Writing Viral Content – What You Can Learn From These 8 Pro Bloggers

By    Last updated December 07, 2016   Copywriting

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Do you know how to write killer written content that goes viral?

 

Probably not, or you wouldn’t be reading this article.

 

Fortunately, there are plenty of extremely successful bloggers out there who have tons of sage advice to offer about how to come up with great ideas and write posts that people read. And share.

 

 

Why Do You Need Written Content?

 

In today’s fast-paced, techno-driven world, you may think that people have a hard time sitting still to read something and that written content is dead.

 

But as our own Ben Brown said in his post,

 

Ben Brown

Most of us don’t have million dollar budgets to promote our small business online. So we need a cost-effective way to reach a lot of people.

 

So you write. You write something clever. Something witty. Something controversial. Anything. Write anything that’s relevant to your business.

 

Think of your content as being the carrot you dangle in front of your audience. It creates engagement and drives traffic.

 

And if you have carrots, you may want to bake a cake. Sarah Peterson, serial online entrepreneur, founder of the Unsettle community and blogger at Unsettle.org, puts it this way in her post about writing what people want to read,

 

 

Sarah Peterson @ Unsettle.org

Creating shit that people actually want to read (or listen to or watch or gaze at vapidly) is one of the main ingredients in the ‘content’ marketing cake, and without it you have no engagement, no fans, no clients and no sales.

 

 

Sarah is seriously successful at the whole online business and blogging thing, so she obviously knows the *shit* she is talking about! Besides, who doesn’t like cake, right?

 

 

Relevancy Is HUGE

 

This is the first concept to wrap your head around: every post you write needs to be relevant in some ways to your audience. YOUR audience. Not anyone else’s.

 

After all, if your site is about the best HDTVs on the market, why would you write a blog about how to cook the perfect spaghetti? Doesn’t make sense, right?

 

Tim Soulo, Head of Marketing for Ahrefs and THE award-winning blogger behind BloggerJet.com puts it another way,

 

 

Tim Soulo

Every article that you write should have a visible impact on your business, otherwise it shouldn’t be written.

 

 

Yep, there’s no use wasting time creating content that won’t directly result in a benefit to your ecommerce site.

 

Plus, relevancy has a direct impact on the content’s Google ranking. As our founder Daren relays in his article about SEO copywriting, it’s not only the relevancy of the content but also the keywords you use to describe it that are important.

 

Sherry Gray, freelance content writer and frequent contributor at Entrepreneur.com, reinforces this point one step further by saying in her article that anything and everything on your site should be relevant to its goal and purpose. Quoting from GoUp’s SEO Handbook, she says,

 

Sherry Gray

Everything you write or code on your website must be related to your website’s focus, or at least to the focus of the web page. Image descriptions, HTML tags, title, subheaders, and other page attributions should all be semantically related to the purpose of your website or the page itself.

 

 

Your Posts Need to Go Viral

 

Think about the last time you caught the flu. You probably got it from a coworker or family member. That’s no fun, but creating content that people willingly and knowingly share is.

 

Tim Soulo likes to refer to this concept as making your content “contagious.” In order to drive traffic to your site, Tim states that you need to write the kind of article that makes the reader want to share it with someone else.

 

contagious post

Image source: BloggerJet

 

If the article is contagious, it will naturally amplify any initial traffic that you bring to it

 

The farther your blog post travels via shares, the bigger audience it is exposed to. And that, my friends, is the way for contagious content to bring you and your business to the attention of a huge influencer in your industry.

 

I consider that success, wouldn’t you?

 

Make Your Post Stand Out

 

I ran across a highly successful blogger by the name of Luke Guy who owns a blog of the same name, LukeGuy.com.  Luke’s niches are in SEO and email marketing and he provides lessons on all sorts of topics related to writing viral content. Because I found him organically, he is already ahead of the viral content game.

 

He claims, unscientifically, that there are around 1.7 million blog posts published every day.

 

Courtesy LukeGuy.com

Courtesy LukeGuy.com

 

So, how can you compete with those millions of other blog posts?

 

Luke can tell you how not to do it:

 

Luke Guy

If you think by writing 500 articles in one year is the way to compete you’re wrong. If you think building it automatically means people coming, you’re wrong again. Why? People have done this exact thing and fallen flat. And then they burn out.

 

It’s not quantity, it’s quality.

 

You’ve heard that before.

 

But you may not have heard what Luke recommends for making quality posts that actually get read by your audience:

 

Outreach. Engagement. Connecting.

 

It takes a bit of networking to first, gain readers, and second, turn “everyone in your path into a potential fan.” And if those fans don’t buy, they can become your best form of word-of-mouth promotion. That’s a win-win.

 

 

What to Write?

 

We all know we need to write great content, right? Sarah of Unsettle.org says, you need to write shit people actually want to read.

 

Write shit people actually want to read.

Courtesy Sarah Peterson, Unsettle.org

 

And this goes back to the previous point about contagious content. Sarah confirms,

 

Because when somebody actually wants to read your writing, they usually want to share it. They usually get value from it, talk about it, and spread it around.

 

The hard part is figuring out how to write a post that people want to read and share. After all, for many of us this just doesn’t come naturally. It takes a bit (okay, maybe A LOT) of effort. But don’t give up. Learn from the best, in this case, Sarah, who offers this advice:

 

Read your writing out loud. It will help you find your ‘voice’ and a good flow for your article. It will also identify those sticky sentences that aren’t quite right so you can rephrase them.

 

In a stuffed-to-the-brim internet, readers want to know about your life to the extent that they can apply it to their own. Weave small stories and facts about you into your blog post, but the whole ‘dear diary’ thing should be reserved for your journal and the blogs of 2008.

 

Pamela Bartley, whose specialty is helping network marketers grow their business, says something similar. We asked her via Twitter for one of her best pieces of advice in regards to writing viral content and she shared,

 

Pamela Bartley

You must know your target market and what they are struggling with. That will allow you to put up content that will help them.

 

It’s very clear from her website that Pamela really practices what she preaches. Look at her content and you can see that her posts are directed squarely at the network marketers she serves. That’s a good example for all of us.

 

 

Where to Get Ideas?

 

We’ve all been there. Writer’s block is no fun!

 

Luckily Alison Beere of BeaBetterBlogger.com, has lots of creative suggestions for coming up with ideas for your blog posts.

 

Copyright Alison Breere

Copyright Alison Breere

 

 

Alison Beere

You have plenty of ideas and answers in your head. You just need a way of accessing, on tap as it were, the questions that a real live person wants to ask you.

 

Remember when you started your ecommerce business? You found the niche you were really interested in and you were gung ho about building out your site. But over time, the shininess wears off and you need to fight against writer’s block.

 

Alison concurs,

 

You started your blog because you wanted to share your best ideas. You have life-changing insights to offer your readers and subscribers. Commit to giving that to them on a regular basis rather than waiting for inspiration to strike.

 

In fact, she says, “You’ll find that the more you share, the more ideas you will have.” You just have to be prepared to record random ideas whenever and wherever they come to you, whether that’s “in the shower, or while driving the kids to school.

 

Sitting in front of your computer won’t make them happen, as Daren said, so strike while the iron is hot, so to speak, in order to overcome writer’s block when you most need to post new content.

 

 

Speak To Them in Their Own Language

 

If you want your readers to share your posts, you have to know how they talk and what they think about and the problems for which they want solutions.

 

Again, we turn to Sarah Peterson, who gives us this example:

 

When you use the exact words your audience uses in your writing, you resonate with them; you make them feel as if you’re reading their minds.

 

Sarah was doing research for a course she was creating about success with an Etsy business. So, she asked them point-blank what they needed help with.

 

Etsy Questions

Response to Sarah Peterson’s questions to her target audience.

 

 

After paying careful attention to the problems people were having and the word they used to describe those problem, this is how she crafted an email about her course:

 

Sarah Peterson's email about her Etsy course.

Sarah Peterson’s email about her Etsy course.

 

 

By using her target audience’s exact words and phrases, her message really resonated with them.

 

You can do the same thing with a blog post. Find out what your audience wants to know and use the exact words they do in crafting the headline and keywords for your post.

 

Luke Guy agrees. He says,

 

Your focus shouldn’t be on your idea. But it should be on your audience.

 

Sound familiar? That’s pretty much Sarah Peterson told us, too. In other words, you need to find out what your audience wants to read.

 

 

Write a Great Headline

 

Along these same lines is the headline or title you give your post. Your content is never going to stand out from the crowd unless it has a catchy title.

 

Try writing your post first, then deciding on a headline. The key is to make it attractive to both readers and search engines.

 

If that isn’t something you are comfortable doing, you are in luck. There are plenty of tools to help those of us who aren’t so good at it.

 

Harsh Agrawal, CEO of Shout Me Loud, the blog for bloggers, lists some of the best in his article, 7 Free Blog Post Title Generators. After all there’s no shame in using a bit of help, especially considering the importance of this detail, as Harsh says:

 

 

Harsh Agrawal

The title of your blog post plays a major role in the success of that  post. It is the title, after all, which compels users to click on the blog post and read it.  In addition, the title of a post plays a significant role in a post’s search engine ranking.

 

Systemize It, Execute It and Test It

 

And finally, don’t just keep writing stuff without knowing if your plan is working or your goals are being achieved. You want to write viral content in order to increase traffic and engagement, right? But even if a post is particularly popular in terms of the other content on your site, that doesn’t mean it’s doing the job. And if you can’t replicate that success, you are missing out on an important piece of the ecommerce marketing puzzle.

 

Jason Quey, who connects entrepreneurs with business partners, provided some invaluable advice. He reminded us that there is no single factor when it comes to viral content,

 

Most marketers don’t magically create viral content. It’s a mix of well planned execution, luck, and an appeal to a broad audience.

 

You need to remember this formula. It takes all three to create viral content. But even when you do write a piece that goes viral, your job isn’t done quite yet. Jason recommends,

 

Jason Quey

Come up with a system, test it, analyze results, fix what doesn’t work and add more of what does :).

 

The BIG takeaway from Jason? Find the right system, implement it, test the results, rinse and repeat.

 

Writing A Viral Content – It’s Not Terribly Difficult

 

We’ve all been there, starting a new ecommerce site and trying to drive traffic through great content. Make your posts relevant and contagious and make them stand out from the crowd. Then figure out what to write based on your audience’s needs and wants and appeal to them using their own words.

 

Take it from some of the most successful bloggers out there: this formula works.

 

Do you have any other suggestions for writing viral content that have worked well for your ecommerce site?

 

 

Candace Morehouse

Candace is a freelance writer who has 6 fiction books published under her own name and has ghost written 15 nonfiction books for clients. She has helped small businesses to build a better online presence with her writing.

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