ the average content length of an article showing up in the top results of Google is around 2,450 words.
Aim for at least 2,000 words for every blog post you publish. This will ensure greater probability of ranking high on Google and therefore having better chances of going viral.
18. Always Set a Featured Image
I promise this is the last time I mention the importance of images on this post. I just want you to understand its importance when it comes to generating viral blog posts.
Think that can be of help while trying to make viral blog posts?
19. SEO Tag Copy = Adword Ads
Google ads are designed to maximize clicks.
Therefore it’s a good practice to base your SEO title on Adwords ads to maximize traffic from search engines.
Lets assume your article is on selling cell phones:
- Go to Google and search for variations of “Sell My Phone.”
2. Based on your results, come up with a compelling title and description tag copy for your blog post.
Note: If your topic doesn’t elicit any ads, see what results show up on top, and try to come up with better variations of what you see.
20. Include Hashtags
Dan Zarella analyzed 1.2 million tweets and found that hashtag-containing tweets boosted retweets by 55%.
I’ll be honest here, I am not a fan of Twitter but do understand its importance. Therefore, if Twitter is one of your preferred social media platforms include hashtags in your blog posts to increase its chances of going viral.
21. Publish Between 8am and 12pm
What? Did you think you could publish your blog posts wherever you wanted?
Well, you could, but Shareaholic found that 27% of all social shares occur between 8am and 12pm EST.
Therefore it’s in your best interest to publish your blog posts during these times.
This doesn’t mean you have to write during those times… write whenever you want and schedule your posts to be published at 8am on the day you wish for it to go live.
Note: Be consistent by maintaining a strict publishing schedule. Be it once a week, or everyday, your audience will appreciate consistency.
Generating viral blog posts doesn’t happen by chance.
There are specific techniques that effective bloggers follow in order to generate them.
These techniques range from using professional images to being insanely practical.
Use the above-mentioned techniques next time you sit in front of your computer to write your next blog post and I assure you its chances of going viral will skyrocket.
Have you ever written a viral blog post?
Viral Content FAQ
Viral content is material, such as an article, image, or video that spreads quickly online through website links, word of mouth, and social sharing. The way to make a post go viral is to create one that is valuable to your readers. The post must be memorable. Beyond that, you will want to vigorously promote it to all your friends and fans on social media. Lastly, you will want to create as many backlinks to it as possible (this ensures good placement on the SERPs). If one of your blog posts goes viral you might get paid. You could catch the attention of sponsors, advertisers, and the like. You could also get paid by placing ads on your post. It just depends on how you decide to monetize your post.
What is considered viral content?
How do I make a post go viral?
Do you get paid if my post goes viral?
Viral content is material, such as an article, image, or video that spreads quickly online through website links, word of mouth, and social sharing.
The way to make a post go viral is to create one that is valuable to your readers. The post must be memorable. Beyond that, you will want to vigorously promote it to all your friends and fans on social media. Lastly, you will want to create as many backlinks to it as possible (this ensures good placement on the SERPs).
If one of your blog posts goes viral you might get paid. You could catch the attention of sponsors, advertisers, and the like. You could also get paid by placing ads on your post. It just depends on how you decide to monetize your post.