Have you ever read a blog post that blew your mind away so much that you can’t resist sharing it to your network? Or have you seen a Facebook post with millions of shares and wondered how did the content get so many views and shares?
Luck has nothing to do with it. It’s all about strategy.
Today, we will examine the anatomy of a viral post, and learn more about the elements and style that makes for eyeball-grabbing content. In fact, I am going to discuss with you a method that will bring you massive amounts of shares and likes, ergo, thousands of new blog visitors in just a few hours.
First of all, let’s talk about digestion…
Because online users are not just desktop-dependent—what with tablet computers, smart phones, Wi-Fi, and 4G—people access the Internet almost everywhere, at any time. According to an AOP website usage research conducted in the UK, an average Internet user visits 2,500 web pages across 81 domains within just a month. Now, that’s a lot of content to digest in a short period!
How do they do it?
Internet consumers these days live in a world of “quick fixes and instant gratification”, so much so that we almost have the same attention span of a gold fish. We like things fast, and easily understandable.
This is why list-type posts are becoming THE trend.
Readers get the information from a list post within minutes, and this is a very attractive notion for them. The content is laid out in easily digestible chunks, so that not only do you catch the attention of a passer-by, you also retain his attention for the next few minutes.
According to statistics, shareable posts contain MORE than 1000 words, with headlines indicating large numbers.
For example: 98 Proven Ways to Get Your Ex Back
But hey, I know for a fact that list posts are not easy to write. Look at the example above. Imagine writing 98 ways! It can take hours to come up with a massive list like this, and you are not even sure if what you wrote will be interesting enough for the reader.
And so, we look at faster ways to do it. After all, you cannot hope to earn as much as you want while you are chained to your desk writing a list post.
Yes, there is a way to create a list that will demand much less of our time and effort.
The Curated List Post
Making your own list posts take a long time because you make them from scratch, not to mention the hours you’d spend on brainstorming. This is all great, of course, especially for “pillar” and evergreen content that would be the foundation of your blog.
However, you simply can’t do it every week, much less every day. You’d burn out.
Here’s where curated list posts come in handy.
A curated list post is a compilation of links to content that have already been made by other people. No, I am not talking about plagiarizing and posting content that would mean Google penalties for your site.
Your content will look like this:
10 Great Ideas for Valuable Curated Content
How We Got 1,000+ Subscribers from a Single Blog Post in 24 Hours
Case Study: An Inside Look into My Most Successful Guest Posts
Essentially, you will be posting links to other people’s work in your post. Yes, it may take time compiling all those links, but I will teach you some methods to make the process easier and faster.
The Importance of Curated List Posts
By writing a curated post (besides creating new content for your own blog), you are consequently promoting other people’s works – the people who previously created the content you are linking to. You are featuring another person or that other person’s article in your post. By doing so you are creating something like the domino effect.
What does this mean? Well, this means that by featuring this other person and asking them to share your post you are almost guaranteed that they will. After all, people love sharing articles with their names on it.
Therefore, people who you’ve featured will become important influencers with a large number of social followers, which consequently leads us to another positive effect: People re post and share content from people they trust. If someone whom you trust posts any content which you find interesting, you will most probably share it, simple as that.
Organizing Curated Posts
Curated list posts fall under these 3 categories:
Lists of common articles—these are lists that highlight top quality articles covering the same topics. Example: Email List Building
Website lists—these lists cover the best websites or blogs in a niche. Example: best network marketing blogs
Lists of tools—in lists like this, you feature the best tools people can use in their niche. Example: lead generation tools
Now here are the steps for writing a curated post featuring any of the three categories above.
Step 1: Point Out Your Main Goals And Unify The Information
If you know exactly the information you’re dealing with, and the right way to create your post, you can effectively increase your chances of going viral. In order for your post not to be a random collection of links, you have to find the common denominator that binds the links together.
What makes them all belong on the same list? The answer is usually type and topic.
The first important thing to take into account is to “point out your main goal”, and determine the full purpose of our post. If your post is about teaching then it would be to create the best content to teach, inspire and get readers hooked on.
The next thing to do is to investigate the market. Know more about the readers you are aiming to captivate. Create interesting content to catch the reader’s full attention and improve it. Create relevant information without it becoming boring or redundant.
Step 2: Stalk…er… Know Your Competition (Keep your friends close and your competition even closer)
In order to improve our content you need to know more about your competition.
To do so ask yourself the following questions.
How fresh is their information?
How engaging is there design?
How long is their list?
How relevant and extensive are their topics?
Your goal must be to do better than the current best posts on your same topic. This is the best strategy.
Still, this can be as time consuming as creating a post from zero. So here we give you the answer – featuring more quality links than the leading winner.
It is a fact that many people just pay attention to the headline, they don’t even read the post. To find the best content on your topic is very simple. How?
Just run a Google search. For example:
Top 50 Articles On (topic)
50 Of The Best (topic) Posts
50 (topic) Resources
Once you’ve found a considerable number that cover the same topic as your proposed post, scan them so you can have an idea of what you have to beat.
Curating Your List Like a Wiz
Here are two ways to quickly gather articles for your list post.
#1: Begin By Investigating your own Articles From Google
It is most natural to research and collect articles, tools or websites by using Google.
First, click on “Settings” at the bottom right of the Google homepage.
When it opens, click “Search Settings”:
Change the Google instant predictions option to “Never show Instant results,” on the next page, and then change the “Results per page” to 100 or 50, whichever works for you.
Then click on “Save.”
Whenever you run a search via Google, you will get either 50 or 100 page results. Cool right?
Next up, download the MOZ SEO Toolbar. Believe me, it will make gathering links so much easier for you.
Once installed, run a quick search for the type of articles you want to include on your list.
- Most viral articles on [topic]
- How to [topic]
- Tips on [topic]
- Case studies on [topic]
- Guide to [topic]
- Beginners guide to [topic]
Take advantage of Google search operators like the one HERE to help you narrow down your search.
#2: Use Other List Posts as Article Sources
Now this method is not only super simple, it works, too!
Rather than relying on Google for our search, you can source your articles from other list posts on your topic. By doing this you will be combining the work of other bloggers and creating an epic post. Make sure to only include high quality links in your post.
How to Promote Your Post to Get Maximum Exposure
Now here comes one of the most important steps. Once your post is ready and published you will have to promote it. This is easier than it sounds. The main idea is to get your influencers on board and to do so you need to let them know that they have been featured.
How? E-mail and social media.
1) Email the Influencers You Featured in Your Post
Start by finding the email addresses of every person you’ve featured in your post. You may find this info on their About page, Page footer, Blog newsletter. Here’s a neat list on how to do this easily: 30+ Ways To Find Anyone’s Email Address
2) Tag everyone on Google+ and Twitter
Using Twitter and Google+ is an alternative to sending an email. Nowadays not everyone responds to emails and by sharing via Twitter it makes it easier for the influencer to share your post. Send out a group tweet and don’t forget to include a few people in at once. This way when one person shares it, it tags everyone else again. You can use the same strategy for Google+.
Ready To Get Shared?
It doesn’t matter if you’re the most hard working blogger (or the most unconcerned), it is a guarantee that if you follow these instructions you have a very high possibility at creating a post that goes viral! Besides that you will also get to build a pretty awesome list of influencers to help your posts go viral on a daily basis.
So, pick a topic now and get shared!