We’ve all dreamed of being famous and successful bloggers, but more often than not, any efforts we make towards realizing that dream doesn’t amount to much.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
Contrary to popular belief, blogging is about a lot more than just posting some pictures and sentences to a website.
You must treat your blog like a business. Businesses have business plans and a clear understanding of where they are going and how they plan to get there.
To help you understand what it takes to get noticed online and cultivate a fun and successful blogging experience for yourself and your audience, here are our top 25 tips on how to create blog-worthy content that’s sure to go viral.
#1 is definitely a gamechanger for us, and it renewed our vigour for creating blog content.
1. Drag and Drop Editor
The days of using the default WordPress editor are long past for me, and they need to be in your past too.
The first step in creating blog-worthy content is enjoying the process. If you’re struggling with getting your content to look visually appealing because you’re still using the default editor, you’re not going to be able to deliver your best effort.
Most likely, you will pull out your hair and through your laptop into the nearest wall.
Get a drag and drop editor. We currently in the process of switching our website to Gutenburg combined with the Atomic Blocks plugin. (Our eCommerce shop still uses Thrive Themes)
2. Be a Problem Solver
Every article you write should solve a problem. People pay to have their problems solved.
3. Nature Sales Funnels
Every article you write should have an overall purpose related to your blog’s big picture. Don’t write random articles.
Plan ahead, and write a series of articles that are interconnected.
This article, for example, is Part 3 in our How to Be a Successful Blogger series.
So after your audience consumes this content, they will be more likely to read the other parts of the series. Make the other parts readily available.
This technique increases your posts and blog’s engagement.
Related Articles – How to Be a Successful Blogger [5 Part Series]
4. Defeat the Skimmers
Readers don’t want to invest a lot of time reading content that sucks. So most of us will skim the article from top to bottom to determine if the article looks worthy of our attention.
Set your trap!
Always put super awesome content at the bottom of your post (if it’s available). A YouTube video, even if it isn’t yours or a killer infographic will do the trick.
By using this trick, you will reduce your bounce rate and increase your engagement.
5. Optimize Images
It’s super important to optimize your blog images mainly because of loading times, i.e., your website’s speed. Optimizing images is a relatively easy task.
Bibi loves to send me images >2 MB, doesn’t matter how many times I tell her that they need to be <200K.
Physically reduce them down to size keeping the ratio, then compress them.
For adjusting, I just use the Preview app that comes with Macs. Get it down to at least 1500 by 1000.
Adding alt tags to all your images for search is essential and not to be overlooked. Since we use Pinterest a lot for traffic, we also make sure to embed custom pins into our content for easy sharing. (the Social Warfare plugin takes this to whole new level)
6. Boost Website Speed
Like we previously mentioned, optimizing your images is a must, so are caching plugins and CDNs (or cloud CDN, like Cloudflare). These are the big three must-haves.
In the past, I have used Genesis, and I still recommend them. I mainly went with Thrive this time around because I already use so many of their products, so in theory, they should all play nice together.
You will run into this problem eventually. As you add more and more plugins from different vendors, eventually there will be a conflict, where one will break the other and in some cases, crash your website.
Blog posts need multimedia. Images and videos are a must. Most of your audience are going to be skimmers. Multimedia is the surefire way to turn skimmers into readers.
8. Internal Links
Like we talked about in #3, you want every article to have a purpose and for your content to be interconnected. For example, every time you talk about a particular subject you’ve already covered on your blog, you will always link to that previous content. You should be planning your articles in this fashion, not writing random articles.
Google wants to see internal links to relevant content.
9. Outbound Links
Google also wants to see external links to relevant authority websites. I link out a lot, and most of my outbound links are do-follow, only affiliates links are no-follow.
Don’t fear linking out.
10. Responsive Design
Long gone are days we turn a blind eye to mobile users. The day has come, and they are the vast majority of internet traffic. You must have a mobile-optimized website. Every time you post content, optimize it for mobile.
11. Timing is Key
The first hour after a post goes live is the most critical time of its life.
While it’s not impossible for something to blow up in a sort of delayed reaction, it’s much more common for something to go viral within the first couple hours of when it first hits the web.
In other words, what good is pouring your heart and soul into something if no one ever sees it?
While times can vary based on your audience and the demographics you’re trying to attract (meaning you’ll want to look at the data at some point to fine-tune things), the majority of action on social media happens between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM EST.
A more thorough breakdown of times based on your location and even the platform you intend to post to can be found here, letting you curate your content in the way that best suits your needs.
12. Make Good Use of URLs
While most are preoccupied with the title of an article, few even notice the URL it’s linked from.
This is the wrong way to go about it, though, as a good, short URL can mean the difference between being shared across the internet and traction dying at the first click.
This is a two-pronged point.
First, people are more likely to click on a URL that seems to be on the up and up. Rather than a long string of words and numbers that look like a cat walked across someone’s keyboard, try for a descriptive and legible URL.
The best route is an abridged version of the title especially if attached to a website or hosting platform people see as reliable.
Second, shorter URLs are more likely to be shared. Whether it’s because of their more direct indication of what a post is about or just the time saved in copying and pasting, try to keep your URL short.
Plus it’s a lot easier to share things on a platform like Twitter when your whole text length isn’t dedicated to just the one URL.
13. Choose the Right Title
Speaking of titles, they’re one of the most crucial parts of any viral post.
Headlines tell us what an article is about and, most importantly, why we should care. A bad title for your post is like shooting yourself in the foot right before a race; you might as well throw in the towel before you even start.
Conductor looked into the puzzle of titles and headlines and what gets the most clicks. For one, numbers are the way to go, as readers were 36% more likely to view that page as opposed to ones that used other tricks like questions or directly addressing the reader.
They also warn against trying to stuff in as much flowery language as you can, as more than one superlative in a headline generally turns readers off.
It looks more like you’re desperately begging for attention with clickbait rather than genuinely trying to inform a reader about the subject of the article.
Yes, the topic you’re writing about is most definitely super special awesome, but maybe tone it down just a touch.
14. Sourcing: Not Just for University Papers
Sources make anything look better and more authoritative. If possible, make sure to include some in your posts.
Having a thoroughly sourced argument, review, outline, or any other piece of writing immediately makes whatever you say have more weight as it’s not merely your words people should believe, but a group of experts who one would assume know what they’re talking about.
These sources don’t have to be purely academic in nature, either.
Give other bloggers a shout out in your content, and they’ll almost certainly share your piece.
Columbia University identified this as one of the critical features for making a post go viral, with the reasoning being that getting those who already have a considerable following to pay attention to your content vastly expands your potential audience.
15. Put Pictures Front and Center
As much as we might hate to admit it, we’re all a bunch of big babies on the inside. That’s why adding pictures to your content is essential to help it go viral.
Breaking up what’s otherwise just a massive wall of words with a few images here and there helps to keep a reader’s attention and can even help convince them to click in the first place if you combine an image with an attractive title.
Pay attention to the quality of the images you’re using, as well. While some pictures are better than no pictures, there’s no contest when it comes to comparing glossy, professional snapshots to some grainy trash you took yourself on a 90’s-era flip phone.
The numbers back this up, too, with one source finding over 121% more engagement on Facebook posts using professional quality images as opposed to less professional pictures. Even just having images in your article makes it seem more credible, too.
16. Make it Longer
While it may not seem that way judging by your own attention span, longer blog posts and articles are what typically goes viral. In a study conducted by Professors Jonah Berger and Katherine Milkman, it was found that content that’s around 1,500 to 2,000 words or longer has a better chance of getting noticed and shared.
Lengthier content is usually more complete, describing a subject from top to bottom. It’s also better for search rankings, as most search engines will place longer content higher up on the results list.
17. Organize with Headings and Subheadings
Content that’s put together in a logical and easy to follow way is a lot easier to read than something that’s just a massive wall of text.
To maximize people’s understanding of what you’ve written as well as break your posts down into different sections, make sure to use headings and subheadings in your work. We’re doing it right now, and look how far you’ve made it into the article.
18. Get Emotional
In the Berger and Milkman study from before, it was also found that content that evokes strong emotions in its readers was more likely to get shared.
Happy, excited, angry, confused; whatever it is, it leads to clicks so long as the readers feel a lot of it. The only exception to this would be sadness, as people generally don’t seem to be all that hyped about sharing stuff that just bums everyone out.
It’s also helpful to keep your writing genuine and from the heart. People have a way of picking up on the manufactured sweetness or snarky aloofness.
The best way to become famous as a blogger or content creator is a lot like other areas of life – just be yourself.
19. Brackets and Parenthesis
Hubspot did an analysis of 3 million different viral articles and blogs to try and find the factors they had in common. While their study is full of helpful information, one of the more unusual bits they noticed was that posts where the title contained a word or phrase enclosed by brackets or parenthesis were more likely to go viral.
This isn’t a small increase, either. The study found a whopping 38% increase in a page’s CTR rate (the average number of clicks on ads for each visitor) compared to ones titled without these conventions.
A reason for this could be that these bracketed words give readers a peek into what an article is actually about, essentially spoiling the surprise of, say, a detailed infographic or offers of free stuff that would make a reader more inclined to click onto the page.
20. Keep Intros Short and Descriptive
The quickest way to lose someone’s interest in your page is to write a long, rambling introduction to whatever you’re actually trying to say.
Think about all the times you’ve had to scroll endlessly on a recipe to get past the author’s story of their childhood on a potato farm, or whatever. Now imagine how frustrating that would be if every article or post you read began like that.
This would be especially bad given that the majority of people who make it to a page only end up reading about 28% of the total word count before they lost interest.
Try to stick to about two to three paragraphs at maximum and around 100 words or so. That’s generally what we shoot for in most of our writing.
Additionally, we also like to break the sentences in these paragraphs into short bursts, making them easier to read and more appealing to the reader.
Don’t go overboard with the descriptors unless you really need to for quality reasons, like introducing a complex topic that a reader would need to be familiar with to understand the rest of the piece.
Otherwise, stay short, sweet, and to the point to maximize your chances of people actually making it to the first item on the list.
21. Get Interactive
Reading can be fun, but being able to interact with what you read is always a more enjoyable experience.
As such, try to find ways to get your audience to engage with the content you make. This could be as simple as opening comments (something you should already be doing, frankly) to adding things like games or quizzes into your regular posting rotation.
Even something like a quiz at the end of an article that tests a reader on the primary points of what they just read could work. It’ll not only keep a user engaged with your content for longer but also help them in remembering what they just read, which has the knock-on effect of making them remember your website better.
22. Make People Feel Special
People love to feel special. If you really want your content to take off, you’re going to have to replicate that effect through your writing. Making your readers feel like part of an exclusive club of intellectuals is a great way to get them to share.
This plays into the previous point about interactivity and engagement, too. Part of the comments section is to help form a community around what you post, making for engaging discussion between readers and encouraging them to stick around.
With an extra nudge here or there like giving your fans a name (think “metalheads” or something similar from other fandoms), you encourage people to think of themselves as being brought together as a collective with you at the center. It won’t be long before they start taking pride in their “membership” and spreading the good word.
Just don’t go overboard with this part. Nothing good has ever come out of a mob of unquestioning followers on the internet.
23. Make it Easy to Share
One of the most significant barriers to sharing a piece of media not knowing how to do it. As such, you want to make it as easy as possible to share your content with others.
Short, descriptive URLs like we discussed before help, as do large and visible buttons to share your articles to social media instantly.
This is a problem many burgeoning bloggers have where they unintentionally bury their share buttons in obscure locations on the page.
According to a study by Google, the best way to remedy this would be to keep your buttons above the fold, as this increases how many people can actually find them by over 50%.
That means roughly half of your audience would be struggling to share your blogs just because of poor web design. Don’t let that be the case.
24. Use Hashtags
This one is pretty obvious as anyone even slightly literate in social media will tell you.
The liberal and descriptive use of hashtags can make or break a post as it starts to gain traction, increasing the likelihood of retweets by 55% just by using them.
Whether it’s for easier organization and visibility or taking advantage of the current hot commodity, hashtags get you seen and shared by more people.
25. Be Easy to Read
Making your text easy to read and digest is key to having it take off. We touched on this earlier with items like keeping introductions short, but this applies just as much to the rest of your content.
Limit your paragraphs to around three sentences or so and try to keep most sentences around 20 words or less.
Headers and lists are great for organization and ease of reading, too.
Readers can scan your lists ahead of time to see if an article is worth their time rather than just bypassing it entirely. This all adds up to more time spent on your page, more ad clicks, and more shares.
While there’s no one way to get noticed online, there are several proven methods to help increase your chances of having the content you produce get seen on a larger scale.
These 25 tips do just that, whether it be related to getting your audience to click or keeping them coming back for more.
Try to incorporate as much of what you’ve learned here into your blogging habits and watch the change happen in real-time as your audience explodes.