The Advance Guide- How to Create Viral Content

It’s the time to bust the things wide open!

When a piece of content goes viral, there is no involvement of things like – Luck & of course luck.

Few content marketers have been able to create viral contents, at least once in a year.

So, how they have been doing this?

How they are crafting such content again & again?

Do they know something, that you don’t?

Well, that’s where I come in. From basics to advanced tips, everything has been discussed.

I’ve broken this ‘viral-content streak’ into two parts- i.e

  1. Basics Behind Viral Content- Basic Guide
  2. Science Behind Viral Content- Advance Guide

The Basics Behind a Viral Content, Did You Know?

The Virality Scientist, Jonah Berger has explained in his research that, an online content that arouse a particular emotion in people, makes the content goes viral.

By particular emotion, he meant emotions like- anger, anxiety, awe, fear, happiness & pretty much disagreement.

When you evoke or trigger a high emotion in the people, then the content catches the fire.Then, it swings around the internet from web-pages to social media & Youtube.

This diagram of Jonah Berger’s concept, that will help you to understand the basic science behind- Why things catch on!

How to create viral content

How to Craft a Viral Content

So, now that you have an idea to create a viral content. But, are you still confused?

No worry! I’m here, I will break down this theory for you 🙂 

 I’ve explained, emotions are the main key, but, the emotions vary with every content. DEREK has explained it very well on his blog SocialTrigger

1. Positive content is more viral than negative content.

2. Content that evoked high arousal emotions—positive or negative—is more viral than content without emotion.

A music video released by Psy, rocked the internet. It’s got billion of views. This music video aroused high-emotions in public & rest is history.

how to create viral content

Why this, as an example?

This video also explains that viral content has no connection with being an authority & popular in a specific industry. Since, Psy was a little-known Korean singer before that video & song.

Emotions That Makes Your Content Goes Viral

1. Surprise

A surprise element within the content comes first in my list. Anything that can surprise the people can easily rock the world. Hence, it can go viral drastically.

This year Neil has done it. He has written a very surprising article on Quicksprout- Why Link Building Is NOT the Future of SEO & It generated him thousands of social shares.

make a viral content

2. Joy

Who doesn’t like positive things?

Well, the answer is Nobody! Everyone loves it!

People love the stuff like inspiration, motivation, or funny which comes under the category of JOY. It is easy to target the ‘joy’ emotion when you  understand the nature of humankind, believe me.

These kinds of content got shared on the internet like a rapid-fire. The great example of ‘Joy’ content is Kulwant Nagi- Life’s Story.

3. Awe

Something that is  remarkable & help people is ‘Awe’!  It is a quite similar feeling to wonder sometimes mixed with fear or surprise.

I have nothing special to explain about it. But, my own article, Initial Blogging Months is a good example of it. It received a lot of love.

4. Fear

Fear is the key. You can nag people to read your post by activating their ‘fear emotion’, literally!

It ultimately arouses a ‘future destruction feel’ in people’s mind. These kinds of contents simultaneously make people worry. Hence, they end up reading your content & share the content with others as well.

THE #1 CONVERSION KILLER IN YOUR WEB DESIGN (ARE YOU AT RISK?) Is a brilliant example of this. The headline of this article arouses a fear emotion.

6. Anger

This is last in my list since, it pisses off people. These kinds of articles, make a lot of buzz for a particular time, especially, on social media.

And this the easiest way to make a content go viral as we humans have got the master degree for making people ANGRY!

Content is King Myth Debunked is a perfect example of it. The author also explained that it pissed off a bunch of people who parroted ‘Content is King’ statement.

These are the 5 emotions where you need to master. It may be basic but, still it is effective & maybe more than the advance guide, that I will discuss in further steps.

Awe, Anger, Surprise, Fear & Joy- makes your content go viral.

emotions that create viral content

How To Structure Writing To Evoke Emotion

Now that you know emotions are the keys!

But, did you really know how to arouse high emotions?

And do you know how to invoke them in your article?

Probably, you’re sitting right on your chair & thinking this….

how to craft a viral content

Yes, I could help you. If you have written 15 blog posts at least.

There are numbers of ways to evoke emotions through your writing skills. Some people can do it naturally without putting any efforts. But, some people just don’t get it.

Especially, Non-Native Speakers. Since, they have another native tongue than the language being used for blogging & communication.

But, This simple guide will definitely help you 🙂 So, let’s dive in.

The very first thing you have to do is hook up the reader within the seconds & It is only possible if you know how to start the article. The best way to hook up the reader is by starting with a question

  • Start with a question. Asking your readers to think about the topic is a great way to get them ready to hear more. It can be a simple question like, “Could it be?” Or it can be a more complex question like, “Why is it that cats always land on their feet?”

how to create viral content

  • Use descriptive words. Creating a picture in the reader’s mind can make him or her feel connected to your writing. Use words that describe the scene you’re trying to create.

create a viral content

  • End The Article Like a Boss. Give your readers just enough to make them curious. Make them think you’re a genius or unusual. Don’t let your hard work go in vain. The Bottom lines should be compelling that it pushes the readers to take an instant action like sharing the content  & comment on it.

Now, I will write the advance guide to create viral content, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article. 

This guide is based on the new research conducted by various online companies. According to their research, there are numbers of elements that makes a content goes viral.

So let’s get in!

The Advance Guide to Create Viral Content 

Content’s Headline Hacks- When you pick a title for your next post, then make sure you follow these two tips for better results.

1. Use Numbers- According to the research conducted, headlines with a number (odd-number) generate 36% more clicks than the articles that don’t have numbers in the headlines.

create viral content

© Backlinko

And according to the research, headlines with odd numbers have a 20% better CTR than headlines with even numbers.

Here is an example of good headline 🙂

create viral content

Here are some general headline examples-

  1. The 5 Must-Have Items for Fall

  2. Why These 5 Items Must Be in Your Fall Wardrobe

  3. 5 Items to Kickstart Your Fall Wardrobe

2. Use Brackets– In an analysis of over 3 million headlines, HubSpot found that using [Bracket] in the headline bumped up the CTR by 30%.


make viral content

© Backlinko

Brian, also shared the importance of [bracket] in the headlines. Have a look on what he exactly said…

create viral content

Here is an example- 

create viral content

3. Add Colorful Image over the fold– Xerox found that colorful images/visuals above the fold make  people 80% more likely to read the content.

create viral content

© Backlinko

When you add an image at the top, then make sure your image doesn’t push the content below the fold.

Let me show you what, I’m exactly talking about.

create viral content

4. Use Short URLs– Marketing Sherpa found that, short URLs get more clicks than the longer one. They attract around 2.5x more clicks.

create a viral content easily

There are a number of reasons why short URL gets more clicks. I’ve outlined TOP3. 

  1. Short URLs are best for a platform like Twitter which is a major platform for bloggers.
  2. Short URLs are more SEO friendly, since they contain targeted keywords.
  3. Short URLs are easy to understand.

Here is a pretty good example from List25.

create viral content

5. Lead With Short Sentences– I earlier mentioned at the top that you need to hook the readers quickly, because people read around only 28% of the post.

Therefore, lead with short sentences. Dr. John Morkes found that short sentences boosted content readability by 58%.


create viral content

Derek always creates viral content using this strategy. Here is an example from his recent post.

create viral content

6. Feature Image– A  users’s query’s answer doesn’t come up along with the featured Image on google or any search engines. But, still they are essential from the social media point of view.

Adding a featured image guarantee, your social shares. Social shares with images get 53% more Likes on Facebook and 150% more retweets on Twitter.

create viral content

7. Infographic– Well an infographic is something  that is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you got to know that how to make them then you can create viral content easily.

You must have seen NeilPatel keeps talking about Infographics because it turns the stats of every blog so does for him.

BuzzSumo found that infographics generate 2.3x more social shares. Not only this, it can provide you a bunch of good backlinks.

cretae social content


Learn pro guide from Neil to make Infographic that goes viral.

8. Social Media Sharing  Buttons- The Science Behind it.

The biggest mistake bloggers do, when they set up the social share icons just right after the headline that is above the content. It absolutely makes no sense.

Do you think that someone will share your content just after reading the headline?

The answer is pretty obvious- Hello, No!

But, A Google study found that elements (sharing-icon)  above the cage are seen by 58% more people than those pushed further below the page.

create viral content

So what to do in that case? Pretty confusing, Isn’t it? 

But, the solution is here for it. You may have noticed floating sharing icons at the left side of blogs. This is the best solution for it. Here is an example from popular blog SocialMediaExaminer.

create viral content

9. Craft & Publish Long Content– Jonah Berger and Katherine L. MiLKMan also discovered that long articles are 76 % more likely to go viral.

create viral content

© Backlinko

Neil has been crafting long content since ages. According to SerpIQ research, the longer articles are more suitable to rank in google’s first page.

create viral content

10. Ask People to Share- Figure out the “next action” you want people to take as they read your content, then compose it into your post. Before you end the article, give people a call to action – tell them what to do next. That’s how to create strong engagement with your content.

create viral content

© Backlinko

What’s Next?

Now, you know both the basic & advanced elements that can make your article goes viral.

But Wait…!

Before you go, please don’t forget to share this article with your twitter followers 🙂

Sorry for being so MEAN, But it will take only a few second of yours. Thank you!

Over to you. If you have something else that can fit into this article, then you’re most welcome 🙂

Deepak Rana

Hello, I'm Deepak Rana. I've been into blogging for a year. In that time, I learned various aspects of SEO. Thus, this blog is solely focussed on SEO. I'll help you to grow your online business.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 27 comments
Gilbert - October 7, 2015

Viral content is hard to come by these days. I seldom read a unique blog with unique topic which go viral.

    Deepak Rana - October 10, 2015

    Gilbert, It’s not really hard. It’s all up to your skills. Once you evoke an emotion successfully then, the rest things become easy. Now, bloggers have a lot of opportunities. Social Media play a major role. To be honest, I read & see viral content quite often, since I’m active on FB & Twitter.
    Thanks for your regular visit. I appreciate It. 🙂 Keep visiting.

Naresh - October 7, 2015

Great article Deepak. These are all great tips and lot of hard work indeed. Thanks for sharing..

Tarun - October 9, 2015

Deepak thats post, its a bundle of many related things at one lace thanks for sharing

AwEsOme!! 🙂

Theodore Nwangene - October 12, 2015

The desire of every content marketer is for his articles to always go viral upon hitting the publish button but the problem is that most people are not really ready to put in the work the will make the boost the contents awareness.

However, all the tips you shared here are indeed the basic things one need to put in place in order to create a viral content.

    Deepak Rana - October 17, 2015

    I agree with you, Theodore. Blogger doesn’t put any efforts. They need to understand they’re not authority. When you’re established, then things become easy. But, till then you have to raise your hand in the crowd for better response.
    Keep visiting!

Rohit - October 18, 2015

Anything that can surprise the people can easily rock the world. So true.
Thanks for the useful tips.

aakashpatel - October 23, 2015

Nice and effective article deepak
I am new into blogging and this type of article more helps to go content viral.
Thanks for publishing it!

Theodore Nwangene - October 27, 2015

I love your writing style Deepak,
And i agreed with all the points you made here. One of the best things that can happen to a content marketer is to have any of his articles to go viral, this will bring back with it lots of benefits.

However, where the problem usually lies is in creating the type of contents that will go viral. Following all the steps you listed here will really help anyone to achieve this without much stress.

The content just have to be very interesting, intriguing and surprising.

Thanks for sharing.

    Deepak Rana - November 3, 2015

    Great to hear such wonderful words.
    Yes! All these points are genuine to create a viral content. Your campaign should arouse an emotion. It’s the main key.
    The advance tips for ‘Viral Content’ are for long run: search engine traffic 🙂 Keep visiting!

Vaibhav Mishra - November 5, 2015

Hello Deepak,

Really good article. Recently, one of my article on my website http://www.saploud.com went viral on internet. I used the word “Shortcut” in the heading line. Many people commented on it.

Vaibhav Mishra

    Deepak Rana - November 6, 2015

    That’s great! You crafted a good content. Headline always play a great role. 🙂 Keep visiting! Keep supporting.

Avenue Sangma - January 13, 2016

Hello Deepak
Great Stuff and Effective juice for bloggers about viral content.
I am completely a newbie in the blogging industry. This article helped me a lot of things about viral content.

Thanking Yours
Avenue Sangma

    Deepak Rana - January 14, 2016

    Avenue, Glad I could help. These strategies will help you for sure if executed properly. Keep visiting and keep supporting

ramakant - February 17, 2016

Great article and good insight about viral content.

Kulwant Nagi - May 14, 2016

The very first word came in my mind after reading this article was – Holy shit.

I mean how could you write such an awesome post on this topic. Viral is the new trend now, as most of the people love to spend their time on social media sites.

Recent example is WittyFeed.com which built the entire business around viral content and ended up making 36 Crore INR in their first year.

Making a content go viral needs your understanding of human behavior. It’s a complete psychology, but once you are aware about the core elements of viral stories, you can replicate them easily.

Loved your content..

Keep up the great work.

    Deepak Rana - May 14, 2016

    Hello, Kulwant Sir, Great Affiliate Marketer. Indeed, WittyFeed has learned this art. Therefore, they are making a big amount of money. Thank you for giving it a shot and leaving your feedback.Keep visiting!

Poet - May 16, 2016

Based on what I’ve seen on social media, the clickbait headlines are usually along the lines of ‘you won’t believe…’, ‘jaw dropping….’, ‘….what he/she did when…’, and anything with the word ‘epic’. That’s usually a signal for me NOT to waste my time clicking on content that’s certainly not ‘epic’, ‘shocking’ or ‘jaw-dropping’.

Dhruval Patel - June 27, 2016

very useful post for me 🙂 got some new ideas you deserve big thanks Deepak 🙂

Angelina Grey - March 6, 2017

Everything is good.As per my opinion Content should not be fake.In today time i found many fake content on websites either its related to build websites or its related to social.


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