An Uncomplicated Life Blog: 3 Misconceptions Of Viral Blog Posts

Monday, May 8, 2017

3 Misconceptions Of Viral Blog Posts

Viral blog posts are exciting, until they're not


I don't often blog about blogging anymore. Mostly, I feel like I've come to a place where I now know what I don't know, and don't really feel like I'm the person to share "blogging how to's" or any "wisdom." This post isn't so much a "how to make your blog post go viral" because honestly, a lot of that is luck and timing which can't be outlined in ten easy steps. More so, this post is about what it's like when it does happen. And about the three biggest misconceptions bloggers have about what it will be like to have viral content on the internet.

I feel like every blogger is chasing that dream; having a post get shared all over the internet. Tens of thousands of page views. Fame, fortune, and whatever else misguided perception the blogger has of going viral. But I assure you, that is NOT what it's like.

Every blogger dreams of a viral blog post. This blogger breaks down what it's ACTUALLY like!

I've had three posts go viral in my three years of blogging. All of them were written last year, but didn't gain traction for six to 12 months. That's the first misconception bloggers have - that it will instantly be the greatest blog post anyone has ever read, and immediately go viral. Nope! Sometimes, things take a while. Sometimes, they take a long while. All three times, I've looked at my page views on google analytics and thought, "when the heck did I write that again? Wait, why is it getting popular NOW? That crap is a year old! Why did it take so long for people to find it?"

The second misconception on viral blog posts bloggers have is that it will go viral because people LIKE it. Because they think it's great. All of my posts that have garnered tens upon tens of thousands of views have gotten negative comments. People were confused by the title of this post, so most comments were supportive on the actual post after people read it. Well... Most. There were a few bizarre or nasty remarks. But as we all know, idiots people on social media comment without actually reading what they're commenting on, and man did I get some hateful things said to me!

The final misconception that bloggers have about viral blog posts is that they'll know what people are saying and thinking about the post. This last one is actually what inspired me to write this post. In the past two weeks, I've had people share my content on Facebook that drove about 30k hits to my site. I could tell what two posts they'd shared, and that it was coming from Facebook, but I couldn't tell who had shared it, I couldn't see the actual post that they had created on social media and I had no idea if what they were saying about me and my blog was favorable or not. It drove me nuts that I couldn't see that! I couldn't even detect WHO had shared it. That's the weird thing about being a blogger; once you hit publish, your content is out there. People can do with it as they please. It's really weird when you know that people are talking about you and your content - a LOT of people - but you have absolutely no idea what they're saying.

I'm not sure why bloggers are in love with the idea of viral posts. Perhaps because they sound good. A lot of people see your content, read your words. You assume it's because they love it or support it or support you. But that's not the case. Or, I should say, it's not likely the case. Even for my posts that are largely popular because people agree or support it, they're are tons of negative comments too. Sometimes, you legitimately have no clue if it's going viral out of love or hate! There's a lot of misconceptions of viral content in the blogging world. My best advice? Be careful what you wish for!

19 comments:

  1. But hey - more site traffic! ;) That's always good when it's not bot traffic.

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  2. this is a really good, honest post. Not gonna lie, would love to see this as a series somewhere... "blogging misconceptions" - I've had a few viral posts and it just brought on a lot of catty readers who just made hateful comments in the end. So you're right, could be bad... and you may not know why it's viral... could be that people are making fun of you :(

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  3. Oh so true! Which posts were hits these last few weeks? I have found that my viral posts have attracted good and negative attention but I've also learned to shrug off any serious haters. It's especially funny when people comment without reading *bark bark, little chihuahua *

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  4. I am sorry to hear that you had bad experiences with posts going viral. I mainly blog about recipes, and the posts that have gone viral have had pretty good responses. The negative comments that I do get, I delete. I know many other food bloggers who do the same thing. For me, I love the traffic because it pays the bills, especially since I switched to a new ad network.

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  5. Oh viral posts. You really hit the nail on the head. I've been fortunate that my viral posts have all been workouts or recipes. But yes, sometimes there are major misconceptions and it's unfortunate; although traffic is always good!

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  6. I've had two posts go viral...one was a crappy post with crappy pictures showcasing a gift my husband made me...but when I looked at analytics, the two main drivers of traffic were stumbleupon and spambots. The second was a post I was proud of and made a good pinnable image.

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  7. I can't even tell you the number of times I've had a client approach me, asking me to write them a "viral" blog post. As if it's something I'm totally in control of! Nice to see someone debunking the myths of viral posts and some misconceptions of what people think they actually are!

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    1. I love this...someone asked me to set them up a Pinterest account and were surprised that it involves paying for schedulers, time spent crafting graphics and you're still not guaranteed traffic. Making a living online is not as easy as it sounds!

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  8. It seems so strange when I get a post that suddenly gets traction after a few months, I think because as a blogger, I tend to kind of 'forget' a blog post - I hit publish then move onto the next.

    I do need to take more time to go through my old posts every so often and give them a refresh.

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  9. I don't blog to make money and never will. Not why I blog. It is great when a blog post goes viral or a pin and I love reading the comments.

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  10. How interesting! I def think that viral posts are so chased after, we often forget that we can't force a post to go viral. Our post just has to have the right combination of good writing, a strong purpose and, well, a lot of luck. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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  11. This was definitely illuminating! I never thought about the other side of wanting a viral post. I feel like it would be great to get a large following but just by getting a viral post doesn't mean I'm going to have active and engaged readers! Thanks for the reminder!

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  12. Thank you for this perspective. I think we often have a narrow focus when we try for just one thing like a viral blog post and like most things in life, the results may not be what we expect.

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  13. I've had a few posts go viral and it was never immediately either. It usually isn't but people don't really get that.

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  14. Well congrats on page views! Sorry about the idiots, lets call them what they are :) I love your posts!

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  15. That's a huge accomplishment! Way to go and way to get the page views up! I agree though, the nasty remarks would get old.

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  16. oh gosh this spoke right to me rn. I see so many friends wtih "viral" posts that got their pageviews super high... and I keep trying to figure out how to do it, but i just need to realize theres no rhyme or reason, and it doesnt mean those people even liked their content! Thank you!

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  17. Loved this post! Thanks for your realness and your thoughts on this! I've always thought it was weird when random blog posts that I didn't even think were some of my best go viral!

    xo,
    B
    www.theblistblog.com

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  18. I'm only a few months in, but I had a few posts cause my views to jump really high in only my second month. The amount of people that asked me how I did it was crazy. All I could reply was "I have no idea - I just got lucky!" While they weren't viral by any means, for a newbie it was a really big jump in my views! But I'm definitely glad they were posts that people can't grumble about haha - I would hate going through and deleting snarky or rude comments!

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