How to write a popular blog post

You finish writing a post. You’ve worked really hard for it. And then you want it to be read by tons of people everywhere – that is, you want it to go viral. It depends on a lot of factors – the timing of your post, the length of the post, your blog readers etc. Here are some things I have noticed in great blog posts which went viral on social networking sites.

A post will go viral if :

1. It has a catchy headline: Whatever you have written in your post should be explained in a single line. If your headline is not catchy or attractive, chances are, people won’t even bother to read the post. You must convince the reader to read your post through your headline. A headline may consist of a question, important keywords, and terms like “useful”, “helpful” etc. Make sure that the titles are not too long. Remember, on social networking sites, readers skim through thousands of tweets, and if your headline is not powerful enough, people won’t read the article. Also, do not misguide people with your headline just to catch attention – it will disappoint the readers.

2. It is something different: People are constantly looking out for something different. There are loads of blogs out there and if your content stands out from them, it will go viral. Keep thinking of unique topics to write on.

3. The content is interesting: If your post contains tips – photography tips, designing tips, twitter tips, blogging tips etc, it has a high chance of going viral on social networking sites. Whatever you write about, if it has useful information and is well researched – people will read it.

4. It is relevant: The timing matters. Now that a new social networking site Google+ has joined the Social media bandwagon, everybody is writing about it. Some posts are ever-green posts – that is, they can be tweeted months later and still be relevant. While some posts are more about current topics. If the matter is current and fresh content, it can go viral!

5. It is controversial: If a blog post has content which opposes something or turns a topic on its head, it garners attention. For example: “5 reasons why Facebook is for losers”, “4 signs you’re doing social media wrong” etc.

6. It is funny: Content + Entertainment = Bingo! It depends on the topic you’re writing on though. A serious topic should not poke fun at anything, but a sarcastic post can definitely generate laughs and become popular.

7. It is a list: Everybody likes lists. Most (Almost all) of the posts on this blog are lists. Lists make it easier to read and understand.  Readers love numbers. “5 reasons why..”, “6 things to remember..”, “4 signs of…”,“Top 10” etc posts always rock.

8. It is an interview of someone influential: Interviews of great people are awesome because you can learn something new from it and people get to see a different side of the influencer through the interview.

Apart from the above points, promoting it well also matters. Sometimes great posts by newbie bloggers go unnoticed because of lack of promotion and readership. I think the key is to keep working hard, keep building connections and maintaining loyal readers. What do you think? Do you have any more tips to add? Let me know in the comments!

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16 comments:

  1. This cracks me up, but the blogs I find are most popular are about Facebook or Twitter!!

    OR just have Facebook and or Twitter in the headline!

    1. I guess that’s because Twitter and Facebook are the ‘big things’ right now. And people on twitter like to read stuff about twitter, Facebookers like to read about FB and so on – hence they become popular. Of course, inspirational posts and photography posts go viral as well 🙂 Thanks for your comment Kiera! 🙂

  2. Thanks, Nicky, this is very helpful. I am constantly surprised at which posts of mine become popular. Kiera’s right, Facebook posts are popular, both initially and through search engines.

    When I write posts about popular topics, I try to think what I can offer that hasn’t been written about yet. Why should someone read my article when there are so many others out there covering the same subject. That works well too.

    These are great tips and I will have to try some of the ones I haven’t used yet. Thanks for the helpful advice. I hope this post goes viral, it should! 🙂

    1. Hi Carolyn,
      firstly, thanks for your great comment! 🙂
      Fantastic point, writing something which someone else hasn’t covered yet makes it unique! 🙂

  3. WOW. Dear Nicky Such a great post & awesome tips to write a great blog post. So helpful for bloggers.

    You always write interesting & great articles. Great going dear. Keep It Up. Happy to learn great tips from you. #YouRock!

    ((Hugs))
    Amit (@AmitV_Tweets)

  4. Thanks Nicky for the great article! After reading your article I can see that my blogs are not designed to reach a larger audience. But, I love writing a blogs. For me, there is something about the writing process that feels sacred. So, I guess it is great if people like them, but what is important for me is that I enjoy writing them. However, your article has helped me think about how I can make my writings more interesting for others.
    Thanks!
    Ralph

    1. Hi Ralph, you have a great point there. When you write from your heart, it becomes special and as you said, sacred 🙂 But I’m glad you found this post helpful 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  5. That is a great post. I believe those tips can bloggers too.

    can you give some tips on, How to make a popular website or How to make your website go viral.

    Thanks!

  6. Well sometimes all rules fail. A blog post that u had written just to kill your time becomes much more popular than your expectations. Sometimes you work for days on some particular post and you don’t get even 100 clicks.

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