How to Write Viral Content for Your Blog

It’s guest post Monday. This post is by Kay Winders is presently the writer for www.badcreditloans.org, where she researches the best way for people to pay off their debts without damaging their credit. You can contact here via email at kaywinders@gmail.com.

Writing a blog is an effective way to establish yourself as an authority in your niche and to brand yourself as a leader. However, if no one is reading your content, your blog can’t do anything for you.

Writing viral content — stories that get shared over and over on other blogs, social networks, forums, and other websites — is one way to make sure your content gets noticed. Here are a few ways that you can write content for your blog that goes viral:

Use Eye-Catching Headlines

The first thing your readers see is your headline. If it’s not very interesting, your visitors are unlikely to want to read more. A headline that gets attention will get more people reading your post and compel them to share it.

Make your headlines direct, action-oriented, and slightly intriguing. Writing great headlines is an art, but it’s a skill you can learn with practice.

Cover a Trending Topic

One of the easiest ways to write content that goes viral and becomes what everyone is talking about is to write on topics that people are already talking about. What’s trending right now? What topics are hot in the news? What are the top stories on forums or on Google? These are the topics that are generating buzz right now, and they are the topics that will help you generate buzz for your blog.

When you write on a trending topic, try to add something new to the conversation. If you just rehash what everyone else is already saying, no one has any reason to pay attention to you. Find a way to set yourself apart from the crowd.

Take a Controversial Stance

If you wrote a post called “Why theft should be punishable by death” or “How television is destroying the nuclear family,” you’d likely see a tremendous spike in traffic to your site and a lot more inbound links. Taking a controversial stance in your posts is a sure way to get noticed and to get others participating in the conversation.

When you take a controversial position, readers will either feel compelled to share your content because they passionately agree with you or because they vehemently oppose your point of view. Either way, your content will be shared widely.

Inspire Your Readers

Everyone likes a feel-good story that shows them what great things are possible. When people read these stories, they very often share them on their own blogs, in e-mail, and on social networks. Writing inspirational and motivational posts is a great way to get readers to share your content.

You can write about inspirational figures, interview people who have overcome the odds, or create your own original content showcasing the human potential for greatness.

Write a List

Finally, one of the most sharable types of blog posts is the list. These posts are short, interesting, and easy to read. They can be informative and entertaining. Just look at the success of sites like Cracked.com or The Oatmeal to see the lure of the list!

Again, find a way to set yourself apart when writing your list. Take an unexpected angle, or find a way to make it really funny. Just a regular, humdrum list isn’t going to go viral just because it’s a list.

Writing viral content takes practice and a little bit of luck, but if you can manage to do it, you can get your blog and your brand a lot of great exposure.

Question: Has any of your content gone viral? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I have not had any content go viral, but I haven’t really ever thought about it or written for that purpose. Yeah, I’d like to have it go viral, but for the most part I just write what I feel God directs.
    You have given me excellent insight and some things to think about. Thank you.

    You also remind me of the blog deCompose by Mike at http://mikeduran.com/ he writes on controversial topics for Christian writers. He gets some crazy conversations going. Really entertaining and thought provoking. He has a great knack for that area. He is bold and unafraid of being challenged. I admire him but don’t think that’s for me.

    • I guess I feel mostly the same way, but if I’m honest…I’d love to see something go big. Nothing like that has happened for me yet.

      • I’m sure it will happen for you Jon.

      • YET! Keep serving God and He will blow you away by His blessings. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Cor 2:9 NIV

        • Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder, TC!

          • You’re welcome. You and your wife are in my prayers. How’s things going?

            • Things are going fairly well this week. We’ll take it! Thanks for your prayers.

              I’ve been processing through a guest post for you. I’ll try to e-mail you something in the next few days.

              • So glad things are going well. We all have ups and downs in life, thank God we don’t go through it alone!
                That sounds wonderful! Thank you.

    • Great reason to write and that’s why I know you will be bigger than you are now, because your writing is inspired by God. Thank you for sharing Mike’s site.

      • Thanks Dan.
        Mike’s site is great for aspiring christian authors to think outside the box but he has a strange/interesting following. I don’t identify with some of their religious doctrines.

  • InciteFaith

    This comment may or may not be agreed with but I think the focus of writing ‘viral’ content is to be authentic and transparent in what you write. If it connects with readers, great. But I think the purpose of a blog is to publish content that speaks deeply within you and maybe it will resonate with readers, maybe it won’t.

    While I agree with writing lists and inspiring readers. I think the purpose of what I what I write is to encourage my readers and make them feel less alone in their struggle(s).

    I’ve had two posts in the past few months that have deeply impacted and resonated with them. The first was my post about being scared of marriage and the second was my post on pornography. I didn’t write those two posts with the intention to gain more readers, I wrote them because I was struggling.

    The purpose of our blog and what we write should be a resounding voice in a world of create and publish. We should be the voice for those who are afraid to speak up for themselves and give them the courage to do it.

    • Good point – thanks for bringing it up.

  • floyd

    Good tips and reminders. I probably avoid controversial content more than I should, which is weird, because it’s not how I live my life… I think it’s a weakness I’m trying to capture.

    • I do the same thing Floyd. Especially politics.

  • Hmm, i like the list idea. And thanks for giving us link examples. I’ll check those out. Also, this may seem like a dumb question, but how do you figure out what’s trending?

  • I like lists…most of my widely-spread posts are lists! i can’t do list-posts all the time time though. Awesome ideas!

    • I love list posts, both reading and writing them. Thank you for sharing.

  • I don’t know if any of my posts have gone viral according to how most people define viral, but I have seen certain topics and posts get a lot of interaction and tweets. I try to stick more towards those topics whenever possible.

    • Great idea about sticking with the topics people share more than others. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • I’m not really sure if any of my content has or will ever go viral. I just want as many people to read and be blessed by the content. I think once I write what’s been placed on my heart the rest will work itself out. Now that does not mean that I don’t want my stuff to go viral, of course I do but I know in order for that to happen. I need to create people that love what I write and want to share it with others.

    • Great goal Lincoln. Adding value always produced positive results.

  • Kay, you have some good points on what goes into many viral posts. The one thing that I feel needs to be discussed more is your connections. The better networked you are, the more likely your good list can go viral. You need someone to find this post and share it in the right place. Your connections can take an average post and make it have enormous exposure. The great post can be missed in obscurity if there are not the connections that find and share it. For most, it takes a lot of time and work building your network to find the instant success of viral material.

    • Great point Kevin. Connections and a following are so important when it comes to spreading content. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and share.

  • You know I said to myself at first: “what does this have to do with leadership????” Until I remembered that all leadership is influence. And I know Dan is rather influential in the blogosphere so it made sense. This is is a great post Kay! And yes I have had post go viral because of a list and putting an influential person in the post, tweeting them, and them retweeting it. The person in general was Michael Arrington of Techcrunch. That was a good day! :)

    • Mike,

      Blogging can definitely increase a leaders influence. It’s a different aspect of leadership but any leader should think about having a blog to get their thoughts and ideas out their.

      Thank you for the complement. I have also seen you every where lately, Great job!!! All of your guest posts and comments inspire me to keep moving forward.

      That’s great about your post going viral!!! What a big blessing. Thank you for reading and being a friend.