How & Why do Blogs go Viral?
Any online content can go viral — a blog, a social post, a video, an article — anything. However, there’s no magic number or exact definition of viral. What a small, local business considers viral is not going to be the same as what a big brand-name considers viral.
“Going viral” is all relative to the situation. If you’re used to getting about 35 views to your blog and then all the sudden you get 3,000 views — that’s going viral to you. However, for some people (like celebrities) getting thousands of views is the norm, therefore they’d need much more than that to consider their content to have gone viral.
We write blogs and we create content day in and day out, trying to get something to go viral. The goal does not always happen but, when it does, it’s magic. Unfortunately there’s no exact formula that will guarantee your content goes viral, but there ARE a few things you can do to better your chances.
Write a great post. This is a hard one, because it’s really vague. Basically you need to make sure the post is organized, relevant and written well — and by “written well” I mean it needs to be written by someone who is a strong writer, or who has a background in writing. A very basic guideline would be something like this:
- Start strong. Grab the reader's interest and establish an audience.
- Keep it simple. Write casually and get to the point quickly so readers don’t get bored to tears and lose interest.
- Be yourself! Content that feels “personal” gets more engagement, so don’t think that your blog has to be super-formal or technical. Write it like you would say it to a friend.
Use Original or High-Quality Photos. You know how people say it’s important to make a good impression? Well, images are the “first impression” — it’s the very first thing that your audience will see, and if the images are obvious stock images or bad quality, readers might judge the quality of the whole blog on that and bounce before they even begin reading.
Make it Readable. Make it easy to skim and process the information within. Use bullet points, short sentences, short paragraphs, headings and formatting. Bold or italicize important words and bullet point lists, and use h1, h2 and h3 tags (where necessary). If your post is organized, structured and to the point, it will be easy for readers to find the information they are looking for without having to read the entire post — the longer the blog, the more important this step is!
Include a Content Upgrade. You can link to other helpful content throughout your blog, but include at least one “content upgrade” in the form of a Call TO Action (CTA) to draw readers in for more. If your audience has found the kind of information they’re looking for, then they will most likely find the content upgrade helpful to get further valuable/reliable information from you.
Get Personal. People like to see behind the scenes. They like to get tips from people who have actually experienced what they are experiencing, they take personal recommendations to heart more than they do ads, and they feel more connected to stories when they are told from a personal point of view. Personal content almost always performs better.
Once you have your well-constructed piece of content edited, proofed and published, sit back and wait for the magic to happen.