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Jun 18 2014

5 Ways to Increase Your Blog’s Ability to Go Viral!

Not everyone can be a huge viral sensation, but you can make sure your posts are optimized for sharing. That doesn’t mean all you have to do is make sure there’s a Facebook and Twitter link at the beginning or end of your posts. Here’s a list of 5 things you can do to increase the odds that your audience will share your posts over and over again.

#1 – Create Engaging and Provocative Titles

There’s a reason you see so many share worthy posts in your social network feeds: their titles are catchy, intriguing, and crafted to get you to click. A strong title can mean the difference between hundreds of readers and none. Between the millions of blog posts published every single day and the endless stream of social media content on the internet, you need a strong first impression to cut through the noise. The first thing most people will see is your title, so make it a great one. Your titles will most often show up by default when readers publish links to your blog on their social networks.

#2 – Make Sure Readers Can Actually Read Your Post

Make sure readers can actually read your post! That’s right, I just repeated that because it’s so important. A picture is worth a thousand words so please DON’T do anything like these next 2 examples: (Both are real blogs.)

Don’t EVER do this. Please!

badblog1

And Certainly DON’T do this…

badblog2

You might have just written an earth-shattering and epic post revolutionizing the future of man kind, but if it’s hard to read, it’s not going to get read or shared. Things like font color, size, and paragraph length can make it more or less likely that readers will pass along your post.

Very small or large fonts are challenging to read in longer posts, as are brightly colored fonts. It also helps to embrace empty space; white space makes long posts easier for readers to scan. Shorter paragraphs, headings and subheadings, blockquotes, bullets, and images all create space and break up chunks of text. Bullets and ordered lists are quickly digested, highly shareable, and provide simple, clear takeaways.

#3 – Always Add An Image

When we visit a blog or website, our eyes are drawn to the boldest or most colorful part of the page. That means an image, like a photo, logo, graph, or cartoon will get noticed right away. On social sites like Facebook, posts with an accompanying image typically rack up more clicks, shares & comments than those without . When we scroll through a long list of information, our eyes travel to the images first.

Take advantage of this fact and try using more visual aids. You’ll notice all of my posts begin with an image that sums up what you’re about to read. At the bare minimum you should add a featured image even if it’s hidden from the regular view. That way, when a member of your audience shares your link on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, you will have a mini-billboard that makes it more likely that people will notice, click on, and re-share your link.

#4 – Be a Dependable Resource for Others

People share things that:

  1. Inspire Them
  2. Make Them Laugh
  3. Add Value to Their Life
  4. Make Something Easier for Them

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as particularly inspirational or funny, but we all have something to share that could add value to somebody’s day. Are you an expert at something? Teach people how to do it! Did you discover an amazing new way to accomplish something? Create a tutorial, please! Have you collected great resources on a your favorite topic? Write a list and share the links. Spreading knowledge makes you a dependable resource for your loyal audience members, but also provides them with information they’ll want to share with others.

#5 – Be Your Own Biggest Fan

Sharing your own posts makes it much easier for others to do the same. Once your post is already sitting on Facebook, it’s easy for a fan to pass it on with a single click. By making it simple and convenient, you’ll increase your engagement because they don’t have to put in any extra effort. I post every article I write on Facebook because you never know who might see it and pass it along.

Since I started doing that, the organic reach of both my blog and Facebook page has risen dramatically. A good post that resonates will see 100+ shares and regular posts will see 20+ shares. You can’t beat that kind of free publicity!

Paying attention to these five small steps will boost your already amazing content and make it easier to share These small tweaks build on each other for a potentially big payoff and greatly increase the chances of your blog post going viral!

 

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