14 Ways to Help Your Content Go Viral
When you write a post, you want people to read it. How can you make that happen? You can read 73 ways to promote your blog post, but what if you're short on time and you want to push your post toward going viral?
Here are 14 ways to help send your post into the atmosphere:
1. Create an Awesome Title
The first rule of copywriting is to write a title so compelling that it attracts readers to your post when they see it on social media. How do you do that? Make sure your title addresses the following: curiosity, intrigue, incredulity, or apprehension. Then, make sure your post delivers. Don't have bait and switch content. Pique your readers' curiosities, then answer their burning questions.
2. Find an Eye-Catching Image
You don't need me to tell you that in order to create an amazing blog post, you need more than just a solid page of words. You need to make it pretty. What if you don't want to spend a ton of money? That's fine. In fact, here's a list of over 50 places to get free stock images without having to credit your source.
3. Schedule on Social Media
Schedule your post several times. Put the title of the post as one, ask an obscure question in another place, pull a quote a third time, then add it to your queue.
4. Make Sure Each Post Has a Keyword
Now, of course, we don't mean keyword as one word (something that still trips me up — it should be called a key phrase, right?) to focus on. We mean a key phrase. In this post, the phrase is “help your content go viral” and you see the “keyword” in the title of the post, the meta description, and several places in the text. Use Yoast to help you stay on track with keywords.
5. Ask Blogging Friends to Share
Your in-real-life friends do not care about your blog post (just like you don't care about their jobs, remember). So, unless your post deals with something they're working on (in my case, that's almost never), turn to your internet friends instead. Ask them to tweet/pin/put on their fan page for you, and do the same for them.
6. Post in Facebook Groups
Are you in Facebook groups? If not, you definitely should join one. Find a Facebook group (here are our top five) and see if you're a good fit. If you're not, there are a zillion others out there. If you're really stretching to find a group that fits your needs, consider creating your own.
7. Post on Reddit (Find the Right SubReddit)
Be very careful here! There's a right way and a wrong way to share on Reddit, so if you got to this tip without having ever been to Reddit before, skip this one, or do what you want anyway, then don't read the comments. Follow their rules and Reddit can bring you all kinds of traffic.
8. Pin More Than Once
Getting clicks on your content through Pinterest can be tricky because you need to be in the right place at the right time. Pin your content multiple times (especially if it's relevant all year long) using something like Board Booster. Here's our review of Board Booster.
9. Consider Using Paid Tools Like ViralWoot
Viralwoot allows you to promote your pins for points and earn points by following new people and pinning their content. They have a paid plan that allows you to bypass some of the points nonsense, and it could be worth it to promote your awesome piece.
10. Make Sure Your Content is Your Very Best
This should have been tip #1 because it's the most important piece of advice: don't try to promote crap! You should only be interested in making your best posts be the thing other people see (and, more importantly, associate you with!).
11. Use Numbers
There's a reason this website has many lists. People love to skim them! They'll read the number, scan the headline, then do one of two things: move on because they already know what's in the paragraph, or they will read the paragraph because they want to dive deeper. Skimming plus reading equals people sticking around — and perhaps even sharing!
12. Solve a Specific Problem
One problem, one blog post. “How to Tie Your Shoes” does much better than “How to Tie Your Shoes and Learn the Alphabet and Make Macaroni from Scratch” because you're not trying to do all things for all people in one post. Plus, nobody searches for the second post title anyway.
13. Evoke Emotions Such as Disbelief and Fear
“How I make $14,000 a Month Freelancing” combines tip #11 and tip #13. They make that much money freelancing? you think. I've gotta find out how! Or, touch on fear: “The 10 Mistakes New Bloggers Make: Are You Making Any of These?” Crap! you think. Am I? I don't think I'm making any mistakes, but I'm new…and click! Don't do this very often unless your tone is already negative, then keep on keeping on.
14. Don't Guess — Find (and Mimic!) Other Viral Content
If you think “How to Tie Your Shoes” is going to be an awesome post, you're wrong. If people can read but not tie their shoes, nothing you write can help them. So how do you find awesome content? Look for posts that are already popular in your space. If you have an idea about a post, Google it! Or type your keyword into Buzzsumo. That will show you which posts have the most shares… which is, in essence, telling you all about which posts are likely to go viral. DO NOT COPY those posts — write your own, and make it better!
So, armed with these 14 tips, go out there and go viral!
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