7 Viral Content Writing Tips from an Experienced Journalist

Have you ever wondered how journalists write contents that go viral every day? In this article, we will show you some viral content writing tips from a journalist.

In order to drive traffic to the news sites to create enough advertising revenue, every journalist has to produce great contents that go viral. The worst nightmare for a journalist or news writer can face is that their news articles are left unread.

So we contact one journalist to share the writing strategy she always uses. Then, you should follow these tips every time you tap on your keyboard.

1. Develop the interesting story ideas
Story ideas are the list of topics that each journalist will pursue within days or weeks. Without the development of story ideas in advance, each writer may hit the writer's block real hard. Story ideas that have the tendency to go viral are something "newsworthy" or something happens recently or even controversial topics. Many researchers suggested that controversial articles be read more because it's the story that resonates very well with a broad range of audience. Many controversial stories become the global topic.

The development of interesting story ideas will ensure that you can capture the attention of your target audience.

2. Find sources with a unique perspective
Since journalist is sometimes not a subject matter expert, he/she will need more information from "sources". Sources can be someone in their Rolodex. If the story ideas require new sources, many journalists will use the service such as Help the Report Out "HARO", Profnet Expert (PR News Wire) or Source Bottle to find experts who can provide more information both in person or via e-mail.

3. Find useful information from public data
Another way to find interesting sources is to analyze public data (the method that tries to get something newsworthy from public data is called Data Journalism).

Sometimes you need to conduct the expert interview, analyze public data set and triangulate both data sources to find crucial information for your readers.

4. Use 5W1H technique
The 5W1H stands for "What", "Who", "Where", "When", "Why" and "How". When you think about these basic questions, you will approach a particular story or situation from many different angles. This will enable you to draw the interesting conclusion and present a powerful article.

5. Utilize Inverted Pyramid Technique
In journalism, Inverted Pyramid-Technique is the most popular writing style. Under Inverted Pyramid writing style, you start the article with the most important fact in just a couple of sentences to capture the attention of your readers as quickly as possible, followed by supporting information and general information about the topic. In short, don't save the best for last.

6. Limit the length of the article title
If you have some blogging experiences, you will know that the ideal length of the article title is 60 characters or less (including space). The reason is that most search engines will truncate the article title in the search snippet if it's too long. Imagine what will happen when readers search for your stories and can't read the whole sentence in the title (hint: they will just skip your website).

7. Use short form content
The secret behind the viral content is to deliver the powerful content that readers can finish quickly so they will have time to share with their family and friends. Many researchers suggested that most readers spend only less than one minute to read one online article. Therefore, a long article will be the waste of time and resources to produce contents. Fluffy contents with irrelevant data will only upset your readers.

The plus side of a short story is that you can reduce the workload of yourself (if you self-edit your own article) and your editors (if you are in the corporate environment).

Viral content writing is not something that just happens. It needs a lot of experiences and years of practice. Then, the more you try, the faster you will master this skill.

Do you think these viral content writing tips will be something you can use on daily basis?

- Zarrella, Dan. The social media marketing book. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.", 2009.

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Last review and update: August 30, 2021
About the Editor
Ben Benjabutr is the editor of BookWorm4Life. He holds a Master's Degree in business with 10+ years of work experience and 8+ years of experience in blogging and online content production. He enjoys reading books about business, lifestyle and literature and he loves to share what he learns from books. You can drop him a line via e-mail.