So you’ve been dreaming of going viral?
No judgment here, it’s every blogger’s dream.
We’ve all, at some point, looked longingly at the “10k shares” sitting intimidatingly at the top of our favorite bloggers’ blog posts and thought “when will that be me?”.
You know, an ‘expert’ not some wannabe no one wants to listen to.
People share experts’ posts and leave comments like:
“I can’t believe I only just found you”
“wow, can’t wait to see where you are at in 3 years”.
The difference – first = adoration, second = scrutiny and observation.
Guess what else people do to experts? They buy from them!
I mean that’s the whole point of starting a blog right? Getting people all lined up with itching hands and open pockets, ready to buy whatever you sell.
But there’s a lot of blog posts telling people what to do to make their posts go viral but almost none of them address the most fundamental point. How to actually create a post with super viral potential.
So I got together 10 trailblazers who we all admire to literally spill their secrets in this post. I ask them one question, “How do you create blog posts that attract massive shares like yours?” and the answers? Stay with me, there’s gold here.
How To Create Blog Posts That Go Viral
“No one knows exactly what makes a post go viral”. Nope! That is a half truth, maybe even less than a half-truth. There are some distinct qualities that viral posts have. Let’s quickly find out what they are.
- They are searched for
- They are searchable both on pinterest and google
- They are easy to read
- They are actionable
- They overdeliver
- They resonate with your audience
- They put the sharer in good light
- They have great headlines
- And great graphics
- They leverage popular influencers’ networks
So how exactly do you put all this into use? AKA “What exactly do I do?”
1. Write What People Want
Viral posts don’t happen by throwing things to the wall and hoping one sticks. Even if it does happen, you won’t be able to easily replicate the results. Every single one of these experts focus on writing what people want.
The simple plan to follow is Research => Write.
Yes it really is that easy. The problem is that most people skip the research stage and jump right into writing. Or worse, waste valuable time doing ‘research’, except they are doing it wrong.
Arfa Nazeer’s first step in writing a blog post is to research. Let’s see what it means to her.
“Before you write a new post, do extensive research for finding a great topic.
Identify the CURRENT major problems, issues or idea your audience is interested in reading. Survey your audience. Use social media to find out what people enjoy reading. Look out in communities for the biggest problems of people in your niche. Conduct Instagram polls, and ask questions in Facebook groups.
Importantly, do keyword research and use Google trends to find out what’s current.” Arfa –epife.com
Sherri of Italian Polish Momma tells you to literally get in their head.
“Write what people are searching answers for. For instance, I try and write about all of the things I googled when I was pregnant for the first time. I also try to write about the millions of issues I had as a new mom breastfeeding and had zero help!
Readers come to Google and Pinterest to find answers for the their questions and get ideas for things they’re interested in. Coming up with informative posts that answers these questions are what makes posts shareable.” Sherri – ItalianPolishMomma
While Claudia of YoungMommyBlog simply asks
“In order to create content that attracts lots of shares I try my best to give my readers what they are looking for & are interested in. Emailing them & asking them what problem you can help them solve is a great way of finding this out.” Claudia –YoungMommyBlog
2. Focus On One Problem At A Time
Have you ever read a blog post that left you confused or overwhelmed (and not in a good way). It feels like you are being pulled in many different directions the most familiar of which is the close button :). That’s what happens when you try to write a blog post that solves TOO MUCH without a clear direction.
Ana’s blog posts attract thousands of repins and she says:
“To create potential mini viral posts, you need to focus on the main takeaway that each and every blog post you publish has. Your articles need to have a clear focus, be aimed at solving a very specific problem and they need to speak to your ideal reader right away.
If one of your blog posts has two or more major takeaways, than you need to create two or more blog posts instead. It’s that simple.”
Ana – The She Approach
3. Be Helpful
Hey blogger woman! Let me say this to you right now, if your blog is not being helpful to anyone, you are taking up useful internet space. Turn that around.
Focus on the reader, the “What‘s in it for me” factor. It could be your story but what is the takeaway for your reader.
And some people don’t realize this but it’s not just about the content, the presentation matters too! Make it super easy for your post to be consumed.
The key to getting maximum shares is to write an outstanding post with additional resources, and a major takeaway. Make it a high-quality post that people would love to share, bookmark, and even give a link back. Add details that your reader will probably not find somewhere else. Think of all the questions your audience will have before they come to your site. This simple exercise will force you to give an extra hour so that your post turns out great.
Make different headings and subheadings to define your content, and make it easily readable for your audience.
Bonus tip: Spend another hour to make your post well-informed.
Arfa – epife.com
“Always give quality content. Quality over quantity always!” – Claudia YoungMommyBlog
4. Make It Resonate
I’ll just leave Elna to say everything here.
“The content you create as a blogger must resonate with your audience. So, the first step is understanding who your audience is and then figuring out what they want.
Usually, you want to tackle pain points and challenges so that your blog posts becomes their resource to finding the answers.
For example, if your blog is a health blog for new moms, challenges this audience may face might be:
How to fit exercise with a newborn
Finding quick and healthy recipes
Easy ways to create freezer meals
By diving into your audience’s problems, you can create blog posts to help them.
The next step involves your writing. From your headline to the subtopics to how you end your post, it all attracts readership.
So, craft an engaging headline that speaks to your audience, engage with your readers by asking questions and giving examples and always end your blog post with a way for your audience to interact. For example, to get them to sign up to your email list.”
– Elna Cain TwinsMommy
Elna gets tons of comments on her blog posts and she also has a great post that gives you tips on crafting blog posts for blog comments.
5. Make It Transformational
Along with creating a useful post, your post also has to have the transformational effect. You want them to think “Where has this been all along!”. They don’t just share you, they remember you. This is easily one of my favorite tips in this post.
“I think the biggest driver of getting shares on a post is that you solve a problem for your reader. If they can experience a transformation from your post and helps them in a big way they are more likely to organically share with their friends or save it to refer back to on Pinterest. If you write with your reader in mind and make your post as helpful as possible shares happen naturally. “ Mckinzie –Moms Make Cents
6. Think About Their Reputation
Brittany said in her post on smartblogger “What could you create that might make those who shared it look good to their peers?“
In the same vein, Suzi says:
“To create content that gets massive amounts of shares, you have to think about the reader. Why would they want to share this? What would their friends think of them if they share this? If the piece of content puts them in a good light with others, they’ll be more likely to hit that share button.
That tips works super well on Facebook.”
Suzi – Start A Mom Blog
And think about it, when was the last time you shared something without thinking “What will Aunt Macy think?”.
7. Promote The Heck Out Of It
Now I know all other posts tell you promote, promote, promote!!! Ofcourse you want to, but how do you actually do it.
“Obviously Pinterest is my jam so I think my strategy, is to write a post that hits a critical pain point that my readers can connect to. Then I work hard to create a terrific pin for it. Once I have the pin or even several pins, I am very intentional about setting that pin up with a great SEO-friendly description. Then I pin it strategically to my own boards and group boards that are a great fit for that topic. Here is an example of one of my recent pins – How to Easily Grow your Instagram Following. I will probably share that pin to a dozen group boards over the next week and keep cycling it through to build the traffic I want to that post. – Adrian Help for new bloggers
I create at least one pinnable image for each post, use a click to tweet plugin to embed tweets directly in my content and include easy share buttons at the bottom of my posts.” Nicole The Professional Mom Project
Arfa says “follow a content marketing plan
If you’re not marketing your content, you’re going nowhere. As soon as your new post gets published, promote it. There are so many ways through you can market a single post. If possible, make use of all those tactics and see how people would response to your post. – Arfa Epife.com
7. Use Graphics Liberally
It’s no news that blog posts with images get shared more than those without. One theory is that the visual content makes the post easier to consume therefore making it more impactful. On platforms like pinterest, it’s not just any graphic, it’s really great graphics that count. I know because I got 1k repins from only 5 blog posts in my very first week with this blog using great pins. Get free ones here.
Pictures are so important when it comes to Pinterest so be sure to make pins with readable text and great quality photos to make your pins click worthy! Sherri – Italian Polish Momma
8. Ask Them To Share
Hey you spent the whole day just creating that super helpful post, you’ve earned every right to ask for a share! In fact, you’ll find that your readers may be very happy to do something to help you create even more awesome posts.
A little call to action at the end (such as “Please share if this was helpful.”) never hurts!” Ana – The She Approach
9. Leverage Your Competition
This is one sure way to get massive amounts of shares. Adrian’s pins are frequently trending on pinterest so when she speaks about getting shares, you should listen.
It’s a good idea to do some searches on various issues or topics to see what types of results come up most often. If a lot of people are posting about how to grow their Instagram following, then that’s certainly a good pain point to write about. It also gives you a good idea of what key words and types of responses are already proving successful in your given niche. That”s how I do it.
It’s always smart to see the the leaders in your field are writing about and see how you can use that to your advantage and put your own spin on it. “ Adrian – Help For New Bloggers
“Especially in the beginning when you don’t yet have a huge audience, write posts that influencers will be willing to share. Posts that cater to both your audience and your favorite bloggers then let them know that you’ve linked to them. It’s amazing what a repin or tweet by a bigger blogger can do for your blog.” – Lily FindingBalance.Mom (That’s me!)
10. Be Authentic
Nicole puts this so well. She says:
“Put together well written content that is authentic and easy for people to relate to. I find showing your true personality helps as well. A few of my most often shared posts are about problems that other mom bloggers face all the time. For example, my post about all the things I hate about blogging is often shared across Pinterest and Twitter because it’s authentic and entertaining. Since my readers can relate to what I’m writing about, they are more likely to agree and then share the post. I also try to make it easy to share my posts.
Nicole The Professional Mom Project
Always, add your own opinion, and experience as readers want to know what YOU think/recommend. – Arfa Epife.com
This is probably one of the most important things to do, create kickass headlines. Your headline should be
- Positive – No one wants to read a sad story
- Clickbaity – Yes your headlines should scream ‘Click me!’ but your content should match up
- Clear – You have probably less than one second to make an impression. Choose clear over clever
- Make it’s sharer look good – No one wants to share a story with a headline like “How to get rid of your flabby boobs” but “10 Things People With Perky Boobs Do Daily” will garner a better response.
So there you have it! Now you have a clear advantage other bloggers do not have. But, sometimes even when you feel that you’ve done everything, things still go wrong so I couldn’t find a better way to end this post than with Sherri’s final tip.
“Be thankful for every reader you have! Even the small numbers in the beginning! Look at your analytics and see what posts your readers are loving and then keep writing posts like that! Never give up and stay away from those negative people that think making money blogging is a pipe dream! Show them they are so wrong! :)”
Because in the end, all that matters is that you are doing something you truly love.
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Freelance writer, graphic designer and mother. Lily helps young moms who are eager to break into the online business world quickly build online empires of their own. Her motto is “Do smarter, have all”.