How to Write Content that Gets Over 100,000 Views (a Formula that Works)

How to Write Content

What if I told you that there’s a formula that you can use to repeatedly write an article that gets 100,000 views, or more? I have good news for you: you can.

Writing an article that gets 10,000 views, 100,000 views, or more isn’t as difficult as most people will have you believe. In fact, it’s so simple that I’ve done it over and over again. Here are some proofs below:

One of my articles with over 100,000 views:

Another article with over 100,000 views:

For a clear idea, and so that the facts are properly presented, the first article in the above screenshot was published in October 2011. In the month of October 2011, my blog had 35,695 visitors (screenshot below):

Note: There was a traffic spike from Stumbleupon that resulted in 15,491 visitors from Stumbleupon during this period. This inflated things a bit.

The second article was published in April 2013. My blog got 40,031 visitors in the month of April 2013 (screenshot below):

As you can see, with less than 40,000 monthly visitors, I went on to create articles that eventually got read over 100,000 times each. This was because I wrote my articles based on a proven formula.

I decided to replicate my success on a much smaller blog, to see if my formula truly worked, and the result was this article: The Ultimate List of Blogs that Accept Guest Posts

I broke the article down into 25 pieces of content, and then linked to them all on the above-linked “umbrella page.” The umbrella page has over 100,000 pageviews and over 74,000 unique pageviews. Across all the different posts it was split into, it has over 150,000 unique pageviews:

Here’s the kicker: With my last example, in the above screenshot, the article was published in the month of February 2013. Guess how much traffic my blog got during this period? A measly 1,010 visitors! It sounds unbelievable I know, but that’s indeed the case. Using a formula I’ve carefully shown to work, with 3 examples already featured in this article, I was able to write an article that got over 100,000 views on a blog with 1,010 monthly visitors. In fact, scratch that. January traffic was 630 visitors, and the article I referenced above was what actually made my blog shoot up to 1,010 visitors the month it went live – in February. After the above-referenced article went live, monthly traffic doubled and doubled again on my blog.

Here’s How to Actually Write Content that Gets over 100,000 Views over Time

You’re probably very curious already, and I won’t waste your time. Now that I’ve shown you a few examples, let’s dive straight into this article: the reason all the examples I showed you above performed really well, overwhelmingly outperforming every other article on my blog, was because they are all resource articles.

The first article is titled “30 Websites That Pay Writers,” and it features a list of 30 websites that pay writers for articles. The second article was influenced by the success of the first article and it is titled “45 More Websites That Pay Writers.” The third article also used the same format, but this time around in a different niche, and it is titled “The Ultimate List of Blogs that Accept Guest Posts” – it featured 600 blogs in 25 categories. It was split over 25 articles and contained over 25 pages of content: the screenshot for the third article reflects pageviews to the umbrella page, but combined pageviews for all the articles the resource was split into already exceeds 300,000 views. That, from a blog with just 1,010 monthly visitors!

I’ve discovered the power of resource articles since 2010, and this formula still works today. It has never failed, and my resource articles always outperform other articles on my blog by a margin. For perspective, below is a screenshot showing social shares to a resource article I contributed to The Penny Hoarder in 2015. While I don’t have actual traffic numbers, that resource article has already been shared over 2,900 times – proof that it was a valuable resource for the readers.

Why Resource Articles Work

Resource articles work due to one main reason: Most articles are focused on giving people tips and suggestions on what to do. They leave people with a lot of theory and little thing of practical use that they can act on. Resources, however, give them the actual resources they need to implement these tips. There are over a million articles telling people how to make money writing, but I took things to the next level by giving writers sites that pay them for their articles. It is very simple: write your articles, submit them to the sites on my list, and get paid. It was the same process for my list of blogs that accept guest posts. I went beyond telling people that “you can grow your blog traffic by writing guest posts.” Instead, I said “here, you can have a list of 600 blogs, in 25 different niches that will accept your guest posts!”

My examples appear to be very similar since they involve writing in some way, and this can wrongly send the message that resource articles only work for writing-related niches. Not necessarily, here are some lists of extremely successful resource articles in other niches:

  1. The U.S. News Ranking of Best Universities: This is a comprehensive resource featuring rankings of the best universities in the U.S. If you’ve done a bit of research on colleges/universities in the U.S. you’ve probably come across this list before. I believe that it’s been read millions of times.
  2. A Ranking of 27 Web Hosts Based on Speed, Uptime and Loading Time: This is another comprehensive resource article in the tech/hosting niche. It features and sorts web hosts based on different factors.
  3. The Ultimate List of 40 High-Protein Foods: This article features more high protein foods than you can know what to do with; the resulting article is a comprehensive article that has been shared over 51k times. It is the perfect example of a resource article. It is in the diet/weight loss niche.

From my own examples and the above three examples, there are five different niches where resource articles were effectively published. The result is a win-win situation for the owners.

The Logic behind a Resource Article

It took me over 20 hours to create my first resource and it took me around two weeks of intermittent work (or about 40 full hours) to create the second one. I’m pretty certain that the U.S. News ranking I featured above couldn’t have been prepared in a day (except maybe by Barry Allen?), and I was involved in the creation of the resource featuring web hosts so I know it’s not something that can be easily created in a few days. In other words, resource articles take time to create, but they are worth it at the end.

I outsourced the third resource I referenced earlier on, the one featuring blogs that accept guest posts, to my team and it cost about $3,000 to create. It would have taken me at least 50 hours if I had done it on my own: 118,000 views/50 hours = 2,360 views per hour. This is a BIG win, because my blog was getting a measly 1,000 views monthly when this resource was published, and because traffic to the resource article keeps growing on a regular basis, so that number will certainly double in no time.

My 5-Step Process for Creating a Successful Resource Article

While resource articles can be very popular, creating a successful one can take a bit of effort. Here is the 5-step process I follow for creating successful resource articles:

Step 1: Prepare, and Determine the Topic of Your Resource Article

The first step is to determine the topic of your resource article; not all articles are created equal, and resources are no exception. A theme I’ve noticed with my most successful resource articles is that people demanded them before I created them. With my writing blog, for example, whenever I publish an article sharing tips on how to make money writing, people responded with questions like “how do I get started?” “What sites can I submit my articles to,” etc. While, generally, most of these questions did not directly ask for a list, or a resource, I noticed that creating a resource will easily address them.

For example, protein plays a key role in building and repairing muscles, so it’s natural that readers of a body building blog want a list of protein foods they can consume. In this case, creating a list of “high-protein foods,” and then adding a description as well as the protein content of each food featured, instantly addresses this question. The end result is a resource that people can reference over and over again.

Now, this can be a bit tricky if you’re an agency who wants to do this for clients, but it isn’t impossible: in such an instance, I’ll recommend simply analyzing recent/popular articles by your clients, and then creating a list of resource that can help readers implement the suggestions. For example, if your client has an article about publishing a book, a good resource article will be a list of publishing agents or publishing houses you’ve personally vetted that they can pitch their books to. If your client has an article about effective outreach, a good resource article could be a list of outreach templates. If your client is a gaming website, a good resource article could easily be a list of computer games filtered by genre and computer resource usage. Once you start to think about this and get creative, it can be done for pretty much any niche.

Step 2: Make Your Resource Article Ultra-Specific

t isn’t unusual to have an overlap between a number of topics for your resource article; for example, I advocate both guest blogging and writing for pay on my writer website. In this situation, it would have been much easy to create a list of sites that pay for guest posts, and while that would have been a big hit, its success will be limited compared to that of an article that is more specific; this is because the more specific article is much easier to reference and share.

As you can see from the examples I featured above, specificity is essential to the success of resource article: the resource article featuring high-protein foods is especially specific. That’s how a resource should be. Besides the fact that this makes it easy to promote your resource, it also presents opportunity to create more resources and get even more traffic. A notable example of this on my blog is my recently published list of Christian magazines that pay writers; it takes things to the next level by focusing just on the Christian market, and it’s been hugely successful since it was published.

Step 3: Extensively Research Resources to Include in Your List

This is often the most difficult step, and it is usually what stops most people from creating a resource article. I’ve had to spend over 20 hours creating a resource that barely exceeded two thousand words; as someone who easily types 80 – 100 words per minute, this isn’t due to being a slow typist. Instead, it is because it can be sometimes difficult to find quality resources.

Here are some tips for finding resources to include on your list:

Extensive Google Search: This goes beyond the basic Google search where you settle for results on page one or two and call it a day. Sometimes, I have to go as deep as page 20 or more in Google, carefully scanning every result, before finding enough resources. Occasionally, I’ll have to vary my search terms. For example, in the process of compiling a list of sites that accept guest posts, specifically for the health niche, the term “”write for us” +health blog” brought entirely different results from the term “health +guest blogging.” Occasionally, I’ll have to use ten or more variations of the same search term before finding enough results. It helps to familiarize yourself with advanced Google search operators.

Similar Sites: Depending on the nature of the resource you’re publishing, looking for similar sites to existing resources can be a great way to find good resources. This won’t work in all cases — say, for example with my list of sites that pay writers — but it will work in others (say, for example with a list of web hosts).

Here are some tools that will help you find similar sites:

Other resource articles: Another goldmine for finding resources to publish on your list is similar resource articles. If there are very few resources in your niche, this might not be very helpful. However, even a few extra resources to include on your list doesn’t hurt. In my case, I simply search for “list of {resource I want to publish}” e.g. “list of websites that pay writers.” If I want to be more specific, I go further by specifying criteria e.g. “list of websites that pay writers +$50 per article” — this usually shows lists of sites that pay writers that mention $50 in the article. I then review the lists, filter the resources presented based on my criteria and do my own research.

Step 4: Verify Your Resources, and Regularly Ensure Quality and Validity of the Resources Featured

Occasionally, you will find resources that are no longer active during your search; this is especially common if you rely on other resource articles for yours, and it isn’t unusual to find expired resources in Google. What I do in this case is to visit and carefully examine the sites of the resources I want to include; I occasionally monitor these sites for recent activity. If a site lacks recent activity, I either cross it out or check the site’s activity on social media; if a site is still active on social media, that’s an indication that it is still active. How to go about this step will be determined by the nature of your resource.

Once you’ve ensured validity of your resources, it is also important to ensure that your resource article appears to be of the highest quality. Here are some of the steps I take to ensure my resources are of the highest quality:

  • I include details and description of each resource: At the very least I include a summary of the resources being featured. This makes it different from just an ordinary list, significantly increasing its value.
  • I include and highlight specifics: With my list of blogs that accept guest posts, I include essential information such as the Domain Authority and Alexa rank of blogs I feature. With my list of websites that pay writers, I include specifics such as how much each publication pays as well as their means of payment. This information makes the resource article instantly more valuable, since the reader can decide whether a resource will be useful at a glance. It also makes my resource articles highly bookmarked, since readers do not have to individually go to all the sites featured all the time. They have a summary right there on my site.
  • Fact checking and ensuring quality: Initially, I was the only one working on resource articles for my websites. As a result it often took 24 hours or more to complete a single resource; now, however, I have a member of my team whose sole job is to find and compile resources. This team member then adds specific information and a summary to each resource. After this, the resource is sent to my editor who vets and checks every resource featured to ensure that they are active and relevant. I then take a final look and publish the resource. Given the effort involved, having a team makes it easy for me to publish resources regularly; I pretty much publish a new resource article every week now, and this is due to the effort of my team.

    That said, the process doesn’t have to be very complicated; my most popular resources — including the two most popular ones with over 300,000 page views each — were researched, vetted and published by myself alone. If you do not have the budget to hire a team to help with this, it’s something you can do on your own.

Step 5: Publish and Promote Your Resource

Once your resource article has been finalized, the next step is to publish and promote it. Naturally, resource articles take a life of their own; I do nothing else for most of my resource articles — not even outreach or link building, yet they get viewed by tens of thousands of people. However, you will maximize results by taking some extra steps to promote your resource. Here are some tips I use for my most successful resource articles:

  • Contact all of the people featured in your resource; I didn’t really do this with my very first resource articles, but I’ve done it with some of the later ones and I noticed that it can help with an initial boost in traffic.
  • Look for lists of resources and contact the curators; find a list of similar resources, or a list featuring lists of resources similar to yours. Reach out to the owner and ask them to include your resource on their list.
  • Look for industry roundups and contact the curators; I’ve gotten some quality traffic from having my resources featured in industry roundups, and I figured the extra backlinks doesn’t hurt 😉 Look for bloggers in your niche that regularly publish roundups and email them about your resource articles. It’s hard to resist a great resource, so they are very likely to include it in their next roundup.

    You can easily find dozens of such resources by using a search term like “list of {niche} +resources.” Usually, this will result in dozens of roundups that are similar to your niche, and that your resource can be potentially featured in.

    Here’s an example of what I see when I search for “list of blogging +resources” in Google:

Another way to go about this is to create a special email account for the purpose of finding relevant blogs to reach out to; use this email address to subscribe to as many relevant blogs as possible, and, once you’ve gotten some emails over time, search for terms like “roundup,” “links,” “favorite posts,” etc, to find the blogs that do these roundups.

  • Share your resource article on social media; I’ve occasionally had to share my resource articles on sites like Reddit, Hacker News, and other social media sites. While these sites usually frown at self-promotion, I’ve noticed that quality resources are generally promoted by the community.
  • Link to your resource articles in guest posts; my resource articles usually get a lot of links, but my intentional guest blogging efforts have resulted in lots of high quality links, too. Look for quality blogs in your niche. Write guest posts for these blogs and link to your resource article in it; more often than not, your resource article will complement a point you mentioned in the article so your link won’t be removed.

After Publishing Your Resource

At the time of writing this, my most popular resource article — the first one ever — has been viewed over 300,000 times. It was first published in 2011, and a lot has happened since then. While that’s a good ROI for my effort in creating the resource, it is worth noting that things don’t just end with creating a resource article. You have to take the following steps as your resource article ages:

Step 1. Verify and Regularly Update Your Resources

Occasionally I get emails from readers, or even from editors of one of the resources mentioned on my lists, telling me that a resource is no longer active. In fact, I’ve had some of the sites I featured — that either pay writers or that accept guest posts — stop accepting submissions due to the overwhelming submissions they received after inclusion on my list. This is one of the challenges that come with publishing resources. I respond to this by verifying links featured in my resource articles every once in awhile and by paying special attention to feedback from readers, or from owners of the resources, whenever they reach out to me.

I also make it a duty to regularly update my resources; for example, I recently noticed that my first resource that was published in 2011 was a bit outdated with some of the sites no longer paying writers; I’ve updated it four to five times since publishing it, with the last update done in 2015. I’ll be updating it again later this year.

Updating your resource articles will only take a few minutes of your time, or at most an hour or two, but the tradeoff is worth it; when people see that it is recent and updated, they will more readily link to it and share it with others. Updating my very first resource article that was published five years ago hasn’t taken more than two hours of my time total.

Step 2. Reach Out to Every Publication Featured

At a point, one of the resources featured in one of my resource articles — the Matador Network — shared the article on Facebook and Twitter. This resulted in over 1,000 extra visits to my blog the day the resource was shared.

While social media contributes to only a tiny portion of overall traffic to my resource articles, I’ve gotten some nice extra traffic as a result of people featured on my list sharing the article that featured them.

Once your resource is published, don’t let it stop there: email or Tweet the owners of every single resource featured, and ask them to share your resource.

Conclusion

By following the above tips, you will easily create a resource article that gets tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of views in no time. Do you have any experience with resource articles? Kindly let us know in the comments below.

Bamidele Onibalusi is a freelance writer and blogger. He has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Fast Company, and other major publications. He blogs at Writers in Charge, and you can follow him on Twitter: @youngprepro.