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Developing Viral Content for Your Blog
Posted on February 7th 2013
Watching your content go viral and wander endlessly across the internet is one of the best things about being a blogger. Many of the new up-and-coming bloggers don’t understand that viral content doesn’t happen by accident. It is a planned occurrence.
There are many ways that you can promote your content in order for it to go viral. Today, we are going to look at the content itself. Your writing style and the emotions that you evoke from that style will determine the level of engagement that your readers have. Engaged readers tell their friends.
Here are three writing styles you can use to engage your readers, create viral posts and transform yourself into a prolific blogger.
The Power Of Storytelling
If you have not already seen the power and potential of storytelling as a blogger, then you have been missing a real trick. If you really want to connect with your audience, spark empathy, develop connections and bring business, you need to become a storyteller. It’s the reason that this post by Jon Morrow of Copyblogger received over 6766 likes and 2765 tweets. Look at the comments below the post and count how many times you read the word ‘inspiring’ or ‘amazing.' Jon Morrow uses his story, his life and his struggles as a human being to show that he is actually a real person, allowing his audience to truly connect with him, and to inspire them.
Too many bloggers are just too boring and not personal enough with their writing. I know I’d rather read about Jon Morrow’s inspirational story of how he moved to another country, makes a killing as a blogger, all whilst being paralysed from the neck down. And I’m certain that everybody else would rather read about that too.
Stop talking dribble. Start telling your story.
There is no doubt that controversial blog posts have the potential to go seriously viral. The skill is in using controversy to reflect you and your blog well. If you have an opinion that goes against a popular trend, writing about it can spark a massive discussion. The increased levels of interest and engagement with that post can help propel all other areas of your blog, increasing traffic and conversions as a result.
However, it’s not easy to use controversy in a way that reflects you in a positive light. You don’t want to disagree with a certain topic or trend, and later find that everybody now thinks you are a complete idiot because of that. It will seriously damage your credibility as a blogger. Take American filmmaker James Gunn as an example: he was recently forced to apologise for a blog post that he wrote titled, ‘The 50 Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With.’ His comments within the post were viewed as being sexist and homophobic, which lead to him eventually taking the blog post down completely.
You have to be really smart when using controversy as a viral tactic, or you could end up becoming the joke of the blogosphere.
The vast majority of internet users are using the internet to entertain themselves, so take advantage of that. Using humour in your writing is a great way of developing a real connection with your audience. My best advice for using humour is to not be too broad. Don’t stretch out of your niche to make light of a topic that has nothing to do with your niche. Instead, I recommend using humour targeted specifically to your audience. If you use funny topics that are specific to your niche or topic, you will create a type of comradeship with your audience by using ‘insider jokes.’
Here are some examples.
Q: What did the SEO do on his honeymoon?
A: He put a “nofollow” outside their door.
If you blog about blogging, try this:
Q: How many blogger does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One to change the light bulb, and nine others to write lengthy blog posts about the political ramifications of why they are changing the light bulb.
Jokes like this are not going to have your audience kneeled over in hysteric fits of laughter, nor will they singlehandedly make your posts go viral. But they will go a long way towards showing everybody that you are a real person. And if you want to become a popular, successful, viral blogger, then showing your audience that you are a real person is what it’s all about.