It’s what every online marketer and entrepreneur want from a new piece of content. Seeing their article or video they spent hours, even days, perfecting go viral is rewarding and often a fruitful thing. You all know just how valuable it is when that happens because it typically leads to business growth and increased exposure. On the contrary, we’ve all put in time on a great piece of media only to have it flounder and never really gain traction. This is all part of the process of becoming a great content producer.
The Value of Viral Content for Entrepreneurs
Just a couple viral articles or videos can transform your business and propel it to profitability…
Ramit Sethi, arguably one of the best online marketers on the planet, is an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. Tim Ferris says Sethi is the most unknown marketing titan online; and Ferris mentioned in a podcast that Sethi’s online marketing operation is an absolute “monster,” generating many millions in revenue per year, largely from a simple, but well thought out blog. What’s more, Sethi is a perfectionist when it comes to the art of lead generation, so he’s ready to capitalize when his content goes viral. If you’re not already a subscriber, join his newsletter here. But to my point…
Sethi spent about three years developing his blog and making little to no money. He couldn’t support himself as an entrepreneur. But as Sethi explains, he eventually realized what type of content people liked to share… through attrition and many lonely months behind the keyboard, he discovered that people share content for the same reasons entrepreneurs write content: to build rapport and spread wisdom.
As time passed and social media became more popular, Sethi started to see an uptick in traffic thanks to his realization; but it still wasn’t enough for him to make a living… that is until one of his blog posts was picked up by the New York Times.
And once he got the attention of one major media outlet, others took notice. He explains that his online business took off, and became profitable, from just 3 to 5 blog posts going viral. That’s it!
Sethi wrote every day, but it was no more than five blogs which made him breakout into the online marketing monster his company is today, generating millions in profits and employing dozens of people.
What Drives Viral Content?
People want to appear smart to their social networks by sharing your content.
Let’s look at another upstart online publisher to drive this point home: Breitbart. Love them or hate them, Breitbart is now a media force to be reckoned with, capable of influencing voters and looked at by many politicians on the right as a must-have endorser. It’s hard to go a day without seeing an article online, or at least a quote, from one of Breitbart’s journalists. They’re everywhere. But it wasn’t always like that. Before the controversial and talented Steve Bannon took over the helm, Breitbart was a fringe publisher for the right wing. Now, they’re giving FOX a run for their money.
Bannon’s principle behind growing Breitbart’s audience was this:
“Facts get shares, opinions get shrugs.”
Under Bannon, Breitbart content had to be based on fact more so than opinion.
Everyone nowadays has a political opinion. Facebook has enabled every ill-informed voter to spread BS. But facts, which are lacking online, turn heads. Entertaining content based on facts is what goes viral. The truth is powerful in an era of Fake News. Facts give your argument a base, and Bannon demanded his journalists toe the line, which led to Breitbart becoming one of the biggest news sites in America in just a couple years.
Why Do People Share Content?
People share content because they want others to think they are well read, or they want to pass on wisdom, or persuade. Sharing blogs and videos is now a form of social currency. Unique, fact-based content allows people to add to their social wealth. Sharing opinions doesn’t.
If you’re going to be writing opinion pieces to help grow your business, back all your key points up with facts that most people will find surprising or enlightening. If you can cite interesting data points while cleverly crafting an article with some humor, you’re golden. Inevitably, if you write that type of content, you’re going to hit one (or more) out of the park, and reap the benefits of viral content.
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