How to Go Viral

How to Going Viral = The Art of Crafting Controversial Content

Going viral has become the ultimate goal for many content creators and marketers. While there’s no guaranteed formula for viral success, one technique that has proven effective is stirring up the audience with controversial opinions.

On a different website I manage, I recently noticed a trending news story that was gaining traction in my niche. Although the engaged audience wasn’t my typical reader, I spotted an opportunity to provoke a reaction and draw attention to my message. I decided to take a stance on the issue, presenting a well-researched but controversial opinion that challenged the prevailing narrative.

The website itself doesn’t get much traffic so to catch the wave before the story died I spent $5 on Facebook Ads. The post immediately attracted a surge of traffic to my website and many shares (I then halted the ad). The viral nature of the story brought in a wave of new visitors who were eager to read my take on the trending topic. It was exciting to see my content gain such rapid exposure and spark lively discussions among readers.

The lifespan of a social viral is relatively short-lived. The buzz surrounding my article lasted only a few days, remaining relevant as long as the news itself was still fresh. Once the story faded from the headlines, the traffic to my website also began to taper off. A reminder that yesterday’s news, while still holding true, never usually commands the same level of attention as it did initially.

Despite the temporary nature of the viral surge, there are lasting benefits. The increased traffic helped improve my website’s visibility, leading to a significant number of my pages being indexed by search engines and an extra 2k of keywords in GSC overnight. This enhanced indexing got this young website improved search rankings and organic traffic, which isn’t easy to get these days.

Going Viral

The viral story attracted a spike in followers who resonated with my opinion on the matter (most didn’t and that’s why it was successful traffic wise). These new followers, while drawn in by the trending topic, may stick around for my regular content if they find value in my perspective and insights. The trolls and PR bots / social media managers quickly disappear when they’re no longer getting attention on the thread or paid to promote the news narrative.

Identifying Trending News Stories in Your Niche

To create content that has the potential to go viral, stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends in your niche and consider the audience reaction to this news – is it fear, delight, outrage etc.

  1. Monitor social media hashtags and trending topics related to your niche
  2. Follow influential figures and publications in your industry
  3. Use tools like Google Trends and BuzzSumo to track popular content and keywords

Observing current events and hot topics, allows you to quickly identify opportunities to create viral content.

Crafting an Extreme Opinion

Once you’ve identified a trending news story, it’s time to develop an extreme opinion that challenges the consensus. This approach can be controversial, but it has the potential to generate a strong reaction from an audience. However, it’s really, really important to follow these guidelines:

  1. Be fair and back up your claim with evidence and examples
  2. Avoid baseless sensationalism or clickbait tactics
  3. Consider the potential impact on your brand values and reputation
  4. Ensure what you’re writing is true and legal (you don’t want to risk being sued for defamation) plus give though to your personal safety on any volatile subject matter. Anyone who deals with the general public knows there are some absolute nutters out there. Weirdos who won’t hesitate is posting death threats if they feel emotional enough against what you’re saying.

When presenting an extreme opinion, it’s essential to strike a balance between stirring up the audience and maintaining your credibility – so no bull$hit!

The Importance of Fairness and Evidence

For any controversial opinion – always backup your claim with facts, statistics, and examples. Do thorough research and present your argument in a logical and persuasive manner. By demonstrating that your opinion is based on evidence rather than mere speculation, you can maintain your credibility while still sparking a lively debate. My viral article took around half a day to research and a few hours to write, then tweaked with minor updates based on audience feedback and comments – so about a day of time in total invested in one quality article.

Aligning with Your Brand Values

Before publishing controversial content, carefully evaluate whether the opinion aligns with your brand values – it’s a risky tactic for a business but great for niche bloggers. While stirring up the audience can generate viral attention, it’s not worth sacrificing your brand’s integrity or alienating your core followers. If the extreme opinion doesn’t fit with your brand’s mission and values, it’s best to explore alternative viral content strategies.

Invoking a Reaction

The key to viral success is creating content that compels your audience to react and share. When presenting a controversial opinion, aim to invoke a strong emotional response, such as surprise, anger, or excitement. Use powerful language and storytelling techniques to draw your audience in and encourage them to engage with your content.

Encouraging Engagement and Sharing

To maximize the viral potential of your content, include calls-to-action that encourage your audience to comment, like, and share. Pose thought-provoking questions, create polls, and invite your followers to share their own opinions on the topic. Share other links to validate your claims. By fostering a sense of community and dialogue around your controversial content, you can increase its reach and impact.

Going viral by presenting extreme opinions on trending news stories can be a powerful technique to gain clicks, but it should be used with caution. Always prioritize fairness, evidence, and alignment with your brand values when crafting controversial content. Staying informed about your niche, developing well-supported arguments, and invoking a strong reaction from your audience, you can increase your chances of achieving viral success while maintaining your credibility and integrity.

Similar Posts