What’s the #1 difference between a successful blog and a losing one?
If you said “content”, you’re absolutely right.
We all know content is king. But what type of content is king?
What kind of content usually goes viral online? What type of content attracts more links, social shares, subscribers and sales?
Are you struggling to create content that better captures audiences’ attention? If yes, this detailed post is for you. I will show you 3 of the proven types of content that quickly go viral online.
Here are 3 types of content that spread like wildfire:
1. Expert roundup posts
Hands down, expert roundup posts catch like wildfire. They quickly grab your audience’s attention and persuade it to share and act on your stuff.
If you want to do expert roundup posts, make sure to build relationships with other bloggers within your niche. That’s the FIRST step. Without building connections with other bloggers, getting a response from them will be really hard.
Expert roundup posts are generally a compilation of expert answers to a single question.
Readers love this kind of content as they get many expert opinions in one place. This kind of content drives traffic as many experts will share your post with their audiences. As you have featured them on your blog, you will also build relationships with the experts.
Here are the 3 main reasons why you should concentrate on expert roundup posts:
1. Attracts good amount of traffic: The experts that participate in your roundup can send traffic directly to your post by sharing it with their social followers. Just make sure to email or tweet them when your roundup post goes live with the URL.
2. Boosts your authority: Being seen in the company of influential people boosts your authority. The posts featuring well-known contributors will naturally be perceived as having more value than regular posts.
3. Builds relationships with influencers: An expert roundup is a great way to build relationships with other influencers. A roundup is also an opportunity to collaborate with others without taking too much of their time.
How to create an expert roundup post for your blog that usually goes viral?
#1 Come up with a question or idea
The key point in writing a successful roundup post is choosing the right question. Try to pick a question your target audience is dying to know the answer to. Ask a specific question related to a topic in your niche or industry to a group of people like bloggers, marketers, etc.
If you want your experts to write detailed responses, then don’t ask a yes or no question. Write a question that gets them to tell a story and the response will be much more interesting.
Usually, influencers receive tons of expert roundup requests from other bloggers. So, if your question is one they have been asked a hundred times before, they will be less likely to respond.
For example you can ask something like:
• What is the biggest mistake you made when you first started?
• What problems did you face when building your first email list?
• What’s the one tip you would give to someone new to blogging?
Remember, experts are busy, so make it as quick and easy as possible for them to answer your question. Make a list of burning questions in your niche, and then see if some variation of those would make for an interesting roundup post.
Make sure your outreach email doesn’t waste influencers’ time. It is always best to keep your emails short, simple to read and to the point.
#2 Create your list of experts
Compile a list of at least 10 experts to email your question to. The quality of the final post is largely in their hands. Remember, not all the experts will answer, so put enough names on the list in case some people don’t get back to you.
To get the authority boost you want, include some instantly recognizable names in your expert panel. Make sure you pick people who have audiences you want to reach.
Ask a few really big bloggers, but also ask experts with medium-sized audiences that will be more likely to respond to your request. You can find your experts by:
• Googling “Top health blogs”, if your niche is “health”.
• Searching for roundup posts in your niche and observe who participated.
• Asking your readers whose blogs they read.
Once you create your list, write the names and email addresses down in a spreadsheet to keep track of who you have already contacted. To find your experts’ email addresses, go to their “Contact” page. If you don’t see it in the top menu, scroll to the footer.
Alternatively, you can also use Triberr to get influencer details. Triberr is a place where blogs get together and form groups around their niche. It is easy to see their website and their Twitter following so you can get a quick snapshot view of their authority.
#3 Create a Google Form
Using Google Forms, create a simple form with the following:
- Twitter handle
- Short bio
Then set it up to feed into a spreadsheet.
Now, all of your answers will be nicely organized so that it will be easier to put your roundup post together.
#4 Email your experts
Once you created the Google form, email your experts. Remember, give them plenty of time to answer your question before the due date.
Here is an example of what you can email them:
Subject line: Quick question
Hi [Expert Name],
I’m [your name] from [your blog] and I am doing an expert roundup post about [Roundup Subject]. I highly value your opinion, and I would love for you to participate in the roundup post.
If you could fill out this Google Form [link] by [due date], I would really appreciate it.
Thanks in advance,
Add the template into your Google “canned responses”, or copy and paste it into each email, change the expert name, and send it out to make this process quick.
When you get responses back, make sure to email your experts and thank them for their responses, and then tell them when you are going to publish the post.
#5 Put your post together
For each expert in your post, include:
- A headshot (this you will get it on Facebook or LinkedIn)
- Their Twitter handle
- Their website address
- Their answer to your question
- Their 1–2 sentence bio
#6 Email your experts once the post goes live
When you publish your roundup post, email all the experts to let them know you have published the post.
You can use this template to email them:
Subject line: The roundup post on [subject] featuring you is live
Hi [Expert name],
I am emailing you to let you know that I just published the roundup post on [Subject]. Thanks again for your response. I know it will be a big help to my readers.
If you’d like to check out the post, here’s the link. [Link]
And if you think it would be helpful for your audience, here’s a tweet you can copy and share with them. [Tweet with the link, your handle, and your roundup headline].
And when they share your post, be sure to thank them!
With this type of content, you can not only increase your blog traffic, but also build relationships with top influencers – which is essential to increase your brand in the online world.
2. Massive list posts
One of the classic posts is the list post format.
And not just any list posts. They have to be MASSIVE. The list post should contain a lot of information that brings value to your audience.
For example, which of the following title would you click on when you read?
a) 3 Ways to Lose Belly Fat
b) 100 Ways to Get Stronger Abs
You would pick the second one, right?
Massive list posts usually provide solutions to problems in small, manageable chunks. When you make a list post, the more detailed it is, the better. Leave your readers feeling like they have learned everything they will ever need to know about their problem and you have a winner post that will continue to bring in traffic.
List posts go viral and have less to do with SEO and more with just being awesomely informative.
- They catch viewer’s attention
- They are helpful to a specific audience
- They are easy to get through and to understand
Any headline that lists a number of reasons, secrets, tips, or ways will work because it makes a very specific promise of what’s in store for the reader. As long as you deliver quality content, you will have a satisfied reader.
Why create massive list posts?
Here are the 3 benefits of writing list posts:
- When you write in the list form, people love it – A properly organized data point that includes stats always attracts readers.
- Makes easy for the reader to understand – Let’s say you have just started a blog. Obviously you will look for step by step methods on how to start a blog in WordPress. With just 5 or 6 points, readers will get a clear picture on how one can start a blog. Readers would understand the information easier in a step-by-step manner rather than reading it in the form of paragraphs.
- Increases traffic – Writing a list post increases your traffic. If you are an Adsense publisher, then proper placement of ads on such articles can increase your earnings. A proper call of action at the end of the article too can increase your subscriber count, likes, shares, tweets.
How to create list posts?
#1 Do thorough research
The number 1 thing to remember while writing massive list posts is to spend more time researching about your topic.
BuzzSumo is a great place to start your research. Enter a keyword that’s relevant to your topic, analyze the top results, and look at what your competition has already come up with. You obviously don’t want to just copy their list, but it can be a great way to get great blog post ideas for your list posts.
Once you start listing your points, be sure you keep your paragraphs under each point short and to the point. It’s good to have 3 to 4 sentences for each paragraph. Keep the content to only a couple paragraphs.
Use bullet points while writing list posts. For every list point, if there is an important point to be addressed, write those under bullet points. It grabs the reader’s attention.
#2 Create click-worthy headlines
Come up with a topic for your list post. If you have yoga niche blog, then you may want to write something around “yoga poses”. Next determine how many items you want on the list. It is recommended to use odd numbers as they tend to be more convincing. Put in a keyword from your list into Google and see what’s in the top ten results. Use a number that is not found in Google search, eventually one that exceeds other lists.
Now, title your post. Remember headlines can make or break the whole thing. If your title lacks the key features to grab attention, then everything else you try on the list is going to be pointless.
If you have mentioned anyone in your post, make sure you inform them. Chances are they may share your post on their social media accounts.
Here are the four tips that will help you while crafting title:
- The topic you chose should instill interest in your audience. It should generate the initial urge to read it.
- Use strong words. For example, if there is topic like “Make Money Blogging: 20 Helpful Tips To Earn $100,000 per Month”, then here “make money” is strong word.
- Use numbers. It attracts readers more.
- Be descriptive. The title of your post should tell them what and how they are going to learn, like 20 tips or 10 life hacks.
So, before you even start writing a list post, spend a good amount of time coming up with titles by keeping above points into consideration.
3. Case studies
Making your audience trust you – that’s the most difficult and important task for any blogger to succeed online.
Case studies are a great way to tell the world how valuable your products or services are. This type of content explains how your products and services helped a client.
You need to show some testimonials or real-life examples of how you were able to satisfy your customer’s needs and help them accomplish their goals. Case studies will really help you generate more business leads if you use the right type of reporting for your needs and structure it properly.
The case study basically says, “here’s what we do, how we do it, and the results we get.”
This is how you can create a case study:
#1 Your ideal customer should relate to what you have written
Do you know who your ideal customer is? If it’s someone in the automobile industry, then make your case studies about auto parts and accessories manufacturers.
Once your ideal customer has read your case study, it should convince them that:
- You are comfortably knowledgeable of their industry
- You know their industry’s specific needs
- You know how to give their industry targeted results
It is as simple as that. For example, when you come across a how-to post specifically designed for your needs, then you are more likely to understand and apply the information.
The same goes with case studies. While writing your case study, make sure that it doesn’t come off as pure marketing. Make it a story. A good case study is really an inspiring “success story.”
#2 Tell a story
Who doesn’t love reading story? A great case study will allow someone to really get to know the customer, such as:
- What were the customer’s goals and needs?
- How did you satisfy those needs and help the customer meet their goals?
To show how your products and services are continuing to have long term benefits for the customer, simply follow up with the customer in the case study and update it a few months down the road.
This will give readers the opportunity to see that your goal is not only to help with immediate needs, but also to ensure long term results.
#3 Provide easy to read formatting
No matter how interesting and informative your content is, no one really likes to read huge chunks of text. So use good content formatting elements, such as:
- Bulleted lists
- Bolded and italicized text
In addition to providing great SEO value for your case studies page, these formatting elements will help your readers find the most important parts of your case study and get a great impression about what your business could do for them.
#4 Appeal to different types of learners
Some people prefer audio, video, or some other type of visual representation instead of a text-based format of your case study. So take your text-based case studies and re-purpose the content as:
- A podcast
- A YouTube video
- Or even an infographic
Some of the tips to write a great case study:
- Keep your title short. Focus on highlighting the most compelling accomplishments.
- Write a 2-4 sentence summary of the entire story.
- Write an introduction of the client, which can be informed by a LinkedIn profile or website.
- It’s good to write a 2-3 paragraph description of the customer’s challenges prior to using your product or service.
- Describe how your product or service provided a solution to their problem in 2-3 paragraphs.
- Pick one or two of the most powerful quotes that you would feature at the end of the sections above, as well as a visual that supports the story you are telling.
- Write a 2-3 paragraph testimonial that proves how your product or service specifically impacted the client and helped in achieving their goals. Always, include numbers to quantify your contributions.
Be sure to spend quality time on finding the right topics to write case studies about. Remember that well written and in-depth case studies always go viral online.
Final thoughts about creating viral content
Content marketing is the best way to reach a wider audience. Not only does content marketing help you reach more people, but it also gives you the best ROI if done right.
More and more marketers are spending a ton of money and time on creating great content for their target audience. Once you know which type of content goes viral, attracting the right people to your sites will be much easier.
So make sure to use the 3 types of content discussed above to reach more people with your content. Did you like this post? Do you have any more questions? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.