Content can matter. Many websites dedicate themselves to providing articles, but few have grown as rapidly as Upworthy.com by producing and sharing content.
From stereotypes to fracking, Upworthy produces hundreds of articles and videos on current social topics that become just as viral as a dancing kitty video on YouTube.
Each month they reach tens of millions of viewers with articles passed around and shared through social media. They are one of the fastest-growing media companies of all time and they are just getting started.
Have you ever heard the full story of the woman who sued McDonald’s for millions, what advertising is doing to women or the mind-blowing facts on why healthcare is so expensive in the US? Well, the Upworthy posting of those videos has conjured 165k likes through Facebook alone. They are informative and they are also viral.
Upworthy seeks out important and reliable information, publishes it and then promotes it to an eager audience. PBS Idea Lab author Matt Stempeck writes, “If you mixed the earnestness of a TED talk with the brevity of a LOLcat and Coca Cola’s distribution network, you’d end up with something like s network of crack content.”
What Makes Upworthy Different?
Upworthy isn’t just publishing content, they are strict about what they publish and fact-check the facts, stats and claims made on any videos or articles they publish. If they make a mistake in the process, then their audience can count on them to clarify or apologize in a big way.
Content from Upworthy is surprising and usually deserves to be viral. The truth about the little old lady who sued McDonald’s, for example, was explained in a short video presenting the real facts of the case, a jury’s unique solution to the dilemma they faced, how the media distorted her story and how McDonald’s finally got the message. As the video states:
And then ‘Woman, Coffee, Millions’ sounds like a rip-off, not like a logical consequence of a thoughtful trial. The condensed telling of the story created its own version of the truth.
And people care. Within the first 100 days of launching their site, Upworthy was experiencing 1 million unique visitors a week.
Articles with titles you just can’t pass by with the content to back them up.
Unlike Yahoo! News or the Onion—where titles are catchy, but the stories often fall very flat—the Upworthy titles just beg you to click and the stories follow through with some shocking story that is exactly as advertised.
Examples of these unique titles include “Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.” and “A Rap Song About Girls And Money That Your Daughter Should See.”
Article Writers and Social Media
Articles that are substantial, well-written and unique in perspective are what will draw in your audience through social media. Upworthy is picky in what they publish, responsible for what they publish and creative in crafting both text and titles. Viral success isn’t mere happenstance.
Professional writers might make your articles professional, but brands have to be in the business of caring too. Choosing the direction your corporation takes content marketing is entirely up to you–hiring the right ghost writers, brainstorming sensational content ideas and promoting your blog to your target audience.
Alethea M is a corporate blogging guru and freelance writer for WriterAccess. She often uses interesting facts from her article research to impress friends at dinner parties. Her husband is her biggest fan — though this may be because her writing income allows her to share in bill-paying each month.