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7 Ways to Find Viral Content Ideas

Probably one of the toughest problems when it comes to creating content is simply coming up with great ideas that fit your niche or industry. And, of course, you don’t want just any ideas – you want ideas that have the chance to become popular on social media and viral throughout the net. The best…

Probably one of the toughest problems when it comes to creating content is simply coming up with great ideas that fit your niche or industry. And, of course, you don’t want just any ideas – you want ideas that have the chance to become popular on social media and viral throughout the net. The best way to create viral content is to first research what has been popular in the past within your industry. The following are seven ways you can find content ideas have become viral in your industry.

Technorati

To begin your research, especially if you are looking particularly at blog posts ideas, you will need to find blogs in your industry. Technorati has a Top 100 List that allows you to peruse the top 100 blogs on the internet based on the Technorati Authority ranking system. You can also browse their Blog Directory to see top blogs in specific categories from Autos to Technology.

Topsy

Topsy is a real-time search engine that allows you to see the tweet counts of online content. So let’s say that you’re a Microsoft reseller, and you want to know what’s most popular on The Windows Blog. Just pop their domain into the Topsy search box to begin.

topsy-search

This will allow you to see the latest posts from this domain along with the tweet counts. Unfortunately, you can’t sort the results by number of tweets, but just by browsing the first page or two, you will see some popular vs. quiet topics based on tweet count.

topsy-search-results

While Topsy has an option to show results with the counts of Google Plus Ones, this is section is currently in beta. You will want to use the Google+ network itself for now to find content that’s actually popular on Google+ itself.

Advanced Search + SEOquake

SEOquake is a handy browser plugin / extension that works with Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari that will show you specific statistics about search results in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others. These stats now include Facebook Likes, Twitter Tweets, and Google Plus Ones. This makes it a powerful tool to find content in search results, then actually sort it by social popularity.

Once you have this tool installed into your browser of choice, go in to the preferences and make sure the parameters you want to see are checked for your preferred search engine.

seoquake-preferences

Be sure to change the SERPs preferences to get all parameters by request as well. This way, it won’t pull parameters every time you search which can slow down getting search results and cause you to receive unwelcomed Google captcha for overuse issue.

seoquake-serp-preferences

Once you have these parameters set, start searching for content to see what’s most popular. You can just use keywords, or use advanced search operators like the following:

  • site:domain.com to find content from a particular domain.
  • intitle:infographic to find content with infographic or another particular keyword in the title.

If you’re looking for content that has been popular recently, don’t forget to use the Show search tools option in Google and narrow down your results to a particular date range. Then click search and request on the specific parameters you want to see (likes, tweets, plus ones, etc.) and sort your results.

seoquake-in-google-search-results

Now you can see what content is really popular, right in your search results!

Social Bookmarking Sites

When posts go viral, they typically get shared on social bookmarking networks. Be sure to use the following networks to search for recently popular content.

  • StumbleUpon – Sign up for an account, add some interests to your profile, and you will be greeted with top content in those interests when you sign in. Or login and go to the Interests page to find interests and the top content within them based on stumbles and views.
  • Reddit – Search for particular keywords, domains (site:domain.com), or a combination of both (site:domain.com keyword) to see what has been voted up on Reddit as popular content.
  • Delicious – Search for particular keywords, domains (site:domain.com), or a combination of both (site:domain.com keyword) to see what has been bookmarked the most on Delicious.

Mashable

If it’s infographic or video content you’re trying to get ideas for, Mashable is usually the holy grail of places that this type of content go once they receive viral fame. Use their search box to find either or [infographic] to see a listing of their latest posts with videos or infographics plus the number of total shares those posts have received.

Google+

Want to focus getting popular on Google+ for both social and search benefits? Search for particular keywords, domains (site:domain.com), or a combination of both (site:domain.com keyword) on Google+ itself to find content poplar with Google+ users.

YouTube Views

Last, but not least, if you’re creating video content, the best place to get viral content ideas is YouTube itself. Use the advanced search operator intitle:keyword to find videos with specific keywords in the title, then click the Filter option to sort results by view count and filter by upload date to find new content.

youtube-filtered-sorted-results

If you’re looking to see what videos are most popular by specific users, simply go to their channel and look at their uploaded videos. You can’t sort them by view count, but you can generally scroll through and see the views next to each video’s title.

What ways do you use to find viral content ideas? Please share your research methods in the comments!

12 responses to “7 Ways to Find Viral Content Ideas”

  1. Paul Bradish says:

    Some great ideas here. I’ll have to give SEO Quake another go.

  2. Kristy Falango says:

    There is so much great content here! I never knew half of these tools existed, and they’ll be great for blog posts I have to write for my internship! Do you recommend any of these in particular?

  3. Danny says:

    Great tips. I second @twitter-5863982:disqus … time to reinstall the SEO Quake extension.

  4. Patti Hale says:

    Great info here! Learned a lot! Sharing!

  5. Swamykant says:

    Excellent tips here. Thanks a lot for sharing. 

  6. Kameko says:

    Nice tips shared here.
    Thank you for the simple and brief descriptions along with screenshots.
    Keep smiling.

  7. amazing idea to create new content, that is worth sharable on social media

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  9. Emma White says:

    I have had a few posts go viral on me and I find the ones that do are ones that were never planned to do much, not much effort went into them but perhaps were more controversial than normal.

  10. […] previously mentioned using SEOquake as a great way to find viral content ideas on other websites. If you don’t have Google Analytics set up to track social shares, then this this is the next […]

  11. Nick Bordeau says:

    Great Post. I am with the other two gentleman, it is time to bring SEO Quake back to firefox.

  12. […] 12. 7 Ways to Find Viral Content Ideas by Kristi Hines […]

  13. YA says:

    and do not forget amazon.com you can find thousands of niches

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  16. […] that only marketing companies can create link bait, most industries really have the ability to create great content if they just think creatively. Car insurance companies can produce free downloadable books on […]

  17. Brendan F says:

    Hi Kristi, just reached out on Google+. Looking for some clarification on the search you mention above for Google+. Thanks! oh and great article..

  18. slideWei says:

    Great information. It helped me to find certain viral keywords before it took off on my social media~ good stuff