The How-To Guide for Using a 3-Step Formula for Creating Viral Content

Creating viral content is more complicated than it looks.

You must master copywriting, get to know your audience, and figure out the topic to write about.

But if you’re a budding content writer, you only need to focus on the essentials and acquire skills as you go along.

When I first started writing content, the sheer amount of learning materials to digest overwhelmed me. It was information overload. Until my then editor-in-chief gave me this tip:

I recommend you read nice magazines where they write beautiful prose or word their articles creatively such as Details or maybe Wallpaper*. You’ll get the hang of it I’m sure.

Long story short, knowing where to devote my energy enabled me to see actual results.

So don’t worry. I’ll make it super simple for you.

In this article, I’ll walk you through a three-step formula for creating viral content. Also, I’ll share my xTiles Create Viral Content Template containing the exact formula I use every time I write content and resources, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Before we continue, let’s know first what viral content is and why it is important.

According to Backlinko, viral content is “online content that achieves a high level of awareness due to shares and exposure on social media networks, news websites, aggregators, email newsletters and search engines.” It is important because “a single piece of viral content can generate significant amounts of brand awareness and traffic to your website.”

Hence, content that goes viral has the potential to bring in potential customers and make sales.

Now that we’ve understood the importance of viral content. Let’s proceed with how to create one.

The 3-step formula for creating viral content

When I start piecing together an article, I adhere to a specific structure.

HookStory and TeachSummary and Action Steps

Let’s go over them one by one.


First, I begin with the hook. The hook’s purpose is to capture your readers’ attention. It consists of their perceived pain points and the promised solution you have to offer, followed by how easy it is for them to implement.

Considered as the introduction of your article, it sets the proper expectations for your readers. In addition, it whets their appetite and gives them a reason why they should continue munching on the rest of the article.

Story and Teach

Second, I share a story and teach. If the hook is the appetizer, “story and teach” is the main course.

It’s the meaty part where you flesh out the solution to your readers’ problems, along with a related story you’ve experienced or encountered by others.

Sharing a story and teaching them how you or someone have overcome a problem gives your readers the confidence to apply it to themselves.

Summary and Action Steps

Third, I end with a summary and action steps. As stated, the hook is your appetizer. The “story and teach” is your main course. It follows that the “summary and action steps” is the dessert.

In your summary and action steps, you tie loose ends. It contains your conclusion and call to action. It signals to your readers that you’ve presented the solution and how to get it done; it’s time for them to act.

Now that I’ve demonstrated to you the how-to guide for using a three-step formula for creating viral content, it’s time to assimilate what I’ve discussed into a template you can use to get started.

I’ve prepared an xTiles Create Viral Content Template for you to duplicate. It contains the exact formula I use every time I create content. You can also use the template to create courses, ebooks, videos, and newsletters.

In the template, I’ve also included resources you can use to address common concerns when creating content. Those resources will help you craft better headlines, improve grammar, and tighten your writing.

If you’ve noticed in this article, I’ve followed the HookStory and TeachSummary and Action Steps structure.

In the hook, I introduced the obstacles a budding content writer might encounter and how to overcome them.

In the “story and teach” part, I shared the tip my then editor-in-chief gave me. I also elaborated on the three steps of creating viral content.

In the “summary and actions steps” portion, I concluded with a call to action by mentioning how the template can help to create viral content.

To give you another example of an article where I used the three-step formula for creating viral content, you may read: Optimize Your Productivity With Interstitial Journaling Using Tools for Thought.

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with others who might benefit from it.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Check out my templates here.
  2. Build an ATS-friendly resume and cover letter here.
  3. Work 1:1 with me to create and market content online. (Booked out 3-5 weeks)