3 Secrets To Writing Blog Posts That Go Viral

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Would You Like to Write Blog Posts That Go Viral?

Do you want to attract thousands of readers and keep them coming back for more?

Do you want to write posts that you know will go viral, even before you publish them?

Of course you do – and you can!

 

Let’s define what a viral blog post means

 

It’s the holy grail of blog writing – the type of post that takes off because everyone is talking about it and wants to share it.

Unfortunately, most people define viral by some crazy number in the millions because of highly publicized music and prank videos. But doing so makes going viral not only unrealistic, but nearly impossible for written blog content. You already know you’ll never reach those numbers, even with the best blog post ever. So it’s important to define what going viral means to you.

For me, a viral blog post is one that has an extremely high number of shares compared to the number of shares for your average post. For example, if your average post gets shared 10 – 20 times on Facebook, then viral might mean 200 Facebook shares and up. For another blogger, it may mean more than 500, while for some, the magic number might be 10,000.

 

But writing a blog post that goes viral is just luck, right?

 

Right – until it’s not.

A while ago I told a fellow blogger that my blog post of the following day would go viral. I already knew.  No doubt about it. And it did, exceeding even my expectations. This wasn’t a one-off event. I’ve written several blog posts that have gone viral.

And you can too!

One of the reasons bloggers strive in vain for success is that they’ve either skipped or do not know the 3 fundamentals of blog post writing.

 

1. Know your niche

 

The first secret is to have a blog in a specific niche. The more specific your niche, the easier it is to create content that is written for your readers.

Many fledgling blogs publish posts on a wide range of topics, without focusing on any one. The problem with this is that each post may appeal to only a fraction of the blog’s readers. This reduces the potential for content to spread. Worse, if readers are uninterested in the ever-changing topics, they’ll stop reading altogether.

 

Become an expert in your niche.

You’ve probably heard that if you write a blog, you’ll be considered an expert in that field. This isn’t always true.  If you don’t know your subject well enough, readers will sense it. The sad part is they may never let you know; they’ll simply not come back, and certainly won’t share your work.

 

Stay on top of industry news and trends.

Whatever your niche, be sure to know it thoroughly. Research it, read other blogs on the same topic, and stay up-to-date on related news.

If your blog is about pool-billiards, you may want to share news about upcoming events. An easy way to stay updated is to set up Google news alerts with keywords such as “Billiards” and “Pool”. Google will then send the relevant articles to your inbox.

When you know your niche well, you’ll be able to write content that matters to your readers, and they’ll see you as an expert, a go-to person in your niche.

 

2. Know your community

 

Let’s say you know your subject matter in and out, but your content is still not spreading. The next step is to get to know the community within your niche.

Find out where your ideal readers hang out online. Visit the most popular blogs in your niche. Read everything that’s discussed in the comments, especially for the most popular topics. Get involved by providing helpful input on other blogs’ comment sections, without mentioning your blog.

The more involved you are, the more likely it is that fellow commenters will click your name and discover your blog.

As you get to know your community better, you’ll be able to tailor content to them. You’ll learn what makes them laugh, what makes them cry, what makes them angry, happy etc.

 

Above all, you will learn what makes your readers want to share content. 

If you know why your community shares certain content, you can frame your posts to pique their interest and (almost) compel them to share it.

Mostly, you’ll discover that readers share content that relates directly to them, inspires and motivates them, and makes them feel better about themselves. Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that readers are more likely to share content about people who are dealing with the specific challenges they face, and are finding unique ways to be happy and succeed despite their obstacles.

When you discover content that is spreading, look for the common denominators. Are the posts funny, serious, or about certain situations or lifestyles? Make a list of what readers are sharing the most, because that’s what they enjoy reading.

 

This by no means selling out!

It means you know and understand your community. They’ll share your content because you get them. There is no greater compliment to your readers than to let them know you understand and appreciate them, and you can do that simply by writing content the way they want it.

But remember: this will happen only if you are an active member of your community.

 

3. Know your world view

 

Everyone has a world view; it is the most important aspect of blog writing.

I describe world view as the way we see things, and what we believe about those things. It’s your personal spin – your opinion, if you will.

Your world view sets you apart from everyone else. It will attract readers to your blog and keep them coming back or, heaven forbid, it can be the reason readers reject your blog. The odds are you already know what your world view is.

 

But do you know how to express your world view in a way that readers will relate to and appreciate?

Unfortunately, not everyone realizes how their world view affects others. If a writer tends to rub people the wrong way, it’s mostly because of how he presents his world view.

For example, you may believe that the sky is green while everyone else believes it’s blue, and you share your view in such a way as to discredit others’ belief. This often happens by accident because the author did not know how his view would affect others.

“The sky is not blue, it’s green. Anyone who thinks it’s blue is an idiot.” Yikes!

Know the difference between your view and that of others. You could modify your point to be thought-provoking by writing something like: “The sky looks blue, but what if it is really green?”. And then clarify why. This way you’re not discrediting anyone’s beliefs, and others will be willing to consider your view.

By sharing your world view in this way, you will come across as understanding and considerate – this is what makes you likeable and your content more likely to go viral. The more people see aspects of their beliefs in your writing, the more they will share your posts.

 

Niche + Community + Inclusive world view

 

If you look under the hood of a successful blog post, you will discover that the author knew her niche and her community well. By sharing an inclusive world view, she made her opinion matter to her readers.

In the post How to Write Better: 7 Instant Fixes by Mary Jaksch, you realize right away that she knows who she is writing for.

Write to Done’s niche is writing.  Right at the beginning, Mary shares her world view by describing how people worry about whether their writing is good enough. She effortlessly includes us by adding: “I can see you nodding your head. You are not alone. Every writer has doubts about his or her writing.” And we do.

Readers relate to the post so strongly that they feel compelled to share it, making it one of the most popular posts on the blog.

Mary provides 7 fixes which are practical, and – well, instant. The blog post currently has over 100 comments and went viral via StumbleUpon with over 200,000 shares!

 

Additional strategies to encourage readers to share your posts

 

  • Have obvious sharing buttons on your posts to all the major social networks. I’m surprised how often this is overlooked, especially when simple plugins like sharethis and sharebar are available.
  • Share your content within your community on social networks. Remember: it’s considered bad manners to share your own content in unrelated groups; they may even ban you for it.
  • If you’re writing about hot topics in the news, ensure you write a compelling blog post. Exciting news is often highly shareable, but make sure you are timely – news becomes old fast. Put your personal spin on it and how it affects your readers. Google alerts will help you keep up and stay on top of niche news that might not make front page headlines.

 

I’d like to wish you luck, but you won’t need it. Applying the 3 secrets will help you attract the readers you want and deserve. You’ll be on your way to writing posts that are highly shareable with the potential to go viral, but more importantly, you’ll be writing content that matters to you and your readers.

Have you written posts that have gone viral? What sharing strategies do you use? Share in the comments.

 

About the author:

Bryan Hutchinson keeps writers inspired and motivated on Positive Writer. Download his popular free eBook “Good Enough” when you visit his blog.

Image: Match lighting a fire courtesy of Bigstockphoto.com

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55 Responses to “3 Secrets To Writing Blog Posts That Go Viral”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Amber says:

    This is a great article with easy to implement ideas! Thanks! :)
    Amber recently posted..If you’re a blogger, you need to read this!My Profile

  2. Thanks, Amber. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Hi Bryan Hutchinson,
    This really help me in making my blog to go viral with writing viral blog post. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    Muhammad saleem recently posted..5 Awesome Tips of Social Media Marketing for your BlogMy Profile

  4. John Smith says:

    Hi Bryan, Informative and motivational post. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, you have made this article motivation by using “viral blog post” in your article.It definitely going to give an aim to a blog or article writer before writing and i completely agree with your point of research as it is the most vital part of the writing task especially when we are writing a blog, because it has a wider audience and there is a lots of stuff already there which makes the environment more competitive.
    John Smith recently posted..Important Ethics in Internet MarketingMy Profile

  5. Bryan,

    Good post Bryan. Practical tips. I have often wondered what makes one post go viral while another doesn’t.

    I never get to have my recent posts show up. It says a feed can not be found with http://www.annepeterson.com

    but I don’t know why.

  6. Drew says:

    Loved seeing Tip #1. I was writing about everything and just recently started a new blog to focus only on my concert and music reviews. But because of the URL changes I now have to start from scratch however your article convinced me more than ever I made the right decision. Thanks!

  7. Hey Drew, there’s nothing wrong with starting from scratch. I’ve had to do it too. It’s a good idea to narrow the focus so readers know what to expect. Good luck with your new blog!
    Bryan Hutchinson recently posted..BIGGEST Mistake Some Bloggers Make and Steps to Correct It (or Avoid It)My Profile

  8. Dan Erickson says:

    Great insights here. I have been blogging almost two years and will continue to reach for that magic. I know the formula and practice my own unique style of blogging. It’s just a matter of time. Thanks for the solid tips and reminders.
    Dan Erickson recently posted..one week until my new series: crushedMy Profile

  9. “This way you’re not discrediting anyone’s beliefs, and others will be willing to consider your view.”

    That’s a good tip that will allow controversial content without alienating readers.

  10. Nicole says:

    Great post! As a new blogger, I’m grateful for the advice.
    Nicole recently posted..My First Impostor CronutMy Profile

  11. Hey Bryan. Thanks. Again.

    I have been teetering on whether or not I have found my niche. Maybe that is because I started writing articles on other subjects to guest post.

    Writing other subjects made me wonder how the heck do I make the new abolition movement fun to read about?

    It is hard. But not impossible. I need to scout out ALL the stuff written in my field and then do that other stuff you said, follow the comments etc.

    Thank you for the coaching. I needed that.

  12. Some subjects are more challenging than others, but yes, it’s also important to keep your guest posts focused within your niche, because if visitors come to your blog and find something completely different they may think they are in the wrong place and/or they are not the readers who would be interested in your subject matter. So guest posting is great, just make sure you guest post in the places where your audience hangs out. Keep moving forward. :)
    Bryan Hutchinson recently posted..4 Lessons Distance Running Can Teach You About WritingMy Profile

  13. A very useful post and I really enjoyed reading this. I am an author and quite new to blogging, so finding my feet. Although I realise the importance of writing well-researched and good blog content, I think it’s also important to write from the heart, as if you spot insincerity in some blogs or they appearvcontrived it’s a huge turn off. I’m finding there are so many factors to think of and balance out when blogging!

    http://www.nppostlethwaite.com
    N P Postlethwaite recently posted..Delicious Wedding Food in the Cumbrian Hills, and a Wedding Party on WheelsMy Profile

  14. So true, N P, there are several factors involved in finding the right balance to create a successful blog. I also agree that it is best to write about something that your heart is into and you have a deep interest in. The more experience you have within your niche the better.
    Bryan Hutchinson recently posted..4 Lessons Distance Running Can Teach You About WritingMy Profile

  15. Skillbites says:

    Very true! Indeed, creating the most compelling that would go viral blog could entail serious methods. Say for instance, you need to be the master of that field. You must be natural. Your readers will just give you a thumb up, quick share and WOM. Then, you can go viral. It sounds too easy right? .. until it’s not… :D
    Skillbites recently posted..180 Rule Business DevelopmentMy Profile

  16. Christina says:

    And if they do own a horse, it’s doubtful they take the animal out on snow days. Experiment with a tight wrap with string, and loosely wrapping the wire with string allowing wire to be unwrapped in places. If the property is decorated with a patch of fake snow beneath the show, and white icicle lights all around the doorway of the home, then the garden can seem festive whilst getting entertaining and tasteful.

  17. Debbie says:

    Very good advice about knowing your niche and what is being written on other blogs on the same topics! Also, engage with other blogs that are relevant to yours by commenting or sharing the posts if the content is of quality.

  18. Thanks, Debbie! It looks like you’ve found a great niche about fishing! Loved the picture of you on the pier as a kid, and your story. Have you ever thought about getting a self-hosted site? I ask because it’s inexpensive and you have several popups on your current site that might be too much for readers. By the way B’ASS Fisherwomen is a great, catchy title, too!

  19. Sonu says:

    Interesting post i will defiantly try it

  20. Erika says:

    Wow, Bryan. Once again, something I needed to read!

  21. Dan Meyers says:

    I like most of your points but don’t totally agree with the “softening aspect” of point number three… if you try to appease everyone on your blog, I think you become ineffective… but then again, I haven’t had any posts go viral :)
    Dan Meyers recently posted..You can see the Great Wall from space?!My Profile

  22. Hi Dan,

    I get what you are saying, but the goal isn’t to appease everyone. The goal is to get to know your audience as best you can. They are reading what you write for a reason and the odds are they like what you write about. It’s okay to challenge and provide thought provoking content, but it’s best to take into consideration how they might feel about it and not ‘force’ it on them. In other words I am saying avoid “The My Way or the Highway” mentality.

    Hope that helps clarify a little.
    Bryan
    Bryan Hutchinson recently posted..Writing Contests: Win a Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle E-ink and Gift Cards!My Profile

  23. Thank u so much for this! great article im sharing if that’s ok!

  24. money says:

    Really a great post .Thnks a lot it helped me a lot!!!

  25. Yusri Big says:

    While there are many factors that contribute to how search engines ranks a page of our blog, one of the most powerful onsite factors are the words that you use in the title of that page. This means making sure that the titles of our posts end up being in the of our page. Also important for SEO with respect to titles, in the opinion of many, is that our post titles form the basis of our URL structure and that our titles are live links.

  26. I’m very happy to uncover this website. I need to to thank you
    for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every
    bit of it and I have you book-marked to check out new stuff
    on your site.
    google adwords account suspended recently posted..google adwords account suspendedMy Profile

  27. Hi Bryan,

    This article was really a brilliant one from all aspects, no doubt. Your suggestion to go visit where your targeted community hangs out online was the most attracting to me. This will definitely help me know the likes and dislikes of my targeted audience. I have started my own blog last week and I wish to write about varied topics like – product reviews / History / Politics / Software testing (My Niche-as you call it) and IT solutions to common problems.
    But as you emphasized that we have to first find out our NICHE to know our area of expertise, I think I will concentrate on Software testing now. As I’m a certified tester.
    So thanks for this article and your guidance, hope I will be able to attract traffic to my blog in near future !!

    Thank you very much
    Vibhay Chawla recently posted..Micromax LED ReviewMy Profile

  28. EXCELLENT, Bryan. Relevant, expanded carefully to keep us reading – and VERY helpful, btw.

    The best posts, IMHO, are the ones that keep me nodding my head in recognition. This one was a “bobble-head” post for me. Congrats – and THANKS.

    btw “website” above is linked to my article encouraging folks to join ADDERWORLD!

    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore)
    - ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder -
    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC recently posted..But I Don’t WANT to Give Up TASTE!My Profile

  29. Great, Madelyn! :) You’re doing all of these things btw.
    Bryan Hutchinson recently posted..Why Writers are the Most Brutal Critics of other WritersMy Profile

  30. KingKhan says:

    yes, The niche is the secret recipe to have a famous blog. Every new entry is unique and is not competitive.

  31. Great artical ….. it was really brilliant and I like your points and agree with the ‘ Know your community ‘ So thanks for this article and your guidance……. thank u

  32. So thanks for this article and your guidance,

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