Welcome to my comprehensive guide on creating a viral blog. No, it’s not one of these magic weight loss pills or amazing money-making algorithms kind of posts and no I don’t want your card details. It’s just two, simple, proven steps that you can replicate on any blog, to create a high traffic, high engagement blog.
I work as a digital and social media marketing executive, so naturally I am always thinking about how things can run better, if things are search engine friendly, how to optimise and increase engagement etc. But, that is so far from the reason I created this blog; I wanted to share stories, thoughts, feelings and my general life, with, well, anyone who cares to take the time to read it. Although, I cant help myself but think of work even in pleasure and I got to thinking, how can I create a blog with thousands of followers?! And in any form of marketing, the steps are unchanged and the execution is exactly the same. To know something works, it has to be repeatable. Read on for my guaranteed, repeatable, two steps to worldwide success.
I have been writing for a week today and so far my blog has 100 views, this is probably nothing but to me that is a mass achievement considering I am not actively pushing this blog to be an internet wonder. I am humbled to know 100 people have taken their time to listen to my ramblings and 27 percent of those people have chosen to follow my journey! And for that, I am very grateful. Now my intention was never to have some huge ‘every post gets a million hits’ kind of blog, I just wanted some medium to practice pure expression and this small corner of the internet fits my bill perfectly. As ever, though, my marketing mindset seem’s to always take over and I often find myself practicing social marketing techniques without the mean to, like this blog.
Anyone who has any even slight knowledge will know there are two main aspects to creating an active, marketable social media presence;
The first is simple. Post. A lot. As much as you can, create content with a fine line between quality and quantity. The goal is to make enough content so that people know that you’re there, that you exist, but if you fill there feed with constant updates every 5 minutes on how you have just made a cup to tea, just drank a cup of tea, just going to get another cup of tea, people will just think you are an asshole. If you are one of these people, you are an asshole. Please stop.
Secondly, the only way people will know that you are there is to tell them! There is no better way of outreaching your content than by actively being part of other people’s content. A good marketer is a guru in the art of conversation. Find others and talk to them, find a common interest within their post or profile and build on it. Its much easier for the other person to talk to someone about something they genuinely enjoy talking about! It helps if you actually understand what you are talking about too, the last thing you want to do is look like a dick-end for trying to converse over something you don’t know the slightest about. Plus, you’ll find others have much better interaction with your content if you find mutually similar interests in the people you engage with.
And that is all there is to it, of course there are an abundance of other things within marketing, but they are all total horse shit. All need is a comment, seriously, that’s all. Sometimes all it takes, is a comment. When it comes down to it, the end result is creating content and making friends, because content is a good conversation point and friends help other friends (not really, there is kinda a lot more to it, but that is the basis of the human mind, so you don’t need to know the rest of the shit any other marketing expert says you need to know). strong relationships in marketing are what the entire basis of having a successful brand lies upon. Just like strong relationships in life are what the entire basis of having a happy life lies upon.
It goes without saying I’ve been doing both of these a lot. I’ve tried to post once everyday and follow and comment on as many blogs and posts that genuinely interest me as possible. Overall, I have been blown away with the response. From a guy that spends his life sending emails, managing social media profiles, talking on the telephone, writing comments and any other form of communication you can think of, I have not once had a response from people like I have this past week.
This community of bloggers seems like the most friendly place on the planet. No matter who I’ve followed or what post I’ve commented on, everyone seems so eager to reply and share conversation on the wonderful topics they have posted about. In a world filled with urgency everyone seems to have the time to share common interests, to talk to strangers so that they seem less strange. This community is so welcoming and anyone that takes the time to embrace it will fully realise that no matter how different every individual on here is, we all have time for each other because we aren’t really that different at all. For some reason, somehow, somewhere, in this world of total diversity we are all not that different, for some reason you have both found your way here, and you’ve shown gratitude enough to take a minute our of your time to show that gratitude for the other’s work; “Great post, I’m looking forward to your next one!” It’s not much, and a minute isn’t that long, but its your time nonetheless. Without even the need to think about it, its enough to spark that same generosity in the author to reply with, “Thank you! Glad you enjoyed, hope to see you again!” It doesn’t take much, but its all you need to form a relationship and relationships are a key fundamental to regular engagement.
Really, some times all it takes is a comment. A comment a day doesn’t just boost your blog’s analytics, it develops real conversations with real people on real topics. It forms friendships and encourages mutual interest, it creates realisation that this faceless digital world Isn’t so bleak and that behind computer screens are real people, people who long for social interaction. We are social beings and we have been since the dawn of time, it is naturally built into us to yearn for social interaction to function. Some times all it takes is a kind word to plant a seed in a memory and once that’s been done, you will never be forgotten.
I have a terrible memory from working with numbers and statistics in marketing and media campaigns, everything sort of blends into one. The mass amount of energy drinks I consume probably doesn’t help, I’m sure they are slowly melting my brain. But they are good at keeping me awake, cause my body is awfully good at trying to keep me asleep… I’m getting off track, back to the post.
I have a shitty memory, I never remember names and I’m terrible with birthdays, but I haven’t forgotten some of the things people have said to me over the past week (yes a week is a big deal, I cant remember what I ate for breakfast. Actually, I don’t think I had breakfast. No wonder I’m so hungry, gonna eat after this) Anyway, from those little comments in my notification box, I’ve regularly checked back to see how those people are doing, what they are posting and most important, what I can drop a comment on! So this post is for;
Sweet little things: For the first reply I ever had; Talking about blankets and milk. Seriously
Zoe Poetry: For leaving me my first ever comment on my first ever post! Thank you Zoe!
triSARAHtops: For talking to me a lot on various things, from my ‘enticing’ life to starbucks to instagram filters and even to comments on WordPress! (future fortune-teller, I swear)
Lousie Brady: For talking to me about travelling
TheGreyEye: For giving me some insight into my daunting move to Barcelona
ErichMichaels: For a brief thank you on my admiration of his work.
Ellaxoh: For being my first reblogger! And for making me a little less misinformed on the wonders that is coffee
Adam Jobling: for talking to me about vlogging, and Adam actually said something that I have never forgot so far. At the end of his comment he said; Keep in touch. This may seem like nothing to most but to me it meant genuine interest, it meant he really would like to know what I was up to in the future. Adams comment was invaluable. It struck so much in me, that I’ve started leaving ‘keep in touch’ at the end of all of my comments, in hope that I inspire someone as much as Adam did with his one comment. Ps. We have never spoke before or since that comment. one comment is all it took. Remember that.
RileyDueck: For sharing a little conversation about my favorite vlogger (Ben Brown if you don’t know)
bCL Photography: For talking about his beautiful country, a country I am about to call home soon, Barcelona
MyPassengerDiaries: For talking about school, and travelling – obviously!
TheOrangeDreamer: For talking about blogging and the blogging community.
But most of all, the person I really l want to mention is a man called Patrick Hart.
Not only is he possibly one of the most inspiring writers ever. And that’s not just because I don’t get some of the incredible big words he uses. He is also one of the most down to earth people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on this wonderful platform. He took time out of his day to leave quite a substantial comment on my blog about my move to Barcelona. He shared personal views and gave an ultimatum that fits perfectly on how Id love to live an ideal life – fuck it, go live in a beautiful city, be happy and figure the rest of the shit out when it comes. That’s what its all about. If anyone actually takes the time to go and see what Patrick wrote, you may think it wasn’t much, and I am sure Patrick will say the very same. But to me it was inspiring, to me the guy in general is inspiring and if you take anything from this post, it should be to lead a life like Patrick. Be super friendly, Fuck the problems you’re faced with, problems can be fixed, don’t miss opportunities, or they will become to late to grab, leave comments on people’s blogs (wouldn’t be right if I didn’t add that one) and finally, have a cool beard and write better words and stuff. Me and Patrick are gonna have a beer together when he comes to Barcelona.
To round-up, that’s about it. Viral blogs are easy, getting there isn’t. But it doesn’t take a genius; Love what you do, do it well, and be everyone’s friend. You’ll get there.
It doesn’t take much to create a viral blog, some times all it takes is a comment.