Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Hands up if you want your next blog post to go viral? Chances are, everyone has his or her hand up, am I right? Are there secrets to create viral blog content? Is is something you can learn to do or is it something only available to the upper echelons of bloggers? I believe that anyone can create viral blog content. It takes planning and forethought, but it can be done.
In order to have content go viral you need… drum roll, please… CONTENT! How can you keep your blog funnel full? By generating blog ideas on a continual basis. What can you do to generate blog ideas? Here are a few tips:
- Don’t take a chance on losing a great idea. Keep a notebook and a pen with you. Get accustomed to capturing your ideas in your smart phone. Inspiration will knock on your door — typically at the most inconvenient moments — when you’re bathing your dog, when you’re in the bathroom or stuck in traffic or in the middle of a board meeting. Don’t rely on your memory to capture these thoughts, keep an idea notebook handy.
- Stay connected with people in your industry and listen to what they are talking about. Are many of them facing the same issues? What can you do to address those pain points? Capture that information, form a solution and then blog about it!
- Follow conversations on social media, set up Google alerts on topics of interest to you and your blogging and your readership. Use those conversations or alerts as jumping off points for the potential for a viral blog post!
Don’t be afraid to go long. No, that isn’t a football reference. It means that if you have a topic that requires a long blog post, then write a long blog post. If you don’t want to post something that is 1,000 or 2,000 words long, then break that long topic into a series. It’s been shown that readers are now looking for longer posts with more relevant content. In the past readers appeared to want short posts they could read in a quick three minute sitting.
Your blog post title should take you as long to write (or perhaps longer) than the actual blog post itself. Why? Because it is the title that will draw the reader in and it is the title that will show up in a Google search. Craft your title in such a way that you are searchable and intriguing. Don’t write: “How to write a great post” instead write, “Secrets to crafting a highly searchable blog post” Give more information. Make it intriguing. Let the reader know what he or she will be getting from your content. Spend time Googling your proposed headline. Chances are you will find something similar online, but look where your proposed title ranks. Are you on one of the first pages with the words you’re putting in your headline? If so, this means that you have come up with words that readers are intuitively searching for. Businessman David Ogilvy says, “Five times as many people read the headline as the body copy…” Fascinating. A great reminder to craft a killer headline.
Don’t publish your post without editing and proofreading it. I suggest writing a post on one day and letting it sit for a day or at least for a few hours then go back and reread it. It is sometimes amazing the silly errors you will find. I also am an advocate of printing out longer pieces of work and reading them on paper rather than a computer screen. A change of medium may highlight errors that might have otherwise been missed. If you still don’t trust yourself to publish clean prose — find an accountability partner and work with him or her to trade editing/proofreading services.
Your blog post cannot exist in a vacuum. What does that mean? It means you need to shout it to the universe that you have just published a blog post! Share it on your social media pages. Share it in your client newsletter. Tell your business colleagues that you’ve written a post and ask them to share and/or comment on what you’ve written. Without promotion and sharing, you are writing a blog post that simply may get lost in the clutter of online chatter.
Without promotion you won’t have a blog post that has the potential to go viral! What do you do when you need to come up with blog content and how much time do you spend on your title?