How to Create Viral Content on Your WordPress Blog (4 Key Strategies)

When a piece of content goes viral, it’s like a jackpot as it can bring a lot of new traffic back to your site. While focusing on quality content should be your top priority, you might also want to increase the chances of making it big. That means you need to learn how to create viral content on your blog.

Of course there is no way guarantee that every blog post goes viral. However, there are many things you can do to increase the likelihood that your content will attract the right kind of attention. In addition, many of the best techniques are easy to implement.

In this article, we talk about how to create viral content based on what works in the real world. Let’s get in right away!

1. Make connections to current events and other popular topics

If you want to learn how to create viral content, one of the best things you can do is research past examples of stories that have made a splash. You’ll often start to notice a few common themes and trends.

For example, much of the content that goes viral has a direct connection to the “big events” of the day. This includes news, scientific discoveries and the like. For example, in 2016, the most viral post on Facebook was a story about a positive development in Alzheimer’s research:

A viral post about Alzheimer's research.

Well, unless you run a news site, you probably don’t post a lot of content along those lines. However, you don’t need to summarize the latest news to grab attention. It is often enough to just make a reference to popular events and topics.

As an example, this video about revealing the results of DNA tests for normal people went viral, in large part due to the connections made to widespread attention to issues like nationalism and immigration in 2016:

To tap into this source of viral content, you can:

  • Report on news relevant to your industry or niche.
  • Give your opinion on a current event or share expertise on this topic.
  • Use a current event or popular topic as a stepping stone to discussing a topic that interests your readers.
  • Explore how your company’s products or services connect (or help) with current concerns or fears.

Of course, forcing a connection that doesn’t actually exist will likely turn readers away. Instead, keep up to date with breaking news and trending topics should give you plenty of opportunities to create relevant links to your blog’s main goals.

2. Tap on the correct emotions

It should come as no surprise that different types of content can evoke different emotions in the reader. In fact, you’re probably already using this strategy on your blog. When you’re creating a new post, deciding whether you want it to make readers laugh, cry, or think can give you important direction and direction.

Emotions are especially important when learning how to create viral content. Simply evoking any kind of emotion in your readers is a good place to start, as it does increases the chances that your content will be shared.

But what really matters is the goal Right types of feelings. A study of 10,000 of the most shared articles online found that specific emotions, such as sadness, surprise, anger, and empathy, were the focus of only a small percentage of viral content. Instead, the most common feelings and reactions evoked by frequently shared content were:

  1. Awe – 25%
  2. Laughter – 17%
  3. Entertainment – 15%
  4. Joy – 14%

All four are positive emotions that convey a clear message about the types of content people enjoy sharing. After all, there’s a reason cat videos are so popular. If you can create posts that entertain and/or evoke strong feelings of awe or happiness, you’re on your way to success.

Before we continue, let’s see an example of this concept in action:

This video has racked up over 7 million views on YouTube very quickly, and with good reason. The content is both entertaining and awe-inspiring (considering how it was made) and taps into some of the emotions most likely to lead to viral success.

3. Create content that is relevant to the widest possible audience

There is a place for niche content. If you want to build a loyal readership for your blog, writing posts that target a specific audience is often the way to go.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in how to create viral content, you also need to consider a much broader audience. A post is unlikely to go viral if it’s only relevant to a small handful of people. Even with content that doesn’t touch on current events, the articles often go viral because anyone can make a personal connection with them.

This is why health-related content keeps making it big. Almost everyone wants to be healthy (and can improve in this area), which is why posts like this one gaining ground so easily:

A viral post about healthy snacking.

For another example, see this very popular post:

A viral post about the study of intelligent people.

Most people like to think of themselves as intelligent and can relate to at least one of the “bad habits” mentioned in this heading. So it’s not hard to see why millions of people clicked through to read the full story.

The lesson to be learned from this is clear. When writing for your regular blog readership, focus on topics that are directly relevant to them. On the other hand, if you have something that you want to draw significant attention to, you want to find a way to connect it to an experience we’ve all had, a situation nearly everyone has found themselves in, or something of similarly broad appeal.

4. Optimize your content

So far we’ve talked about what to focus your viral content on. Finding the perfect topics and addressing the right emotions naturally has a huge impact. However, there are also some practical elements to learning how to create viral content.

By definition, viral content includes posts, images, and other elements that are shared and widely viewed. That means you need to make your own content both easy to find and easy to share:

An example of social sharing buttons in a blog post.

Before a post can go viral, it must first attract some viewers (who can then share it with their friends and networks). To achieve this, you should follow the principles of sound search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is something we’ve discussed in detail many times before, so we won’t repeat ourselves too often here. Suffice it to say, you want to make sure your posts are well-optimized by targeting popular but low-competition keywords and using a tool like an SEO plugin to add information that will help search engines match them to the right one to present to the audience.

Once you’ve managed to garner an initial audience, you need to make it easy for them to share your best posts. The vast majority of viral content is capitalized on social media (gone are the days when people could email links to videos or articles to their friends).

The solution here is simple. In each of your blog posts, preferably at the top and/or bottom of the content, you can include some social media sharing buttons. These allow readers to share the post with a simple click.

If you use WordPress, there are many plugins to make things easier for you. For example, the Orbit Fox plugin allows you to add social media share buttons in just a few clicks:


Figuring out how to create viral content is an art. You can never predict with absolute accuracy what content will capture the attention of the broader online community. However, if you’re determined to drive blog traffic via a viral post, then there are some strategies that may help you.

To maximize the chances of your blog content being shared widely, here’s what you should do:

  1. Make connections to current events and other popular topics.
  2. Use the right emotions like awe, amusement and joy.
  3. Create content that is relevant to as wide an audience as possible.
  4. Optimize your content by following smart SEO practices and incorporating social share buttons.

Do you have questions about how to go viral with these tips? Ask in the comments!

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