For those new to the Internet: Welcome to the Internet! There is a lot of gross stuff on here so choose your Google Image Search keywords carefully. You may also have heard of a term known as “viral,” which refers to a piece of media (videos, articles, images, etc.) gaining popularity to the point that it becomes self-sustaining, as people share it via social networking sites and email it to anyone and everyone they know.
Most businesses want their media to go viral, but despite the confidence that a lot of people have that their video or article is going to be the next Numa Numa guy, it’s not that easy. Going viral takes a lot of work, and it is particularly tough with articles.
Making Potentially Viral Articles
There are several different types of viral articles. These include:
- News of the Day – These are short term viral articles that usually relate to current events. They are not very useful for most businesses and have a very short shelf life.
- Authority Articles – Authority articles are usually evergreen articles that have a long shelf life. Authority articles are articles that go in depth about a topic of interest, such as “101 Ways to Save Money on Gas.” These are excellent articles for businesses. The only issue is coming up with an interesting topic and enough content to make it useful.
- Hilarious Articles – When your articles are entertaining to read, they can go viral. It’s harder for these articles to go viral because humor is everywhere on the Internet, but when it does it can be very beneficial.
- Otherwise Interesting Articles – Some articles are simply interesting. Sharing a personal story or proposing an interesting business idea have the potential to go viral, but like the funny articles, it’s harder to predict.
Quality is key with any of these articles. Potential visitors have the attention span of goldfish, and if your article isn’t very good, you’re not going to get readers. That’s why I know that if I missed the mark with this article, I can spend the next paragraph talking about inappropriate things that my puppy did with his chew toy. But I won’t, because there is a chance that this article isn’t terrible.
After that, however, the next steps are simply marketing and luck. You can market any article you have to improve visibility and hope that it gains popularity and goes viral, and you can add sharing tools so people can easily post it to Facebook and Twitter, but unless you already have a large following and a well marketed website, gaining instant success takes a little bit of luck.
Still, now you know – it is possible to make an article go viral, and when you do, it can be outstanding for your business (and for your SEO). It just takes some creativity, some marketing, and some finger crossing.