How to Make Your Content Viral Read On »
By Safiyyah Lanier February 17, 2010

Now, that you have your website and/or blog up and running, getting visitors to come and come often is your next battle. In order to make your site one of the most visited and respected on the Web, you will need to create viral content. Creating viral content is a make or break situation. You’ll need to develop text that isn’t just filled with keywords, but that is filled with great quality. A lot of people make the mistake of creating content based solely on old SEO techniques. With link building, you will be able to create linkbait that will generate you more traffic than you can image — that’s if you do things the “write” way.

Creating Quality Linkbait

If you’re looking for your content to be viral, you will need to create content that is worthy of linking to. Whatever niche you’re in, you’ll need to know who your targeted audience is and write towards them. Now, there are a variety of ways that you can create linkbait — first off, you need to ask yourself, why people would want to link to your content. Are you sharing valuable information, newsworthy pieces or educational facts? Maybe you’re content is more entertainment based — no matter what niche you’re in, you’ll need to make it so that people must link to your site on their blogs and websites. The time you put into your blog is what will show through your posts. If you rush through it and it isn’t your best work — you won’t see any grave improvements. Low quality equals low traffic. Would you put links in your blog to poorly written or irrelevant content? Likely not.

Who Will Bite Your Bait?

Okay, so you’ve figured out what you want to write about on your site, but do you know your angle? General posts are good, but specialized posts are great. Who exactly are you writing for? If you can narrow down who your audience is and specifically target them, you will be able to draw them in easier. Those searching for the type of content you have will find you easily and are more likely to bite your bait. Having just keywords without carefully thought out content may get you views, but this isn’t your goal. Your goal is to bait in potential inbound links from a particular online population.

Your best bet is to get your links posted up on sites like Digg, Technorati and Reddit. A lot of people are able to spam their way up on these homepages, either through overloads of keywords and links, but if the site isn’t worthy enough it won’t receive any linking love. The amount of Diggs your post receives or how popular it becomes isn’t what you should base your success upon. Articles that have received a lot of hits doesn’t always receive good link volumes. There have been instances where articles that aren’t popular have received more linkbait and others that are popular that don’t receive one single inbound link.

Time Sensitive Content

If your focus is on delivering newsy articles, the shelf-life of the content is limited. Time sensitive pieces require quick creation, without sacrificing quality. Your best bet is to get on Digg or Reddit or any other social news media home page. Create content that is great and full of facts that has been properly researched. If your work isn’t credible or has wrong facts, you will soon gain a bad name for yourself, so make sure to search around for the facts before posting up. Also, the quicker you can post up newsworthy content, the more likely you will attract more link love. There are plenty of bloggers and site owners out there that are looking for breaking news and will link back to the sources they have found. If you can be one of the first, if not the first, then your chances are a whole lot higher.

There is even a chance that someone may see your post for the first time on a social media site and like it so much that they decide to follow your posts. With this in mind, make sure that you create all of your posts like it is your first. Don’t allow your content to deteriorate over the remainder of your posts because you could end up losing fans. Also, make sure that the sites you post your article to will do justice for you. Use social news sites for your newsworthy content and for your informational articles, you can use sites that offer a lot of posts within your niche; this way you know for sure the social media website already has the online population that you’re looking for. If you’re posting up academic material, Digg isn’t your best bet. Also, don’t just stick with your usual social media sites (Digg, Reddit, Netscape, Newsvine, Technorati, etc), try to branch out to others — the more the better.

Motivations for Linkbaiting

There are a couple of motivations that people have for content sharing. The top reason people share content is for self-expression. By allowing visitors to express themselves using social share buttons and comment threads, your audience is able to provide more engagement with your content. Viewers like to express their beliefs and interests related to posts, so if you can push this motivation, do so.

Another motivation for content sharing is to feed the need to feel like they are a part of something. Through communities, they are able to fulfill this desire — this is especially so if they are in a community that has a niche they are dominant in. Another reason to be more niche specific. One of the best motivations out there is for altruism. When a viewer sees content, such as a report that raises awareness about a community problem, sharing the content will make users feel like they’ve done the right thing for the cause.

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