Till a few years ago, anything to do with ‘viral’ or ‘viruses’ was a bad thing, and it didn’t bode well for the person concerned. But today, when you’re talking about blogs and social media, everyone hopes their content will go viral!
What does going viral mean?
While there isn’t a set definition that decides when certain content is viral, it is generally considered to be that which garners the most number of views in the shortest time. This is usually when it gets shared indiscriminately on all platforms of social media, making it accessible to pretty much anyone who is online across the globe.
Videos v/s Posts
As you can imagine, the term ‘going viral’ is most used in conjunction with videos, particularly on YouTube. Viral content is also termed as that which ‘breaks the internet’. Remember the Nyan Cat video of 2011? As is obvious, due to their very nature, videos are the type of content that go viral most of the time, followed closely by Facebook posts.
Blog posts are generally read by fewer people at a time, and gradually get read by a larger group over a period of time. Very few of them go viral, however, probably because these days people consider watching a video as less effort than reading a blog post, and nearly all videos are available on a common platform like YouTube.
However, although difficult, if you want to make your blog post go viral it is certainly not impossible! With the right techniques, you can make your stellar content reach maximum views in minimum time. Here are 7 ways to make your blog post go viral, or as they say, ‘break the internet’!
7 Ways to make your Blog Post go Viral
Be 100% Relevant
For something to go viral, it needs to resonate with what everyone is feeling today. You need to be on trend with the world’s events and its moods, without which your content doesn’t have a chance to be shared instantly. After all, going viral means the content has to be contagious!
Use a catchy headline
The headline is the way your post catches the eye of your reader, so it has to be concise, to the point and catchy. There is a reason posts that begin with ‘You won’t believe what’ get so many views – it uses the mystery element to whet the reader’s curiosity. Your headline should accurately capture what you’re talking about in your post, so that the reader’s curiosity is satisfied and he is inclined to share your content.
Share an alternate view
There could be a popular view by so called ‘experts’, but if you have an alternate view that is authentically your own, don’t refrain from sharing it. People like hearing the other side too, and a well balanced opinion from your side with strong arguments supporting it will spread around. One thing to remember here is to be respectful and positive – negative content doesn’t do as well as positive does.
Share on your groups
You can do the first step in going viral yourself; share your content on all the groups that you’re a part of, so that the initial reach itself goes out far and wide. Doing this increases the chances of sharing within and outside those groups simultaneously, thus increasing the viral possibility of your post. Don’t forget valuable spots like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon.
Use the right keywords and hashtags
If you’re a blogger you already know a bit of SEO and keywords, but they’re more important if you want your post to go viral. Make sure you use the focus keyword in your heading and first paragraph along with a few times in content. This way when someone searches for your viral post on Google, they wont’ get lost. Same thing applies to hash tags on social media.
Use appropriate images
There are many image resources out there, but for viral content, your images should be spot on with your content. When sharing, your image is what gets noticed at once, along with the headline. If you can get a good quality original image, there’s nothing like it and your content will go several notches above other articles that use the same old stock images. Don’t forget to SEO-optimize your images too.
Tap into emotions – yours and your reader’s
Humans are basically the same everywhere, so an emotion that triggers a certain reaction in one part of the world is likely to do the same elsewhere. A post that arouses that kind of an emotion is likely to do well, as it touches a cord in you readers and they share it. Here, positive emotions work as well as negative ones like fear or anger, but being relevant is important.
While viral content may seem like a great way to get popular, remember that most viral content follow a wave – they peak, and then they fall. It won’t stay viral forever!
You can do all these and still find that your post is doing as well as you hoped. As we mentioned earlier, to make your blog post go viral isn’t easy, and you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of consistent engaging content in the race for going viral. Till then you just need to try, try and try again till you succeed!