Earlier this week, local tech and online publishing company VigLink hosted a unique event called “That’s What She Said” that brought a bunch of San Francisco’s biggest bloggers to the same place to talk shop. #TWSS took place on Wednesday, March 25th at the Ligne Roset Designer Furniture Showroom in downtown San Francisco and offered attendees an opportunity to network and take part in a fireside discussion about how to make your blog go viral. Search Engine Journal editor and Forbes contributor John Rampton moderated the panel which included industry thought leaders Jennine Jacobs, the founder of the-coveted.com, NY Times best seller Joel Comm, Apartment 34 CEO Erin Hiemstra, and founder of the Savvy in San Francisco blog, Melissa Sanchez.
With so much combine knowledge and experience on the panel, the conversation was often detailed and interesting and brought to light a lot of great information that’s useful for any blogger. So after the event, I wanted to take the time to share the most important three things I learned from #TWSS so that even if you weren’t there, you didn’t totally miss out.
Interaction and Engagement Are Key
A lot of the conversations I had were about user engagement and how important it is to interact with your readers. For larger sites, this means turning to social media and using different networks to your advantage, but for smaller sites, it can mean asking your readers questions, sharing your personal perspective, and responding to comments. People turn to the Internet and blogs to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, and while they often want the shortest, fastest answer, they also want to know that you’re human. So the overall lesson here—be yourself and connect with your audience and they’ll be more likely to keep coming back and maybe even sharing your site with their friends.
Headlines Make Content Go Viral
If you spend any amount of time on Facebook then you’ve likely seen your News Feed flooded with the viral content of sites like BuzzFeed and UpWorthy. But even if you’ve noticed that your feed has been inundated with these formulaic posts, but you might not have noticed why people are sharing them so often. Yes part of it is the content, but a lot of the reasons that these things go viral is because of the headline. These cleverly crafted, sometimes borderline manipulative headlines are what pull readers in and get them to click on the link. Once that happens, they’re on to the content and if they like what’s there, chances are they’re going to share it with their friends online. The main takeaway here—if you’re a blogger and you’re trying to create viral content, spend your time thinking about your headline and how you can attract readers.
People Love Imagery
There’s a reason why BuzzFeed articles and YouTube videos go viral so often—it’s because people love photos and videos. It’s seldom that a piece of written content truly goes viral these days, which is why bloggers should do their best to produce or incorporate their own graphic content into their sites. Plus, with so many social networks now catering to photo and video content, it’s easy to get more people to see your post and generate more traffic to your site. Looking to the future, it will be a necessity to have photos and videos on your blog, especially if you want to rank higher in Google’s search results, so it’s best to get started now.
After an amazing event, these are the three main takeaways I had from attending VigLink’s #TWSS. If you’re a blogger who wants to grow your audience, these are some of the areas that you should focus on moving forward.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!