Writing a viral article can be like a magic trick. You’re taking something and turning it into something else. Granted, you don’t get any cute bunnies magically crawling out of a hat, but the principle is the same. You might not always have the wealth of information you need to turn a short story into 20+ pages of a viral, but it’s not impossible. It’s stressful and soul-destroying (LOL JK), but not impossible. Whether you’re trying to become an epic viral content writer yourself or are just wondering how the heck we do it, here is how to stretch a 300-word story into a 3000-word viral sensation.
Look up everything (and do it quickly)
If something’s worth writing about, there’s going to be more information than that 300-word story you’re reading. Information is everywhere on the internet, and sometimes you need to do a little digging to find it. With any luck, what you need will be relatively easy to uncover. No, those other sites probably won’t give you loads more information, but every little counts. One new fact is enough for you to write an extra page, which puts you a step closer to finishing the article.
Don’t be afraid to get a little invasive in your search. If the people involved have Instagram or Twitter, search through as much of it as you can. Don’t be a creep or anything, but see if their photos or posts shed light on something you’re struggling with. Depending on the content of the story, their social media may or may not be useful. However, you won’t know what’s worthwhile until you start searching. Just never try to dig into something that’s closed off to the public. Don’t be THAT guy.
Break everything down (into miniscule pieces)
Writers have the gift of the gab. We know our way around words like the back of our hands. We might not be great at using them in a social setting, but leave us alone with a computer, and we’ll type away like crazy.
When it comes to stretching out a story, you need to be good at using your words. Take a piece of information and find a way to turn it into several sentences worth of text. While it might not seem like enough to talk about for a full page, it’ll benefit you when you’re struggling to hit your limit. If you’re worried that readers might think what you’re saying is useless, just ensure that what you write is enticing. Use that tiny piece of information as a breadcrumb leading towards the bigger details of the story.
Expand your horizons (as far as they’ll go)
Ever had to write dozens of pages about something that’s a complete non-story? No? Lucky you. There’s no greater experience for writing a viral than dealing with a problem like this, though. It shows you exactly what you need to do to keep those readers clicking on the next page again and again.
When you’re struggling for extra information, explore every other avenue available to you. For instance, if you’re writing a story about an experience someone says they had with a ghost, find accounts of people who went through a similar thing. You can fill up the extra pages by ruminating on the similarities between the two. As long as you can find a way to link it back to the original story, you’re good to go.
Another thing you might want to consider is responses people had on social media. Whether it’s their reactions to something shocking a celebrity did, or the condolences they offered to someone’s heartbreaking tale, it’s all usable. Don’t think that every page of the viral has to be a direct retelling of the story at hand, because it doesn’t.
Elongate the drama (as far as humanly possible)
Before you write anything, identify the key moments of your story and establish where they’ll go in the article. The whole point of a viral piece is to keep people clicking, so you don’t want to give away too much too fast. Save a lot of the juiciest information for the end so that the reader’s patience is rewarded.
Don’t just write filler pages that serve no purpose to the story, because it’ll make people give up before they reach the end. You need to find the right balance between telling the story and building the suspense. If you don’t know how to do that by now, have you even been reading this post?
Being a writer is hard. Being a viral writer is even harder. However, you know you’ve made it when you’re able to turn something tiny into something big. We’re not trying to liken ourselves to any kind of Supreme Being here, but… Well, the writing speaks for itself.