Going viral. I'd really love to know what comes to mind when you hear those words. Good thing? Bad thing? Something you've experienced or just hoped for? My question to you today is this: If you knew how to create viral content, would you?
The easy answer might be yes. Because who doesn't want a viral post! But today I'm talking with Paula Rollo of Beauty Through Imperfection and Quick Blogging Tips about how to create a viral post, the downside no one talks about, and how to take your viral post into a binge-worthy post.
First up, what IS viral content? It depends who you ask. There is full-on viral posts, which are the kinds of posts that take off and go worldwide. That's rarely what we get to see. Viral is often used to mean a post with a much higher reach than the normal for you, OR a post that has massive reach.
Paula's encouragement was that you NOT compare yourself to others or feel like you'll never hit that massive reach. Consider what's viral for YOU. Aim for a post that has significantly more reach than your normal post.
People don't often talk about the downside of viral posts. But you should realize that more eyeballs on your post can mean a few things. Here are a few negative sides when you create a viral post.
I would say that you should always ask yourself before hitting publish: What if this goes viral? You don't always know if it's going to happen. You probably aren't going to get into that category of worldwide attention. But...if you did, is this the hill you want to die on? Is this post a great representation of you?
Viral posts can bring unwanted attention. And if your posts goes viral, but isn't the kind of thing you usually write about or is one of those one-off posts that doesn't fully represent you, it's not going to be super helpful.
If you wrote about something that's controversial or that people disagree with (which could be anything these days), you may also get ugly comments or people sharing your post because they HATE it. You could get angry emails or other negative responses. The more your post gets shared, the more likely you'll face criticism.
On the plus side...when you have a post go viral, it gets tons of eyeballs on your site. Some people will meet you for the first time and these new readers that might become raving fans.
The best-case-scenario is that you have a post that's close to your heart and your brand go viral. That will bring the right kind of readers to your post.
Viral posts aren't often the how-to posts or the ones that solve a tangible problem. Yes, those can take off and be read and shared. But the posts that get people sharing and sharing and sharing are the ones with an emotional connection.
When you resonate with readers, they will share your post. So if you want to reverse engineer a post to go viral, you need to start with one emotion that you're hoping to evoke in readers.
You'll need to find an image that somehow relates in feel or in the content to that one feeling. You can use stock photos or your own photos, but again--your looking for connection.
As for your headlines, you can consider something like the Coschedule Headline Analyzer (also great for email subject lines!) and consider what would motivate someone to click.
Your framing and description matter as well. Framing is how you introduce the post when you are sharing on social media. The description is usually the meta description that you create when you are setting up the post in SEO for Wordpress by Yoast or whatever tool you use for SEO and metadescriptions. (I do this in Yoast and also in my Social Warfare plugin.)
TIPS FOR WHEN YOUR POST GOES VIRAL
If you have a post go viral, you want to do the best job you can to optimize the post.
This episode and post will share with you my heart for Create If Writing this year. I'm going to walk through my goals for Create If Writing, my goals for 2018, and the offers (free & paid) that I'll have for you this year.
Watch the video in the Create If Writing group! (You'll have to join first. Then either revisit this link, or look under videos.)
If you've listened to the podcast, you can say this along with me: Create If Writing is for writers, bloggers, and creatives who want to build an online platform without being smarmy.
To break that down...
I want to help you connect with the perfect audience, grow that audience, and make more money doing something you love, WITHOUT using smarmy and sleazy tactics.
I want to help you guys with a few big things this year. Here are my specific goals:
Until more of my kids are in school (which will be fall of 2018), I'll be holding back a little on the bigger programs and retreats and other ideas that I have.
Can I say something about paid products for a sec? I want to be clear that I consider the paid products and services I have as OFFERS. This means that I have paid things and I'm holding them out to you. If they fit for your needs and budgets, YAY! If not, that's totally fine. Refer to the free offers I just mentioned.
Books on Amazon
You can find all of my books on Amazon (and sometimes a few other places). These are great, affordable ways to learn. All three of these have very practical information for you!
If you want to jump ahead, working with me one-on-one will provide you with clarity, an action plan, and a confidence to move forward. I have various packages and am happy to create something custom for you. I've worked with nonprofits, writers, and bloggers to help them clarify their message, set up their email lists, and streamline their brand. I only take 2-3 clients per month and am currently booked out through mid-March.
The Create If Community
If you'd like more advanced help, but want something more long-term and love the idea of community, you should consider the Create If Writing Membership Community. This is a paid membership including a 40+ video content library, monthly Q&As, and the best Facebook group you could imagine. I'm closing this at 50 members or by March 1, whichever comes first.
The feedback I hear again and again from members is that this is their safe space, their happy place, and that the members have become real friends. I love that!
If you are like me and you started out with a plan that's already off-track by mid-February, don't despair! Just recalibrate.
My kids LOVE to jump on our scale at home. I mean literally. So this nudges it off the true zero. When you go to weigh yourself, it doesn't start at 0 anymore. With my non-digital scale, you just turn a little wheel to reset back to zero. Easy!
Do the same with your life and your goals.
If you are off-track, don't beat yourself up. Don't feel ashamed or frustrated. RECALIBRATE. See what you need to adjust and just keep moving forward.
Questions? Want to connect? Shoot me an email: kirsten at kirstenoliphant.com or join the community and reach out there.
Learn how to create binge-worthy content that keeps people coming back for more!
To connect with the community, head to the Create If Writing Facebook group!
This episode is a little different from the norm! No real show notes and not a lot of practicality...just some encouragement for you to keep on running. Unless it's time to rest!
To join in the conversation with our community, sign up here: http://createifwriting.com/community
To keep in touch via email with weekly updates, sign up here: http://createifwriting.com/quickfix