Everyone wants their content to go viral, but it’s really easy to get carried away. In fact, the concept of viral content is so heavily promoted that most people don’t even stop to ask, what is viral content?
The term refers to content that basically explodes on social media.
In many ways, viral content is a side effect of sites like Facebook and Twitter. These sites make it exceptionally easy for people to share content with each other.
The power of viral content is huge.
For example, most people have heard of the Harlem shake or grumpy cat.
Viral content means that videos, images or articles can sometimes get millions of views within hours or being released.
However, writing viral content is a whole different story.
People tend to share things unpredictably, meaning that you never know whether your content will get shared or get ignored.
That hasn’t stopped scam sites from trying to cash in on the idea though:
Simply put, you cannot create viral content. More specifically, you cannot create content that is guaranteed to go viral.
You can create content and hope it goes viral, or you can design content in a way that makes it more likely that it will go viral, but you cannot force it.
With the right content and some pushes through outreach, you can certainly help content towards being viral. Even then, whether or not the content actually becomes viral is completely out of your hands.
Content and Sharing
In reality, if you are looking for something to go viral, the best approach is to make it easy and interesting to share.
However, some of the most viral content out there is spontaneous, unpredictable and it doesn’t contribute to profit. Additionally, viral content might attract a large number of viewers, but they aren’t necessarily readers you want.
For internet marketers, content is what you want to make viral.
Yet, it is much more difficult to get people to share content than it is to get them to watch a cute video like this (just look at the number of views on the video):
So, how do you do it?
There are a few key things involved in figuring out what is viral content and making content for your site that can potentially go viral.
1. Make a Great Headline
The headline for your page is what gets people reading it.
A good headline can make people curious and interested, while a bad one makes them walk away and never look back.
2. Make it Easy to Read
Online content should be easy to read.
Most of the time people skim read content online.
This means you should make short paragraphs, and use bold, headings and images well.
This also helps to make your content look good overall, which is another major benefit.
3. Content Length
Surprisingly, long-form content actually tends to get shared more often than short-form content.
One reason is that longer content tends to actually say something useful.
For example, a 500-word post rarely goes beyond the obvious, so people don’t bother sharing it.
When your content is long, it typically has some depth and this makes it interesting enough to be shared.
There’s an important difference here though.
Length and virality are related, but not directly.
A longer content post will be shared because it is more interesting, not because it is longer.
This means that you can’t simply take a short post and add in filler.
Additionally, writing long-form shareable content can be challenging.
You have to make sure that the entire article is high quality – and you have to avoid losing your audience part way through.
This is very doable, but it takes time to learn and to get right.
4. Use Content Sharing Buttons
The little buttons for Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are critical for getting people to share things.
These buttons make it easy for people to share your content – and people do tend to do easy things more often.
Most social buttons also tell people how many others liked, tweeted or shared the content.
This acts as social proof.
By showing that others shared the content, these buttons make it more likely that readers will share.
5. Inspire Emotion
People are much more likely to share something when they are emotionally engaged.
This is particularly significant when the emotion is high energy, like anger or awe because this type of emotion is inherently more shareable.
6. Do Something Different
The internet is a huge environment and there are millions of different websites out there.
Even in your own niche, there will be others doing similar content to you.
If you want some of your content to be viral, then doing something different is critical.
That might involve doing a topic that no one else has thought about, or simply presenting information in a different, more engaging way.
One example of this is infographics.
These can sometimes be very popular, and they present information in a much more visual manner than a basic post on the same topic. I also have a whole post on killer tips for writing great website content if you want to learn more about this area.
Beyond everything else, viral content has to be good quality content first.
This means focusing on the things that make content worth reading. If you don’t, people won’t be interested in reading the content you have to offer, much less sharing it.
If you want to learn more about content creation and how to turn a website into an effective source of income, check out what Wealthy Affiliate has to offer. This is a site that offers significant support and training for making money online, regardless of your level of skill or experience.
Plus, it’s free to get started.