Have you ever wondered why some content just seems to slide effortlessly through the blogosphere? Some blog posts just naturally seem to attract readers like a clump of peanut butter rolling across a bowl full of rice krispies. I have often wondered what it would take to create content of this caliber, and came up with this short list of things that a blog post needs to do to be a viral success.
Reinforce a Perspective
After he graduated from college, Gary Vaynerchuk took over his father's liquor store and transformed it into a specialty wine store called Wine Library. Business began to really take off for Vaynerchuk when he started his video blog, Wine Library TV, which went incredibly viral and succeeded in passionately educating Americans on the virtues and benefits of drinking wine.
By blogging regularly about your subject matter, you create content that appeals to people with the same interests and you become a rallying point around which a community begins to build itself. Later, this community will provide the momentum that propels your content across the blogosphere.
Provide an Opposing Viewpoint
In March, 2014, Roger Pielke, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado Boulder posted in the FiveThirtyEightScience blog an article that refutes the claim that global warming is driving up the cost of recovering from natural disasters. Naturally, many environmentalists took offense and let their sentiments be known. But others also took Pielke's side and expressed support. In any case, the post went viral and sparked interest in this complicated debate.
By refuting or challenging a popular perspective, you will probably end up having to handle some unpleasantness, but you would have forwarded your own beliefs, and your content stands a chance of going viral.
Share Your Passion
Leo Babauta's blog, Zen Habits, is all about finding simplicity, peace and balance within the chaos of daily living. You can almost feel peace creeping in as you read his writing - serene but unmistakably passionate about what he values in his life. And, yes, his posts are incredibly popular.
Share what you are passionate about and people will resonate with that passion.
Make People Feel They Belong
The blog Wait But Why created this post about why Gen Y yuppies seem to be unhappy. Naturally, the post resonated with people born between the late 70s and the mid-90s, who were attracted by its title and later found that they identified with its message. The post got a mind-boggling 1.2 million shares.
The post is an example of very astute target marketing. The Gen Y population happens to be the most active sharing social media demographic, and this contributed to the article's success. Follow this lead and target your posts to specific groups. You may not achieve a million shares, but then who knows?