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Anatomy of a Viral Post

Jason Roy

It’s easy to tell someone how to write a viral piece of content. “Just make it unique and high-quality!”

Well great. Now you know you need something unique and high quality in order to get people to share. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not going to allow you to start producing potentially viral content right out of the gate.

So today, we’re breaking things down. We’re going to talk about what it means to be high-quality and unique. We’re going to talk about the factors that make a post “viral,” and what you can do—starting NOW—to dramatically increase your odds at “going viral.”

The Title Counts


When most people think of headlines, they think of copywriting. They think of flashy sales pages promoting internet marketing products. 

And it’s for a good reason they think that – the headline has long been associated with sales pages and advertisements. But there’s a reason why headlines are so important. The reason is this: the headline is responsible for grabbing your reader’s attention!

If your headline’s garbage, it doesn’t matter if your post contains the most unique and high-quality content the internet has ever seen – people won’t read it. 

When you sit down to write a viral post (or any post, for that matter), think of what it is exactly that makes your content unique and high quality. Think of exactly what’s in it for the reader – what they’ll learn through your article that they can’t learn anywhere else.

Let’s face it – being unique is a huge deal. Unless you’re posting pictures of cats, no one’s going to share something they’ve seen before.

This doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel… just change the way it looks. Put a new spin on a familiar topic, then show that spin in your headline. 

And just because we’re using headlines, doesn’t mean they should be “salesy.” Keep them simple and straight to the point. None of these, “FINALLY! Learn the Top Secrets to Mowing the Lawn!”

Bad headline – it doesn’t really give me anything interesting to grasp on.

“How Alarm Clocks taught me to Mow the Lawn in under 20 Minutes,” on the other hand, contains few “interest triggers.” It’s not perfect, but hopefully, you get the idea.

The “I Never Knew That” Moment

Your article needs to be centered around one key point. This is what we’ll call the “I never knew that” point. This is what makes content viral. Someone’s looking for a solution to their problem. They stumble upon a page that’s immediately interesting and start reading.

Halfway through the content, they hit the key point. “I never knew that!” reverberates in their mind. Their attention is captured, they learned something brand new – something unique and highly interesting.

Then they move to the “share,” “like,” and “tweet” buttons. Because whenever we find something interesting, our first instinct is to share.

If you want your content to go viral, you need to surprise your readers. You need to positively shock them. Teach them a “life hack” that helps them get their morning routine down to 10 minutes. Show them a marketing technique that gives them thousands of hot leads in five minutes.

The Two Types of Viral Content

In closing, it’s important to note there are two different types of viral content – useful and entertaining.

Hands down, the most popular form of viral content is entertaining. It’s also the easiest to “go viral” on. The downside? People don’t buy from websites that entertain them. You could have a website that’s getting 1,000,000 unique visitors a month due to entertainment, but guess how many of them are going to buy something on your site? Not too many.

Useful, on the other hand, is the absolute BEST type of viral content for an online business. Because not only does it flood your website with buying traffic, it also grows your community at an exponential rate.

Once people realize you have great, unique information they can’t get anywhere else, they’ll follow you. They’ll join your forums, follow your “Twitter,” “like” your Facebook page – you name it. 

If you continue to deliver on the content end, this community will become your very own viral machine. They’ll share every single post with all their social media friends. They’ll be incredibly loyal and determined to help you succeed.

Viral content’s a big deal. And it’s not as hit or miss as most internet marketers think. By capturing the reader’s attention and providing a knock-out “I never knew that!” moment, your odds at going viral skyrocket.

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