7 Laws of Writing Epic Content That Goes Viral, Gets Shared And Makes Money

Author : RyanFeest
Publish Date : 2021-03-06


7 Laws of Writing Epic Content That Goes Viral, Gets Shared And Makes Money

Every writer dreams of writing an article that is written in an hour, edited in two but whose value lasts a life time. We want to pen an article that attracts a million views, ten thousand likes and two thousand comments. In case you are wondering, if such articles exist at all, the answer is yes. Look up a post by Bill Gates post on LinkedIn titled "Three Things I've Learned from Warren Buffet". This single post has received 1.9 Million views, 11,409 likes and 4,328 comments, since its publication in June, 2013. But most writers will never be as famous as Bill Gates.

The rest of us need to get a printout of Bill Gates article along with the analytics to post on our notice boards. It will serve as a reminder of where we want to be in the future. But to make our articles sell, go viral and create a buzz, we need to abide by the seven immutable laws of writing epic content:

Writing Law 1: Thou Shall Write With Your Reader in Your Mind

Stephen Covey in his classic book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" writes that the key to success is beginning with an end in mind. Most writers have a good idea of what they want with the article- authority, popularity or even sale. But very few writers actually take the pain to begin their work with their reader in mind. We forget as writers who our readers are, where they are at the moment, what they are facing right now. We do not think about the challenges and frustrations they are going through like exam results, divorce or even mid-life crisis. The way to correct this is to get the article plan in place by asking ourselves four key questions:

1. Who are my readers and where are they right now?

2. What are my readers going through at the moment (anger, guilt, joy, pain, hardship)?

3. What do my readers look like? (Male/Female, White/Black, Loaded with cash/Struggling to Get By)

4. Based on Questions 1, 2 and 3, if I were to identify people in my circle of family, friends or connections that resemble my readers who would those be? Go ahead, be creative and try giving your 'ideal' reader a picture and name. You may have to Google the picture but it's worth the effort.

Now that you know who your reader is, what they look like and how they think you are ready. Begin with Josh, Alisha or Jane. If you are writing for the careerist, plan your article around Josh. He would be short on time, big on ideas- add subheads to help in skimming as well as highlighting key content with bold button. If on the other hand your ideal reader is a college graduate, Alisha it may require a different strategy. Alisha has a lot of free time during her vacations. She does not want to rush through the words; she wants to enjoy the reading and share with her community. Alisha would tell you to include not just visual information as pictures but add in sound and even video. If you put in an additional 30 minutes for this exercise your article will sparkle and shine. It will be the talk of your target segment. From this point the shares, comments and likes would happen naturally.

Writing Law 2: Thou Shall Solve a Pressing Problem

When defining the persona of your ideal reader, you would have thought at length about what s/he feels. Next you need to put yourself in the reader's shoes, literally. It's show time. You must put your theatrics gear on. Close your eyes for a moment and pretend to be Josh. Fasten your seatbelt for you will be transported to Josh's Universe. You are here.

· What do you see, hear, smell and feel?

· Is it day time or night?

· Are you bathing in the sun or freezing in the cold?

· Who else is with you- friends, partner or employees?

· Are you waiting for some inspiration in your mailbox?

· Do you want to run to a blog to find some answers?

· What are you typing in the search engine?

These questions will lead you to the single burning problem your readers will have. It could be getting paid more in the job, asking for a raise or getting excellent ratings at performance appraisal. This tells you that Josh needs more money and success at his job. This is your key idea. It is your holy grail. You just need to answer this one question. Remember, you are writing an article not a book. It should only provide solution for one idea. After covering your main topic in detail, you could include two supplementary points in the remaining paragraphs. This information should help your reader think about additional points to read more about. It should not be there to show off your expertise or brilliance. In writing articles well, less is more.

Writing Law 3: Thou Decide on the target Publication before Writing

Many great businesses end up in dust because they were built on the principle of build it and they will come. As writers, we need to engrave it in our brains that we need to decide on the publication (magazine, newspaper, blog) before ever writing a single word. This is because each will have different approaches- all would have a word count limit, some would require lists, others would need breakout boxes and even quotes. Once you understand the publication, its style and tone you must make your pitch to the editor. Some would require outline of the article while others would require complete article pasted in the e-mail body. Only after getting the article/blog post approved should you write the content unless the pitch requires you to past the content in the body of the e-mail.

Some article submitting directories as E-zine Articles would check for content and grammar of the article. But they would allow authors to post any content as long as it free of grammaratical, spelling and flow errors. LinkedIn allows authors to publish any content on the site without even checking for spelling and grammar. Finally other online magazines, newspapers, blogs would not only check for grammar and spelling but tone, style and voice.

Writing Law 4: Thou Shall Build a Tribe

Professional writers love their craft. They get the same kick from writing that Tiger Woods gets from scoring a perfect shot. It gives them an adrenaline rush and an unexplainable feeling of accomplishment. But it does not pay our bills. It does not make the sale or put you in front of your target segment as the obvious expert. That requires disciplined effort. It requires building a tribe. Seth Godin, in his book tribes writes: "Tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea." A tribe has some common theme that connects them. It could be writing, career or PR. In the age of social networking, you can instantly join a tribe or start one.

Tribes are found on social media in LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups or Blogs. It is like-minded people that have gathered to a spot, in search of something like writing articles, promoting articles or guest blogging etc. Once you answer any of the problems in that area, you have the attention of the tribe. They are not random people who happen to find your article. They are prepared, ready audience that is looking for an answer that your article provides.

Writing Law 5: Thou Shall Be Social & Share

The problem with most writers and experts is that they believe their job is to create the content whether it is articles, reports or case studies. But this is only fifty percent of the job. Writing an article is like creating the most amazing party on the planet. Getting paid for writing or make the sale of the product comes from inviting people to the party. Before the internet and social media, it was certainly difficult. But now all you need to do is to choose the right networks and get active on them. Social Media etiquette teaches us the principle of listening before joining the conversation. Listening includes reading posts of other members, commenting on them, liking them and where appropriate sharing them within our circles. It may seem counter-intuitive at first. But this is social bank account where you will be depositing at first. But in a matter of few weeks, you would be able to cash on this social currency. When you post your content after listening then the members of your tribe will be receptive for you. It would be their turn to return the favor by liking, sharing and commenting on your work.

Writing Law 6: Thou Shall Follow the Feedback

The greatest advantage of the online world is the digital foot print. In the offline world, writers would kill to find information on how many people read their work, liked and commented on it. Fortunately, in the online space this is not only possible but also necessary for the producer epic content. As writers we need to remember that our end result is not in counting the hits, likes and comments but learning from that insight. It is this insight that would enable us to make the sale, close the deal or result in partnerships. Sites like E-zine, Linked In or Blogs we write for, provide detailed information about traffic break down, times of the day most people read our content and social sharing patterns. This is information goldmine. It helps in improving our content and writing stuff that readers want to read.

Writing Law 7: Thou Shall Be Consistent

Unless writing is a one-off assignment for you, you need to develop a content calendar. As writers, it helps to remember that we are addressing the needs of the tribe not clients. We are developing a relationship with our readers. They come to expect great things from us. It is this expectation that makes us instant authority on our topics and creates a demand for our work. Once that demand is created the sale is an easy job. So commit to yourself that you will be consistent whether it is creating content daily, weekly or fortnightly.

Now that you know the laws of creating epic content, your posts and articles will go viral, sell and put you in front of your viewers as the obvious expert.

P.S. You read in rule 5 about sharing with your network. If you made it this far, you probably found some value here. Go ahead share this article with your network, they would in turn shae your work when you write. I look forward to hearning from you and reading your epic content. To your success!

 

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