Going Viral! Charles Hodson Freelance Writer

ormally, ‘going viral’ would be a bad thing. Picture shivers, joint pain and nausea.  Not so in terms of blog posts, in fact it could be the best of all outcomes.  In the context of digital media, it refers to the rapid spread of your content throughout the internet, much like how viruses spread rapidly through people and communities in the right conditions.  It means lots of traffic and tons of exposure. Get that ball rolling and it can come totally self-perpetuating.  The results are increased traffic and exposure to your blogs for your business or product. Expect not only more leads but more sales, more connections, and more influence over your readers.  It will create links that help boost your site up the search engine rankings and help build a brand awareness.

For a few lucky people the viral sensation happened completely organically, they had a funny picture or saw a funny thing and the internet community latched on and ran with it. What if you want to create intentional viral content to draw attention to your product or business?  Well as Thomas Edison said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. You’ll need to work at it and there are some things you can do to increase your chances of success.

Positive content will always work better than negative content but anything that evokes an emotion – positive or negative – like surprise, awe, anger, anxiety, lust, fear or joy from the reader is going to be more viral than bland, formal text.

Something that is useful is always shared and this is good news if it is your business you are trying to promote.  Focusing on practical and useful content that also invokes a strong emotion may well bring you success.

  • Get into the habit of putting your main topic in the Google keyword tool, title your post based on what the most popular search term is and use it in your text at some point. This will better your SEO outcomes.
  • Also, add pictures. Pictures are an excellent way to break up big blocks of text or to pad out a blog that is a bit low on word count.
  • Add your email signature or author bio to the bottom. Add links to your own past and future blog posts, if you have a newsletter also add a sign-up option.
  • Lastly – on the writing side at least – tell your readers what you want them to do next. Tell them to share, tell them to like, no you are not being pushy and it is psychologically proven to work.

Make sure you double and triple check your work for errors and then submit it to everything; Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, niche forums, Yahoo Buzz, Delicious, Twitter it, Facebook it, Google + it, LinkedIn and if applicable YouTube and Pinterest.  Take care not to annoy communities, though.

Saturate the internet with it and if it is good enough, interesting enough and evokes a strong emotion in the reader it will be shared, commented upon and go viral. If, on the other hand, your hard work at going viral doesn’t pay off? Well, take two Aspirin and call me in the morning.

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