ASP 27: How to Write Viral Posts Around Your Book Topics
Today, it’s just Barrie and Ron, while Steve attends the Traffic and Conversion Conference in San Diego. We’ll be answering a number of questions about writing viral posts around your book topics.
“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar
What should be your main goal with every post?
Write for your reader and ask them to take action—it’s as simple as that.
One of the most important goals of every blog post is serving the reader and motivating them to come back for more. Get them to trust and get to know you so that when the time comes to ask them to buy from you, they will feel comfortable doing so.
Trust is key, because people have such short attention spans. And trust is not built overnight You need to learn what your audience needs, and then find ways to provide solutions to their problems. Provide value, and you will be much more likely to succeed in your second main goal, which is to get the reader to take action (such as signing up, leaving a comment, or following you on social media).
How can you maximize the potential for getting lots of traffic?
It is important to take a multi-pronged approach. When you create your blog post, think about what you have to write for your reader and what you have to write for the search engines. They’re not always the same.
Once you have some idea about what you want to write, check out Buzzsumo to learn how much buzz your topic has. Type in the topic and check out the posts that have done well. Take note of the titles of the posts.
Then go to Google Keyword Planner. This gives you search volume, and lets you know what people are searching for. Go for at least 1,000 searches per month, and ignore everything below that.
The goal is to try to get your post on page one of the search engine, because that’s where all the traffic is. As much as 83% of all traffic comes from being on the first page!
In short, always to remember to write for people, but optimize for search engines. Basic SEO tasks are easy enough to do, and do not take too much time.
Let’s talk about titling your post, and what’s important to make sure search engines can find it.
There are two titles: the main title (official blog post title) and the SEO title (words people use to search for your topic). It is important that both are strong.
Finally, you also need to pay attention to the meta-description (which is still available if you use an SEO plugin).
Let’s talk about the meat of the post, and some of the important things you need to remember.
First of all, make sure that you have H2 title tags, and use subheadings. When you write, go deep instead of wide. Give lots of detailed, meaty information instead of trying to cover too many topics at once. The more intense and packed the information, the greater the chance for it to go viral, so don’t be afraid to dive deep into your topic.
However, remember that when you’re writing your post, you want to sound authentic and relatable. You also want to vulnerable, rather than sounding like a know-it-all or a robot. But don’t reveal too much about yourself through the post. For more on this, read How to decide how much to reveal about yourself by Penelope Trunk.
You can also include quotes and statistics, and even infographics, as we did in 50 Self-Coaching Questions to Help You Find Your Passion on Live Bold and Bloom. (This appears to be on it’s way to going viral.)
If you’re overwhelmed by all the writing you have to do, remember that every post doesn’t have to be meaty. Provide value where you can, but don’t be afraid to add some variety as well.
What kind of posts tend to be viral?
Creating viral content? The secret is get contagious… by Derek Halpern is a great place to start, if you are looking to create content that will go viral. In general, content that goes viral tends to be positive rather than negative; something that arouses the emotions (such as How to Recognize the 8 Signs of Emotional Manipulation); and useful and practical, with a call to action at the end.
A few other factors include length (3,000- to 10,000-word pieces tend to get shared more, so try to write one long post per month, and remember that long posts can be repurposed); images (these are always popular); and humor/happiness (shared more than negative posts). Furthermore, 8 of the top 10 posts in the past 8 months were quizzes, which appeal to readers because they fuel our identities and egos. Check out Playbuzz.com for more on quizzes.
The six types of posts that are most often shared include lists, infographics, how-to articles, posts that start with the word “what,” posts that start with the word “why,” and videos.
Check out How to Go Viral: Lessons from the Most Shared Content of 2015 by Buzzsumo for more ideas.
When creating your post, add a byline at the beginning and a small author bio at the end. Try to find influencers to share your posts, as that will help them go viral. Also, try to write evergreen content, so that your posts don’t pass an expiration date and become irrelevant. And remember that the best days to share your content is on Mondays and Tuesdays.
If you are having writer’s blank, consider extrapolating a chapter from your book and turning it into a post, or making a list or an infographic out of one of your chapters.
How do you format your content?
It is important to make your post scannable, so as not to lose readers. At the beginning, do one-sentence paragraphs to hook people in. Add bold headlines and statements to grab the readers’ attention. Use bullet points and lists, as these are easily and quickly digestible. Add quotes to give your post credibility, and add images and graphics within the body, especially if the post is long. Finally, use Click-to-Tweet so that your posts are easily shareable.
How about promotion of blog posts?
Promoting your posts is all about leveraging social media. Use Facebook and boost your content when you can. With Twitter, schedule tweets throughout the day to get in front of more people. Also consider using LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. And always try to leverage your connections with influencers. Even if you can’t contact influencers, you can always ask other bloggers. The more people you have sharing your content, the more likely it is to get in front of a bigger audience.
That’s all for this week. Grab the AP Checklist and get started on your book!
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