Ten Expert Tips for Creating a Viral Article in 2018
Creating an article that goes viral is often the dream of business owners and content marketers everywhere. With just a single piece of content, a viral article is often able to generate more traffic than months or even years of publishing other content.
However, the internet is a fickle beast, and there’s simply no predicting what content will achieve virality. With that said, there are a few things you can do to drastically improve the odds of your content going viral.
If you would like to have your next article shared on social media platforms everywhere, consider following these tips.
Tip #1: Invoke an Emotional Response
People are much more likely to share an article that invokes some sort of emotional response as opposed to one that only presents them with the facts. Think about the articles you see frequently shared. Chances are a large majority of them are either humorous, worrying, or touching in some way. To illustrate this point, consider the fact that the most shared article on the New Yorker’s website in 2015 was one titled “Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans”. It might not be breaking news, but it is humorous, and humorous gets shared.
Tip #2: Lists are More Likely to go Viral
No matter the topic, people love lists. Perhaps it’s the fact that the list format breaks up an article into manageable chunks, or perhaps it taps into our love for structure, organization, and rankings. Whatever the reason, you’ll stand a lot better chance of creating a viral article if you structure it as a list and give it a title that lets people know it’s a list.
One of the more popular articles on this blog, is this one focused on 20 list building tips. People just tend to live articles that are written in an easy to follow list style.
Tip #3: Strive for Originality
With so many content creators continuously churning out new content, it can be difficult to come up with something that is truly original. Nevertheless, if you hope to create an article that will go viral, you need to strive for something that people haven’t already seen a hundred times. One way to do this is to try and stay on top of recent trends and news. If you can be one of the first people covering a new topic or at least approaching it from a new angle, it’ll increase the odds that people find your content interesting enough to share.
At the same time, no matter how original your content might be — you still need to tap into an existing audience. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of #hashtags on social media. To see some of the top hashtags trending right now, be sure to check out this resource.
Tip #4: Create Well-Written Content
No matter what topic you are covering, your content must be well-written in order for people to deem it worthy of sharing. Your prose doesn’t have to sing like Shakespeare’s, but it does need to be engaging and enjoyable to read. If you’re not comfortable in your own ability to write in a way that is a pleasure to read, you may wish to hire a talented freelance writer to craft your article for you.
If this is an option you would like to explore further, you can head over to freelancemyway.com to find a talented freelance writer for hire. Some of the most popular and most-read blogs and content sites in the world today are run by teams, yet most of the content is actually outsourced to different writers around the world.
Tip #5: Don’t Shy Away from Controversy
Controversy scares many content creators. However, keep in mind that there is some truth to the old adage that says “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. The truth is that people love controversial topics. Just be careful not to fly too close to the flame; covering a controversial topic is one thing, but angering your audience for the mere purpose of creating controversy isn’t likely to achieve the results you were hoping for.
Tip #6: Spice Up Your Content With Visuals
Just because you are creating an article doesn’t mean that written words are the only medium you have to work with – studies show that articles which incorporate visual content such as images, infographics, and imbedded video are more likely to go viral than articles that are comprised of nothing but text.
Everyone knows visuals are preferred heavily over text these days. Just take a look at the massive drop in desktop and search usage. Now it’s all about video and grabbing the interest of your audience as soon as possible. If you want to spice of your content and improve the chances of going viral, be sure to include images and video wherever possible.
Tip #7: Consider Influencer Marketing
Many times, what causes an article to go viral isn’t how interesting the article is but how interesting the person who shares it is. A single share from an influencer who has a multitude of followers is often the shot of rocket fuel that boosts an article into virality. Of course, getting influencers to share your article is often easier said than done unless you have the right connections. However, many influencers are now selling their article-sharing services.
If you can afford the price tag and have crafted an article that is worth investing in, you may want to consider paying an influencer in your field to share it on their social media profiles. For anyone that doesn’t have a budget for this type of advertising, be sure to consider your options with expert roundups. These take a decent amount of time, but definitely are still one of the best ways to create content that gets massive shares and attention.
Tip #8: Publish Your Content on Tuesday
There isn’t much underlying logic as to why an article that is published on Tuesday is more likely to go viral, but studies show that more content is shared on Tuesday than any other day of the week. In fact, according to one study, articles published on Tuesday received over twice as many shares as articles published on Saturday or Sunday.
While other days of the week such as Monday and Thursday were closer in terms of shares, articles published on any other day besides Tuesday still see considerably fewer total shares.
Tip #9: Craft Engaging Headlines
Your headlines are the bait that lures readers in. If that bait isn’t enticing, they’ll likely pass by your article without so much as a glance. In fact, many people will share an article based only on its headline without even taking the time to fully read the article for themselves. When creating your headlines, your goals should be to inspire curiosity, promise value, and clearly communicate the content of the article itself.
If you can make people feel as if they are missing out on something by not clicking on your article, they’ll be a lot more likely to give it a look. Also, be sure to take advantage of current events and already trending topics. For a list of even more ideas, but sure to check out this infographic on creating engaging titles.
Tip #10: Create Opinionated Content
Think about the reason why people post things on their social media accounts. Most of the time, their goal is to communicate something about themselves to their friends and followers. That could be an update about what they’ve been doing, their feelings about a specific topic, or anything in-between. This concept not only applies to the posts that people write themselves, but also the content that they share. Sharing an opinionated article allows people to demonstrate how they feel about a certain topic. For example, a person will be more likely to share an opinion piece about net neutrality to show where they stand on the issue than they are to share an article that simply defines and describes what net neutrality is.
If you can craft content that gives people the opportunity to use that content as a platform to demonstrate how they believe and feel, it’ll be more likely to be shared.
How to Improve Your Content Creation and Marketing Efforts
There is no exact science to creating a viral article. Sometimes, the most random articles are shared across the internet while those that were meticulously crafted to encourage shares disappear into obscurity. With that said, if you follow a few simple tips, you’ll be a lot more likely to achieve a viral article and all of the value that it brings with it. The next time you sit down to craft a new piece of content for you blog, keep these tips in mind and your article may just be the internet’s next big thing.
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