Before You Scream, “Why Did My Post Ever Went Viral?”

Here’s how not to sabotage your own success

Jocelyn Soriano
Dec 6, 2019 · 7 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ronny Sison on Unsplash

If you’re a writer, you must have wanted to have a viral post, that kind of article that would reach thousands or even millions of readers worldwide. You’d have wanted to make an impact on people and even earn some money along the way.

Through the years, you may have tried to improve your writing skills. You may have also read about so many strategies to promote your work. But here’s one question you should be able to answer for your own success: “Are you ready for that viral post?”

Are you ready when your article spreads like wildfire overnight? Are you ready for the chain of events that would consequently occur after your post is read by millions of people?

Many times, we are not ready. We may say that we are, but our subconscious mind may be saying a different thing. Try to imagine it now. Don’t just think about the money you’d have. Think about being popular. Think about being that talk of the town. Can you handle that?

Below are some of the things you can consider as you prepare yourself for that viral post:

1. Do you have an email subscription form?

As thousands of readers read your article, many would necessarily want to follow what you write. Do you have an email subscription form they could fill out so you wouldn’t lose these readers?

Having an email list is important if you don’t want your success to quickly fade into oblivion. You want to secure your followers. You want a method to contact them regularly, to send them your latest work.

Keep in mind that your article’s popularity may not last forever. You can read the following article by Jeff Goins about what happened after 1 million people visited his blog:

It would be a waste if you don’t have an email subscription ready in case your article becomes a hit overnight. You can check various email subscription and marketing services like Aweber, GetResponse and MailChimp. If you have a self-hosted Wordpress blog, you can even use the Jetpack plugin so you can invite followers via email.

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” — Chris Grosser

2. Do you have a book?

After gaining the interest of many readers, you may regret it if you do not have a book to satisfy your followers. Many times, a single article is not enough. Your readers want more! And what better way to provide for their needs than to have a book ready for their consumption?

These days, you can easily find many methods to self-publish a book. You can do it through Amazon where you can have an digital and a paperback version of your book. You can also have your book listed at Google Play and Apple. There are many services like Draft2Digital and Publishdrive that can help you reach several publishers at once.

“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” — Tony Robbins

3. Are you ready for bashers?

Popularity often comes with a price. Though you will have many followers who like your work, you would eventually attract many people who would feel just the opposite.

“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure — It is: Try to please everybody.” — Herbert Bayard Swope

Are you ready to read hate comments on social media about your work? Sometimes, bashers can go as far as making negative comments about your personal life. They could even make threats against you and your family.

How would you handle such comments? Are you prepared for all the negative feedback you’re going to receive from people you know and those you hardly know?

That’s right. You can also suffer from negative feedback from family and friends. You may overlook something you never thought other people would feel very sensitive about.

It could also happen in another way. Your family and friends could be the ones reading all the negative comments about you and they would be the ones who’d be affected most. They can get involved in trying to defend you and you may feel guilty you ever got them involved in the first place.

How would you deal with the reaction of people who are very close to you?

4. Are you ready for various kinds of requests?

Sometimes, we fail to realize the true impact of success. Success does not only mean that your article would be read and appreciated by many. Success does not only mean a financial reward for your work. Success would also mean that a lot of people would be interested in you and in what you do.

People from all over the world would approach you with various kinds of requests. Some may invite you to be a speaker. Some may invite you to be a part of their coaching team. Others may request for a book review or a blog guesting. You can be flooded with interviews and requests for social media exposure.

To what extent are you ready to respond to such requests? How popular would you really want to be? Are you the type of person who just wants to write and to have a private life at the end of the day?

What requests are you going to accept? Are you ready to say “no” even to people who are close to you?

Here’s an article by Caitlin Winner with details on the various requests she received after her article went viral:

5. Have you edited your other articles for errors other people may see?

Once your article becomes viral, all your other posts have the chance of becoming viral as well. Your readers would not only be interested in your current work. They can dig your past posts and read them as well.

Are you comfortable with everything you have written so far? Are there some things you want to delete because they no longer reflect who you are right now? Are there some errors you may want to correct before the whole world reads your work?

6. Is your social media profile ready?

Are you ready to present your social media profile to the world? If you’re on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you may wish to check your profile before your post becomes viral. Are there any pictures you’d rather remain private? Are there sentiments you’d rather not share with the world? How’s your profile image?

On the other hand, if you don’t have a social media account yet, would you like to set up one? This is also one way that your readers could follow you. You may not want to waste this opportunity to connect with people who would be interested in your work.

7. Are you mentally and emotionally prepared for success?

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”- Helen Keller

We are all looking for an overnight success when it is the many years of preparation that could actually help us succeed. If success were handed over to us outright, we may not have the strength to hold on to it. Instead of making us happy, it could even be our downfall.

Are you ready to be a successful person? A viral article need not signify the start of a successful career but it can very well be the opportunity you were waiting for.

What do you do if you do become a successful and popular writer? Would it help you become a better person? Would you be strong enough to keep it from affecting your relationships?

Success can come and go, but what you become as a person would affect the rest of your life.

Other things you may want to have before your viral success

  • affiliate links
  • your own app for download
  • a YouTube account
  • a Patreon account
  • a personal blog
  • a membership site
  • a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group
  • your coaching service package
  • online courses/webinars
  • audio and other digital products
  • book review services
  • your Fiverr account
  • your author portfolio

Final thoughts

Success is often comfortable when it’s still a long way from where we are. We only visualize the good things that could come our way. We may fail to realize the price we have to pay, what being viral and popular could mean for us in the long run.

This is the time to prepare yourself for the dream you’ve been aiming for. We should not only prepare our skills. We should also prepare who we are because in the long run, that’s what really counts.

To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” — Anatole France

My Freelance Writing Journey

A journal of my personal journey as a freelance writer.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store