I've been on a bit of a "content" kick lately, so today I thought I would share a few pointers on how to make your posts more popular among your readers. Viral content tends to have the same 3 things in common - a killer title, great photos, and a topic that is beneficial to the reader in some way. I like to think of them as quality blog post requirements, but what do they really mean? Let's dissect each one and get a little more in depth with what it takes to make a post successful.
A Unique & Interesting Title
Your title plays a big part in 3 ways - first, it tells your readers what they can expect to read in this post. Second, with the right relevant keywords, it can help with your SEO, which will allow you to show up higher in search engines. Third, when written correctly, can drum up a lot of excitement for the post and be a huge reason why it gets a bunch of clicks. For example, a post titled "What I like to blog about" isn't very exciting and won't do much for your SEO, whereas "20 Of My Favorite Blog Post Ideas" will still cover the same topic, but includes better keywords for search engines and is much more likely to make readers intrigued and willing to click. If the SEO aspect of creating a good blog post title confuses you, just try to think of what someone might search for your post to come up. Terms like "tips", "ideas", and "how to" are perfect examples of popular keywords that get searched often.
As someone who is highly visual, a killer blog photo can instantly make me want to click on a post. I know the old saying goes "don't judge a book by it's cover", but I can't help but be drawn to blogs with gorgeous photos. What always stands out to me are photos that are well lit with natural light, bright and airy without being overexposed (too bright), composed in a way that is interesting without being too busy, and moody nature shots that have a good balance of light and dark. For your photos, I suggest playing around with everything you can think of - backgrounds, props, layouts, styles, angles, lighting, camera settings, etc. - until you find things that you really love. It may take a little bit, but you'll start to find things that you really like and will create a photography style that works for you. All of my favorite bloggers have absolutely stunning photos, check them out for some inspiration - Pint Sized Beauty, Kate La Vie, A Balancing Peach, Gemma Louise, Noirette Diary, The Beautydojo, The Private Life Of A Girl.
The last (but probably most important) requirement of a successful post is the content itself. You can have amazing photos and a catchy title, but if all you're serving up is fluff then people are bound to stop coming to your blog as much because they'll know not to expect much from your content. My blog skyrocketed once I started offering up actual helpful posts. No more "photos from my week" and Pinterest DIYs that I was wanting to try (but would likely never get around to). That's the kind of stuff you might share with your friends on Facebook, but to build a loyal following you have to give them something that they can benefit from. The great thing is that this kind of content comes in many forms - you could teach something, give your tips and tricks, share a personal story with an important lesson attached to it, or provide some genuine entertainment or motivation. Any topic has the potential to become popular, as long as it's beneficial in some way. Try to think about this the next time you're coming up with blog post ideas, and really think about what kind of content would make your readers want to click right away.
What do you think is a requirement of viral content?