How to Grow Your Blog with Viral Content
Recently, I’ve been exploring five strategies that I’d employ to promote my blog if I were starting all over again.
I said earlier in the series that I’m assuming ‘great content’ is being added to the hypothetical new blog that we’re promoting. However when it comes to blogging not all ‘great’ content is equal when it comes to drawing attention to your blog.
Take a look around your niche at any given time and there will be posts appearing on blogs that are of a high standard that are largely ignored – and posts appearing that are spreading like wildfire throughout the niche as everyone links up to it.
This type of ‘Viral’ content can be an elusive thing for bloggers and I’m fully aware that it’s something that most bloggers attempt to do but something that many don’t achieve.
Sometimes the key to viral content is luck – the right person reading it at the right time and linking up can send it to the top of every social bookmarking site there is – but many times it’s the result of good research, creative thinking, clever writing and getting the right people to promote it.
I can’t teach you how to create content that will go viral because there are so many ways that it happens – however I will give you one tip that helps me a lot every time that I do it.
Spend Time Analyzing the Success of Others
I’d encourage you to take some time out to analyze the types of posts that are going viral in your niche (and other niches) at present. The simplest way to do this is to look at what’s ‘hot’ on social media sites like Digg, Medium, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Techmeme etc
I regularly spend time on these sites and find myself learning a lot from looking at what’s most popular on them.
- What is it about them that seems to be key to them doing so well?
- What can you learn from them?
- How can you put some of these principles into action in your own writing.
Pay particular attention to the titles used on the social media sites themselves but click through to visit the content itself. Look at how it’s presented, written, the topics covered, post length, intended audience etc.
The key to this is not to do this analysis to simply copy it – but to come away inspired to apply some of the principles that others are using in your own writing.
A term that is being used less these days that applies to this topic is ‘link bait’. While it’s not really a term that is used as much as it was this time last year many of the principles of good link bait apply to this topic. I’d suggest you check out my previous series on link bait – particularly my post analyzing 20 Link baiting Techniques.
- 10 Quick Tips for Going Viral
- The One Reason Your Amazing Blog Post Hasn’t Gone Viral (and 8 Things You Can Do About It)
- How a Blogger Used Viral Content to Grow Her Income Enough to Cover Her Mortgage Payments
Share Your Examples
Lastly – I’d like to open things up to you to share your own examples of ‘viral content’ – whether they be posts that you’ve had success with on your own blog or posts you’ve seen others do well with. Tell us about these posts and hopefully we’ll all come away from them a little inspired.
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This article was first published on March 16, 2008 and updated March 3, 2022