8 tips on how to go viral by writing a headline
Are you wondering how to make people share your content?
Your answer is with a viral headline. The headline will determine the number of people that click through to read the post and the number of people that share the post, many without reading it.
The first thing to learn is the structure of a viral headline, which includes the following elements:
- Emotional Element: Amusing, Surprising, Inspiring, Beautiful, Shocking, Warning.
- Content Element: Images, Facts, Charts, Video, Interaction.
- Topic Element: Trending topic: Health, Babies, Long Life Love, Politics.
- Format Element: List Posts, Quiz, Story, Research, Report.
- Promise Element: How to…, Complete Guide to… , Practical tips… , Improve your…
For example: 6 (format) amazing (emotion) cooking secrets (content) to perfect (promise) spaghetti (topic)
If you search in Google for any headline, just type cooking or travelling, and you will start noticing that all the headlines in the front page are created with this structure. Why? It Works. Headlines work because they are unambiguous; they are very clear about what the article will deliver and the potential benefits. Be as explicit as possible about what your content will and will not do.
There are different ways to make your headline go viral like the following:
- Make a list
If you’re about to write an article, think about how you can turn it into a list. List posts work incredibly well. Create your headline with the element described before and make it a list. Use enumeration to describe your subject.
- Relate your audience
Make sure you define your target in a specific way so that your content reach out the ideal people who will be interested.
- Take some risk
Try as another option to innovate in your headlines. Write an unconventional title. Be different. Like writing about things not to do or using songs and movies titles, try to change them and make them your own headline. Be creative. Still, don’t do it too much but it can make an interesting variation that might work.
Sometimes you don’t need to have all the elements on your headline, a simple title like “Where In London Should You Actually Live?” This headline went viral in Buzzfeed having over 900.000 views.
- Follow hot trends
Sometimes, it can be choosing the right topic to write about what makes it viral. You can learn about those topics by knowing your niche, knowing what is going one, what they can be interest about or worried about. You can search for those topics in Google, Newspapers, Blogs, TV News,
- Write for humans
Be personal when writing about your subject. Think about what you would like read.
So how to write a viral headline?
Your headline should include the following elements to promote it:
- Structure: Use the viral headline structure including all the Emotional, Content, Topic, Format and Promise elements.
- Content Format: research which format is more popular among your niche and put it in your headline. Like for example: a quiz, how to? , lists, etc.
- Content Type: check the content that resonate with your audience and include it in your headline. Such as, with pictures, quotes, tips, etc.
- Topic: select a topic that rings your audience. Use search engines or social media to understand which topics your target find more interesting.
- Use superlative and emotional words: again keep doing some research to learn about what your audience react more.
- Trigrams: Use trigrams (three word phrases) that work best for your audience and on you social media networks.
- Promise: have a clear promise of what your content is going to offer.
- Design different content for each social network and search engine. Change some words in your headline according on the keywords your target search more. Also if you are going international, you might want to explore each area to be certain that the people in other places find it interesting.
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