In this article I show you the checklist I used to encourage an article to go viral on del.icio.us, and I’ll show you what comes next.

Background

Over on my blog JobMob, I posted an article about 36 Beautiful Resume Ideas That Work. That article went to the #1 spot on del.icio.us / popular and stayed there for more than half a day. Over the next 2 weeks, it was saved on del.icio.us by over 2000 people and had well over 225 000 pageviews.

To help reproduce this success for your own blog, bookmark this article now and come back to it later. You should definitely use this guide to promote your group writing projects and entries.

This checklist works

Del.icio.us Success Checklist

If you want a handy paper copy of the checklist, print this page (CTRL+P) and limit the printing to Page 1.

Now let’s take a closer look at what the checklist means. Open the beautiful resumes article in a separate tab or browser window so that you can refer to it during the explanation.

Group Writing Projects checkbox Choose a topic for which everyone has an opinion

Degree of difficulty: low. There are many general topics that people can relate to. Think of everyday life, current events, generation-defining memories. Some controversy is good. Look at del.icio.us/popular to see what kinds of articles get hot.

What I did: I chose resumes. Everyone has one and most people expect more from theirs and are always hoping to improve it.

Group Writing Projects checkbox Write a useful article that incites bookmarking

Degree of difficulty: medium. Solve a problem for the reader. With some research it’s easy to make a checklist or a list of useful resources for a topic. More challenging is to craft an article that people will want to come back to later when they need it.

What I did: By giving you many resume ideas, my article serves as a handy resume design inspiration guide.

Group Writing Projects checkbox Choose an original format that emphasizes the usefulness of the article

Degree of difficulty: hard. Let’s face it, the visually-distinguishing feature of most blog posts is the image used. If you can find an exceptional image that really helps the content hit home, go for it. Otherwise you’ll need to find another way to spice things up. We love eye candy.

What I did: The article displays the resume designs in a table that makes viewing simple so that you can find what you want quickly.

Group Writing Projects checkbox Write a magnetic headline that emphasizes how original the article is

Degree of difficulty: medium. Many pro bloggers have written about headline templates that you can reuse. The key is choosing the right one to adapt for your article in giving it a unique shout.

What I did: “36 Beautiful Resume Ideas That Work” pulls you in because its number suggests intensive research, beautiful resumes are seemingly rare, and there’s a promise of something good i.e. resumes that actually get the job done.

Group Writing Projects checkbox Make the article easy to bookmark

Degree of difficulty: low. Once a reader is considering a bookmark, you want to make sure they can do so as quickly as possible. Show a del.icio.us badge, a Digg button and other social bookmarking links. In WordPress, use plugins such as Share This or Gregarious.

What I did: Besides using the WordPress plugin Bookmark Me to plant social bookmarking badges at the end of the article, I also use the Link to Me Textbox plugin to give you easy links to copy and paste. The extra links are also good for SEO.

Group Writing Projects checkbox Have a bookmark suggestion hook

Degree of difficulty: lowest. Use the power of suggestion, it works!

What I did: At the top of the article, I recommend to the reader that they bookmark the post. Given that they can already see that the first few resume images are keeping the promise of the headline, it’s logical that they’d want to save the article for later reference.

What You Can Expect When You Hit the del.icio.us Jackpot

  • Be warned: the Beautiful Resume Ideas article took 2 full days of work to research, compile and blog.
  • The only promotion I did for the article initially was to have it participate in Jacob Cass’s $5000+ Graphic Design group writing project.
  • Readers submitted the article to del.icio.us (thanks Shanlalit), StumbleUpon (thanks Vivien) and Digg (thanks Gummo98), which subsequently fed traffic off each other
  • del.icio.us proved to be a great source of targeted users who will take the time to visit other pages on your blog, as Jacob Cass also discovered recently
  • Many other sites are aggregating the del.icio.us/popular feed, and can send as much if not more traffic than del.icio.us itself

Screenshot Chronology

A few hours after the article went viral

Del.icio.us / popular #1

Featured on other sites that aggregate del.icio.us

Popurls partial screenshot

Thumblicious partial screenshot

TheWeblist partial screenshot

Thagoo partial screenshot

Later that same day, the article has already pushed JobMob to #1 and #2 on Google for “beautiful resumes”Google partial screenshot

Statistics for the Beautiful Resumes article in Google Analytics during the 2-week timeframe after posting

Beautiful Resume stats from Google Analytics

I hope you enjoyed this writeup. Don’t forget to bookmark this article so that you can use it for your own viral posts later.

This article is part of On Financial Success’ del.icio.us group writing project, which is part of the bigger Social Media Mega Project that I discovered right here on Group Writing Projects.

--Jacob Share, Professional Blogging Consultant and THE Group Writing Projects Expert