Every blogger dreams of writing a viral blog post. Once you have had one, it’s like a drug – you want to write more posts that bring that much traffic and have social media shares that are off the charts.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to wake up to a zillion page views and comments you could never hope to answer?
What exactly is a viral blog post?
The term is very subjective. For some, a viral blog post would mean one that gets 1,000 page views in the first couple days of publishing. Others may think 500 page views is enough to be considered viral. Still other bloggers may want 10,000 page views to the post in order to think it’s a viral hit.
Getting your first viral blog post
The problem is, obtaining a viral blog post is not an absolute science. Once you have a huge readership, you have a much better chance of course. Just put it out there and let your minions spread the word, right?
What about the little bloggers though? How do we give ourselves a good shot at the viral blog post?
11 Tips to Increase the Chances of a Viral Blog Post
1. Pick a solid topic that will make people talk.
The topic has to be interesting, timely, and one that will appeal to many people. If you write too narrow, you are limiting your blog post’s reach. For example, a post that deals with potty training a child (something EVERY parent will experience at least once) has a better chance of being more popular than a post about potty training a ferret.
2. Make sure your topic and keywords are searched regularly.
You will want to do some keyword research before your write your post if you want it to go viral. The phrase you target needs to be one that gets a fair amount of searches each month. Use good SEO tactics to get the post on the first page of Google and other search engines. This, along with social media, will help boost your post into viral status.
3. Keep the posting reasonably short so that people will finish and share.
Avoid a lot of fluff in your epic blog post you are hoping will go viral. It needs to be straight to the point, solving the issue for the reader that is coming to get the information you present. Add images and break up long blocks of text so it’s easier to read as well.
4. Make sure you have no typos or errors.
A blog post with tons of glaring errors will not become very popular. Your grammar doesn’t need to be perfect, but it’s important that you at least proofread your post before publishing. Send it to a friend to read over if you can, or use Grammarly to check for any issues.
5. Add pics and diagrams when possible.
Not only do images help to break up the text of the blog post, they will also help you get your point across to the reader. Illustrate your content as much as you can so it’s easy to understand. Sometimes, it’s the fascinating images that cause a post to go viral.
6. Make it easy to read and use a simple font.
A common, easy to read font is essential if you want a viral blog post. Avoid fancy scripts, even for headlines. Break up your text with subheadings, which help your reader move from one point to another. They also help the search engines determine what your post is about, so they are great for SEO too.
7. Submit to all social media.
You must get the ball rolling on a post if you want its view to skyrocket. Make sure you publish updates on all of your social networks for exposure. Use CoSchedule to schedule updates for the next two months on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Tailwind will help you get the word out on your pins for the post as well.
8. Communicate with your readers on the post and on social media.
Be sure to answer any and all questions and comments about your blog post. This shows you are there for a two-way communication and aren’t simply throwing words out there for people to read. Loyal readers like knowing there is a human behind the posts they are reading, and if you create a connection with your fans, you greatly increase the chances of a viral blog post.
9. Share others work and encourage them to do the same.
Blogging is a lot of “you do mine, I’ll do yours”. In order to get your blog posts shared by more people, share content from your favorite blogs. There are many Facebook groups that make this sharing easy. Participate and give so that you can receive!
10. Link to other posts and also to your own.
Sharing links to back up the claims you make in your blog post increase your authority. They prove you know what you are talking about, so people are more likely to share your helpful posts. Plus, the more you interlink your own posts, the more exposure you give them when someone clicks on any post on your blog.
11. Make your posts easy to share.
Social share buttons are vital on every blog post if you want one to go viral. Social Warfare makes it easy to place buttons at the top and bottom of each post on your blog. With this WordPress plugin, you can also specify which image will be used when a reader shares to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.
You can do all of these things and more and still not guarantee a viral blog post. The best you can do is follow a pattern and routine of good practices and set yourself up for success. If you do this, sooner or later you will hit a big one.