Does your Blog have any Viral Content at all?

A couple of years back I had written a post about the need to have some amount of timeless content on blogs in order to sustain traffic and readership. That was mainly in the context of search engine traffic which was probably the only source (almost) of visitors to a website then.

Several things have changed since then – Google search indexing algorithm updates, multi-fold increase in social media usage, changes in the content access devices and their form factors to name a few. In this context, I am forced to believe that content that is viral in nature will be the only sustainable entity in the online world where competition is always very high and the unexpected can happen anytime.

Why viral content is a must?

As you know, many webmasters have suffered from the recent search engine downgrades by Google (named after an animal close to extinction). If Google search is the only (or primary) content access point provider, you are basically tying your content’s visibility to Google. And if you are driving visitors to your blog via PPC advertising, again it’s highly likely that you are bound to Google AdWords landing page quality score policies etc.

Basically, in order to sustain, you have to start planning for a life for your content without any help from its current traffic sources such as search engines, word of mouth marketing by your subscribers or offline advertising. Going by the characteristics and culture of humans, I am tempted to believe that social media & networks will be outliving search engines in the long run and social search will be the new buzzword.

Now that social media is viral in nature (human links, connections, groups etc), it needs to be supplied with interesting content that itself is viral by character. A few bloggers had tried photo blogging and video blogging in the past but that was at a time when social media was still catching up. Probably they were ahead of time and failed. But the past two years or so, the content that’s viral in nature when supplied to viral channels has proven to result in huge traffic, exponential increase in subscription and a lot of money via conversions.

Examples of good viral content

As I have mentioned several times in the past, it’s not good to have only passive stories and news content on a blog. Sustainable blogs should also have some services, products, freebies etc packaged with it. In other words, there should be something other than plain text that is worth sharing or of use for the readers.

The following are some examples of viral content:

  • Free software (themes, plugins, tools, utilities, webservices, browser toolbars…)
  • Interesting videos (thoughts, humour, sensational,…)
  • eBooks, auto responder/subscription based tutorials,…
  • Social apps, games (e.g. facebook apps) – different from regular software

(Of course, there are bad examples as well including spyware, spam mails, yellow journalism content etc)

By the way, news driven viral content that provides spikes in traffic may be good for short term but it is good to have some content that has a good shelf life.

i.e. by the time it reaches the 100th or 1000th level of its circulation, it should be still valid.


Viral content in combination with naturally viral media is the way forward for blogs and websites in order to maintain sustainability. Now the thought for you is…

…can your blog survive if the current search traffic is no more there?

Happy blogging!


  1. I can’t create apps or ebooks right now. But as you say to provide freeware softwares; should I host the software on my site or should I write a post around it and link the download url to the the software’s official website ?

    • You should post them on your site as well as directories and forums. Once you have done the initial steps, they will spread on their own.

    • Oscar :

      You shouldn’t host other peoples software, if it is not truly free! Check the license and whatnot.

      I would argue , in both a legal and hosting perspective, that you link to the original site. You don’t have to host the software, you don’t have to waste bandwidth and the creator still got control of the distribution.

  2. Things mentioned by you, may be right, but the news content can attract the visitors, and that will surely effect your statics in short term plan. Ex:- Obama Death, or AIEEE exam leak, are shocking news, and people will surely search on it. So, i have a different way of thinking, and that’s what i am applying.

    • @Sahil, that strategy is good to create instant traffic and some money. But the moment you stop doing that you are gone. Moreover, people are getting to see the content that they will see elsewhere 100 times and that doesn’t help anyone for long term. E.g. I saw a few bloggers writing about Osama death on their technical blogs. It was all bullshit!

      • I have a different view, that it is not bullshit. If you are getting something out of that shit, you just can’t let it go empty handed. Its all about grabbing an opportunity, well one must be aware about all the things happening around. That’s what some blogs are trying to do. All depends upon what you think and how you take it. Creating negative vibes in not the solution to it…

  3. ashish :

    Regarding this conversation : How would you initialy get a visitor if not with such keywords?

    • Ashish,
      You need keyword and search traffic as well. But social traffic or referral traffic is never via search engines. However, I believe that social search will evolve soon.

  4. Hi Ajith,

    My blog is currently getting most of the traffic from Search Engines which are high unstable.

    I was getting 500+ visitors per to one of my blog posts and suddenly that number went down to 50+ a day. My whole revenue got reduced by 40% and that made me realize that this sort of blogging is not going to help me in the long run.

    My blog is related to gadgets and tech and currently i can only post news on it. What should i do to make my blog more lucrative to readers?

    • @Rakesh,
      Perhaps you got affected by the recent Google panda update?

      Your kind of content has huge potential to post viral videos on unboxing content, video reviews on gadgets/mobile etc.

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