This summer when My Husband is Not My Soul Mate went viral, I was completely caught off guard. I didn’t post it trying to piss people off or convert the masses, I just wrote about my daughters and my hopes for them. So you never really know when or if it’s going to happen but here are some things you can do to up your chances:
Share what you’re writing
Share on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ or wherever you want. But don’t share it all the same way. I share new posts on Twitter a few times that day and then a few more times in the coming weeks. I share once on my blog’s Facebook page, normally in the evenings, not in the mornings when I first hit publish because my engagement is higher then. I don’t always share my writing on my personal page, but some people do. I know the people that like my writing have liked my blog’s page and so posting it twice seems like too much. Occasionally, I’ll share on my personal page, but when I feel it’s beneficial to my friends and family. That way they know I’m sharing because of value not just page views and they’re more likely to read it.
Find your people
I know we’re all unique and special and blah blah blah, but you need to find bloggers that like the same things you do, have similar audiences, and fit your genre. And don’t just connect with people because of what they can do for you, but because relationship, real relationship, is what makes this big internet so sweet.
Build reader relationships
You know who’s going to take you viral? Those people that come to your blog every day. So treat them like house guests, make them feel welcome, respond to their comments, and thank them for reading! Without our readers we are nothing and while we all like to say we write for ourselves, if that were one-hundred percent true, we’d keep a diary not a blog.
Have a dependable web host and server
Make sure your plan is able to ebb and flow with your traffic. There is nothing worse than tons of people coming to your website and it keeps crashing because your server can’t handle it. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. There are a lot of inexpensive plans that can keep you going when unexpected traffic surges happen. Invest the time and few extra dollars for a plan that can handle it when you hit the big time.
Nothing is more noticeable in writing than when someone is being unauthentic. Trying to be something or someone you’re not is the surest way to turn off your readers. No one is going to share your stuff when it feels fake so make sure you’re showing the good with the bad. Be real and it resonates with people. Be fake and it alienates them.
And last but not least: don’t give up
I write because I really enjoy it and while it is validating and fun when lots of people read my writing, it’s not why I started and not why I keep going.
And what happens when you finally get all those shares and retweets and pins? Chaos. Hate mail. Love mail. New readers. New enemies. Opportunities. People ready to use you. Old friends that email. Wannabe friends that email. Self-doubt. Confidence.
So going viral: it is such random luck, but also, there are a million little things that help get you there. So just keep writing, keep sharing, and keep being real. And one day, it might just happen to you too.