Everyone wants to make a viral post
How to make a post go viral or make a viral post, that is the question that many bloggers have. You’re here because you want to learn what are the “must haves” to make viral posts. I’m sure you don’t want just one post to go viral but all your posts.
According to Merriam-Webster (2020) viral means to quickly and widely spread or popularized especially by means of a social media viral video.
This definition that will serve as the basis for discussing the word viral or using the phrase ‘go viral’ throughout this post.
Mateo went viral just with 2 words: Listen Linda!
As bloggers we want our content read, shared, pinned, tweeted, liked, and simply saved. But how do we go about getting our blog on everyone’s screen or device? Do we pay for promotion, advertising, or traffic? Should I just optimize my blog/website for organic traffic, even though we never really know exactly how Google configures its algorithms (no matter how good at statistics we are)? What is the best approach?
How does one go viral?
The first thing I will mention is and to me it’s pretty obvious, there is no “Ultimate Way” to make a post go viral. Think about how many posts or YouTube videos claim to unveil the secret to accomplishing this. It’s kind of like that author who wrote a best seller that they were doubtful about the whole time or their publisher was hesitant to publish. And it unexpectedly become a best seller.
Research to go viral
Although I previously mentioned there is no ultimate way to accomplish going viral from your blog, I have decided to research some of the most popular blogs on viral posts. Unfortunately, I need time to conduct that research and analyze the data. So, this will all be released in a future post. With that said, the ultimate way to write a post that will go viral is in my opinion to do your research. You want to be viral, do the research!
Will research help your posts?
Doing research to go viral was hinted at in a post by ConvertKit discussing the suggestion to “Curate Content.”
If you already know what you audience is searching for on the Internet, a great way to wrangle them in is to write a blog that has everything they want in one easy-to-read space.-ConvertKit.com
Now you may note that the brief quote above from ConvertKit.com never mentions the word research, but rather advises you to think about what your readers are searching for and write about that on your blog. These are more geared towards keywords and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Do preliminary research for improved content
Aside from the advice from Convertkit, I am advising that you do research on the content your are talking about. This allows you to write really informed posts that are relevant, current, and backed by research. There is nothing wrong with throwing out your opinion however, you can strengthen your argument by providing a source that is in alignment with your opinion. Using research adds to your credibility and it adds additional value to your posts.
Moving forward, doing research informs you as the writer and positions you to better be able to inform your audience, the readers.
Think about it, those of us using Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Mix.com, etc. to circulate our posts. We have to admit that at one point we did a little research and in fact we learned that these are great ways to drive traffic to your blog and increase the chances we have to make a post go viral.
We know better than believing Content is King
There is a saying that has been around since like the mid 2000s, “Content is King.” I believe research is King and it has always hidden behind Content. Research is the hard work that you do and Content is the final product. Your audience doesn’t see your research, they see the content. It’s kind of like in sports, the untrained eye doesn’t see the coach, they see the athlete.
If this post was research study with participants, my readers would read the description I give regarding the methodology or the methods used to collect and analyze the data. I digress, let’s go back to our example with a viral blog post. You do research before you write, you might research for a quote, a chart, and some other unique facts. Right in line with research comes the idea of rewriting previously written posts.
A lot of successful bloggers discuss making revisions to rewritten posts. This reminds me of the stories of successful inventions. You barely hear about the thousands of failed trials, what you do hear about is the success. In this vein, it is like the work behind the scenes, the research and in the quest for going viral, the work that is viewed is the viral content.
Research is King
Brittany Bullen in her article titled THE SECRET SAUCE THAT MADE THESE 7 BLOG POSTS GO VIRAL, cited a powerful post by Derek Halpern of SocialTriggers.com. That post was titled THE “CONTENT IS KING” MYTH DEBUNKED (Halpern, 2011). If we think Content is King we should think again!
Moving forward, as I read Bullen’s posts I was very excited to see that she agreed with my thought on the significance of research being King. And this sense of research being king is what will really make a post go viral. She said, Halpern’s post wasn’t just a contrasting view; it stole the spotlight by using academic research to prove a contrasting point. Again, as I have said Research is King and apparently it always has been.
I will conclude by saying as I did preliminary research on how to go viral with blog posts, I consistently noticed lots of misspellings. As someone who once thrived on SEO, I know that some writers intentionally misspell words and use those as targeted keywords to increase their traffic. But let’s be honest we have all read a book with typos. When the content is engaging we disregard the typos and keep going. I’m assuming the same holds true for the misspelled words in viral blog posts.
To make a post go viral
If your goal is to make a post go viral, you should write each post with this intent in mind. Coach Stowers used to tell us, play every play like it’s your last. Essentially, if you never played again, then you know you played that last play as best as you could. Write every post, with the intent of it going viral.
Once you have gone viral, what will you do next? I always advise people no matter what it is you are doing, think about what you can maintain. If you write a viral post, what are you going to do next to honor your readers?
Maintain your activity level on your blog
Can you put out more viral content? Do you know how to rewrite some older posts and use the sauce to make a post go viral again and again? You better, continue with exceptional content! Don’t be a 1 post wonder. In the words of Lil Baby, “my biggest fear is being a used to be”. As you prepare potentially viral content, ask yourself what will my legacy be. Will people say, I remember him, he wrote 1 viral post.
Often times when I write content, I don’t want to stop. I always feel that I am one sentence away from going viral or one sentence away from a huge explosion of traffic to my blog. This motivates me to keep writing. Every post I write is my best post. I continue to write subsequent posts with the idea of writing a better post than my last post. It’s never all about me when I write, it is all about my readers. When I coach people on writing (I take my own advice as well), I tell them to write their content in a way that answers all of their readers’ questions.
No Secret Sauce
With that said, is there a true secret sauce to going viral? No, but there are things that can be done to increase one’s chances such as sustained hard work. As I look at bloggers writing about how to make a post go viral, they work long hours 60+ weekly. And some have small teams (1-2 people). The common variable though is hard work.
3 Must Haves
During my doctoral research proposal, a member of my committee said, “I was a little disappointed. I thought this was going to be something that prepared us to go on Oprah.” Honestly, I wasn’t offended because Oprah didn’t have her Oprah Show that aired on WFSB 3 anymore, she had the OWN network. So, he was wrong on many levels. But more importantly, I rewrote my content with not only Oprah in mind but my audience in mind. The 3 ingredients from the go viral recipe that you should “cook with,” are research, hard work, and keeping your audience in mind.
In conclusion, write every post so it is better than your last post. Above all, do your research on the content you are writing about plan to promote your content like nobody’s business. Not even the experts have identified a single ingredient that is the end all be all to make a post go viral. So, write every post with the intent of achieving that ultimate goal of going viral! And don’t be surprise when it happens, expect it!
Bullen, B. (2019). THE SECRET SAUCE THAT MADE THESE 7 BLOG POSTS GO VIRAL
Retrieved from https://smartblogger.com/go-viral/
ConvertKit.com. (n.d.). How to Make Your Next Blog Go Viral.
Retrieved from How to Make Your Next Blog Go Viral
Halpern, D. (2011). THE “CONTENT IS KING” MYTH DEBUNKED.
Retrieved from https://socialtriggers.com/content-is-king-myth/
Jasmine. (2018). 7 Hidden Secrets to Writing Viral Blog Posts.
Retrieved from https://www.shoutmeloud.com/secrets-to-writing-viral-blog-posts.html