This Blog Will Not Get Many Shares

This blog post will not go viral. For one, it isn’t Tuesday, the most opportune time to make a potentially viral post according to BuzzSumo. So I am few days too late.

Apparently the date is not the only factor to consider when posting content you hope will make it to the viral big leagues.


There seems to be a new obsession with making content ultra-sharable and many have rushed to determine the “secret formula” to viral posts.

It’s rubbish.


That may be extreme, but there is no recipe you can follow to ensure viral success.

BuzzSumo gives these tips to creating sharable content:

  1. Inspire awe, laughter, or amusement.
  2. Appeal to people’s narcissistic side (think BuzzFeed quizzes)
  3. Long-form content has less competition, and more shares on average.
  4. List posts and infographics are more likely to be shared.
  5. Make sure your article inspires trust. Have a byline, and bio. Make sure you have a professional logo and design as well.
  6. Mix text with visually appealing elements.
  7. Implement social metadata such as the Facebook preview image
  8. Reach out to influencers before you write your content.
  9. Promote your articles after it’s been published for a week
  10. Tuesday is the best day to publish and promote content

Sure, there are ways to expand the reach of your content, most of which are listed above. By no means, however, will this make you an Internet sensation.

I realize that is not what the article is saying and I know these tips are based on piles of data with a plurality of viral content possessing these traits. However, not every long-form article, with graphics that are visually appealing and text that inspires laughter and narcissism complete with a byline and regular promotions, will be viral.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

Good content is good content, and well-done work will be shared no matter how many of these ten requirements it meets.

That’s good news for journalists. While tips such as these may help them reach a wider audience, I certainly do not believe formatting reports to increase the chances of work going viral should be the next move.

Instead, here are my tips for successful online content:

  1. Let it be: Let your work, be it online or not, speak for itself.
  2. Stress less: Focusing on share-ability could take away from its intended message.
  3. Don’t be blinded by the limelight: Always remember, viral status only lasts a few days, but quality work is timeless.

So go out and make great stuff, forget the pressure of likes and shares and write what you want how you want it!



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