Did you know that a headline or first sentence can break an otherwise awesome article? Everyone knows that websurfers have short attention spans, but the longer you write the more you will realize just how short they can be. By the third sentenceprobably half of them have stopped reading and are looking for the next big thing.
And can you blame them? There is a lot of good content on the web, so an introduction that is catchy (a question, little known fact or amazing statistic) is key. If you can, make your article into a list whether or not you envisioned or even initially wrote it in list format.
If there is any way to do it, be sure to lead with an image. Have more than one image in your article? Then lead with the best one you have. People will read the bold print of the headline, see the image and on that basis will (likely) decide to stay or go.
To maintain visual interest, it can be helpful to mix images in through a post to provide relief from the text and to keep the reader interested. Another way to do this is to provide bullet points, indentations or other visual breaks to relieve the monotony.
But wait, you found something interesting to write about, but it’s short and self-contained … it could never go viral, right? Well, in some cases a single subject post can succeed if it is provocative, newsworthy or original enough. However, in many cases you can take a seemingly solitary item and make it into a collection.
But before you jump all the way into researching your article: check social news, networking and bookmarking sites to see if your seemingly brilliant idea has a shot on them. A subject may be interesting to you but you need to know if a broader audience will go for it.
OK, so you tried it and it didn’t go as planned. What did you do wrong? Well, you might have a hard time finding that out. You should be sure to check the comments on your site and on social media sites to see what the public’s reaction was. Also, it might seem scary, but you can always contact someone in your niche who has success writing viral content and see if they will give you feedback.