3 Things You Need to Know About Going Viral

We all long for that magical day when something we’ve written or created gets noticed… really noticed. The idea of “going viral” as we like to call it (sounds gross) is every blogger’s dream! Oh the traffic and the attention… it sounds so exhilarating, right?

We’re all so hung up on the concept of our posts going viral and I’m not sure I really understood what that actually meant until recently when I got a small taste of it. There are 3 things I wish I’d known before going viral and hopefully they will help you be better prepared for if/when it happens to you.

3 Things you need to know before going viral

 

1. It takes over your day week.

I had all of these plans on the day that one of my products took off (it’s what caused the uproar). I had things to do, places to be. I was running on very little sleep from being up all night creating my Blog & Social Media Template Kit and within hours of publishing it, it was picked up by Creative Market and splashed across their front page.

I was giddy… deliriously tired, but so excited that I celebrated by sharing my success with several of my favorite Facebook groups. No links… just this picture:

The Blog Dept Handpicked on Creative Market

Before I knew it, people were sharing in my celebration. In less than an hour, over 100 people had reacted to my post in just one group – likes, loves, wows. It started off slow, but within a few hours, I had to mute my laptop and my phone. The constant dinging and buzzing grew tiresome. My Facebook was flooded.

I did my best to keep up with the reactions and hundreds of messages I was receiving, but my lack of sleep was working against me. I eventually folded and went to take a nap. All of my plans for the day went right out the window. And soon after that, I spent the rest of the week feeling like I was scrambling to take advantage of my traffic – ads, social media posts, etc.

 

2. You Might Not Be Prepared For It.

I always thought that going viral only meant that I needed to worry about my web hosting getting angry at me, the amount of bandwidth I was using, or if my site was running slow, etc. I never considered that there were other things I needed to be prepared for:

  • Major influx of private messages on Facebook
  • Directing people to the product (straight up linking to it in my original post wasn’t allowed in the groups where this all got started).
  • Being pinged across social networks as people started following my accounts (ya know, the ones I didn’t even link to).
  • Emails alerting me that my item was being liked, purchased, and commented on.
  • Questions about editing the files (despite the tutorial I’d written).
  • Using this golden opportunity to my advantage with opt-in email lists, other products to show (I mean, I had a few), and using ads to capitalize on the product that was going viral, etc.

 

3. Going Viral can be Stressful.

Don’t get me wrong… going viral is very exciting! That said, it made me realize that all eyes were on me. And remember… I said I wasn’t prepared. It made me feel really stressed as the Facebook posts, emails, messages, and visitor numbers climbed. It was out of my control.

What it looks like to go viral

I couldn’t even use my Facebook. Sure, I could have turned off notifications, but then I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with replies to my threads – which honestly, even then I had a hard time. Not being able to do much of anything that day besides reply to people and wait for my website to implode, made for a stressful few days (that’s right… it lasted days).

But I think the most stressful part for me was how little I got done that week. All of the work I was meant to be doing (both online and off) had to get pushed aside. Goodbye deadlines.

 

What’s Your Experience with Going Viral?

Have you ever gone viral? – even your own, dialed back version of it. I want to hear about your big day (or week!) in the internet spotlight. Would you do anything different?


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  • Kay

    Yeah, this sounds totally stressful! Obviously, it’d be a cool kind of stress, but definitely overwhelming. Congrats though, I’m so glad it happened for you! I freaking love Creative Market.