We had a blast at our last meeting! I’d had this blog post “Lessons From Blog Posts That Went Viral” in my back pocket for a while. At our April 14th meeting, I pulled it out of said pocket and presented it to the group. Much discussion ensued and it was a vibrant learning experience!
Here are the director’s takeaways from the Went Viral post:
Create a surprising angle on a subject and do the same for the title.
One way to do this is to use the negative version of your topic in the title and body of your post. So, let’s say your message is. “Ten Things to Remember When Working with a Real Estate Agent.” Instead say, “Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Working with a Real-Estate Agent.” (TY Jan Parrish).If you want to try this technique, just reverse everything. For instance, if I’d written this blog a “reversed” post, I would have titled it “How NOT to Write a Viral Blog Post.” Then, I’d have taken each point and reversed it. Next, I would have added the word Stop, or Never, or DO NOT at the beginning of each main point.
Tell personal stories. People love stories and anecdotes. Emotional stories about things you’ve experienced that illustrate your point are gold.
Tie your topic to current news. This seems hard at first, but after you practice, it really isn’t. Not all stories will lend themselves to this, but try it with all of them if you can. For instance, when Jan was working for an online paper, she tied her topic (something spiritual) to current breaking news about Tim Tebow. When she did this, she got thousands of hits in a very short time..
Advertisements do this all the time Let’s say there’s anticipation for a boxing match. It’s all over the news. An advertiser might say, “It’s Muhammad Ali versus Mighty Mouse and no one knows who’ll win, but here at Mattress King, our competition is knocked out by our prices!
And the anniversary of big news works almost as well as current news. I recently promoted an old post because it reviews a novel set on the Titanic. It was the anniversary of the sinking, and when I posted the link to social media, I was unprepared for the overwhelming response. My hits for two days went up 400%!!
To do this, I look up “Google trends.” You’ll find all the top things people are searching for and related news links. People search for these items because they are HOT. Use that to your advantage!
Use various visual tricks to add interest—subheadings, bullet points and/or numbers (lists), bold type, italics,and spacing create visual interest and break up blocks of type. These devices help people remain interested and finish your post.
Create uplifting and beneficial content. Downer blog posts don’t go viral unless they shock people into positive action. Positive posts— posts with uplifting content—are more likely to go viral than depressing ones.
Read the original blog post Lessons From Blog Posts That Went Viral, by Jessica Davis.