Whether it be a seasoned blogger who has been in the business since it first began to bloom in the mid-2000’s, or a new eCommerce business owner looking to increase sales through blog engagement, it seems like everyone is looking for a way for their blog posts to go viral and capture the attention of the public.
One of the most useful tools for increasing the exposure of a post is by using an already established platform to direct traffic to another, converting readers into loyal followers with just a handful of successful posts.
Posting content on outside sources can be a source of confusion at first, as the concept seems almost counterproductive: why post content on a site other than your own, when you could simply work on building traffic organically through quality written pieces and professional SEO?
While these concerns do make some sense, they are largely unjustified, as external platforms can be an excellent way to reach a larger audience and direct them to another site.
The key to writing a viral post is content; if an article is not written to be read, it is highly unlikely that it will generate much interest online, let alone engagement on social media or otherwise. There are four key aspects that make an article go viral online:
- Story: The article includes a personal story of some kind that appeals to the reader in some way.
- Emotion: The reader is instilled with a certain emotion upon reading the article.
- Vulnerability: The writer appears transparent and honest through their writing.
- Controversy: The article appeals to some kind of conflict with extreme difference in opinion (politics and religion are two consistently controversial topics online)
When articles include these four aspects, they appeal to the reader and establish a personal connection with them, encouraging them to read more. When the reader feels as if they can connect with the writer, they will want to know more about them, causing them to seek out more of their work. When this work is found on another platform, the reader will be very likely to visit that platform in order to see it, and will likely stick around in the future to see more.
In addition to having excellent content, articles should be formatted properly to attract and keep the attention of the reader. Many find that small font with poor spacing and little formatting can be difficult to read, and an article without proper formatting will not capture the attention of the reader long enough for the quality of the story to matter. If someone’s eyes are hurting while they are reading a piece, they are not going to continue reading it. Because of this, it’s important that proper fonts be used, and certain important phrases be emboldened or underlined in order to highlight important parts of the article.
Formatting is important to catching the reader’s eye, but they will never see it without a catchy and interesting title. Be sure to create a title that will capture the eye of any reader scrolling past, as boring titles are a sure way to get lost in the sea of unsuccessful blog posts that dominate the internet. In order to stand out against the rest, create a title that will have readers captivated before ever reading the story, as this is the most reliable way to convert casual views into readers.
Finally, making a post go viral on platforms such as Medium require recommendations and shares. Prior to publishing the article, do everything possible to get at least 100 people to recommend or share the article, as this is a fantastic way to increase visibility from the second an article is published. This will ensure that the piece sees a large and diverse audience, which in turn will lead to more views and more visits to an external platform.