Patrick Frehtenbaum* has contributed this article highlighting some strategies on how to make your content go viral. Enjoy!
When content goes viral, it can get upwards of a million views. That’s a lot of people looking at one piece of media. You might believe that nothing is done out of the ordinary, and that it’s random what content goes viral. However, that isn’t the case.
Some strategies are employed to create a piece of work that’s designed to go viral. If you want to bring more attention to work you’ve published on the internet, here are some strategies you can use to help your content go viral.
1. Break the news first to your readers.
Using RSS feeds and Google News & Alerts, you can be the first to hear about a certain story. This requires a lot of time and patience to find a story that you have an opinion on, as well as being the first to discuss it. Write on your personal opinion about the piece and be the first to share it. With time, your readers will come to rely on your blog as the place to go to hear about the news first, and will spread the word about it to their friends.
2. Be creative. Use humor. Be unique.
Anyone can write informative articles, but it takes some creativity to make them funny, interesting and unique. People are more drawn to humor, as it makes whatever they are reading that much more memorable. A great example of this would be The Oatmeal who uses illustrations to tell funny stories. By putting a unique spin on what you’re writing, more people will be attracted to your work and are more likely to share it with other readers.
3. Know your visitors and know when to post.
Look at the stats of your blog and determine when are the peak hours of visitors. This lets you know when your blog is being visited the most. Set up a schedule so that you’re posting during those peak hours.
4. Interact with your readers.
You should try as much as possible not to separate yourself from your blog. Readers want to know that you care about people reading your blog. Respond to comments or highlight certain comments in future blog posts. That way, your readers will be aware that you do pay attention to what they say.
5. Stay in the loop.
Creation of work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’re going to need to read other blogs to stay up-to-date to know what’s current in the news. Review posts from other bloggers and leave comments. Be honest about your opinions without being inflammatory.
6. Find out what people actually like & search for.
Use specific keywords in your Internet searches to determine what is at the top of people’s search lists. By identifying what content types are popular, you’ll be aware of what you should be writing about.
7. Be active with social media.
The only way your information is going to be spread to the rest of the people is if you’re active with how it is disseminated. Social media has made it much easier for people to share links with other people, with the simple click of a button. Participating through these social media will help to bring more attention to the information you’re publishing on the Internet.
8. Find out which social media sites work best for you.
There are several you can use, such as Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and del.icio.us. Check your analytics and see where your traffic comes from. Improve your weaknesses and capitalize on your strengths. By putting buttons on your articles, you can find out which ones are bringing you the most traffic, and you can focus on those.
9. Provide links to older posts at the end of your articles.
This is especially useful if the articles are related to each other, or are part of a series that help solve your readers problems. It will make your blog seem more complete, and will make it much easier for your readers to find similar articles, rather than having to search through the archive of your posts.
10. Interact with your readers. Make them feel appreciated.
Hold surveys or polls that your readers can be involved in and determine what is published on your blog. You could also hold contents and give prizes to those who leave a certain number of comments, or is the nth person to leave comment in your blog. Alternatively, you can have a random drawing of a name of those who leave comments on a certain article. Readers want to fill like their attention to your blog is appreciated, and this can be one of the best ways of doing that.
11. (Bonus!) Make your article and whole blog valuable.
You want to create a resource that readers can use with any problems that they have. Provide useful tips, problem solving strategies, and links to other great resources that they can use to discover more about whatever problem they are having. It can help your readers save a lot of time having to root through the vast number of webpages in order to find what they’re looking for.
A Closing Word
Having your content go viral can be beneficial to bringing more traffic to your blog and garnering more attention to what you’re publishing. However, be aware that that means that there are more eyes on your blog, and it might result in being scrutinized more deeply. Don’t allow any negative light to distract you from what you enjoy doing, as long as other people are also enjoying what you’re putting up on your blog.