As any Odyssey Creator could tell you, we all want to go viral— or at least garner more page views than last week. We all google ideas for "social media followings", take advice from one another, and post obsessively on all our accounts; but there's definitely a better way to get that organic traffic. In fact, here's 17 ways from a experienced Odyssey writer herself!
1. Embrace links.
Articles filled with external hyperlinks tend to do better in search engine results. I strive for 15+ links if I'm not writing about something personal.
2. SEO-optimize the intro paragraph
Think about what phrases people might google related to your article and include those phrase in the intro paragraph AND in the Meta tags in MUSE.
3. Your listicle should have 17+ points
Anybody could list 5 random things about a topic. If you don't believe me, go check out Buzzfeed's trending listicles and pay attention to their numbers.
4. Even better a prime number. (19, 23, 29, 47, 101)
The data (and my personal experiences) say so.
5. Make that headline identity specific!
Who are you? An English major, sister, musician, white girl — put those things in the headline so other people who share that identity will give it some page views.
6. Don't be spammy.
Just posting the link to your article isn't enough. Pick the most intriguing line, a sassy comment or post above a poll.
7. Post on all the platforms.
Yes, even Instagram. Personally, I've found if you post a interesting excerpt people will click on the link in your bio to read the rest.
8. Try a new platform.
Pinterest and StumbleUpon are the chosen favorites of Odyssey at the moment that people mention. Both are great for evergreen content!
9. Find large, active, relevant Facebook groups to post in
Facebookers tend to post a lot of articles, maybe it'll be your's this week! Again, don't be spammy!
10. Make those cover photos be your own!
Using your own photography is great! Using infrequently-utilized public domain stuff is a solid second option.
11. Respond to the comments below.
Social media thrives on conversation, dialogue and yes even some arguments. Obviously, block all trolls and report abusive comments! However sometimes productive discussions do occur and you as author should partake in them!
12. Hop on the trending hashtags even the silly ones.
This one works espicially well for Twitter! Also, the weekly ones like #MondayMotivation, #WednesdayWisdom, #saturdaymorning can also help put your tweet in front of more people.
13. Spruce up your social media presence.
Spend 5-10 minutes a day INTERACTING with people on social media, not just scrolling through, and you'll build a social media following in no time!
14. Put yourself out there.
Create content that pushes boundaries, and post twice as much as you should because of those annoying algorithms hiding your content in plain sight!
15. Listicles aren't just for fluffy content.
Even if you eventually turn it into a full article, starting as a listicle can help you make things more concise.
16. Keep a common thread through all your articles.
This one is difficult (and certainty not required) however people seeing great, similar content from you will start to look for next week's and eventually you might just have your fan club ready to share your articles!
17. Pay close attention to the Meta-tab in MUSE
I saved this one for last because it is Important! You should have 20+ tags a week (using ones Odyssey writers have used before is even better) and DON'T EVER SKIP THE META TITLE AND DESCRIPTION!
Happy writing! Go viral this week!