This is a guest post by Gregory Ciotti.
So, your content marketing and blogging efforts are falling flat on their face, are they? Your posts must be terrible. They aren’t getting shared or read by anyone, so they must be garbage…
Or maybe you just don’t know how to catch people’s attention.
When it comes to creating highly popular, viral posts for marketing and blog promotion purposes, we all know that the cornerstone is amazing content and excellent information. We also all know the importance of getting traffic to our blogs in order to convert people over to subscribers and potential customers. That’s nothing new.But did you know that there are four ways to change your posts on-site to further fuel the viral fire?
Most likely, you are already writing awesome posts, and the only reason that they aren’t getting read is because nobody is enticed enough to click through.
Without a single additional guest post or traffic generating method, you can increase the virility of your blogs posts and content marketing efforts with the simplest of changes: what you name them.
Creating headlines that nobody can resist
The biggest change you can make on-site to get your posts to go viral is to make sure people are actually clicking on them.
That sounds basic, but so few bloggers and content marketers pay close attention to post titles when, in reality, it can be the most important part of the post … at least when it comes to getting people to read it.
Your headline is your first impression, and if you don’t get it right, people are going to pass over even the most excellent of content—all because you lost them at the start. As a blogger or an entrepreneur, it is time for you to stop letting that happen.
So what are the four best ways to structure your titles to ensure your posts go viral?
1. The “intrigue” style headline
This is the headline that makes people do a double take when they read it. That makes them wonder, “What is this guy/gal talking about? How can that even be possible?”
Intrigue is one of the most effective ways of creating a viral post.
A person reads a post of yours that contains an intriguing title, and it gets them to click through.
Hopefully, you’ve backed up the post title with some really rewarding content (more on this later), and they read all the way to the bottom. Nice!
Now they share your post on Twitter. That same post title which you used to lure them in is now being spread across social networks, making followers everywhere wonder what the heck this post is about. They click through, and they read to the end.
Do you see where I’m going with this? The point is, intriguing titles generate clicks, and once they are shared, they create even more buzz and interest as people head over to your blog to see what the heck it is you’re on about.
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2. The “finality” style headline
There are a few more great styles of headlines that generate similar levels of interest, beyond the “intrigue” style headline.
One of my favorites is the “finality” style headline. These are the headlines that consist of phrases like, “The Ultimate Guide,” or “The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need.”
Again, if you can deliver once a person has clicked, you’re almost guaranteed a share or a subscriber, because you’ve already conquered a huge part of the battle: getting the reader’s attention.
Using terms like “complete”, “ultimate”, and “essential” will inform a reader that hey, it’s okay that you passed on those other posts on this subject, because here is what you need to know.
The idea that they might be able to get everything they need from only your post is one of the most powerful forms of enticement in getting readers to click on your post. Again, when they read through and share it, your post title is already so dominant that people who see it will be hard-pressed to pass it up, and you’ll be primed for your post to go viral.
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3. The “topic + hype” style headline
This is one of the easiest styles to follow, and it is probably the best one for SEO and getting ranked in search engines for tough terms.
This style is literally as it is described: put the topic first, preferably optimized for popular search terms, and then hype the post with a description.
I did this exact thing on my guide for Facebook marketing, which targets that specific term, but gets people to click by giving a detailed example (that is, how I got 6,683+ Facebook fans).
Typically speaking, you are going to catch people’s attention with the topic, then guarantee the click with an exciting, descriptive line that is magnetic for clicks.
For instance, if I wrote an article about guest blogging, I could name it, “Guest Blogging: How I Got 1,000+ Subscribers From Nothing But Guest Posts.”
This aims to rank for the term guest blogging, shows readers what it’s about, and after the colon, builds excitement: people are going to wonder how I got 1,000 subscribers from nothing other than guest blogging, and will click through to find out.
Just make sure you deliver on the hype, or you’ll leave readers disappointed!
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4. The “list post” style headline
Ah, the infamous “list post.” A huge majority of the most viral posts are list posts, and it’s no wonder why: lists posts are easily browsed, enticing to read (because they guarantee order and a cohesive list), and the most shareable type of post in the blogosphere.
List posts subconsciously promise readers that they will be able to get through the post easily, and if not, they can bookmark and come back later, because hey, it’s an easy-to-follow list!
Lists posts are powerful both as posts on your own blog and for when you pursue guest blogging, because of this accessibility.
As an example, you are obviously reading a list post this very instant! I knew that readers of the ProBlogger blog would appreciate being able to browse my post just in case they didn’t want to make the full investment to read all the way through. I wrote it in the list style to make it more accessible to readers who haven’t heard of me before.
Rounding off your numbers seems to work well with list posts, especially when you get into bigger numbers: if you can, try to hit 10, 25, or 50, and if applicable, include the +, such as “25+ Ways To Guarantee People Will Love Your Next Guest Post.”
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Over to you
What is your favorite style of post to draw attention? What types of posts do you feel have the most “viral” potential? What is your favorite type to write on your own blog? How about for guest posts?
See you in the comments!
Gregory Ciotti owns Sparring Mind. Are you using WordPress in your content marketing efforts for your blog or business? You definitely need to check out Sparring Mind, the content marketing blog that shows you it doesn’t take a tech geek to build an amazing WordPress blog with outstanding content.