Have you ever come across an article so good that you couldn’t just skim through?
It probably caught your eye on your Facebook newsfeed with a catchy headline… You clicked through for a glance and found yourself hooked!
It was such a great article that you had to share it with your circle of friends, and even your mom!
This has certainly happened to me quite a few times.
There are some pieces of content that just capture my attention, keep me engaged, teach me something new, or just make me go, ‘Aha’!
These are words that resonate with me, draw me into the story and make me want to share the beauty with others.
In the marketing world, it’s a known fact that good content brings in more traffic, generates more leads and increases sales. But well-written content serves no purpose if it’s not share-worthy.
All those articles that kept you (and me) hooked had some kind of secret sauce that compelled the reader to share it with others.
If you want your blog content also to have a massive impact, it must be worthy of being shared. Every individual who reads your article must feel the need to share it on their WhatsApp groups, tag their besties and repost it on their networks.
Social media currently plays an instrumental role in making content go viral. So, it’s likely that your blog articles too could get good traction when shared on various social media channels.
I recently went on a virtual journey to discover what makes popular content click, and I think you’ll like what I found.
Let’s dissect 3 blog articles that have had massive social media engagement and find a formula you can follow when writing your own content.
Inc.com has a worldwide reputation of being the go-to resource for entrepreneurs, leaders, innovators and financial experts. An article published by Marcel Schwantes at Inc has gained an engagement of over 318.9K. That’s a huge number for a 600+ word article on company culture.
It is just a short, practical list, but the fact that it’s got over 300K engagement on social media proves that it’s been quite popular with the right audience.
Here’s what I feel went right with this article…
While this article might not stand out as exceptional content, it’s apparent that it resonated with many who read the article and they probably shared it among their circle of influence.
If you’re thinking of compiling a list post for your blog, there are some basic tenets you can incorporate based on the Inc.com article.
1. Address a major pain point in your niche.
When you know who your ideal customer is, you’ll also know the major challenges and pain points they face. Think of the topics you can write about in list format that will address those issues.
2. Keep your points simple and concise.
Keep the main thing the main thing. Each point on your list needs to have just one or two sentences to expound on it.
3. Provide helpful tips/ideas that readers can practically apply.
Abstract content will not benefit the reader in any way. Make sure you provide interesting ideas or practical tips that the reader can apply in real life to overcome their challenge.
4. Include quotes or videos from a subject matter expert to exert authority.
Look for resources (either your own or external links) that you can incorporate into your content to make it more authoritative and trustworthy.
This article on they New York Times caught my attention right away. I’m someone who loves shopping, and the thought that somebody went a year without shopping piqued my curiosity.
It is a moderately lengthy article, voicing the opinion of Ann Patchett, and it’s gained over 153K engagement since its publication in December 2017. Since it’s on an evergreen topic, I’m sure it’s going to garner more views for years to come.
Here are a few things I thought worked out well for this article…
Opinions article tend to generate a lot of interest, but it’s not always positive. Since readers come from diverse backgrounds and beliefs, not everyone will agree with you. Yet, being real and vulnerable will help your audience see who you really are and eventually trust your business.
If you want to voice your opinion in a blog post, here are some guidelines you can follow…
1. Pick a topic you are passionate about.
Your audience can clearly see through your words. So, make sure you’re writing about something that you are personally invested in.
2. Keep it conversational.
Imagine you are talking to your reader over a cup of coffee. That’s the same tone you’re writing will have to convey. This would make your words real and heartfelt.
3. Be cautiously vulnerable.
You can be frank about your weaknesses, lessons you’ve learnt along the way and the hardships you encountered. But do keep a tab on how much you’re willing to openly share online.
4. Expect brickbats.
You may face some very vocal critics or even trolls in the comments and on social media. Be ready to engage in a healthy discussion with them, without fostering a negative community.
Okay… I must be honest. This third article we’re dissecting is my own! I was a regular contributor at this website and decided to create a free printable of Bible verses that are related to marriage.
I was pleasantly shocked at how well the post performed on social media, especially Pinterest. The article currently has over 4K shares, and I still keep running into it although it was published years back.
Here’s why I think this post is doing well…
When negative articles about violence, crime and political games ruin the blogosphere, people tend to look for inspirational articles that offer them hope and remind them of the beauty left in this world.
If you have an idea for an inspirational article, here’s what you can do…
1. Be empathetic.
You need to first put yourself in your readers’ shoes and understand what they’re going through. Only then can your writing address their specific area of need.
2. Be positive.
The world wide web is blotted with enough criticism, negative talk and satire as it is. Use words that are positive and encouraging.
3. Be creative.
If you have the time to dabble with graphics, create a nice image to capture the essence of your article. Else, you can just take a few minutes to embed a beautiful royalty free image in your post (with the appropriate usage license, of course).
4. Be helpful.
While beautiful words can be a balm to a hurting soul, sometimes your readers will need concrete help. Provide links to resources where they can find practical help to meet their immediate need.
The examples we looked at in this article are just a small sample of content that has been wildly shared over the internet. Each of these articles had that extra something that caused it to gain massive popularity. I hope the tips we’ve gleaned from them help you create content that resonates with your target audience.
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