How to Make Your Content Go Viral
As a writer, it is always gratifying to see your work reach a wide audience. While there is always a degree of satisfaction that comes from knowing a few people have read your article, it is even more satisfying to see it reach a large audience.
And, while there are many different ways to measure the success of an article, one of the most gratifying is when it receives a lot of social media attention. Shares, likes, and comments on social media can help to ensure that your article reaches a wide audience and that it resonates with readers.
Over the years I have published more than 200 articles and, like any other writer, I want to share my thoughts with as many readers as possible. When you invest hours in your article, you want to be sure that more than ten people will read it. Sometimes it is just those few people; other times it is dozens of thousands or hundreds of thousands.
Some websites offer the same advice that has been repeated thousand times over, advice like, “You need a provocative title,” “You need to use numbers in the headline,” “You need to have a great picture,” etc. When sitting down to write a post that you’re hoping will break the Internet, you can feel way over your head. And I was in over mine when I started my writing.
Over the years having a viral article has not been my aim. Of course, having one always brings the dopamine rush when you see all the likes, shares, and comments flowing. But it is not my end goal and there is a reason for that.
Yes, viral articles will put you into the spotlight for a brief moment, but often that’s it and this goes quickly away and new readers don’t discover this article as it is no longer reshared by others. Good quality content, on the other hand, generates way more visitors over the years and could bring you way more opportunities than viral articles.
The best way to explain what I mean by that is to show you.
Are Viral Articles Better Than Other Articles?
A few years ago, I wrote an article titled Why Employee Experience Is Important (LinkedIn). This article was published on LinkedIn October 8, 2019 and it became viral from day one. During the few first weeks the article got 155,455 likes, 2,136 comments and 15,031 reshares but only 119,244 views.
That means that 23% of people who gave it a like never read it. They liked this article because of the quote in the article header. But that is not important, what is important to know is that the increase of people who read it over the years was close to zero.
On the other hand, another article “How to Find Out Someone’s Name From a Picture” that I shared on Medium is a completely different story. I posted this article on March 7, 2019 and up until June 2019 the number of people who read it was insignificant.
But in the months that followed, the number of readers rapidly grew every day. And within three years it got more than 1.3 million readers and new readers are still coming every day.
What Helped Me to Succeed?
Some time ago, I read this piece of advice: “Create blog posts that answer the most interesting questions from people you engage with on social media.” It stuck in my mind for a long time, and this is exactly what I have been trying to do for years.
When I was trying to find an article about how to find out someone’s name from a picture, I didn’t find anything useful. That is why I decided to write this article for myself and for others. I wrote an article that I had wanted to find when I was searching for it. And as I found out over time, I wasn’t the only one who was searching for it.
Other articles I wrote are not getting millions of views, but many of them are doing more than fine. And every year hundreds of thousands of people are discovering my articles via Google, Medium Blog, LinkedIn, and other sources where I am sharing them. And even if they do not become viral hits, the focus on writing quality content pays off. Good things always take time; stay patient and keep writing. Everything is going to come together, maybe not right now but eventually.
The viral article on LinkedIn brought me 119,244 readers, the non-viral article had more than 1.3 million readers. And this article is getting more readers every single day, and this will continue for some time. Organic content is king, and good quality is important too. If you focus on quality content instead of trying to figure out all the tricks to get people to your article, you might not have a viral article but you might get results that will blow your mind.
The secret to writing viral content lies in this: write what you know about so that you are able to pack it with value. Make sure that anything you write about is completely within your understanding so that you can set your best foot forward with that topic. This way, you will be able to produce content that is well researched, making more people pay attention to it. And it is quality content that people will be reading over the next few years.
My best-performing articles are on topics that matter to people!