After studying the Write Brilliant strategy, I have been lucky enough to have a few blog posts go viral. One post even attracted nearly a million views in 18 months.
Whether in written word, video, or still imagery, viral posts have the power to move people to laughter, to tears, and even to action. Deep down, each blogger and every author or creator of online content probably has dreams of virtually hitting it big.
Thrilled by the increase of traffic and expansion of your platform, it’s fun to see your content capture the hearts and eyes of new readers. My experience has taught me that you must take a few vital steps before that big moment arrives. Most writers miss them, and this is why their posts fall flat. Here are 3 mistakes that will prevent your posts from going viral:
1. Your Site Can’t Handle the Traffic
Nothing frustrates a potential reader more than a crashed website, and a fast and furious increase in views can overload your web host in a jiff.
Even if you don’t fork out money to increase your server capacity now, take time to become acquainted with the procedure and price breaks for upgrading on the fly. Every second your site is down decreases your influence and opportunity. Head to the online chat or pick up the phone and get to know the different levels of service of your hosting company.
2. Your Site Isn’t Optimized for Sharing.
Chewbacca Mom, photo-bombing animals, and heart-wrenching posts written by moms. Each involuntarily elicits the response, “Me, too.” But they would have never gone viral if they were not sharable.
Those impacted by your words, images, or video will want to spread the word of your awesomeness. Help them help you. Install plugins on your site to make social sharing easy and obvious.
Your content may not spread like wildfire, but it shouldn’t be bc you didn’t try to spark it. Click To Tweet
If you are using WordPress, many of these handy tools are free like SumoMe, Shareaholic, or Simple Share Buttons Adder. Others like Monarch or Social Warfare have an annual fee but offer more bells and whistles. For a comparative analysis of each, check out the 10 Best Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress.
3. You Don’t Cross-Link.
Back in the 1990s, there was an entire line of colognes and perfumes branded with the following tagline: “If you like (famous fragrance), you’ll love (generic fragrance).” Remember these? My favorite was “If you like Obsession, You’ll Love Confession.” By linking an unknown product to a widely-known, well-regarded product, sales for the former increased.
When you write any blog post, you want to point readers toward your other work—a book, podcast, YouTube video, or just another post. Your viral post is the bait, but your goal should be to hook people into loving you. The more they love you, the more likely they are to share the post that hooked them to begin with.
Sprinkle cross-links throughout the entire work and/or have a bolded statement at the top with directives for your new viral friends.
Your content may not always spread like wildfire, but it shouldn’t be because you didn’t do all you could to spark it. Avoid these mistakes at all costs. And let the Write Brilliant team know when your post explodes online.
For even more writing tips, sign up for our FREE 3-part mini course designed to help you start writing, sustain your writing, and share your writing.
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"Jonathan and Margaret are two of the best writing coaches in America, and I've learned much from them over the years. Their Write Brilliant program will help you grow deep roots and a wide reach. Do not wait to sign-up!"
– Gabe Lyons
Bestselling author of Good Faith and founder of Q
"I highly recommend Jonathan and Margaret's program for writers of any level!"
– Jennie Allen,
bestselling author of Nothing to Prove and founder of IF:Gathering
"The firehose of information I absorbed through Write Brilliant transformed the way I write. Jonathan and Margaret bring a combined breadth of knowledge and a straight-shooting style that helped me clarify my target audience, expand my platform, and get practical about what it takes to dedicate myself to my craft. I learned more in this one course than in all past conferences, books, blogs, and videos I’ve engaged. Write Brilliant is a one-stop-shop for taking your writing to the next level."
– September Vaudrey,
author of Colors of Goodbye
"In all my years of leading organizations, I've encountered dozens of how-to programs, but none of them has been more effective then this one. I should know. The Write Brilliant strategy gave me the boost of confidence I needed to create two books on leadership. Whether you want to author a book or just create a blog, make sure you don't miss this fantastic course."
– Brad Lomenick,
author of H3 Leadership and former director of Catalyst
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