So Your Post Went Viral. Now What?
Every blogger dreams of having at least one viral blog post, the one that "breaks the internet" like Kim K. The definition of "viral" probably varies from blogger to blogger, too, based on our current pageviews and engagement.
Whether you are merely hoping to go viral one day, or you've already hit that pinnacle at least once, it's important to know how to capitalize on that extra traffic when the moment does happen for you.
You've just published the most epic of all blog posts and your audience is eating it up. They're sharing it all over social media, other websites are picking it up, and your blog traffic has exploded virtually overnight!
Congrats! You've gone viral!
You could (A) sit back and enjoy the sudden rise in traffic and pat yourself on the back for a job well done, or (B) capitalize on that traffic, baby! (Have a celebratory margarita after you take advantage of your recent fame.)
Rather than letting the traffic simply come to your viral blog post, then watch that same traffic slowly disappear over time, implement any (or all!) of these ideas and keep the traffic flowing.
10 WAYS TO CAPITALIZE ON VIRAL BLOG TRAFFIC
The first six ways to capitalize on viral blog traffic are fairly straight-forward, quick & easy, so just knock those out right now. The remaining four may take a bit more time, but will extend the reach of this viral blog post even further.
Let's dive in.
QUICK & PAINLESS
#1 - Link to Related Posts
And I'm not just talking about that little plugin you have in your post footer that picks 4 random posts to share on your behalf.
I'm talking about other awesome-but-not-quite-viral blog posts you've written that are similar in topic to the post that's getting all the traffic. Make sure the posts are actually relevant to the viral post, then figure out organic ways to include text links and linked images within your viral post.
BONUS: Add links to your viral post within the other relevant posts, too.
#2 - Add Relevant Affiliate Links
The word "relevant" is key here, just like in tip #1 above. Don't add affiliate links just for the sake of monetizing your post, but if you are an affiliate for a brand and it makes sense to share their products or services within your viral post, do it!
This is especially great for bloggers who are Amazon affiliates, because you can buy pretty much anything on Amazon. (Same with Target, am I right?)
Let's say, for example, you have a DIY post that went viral. Create a shopping list for the products you used to create the DIY project, including tools and materials, and add that to the post. Just like with tip #1, make sure it's an organic mention, though - not just thrown in there haphazardly.
BONUS: It's mucho importante to make sure you disclose any and all affiliate links within your post!!! (It's 3 exclamation marks important, so do it.)
#3 - Promote Your Own Products or Services
If you've written a book, sell printables, create custom jewelry, or anything else, be sure to mention that in your post where relevant. (See how that word keeps popping up?)
You can be a little bit sneaky on this one if you can't make it fit into your post organically. Simply add a short bio to the post footer, mention your shop or sales page, and link to it. Bam. Harmless self-promotion. You might be pleasantly surprised by the number of folks who end up buying from you.
BONUS: Be sure to read tip #9 below!
#4 - Include a LeadBox/Sign-Up Form
You might have a normal sign-up form in your post footer and on your sidebar (and if you don't, please come closer so I can smack you in the head and explain to you why you need an email list).
While that's all fine and good to have those normal sign-up forms, be sure to put one in the middle of your blog post. Yes, really! As amazing as your blog post may be (and it is because it's viral), a lot of folks won't read to the end. They're skimmers. Don't miss out on potential subscribers just because readers are lazy!
You can do this several aesthetically pleasing ways:
- Add a button that links to a sign-up form or LeadBox
- Embed a pretty form
- Create a pretty graphic image that encourages people to sign up
However you do it, just do it. Grow that email list, girl! *high five*
BONUS: Got an opt-in offer? Don't forget to mention it!
#5 - Add an Introductory Greeting
This is essentially a short greeting at the very top of your post that acknowledges the viral traffic. Something like this:
Welcome Pinners! This post has seen a lot of traffic lately, thanks to you! Be sure to look around the blog for even more awesome content, and sign up for our newsletter so you never miss a thing!
Be sure to track down where the majority of the traffic is coming from and create a custom greeting. If you've made any updates be sure to mention that as well.
BONUS: If you are receiving recurring questions in the comments, be sure to update your post to include an FAQ section at the bottom so readers don't have to scroll through hundreds of comments.
#6 - Include a Call-to-Action
If there's one thing I love about blog readers, it's that most of them follow direction very well. Be sure to include calls-to-action in a few places throughout your post.
- Use ClickToTweet to add clickable tweets in a few spots in your post (like the one you see below). It's so quick & easy for readers to literally click to share your pre-written tweet & link to your blog post on Twitter.
- Put your vertical graphic at the top and bottom of your post, asking readers at the end of your post to "Pin It If You Loved It!!"
- Ask a question! Keep the convo going in the comments section.
- Mention your email list again and tell readers to sign up for more goodness.
BONUS: Want to make an extra special vertical image for Pinterest? Use THIS TIP from Blogging Bistro to "hide" a large image in your post that will only appear when readers click to pin!
MORE INVOLVED BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT
Ok, now that you've gotten the easy stuff out of the way, it's time to roll up your sleeves and go bigger!
#7 - Create a Value-Add (aka content upgrade)
You've created a viral post, and yes, you might see some new subscribers based on the sign-up forms you're using from tip #4 above. But what if you go above and beyond your standard sign-up form and run-of-the-mill opt-in offer, instead creating a content upgrade designed specifically for that epic post?!
Content upgrades not only help you grow your email list, but they pack that email list full of your target audience, and that's huge. These are not typically people who sign up for the free stuff then swiftly unsubscribe. Content upgrade people are good people.
Your content upgrade doesn't have to be anything super extravagant, but it does need to add value to the post. I wax poetic about my love affair with content upgrades in THIS post, so check that out.
And just like I mentioned in tip #4, don't limit yourself to only including the content upgrade at the end of your post. Mention it several times throughout the post with text links, graphics, buttons, or whatever makes sense for you, as well as your post footer.
#8 - Guest Post on Other Blogs
Chances are, if your readers love your blog post, readers of other blogs in your niche will love it, too. Reach out to other bloggers in your niche and ask to do a guest post or post swap with them. Be sure your content is closely related to your viral blog post, and link back to your viral post more than once within your guest post.
Be sure your guest posts are well-written and include excellent images as well. You really want to "wow" the readers so they'll be more inclined to click over to read your viral post, and continue connecting with you on social media and through your email list.
BONUS: Schedule out several guest posts on other blogs over a few months to really keep the momentum going, and to continue connecting with new sets of readers.
#9 - Build a Product, Course or Challenge
Depending on the topic of your post, you may be able to create a product, educational course, or social media/reader challenge around it. Think outside the box, consider your reader's comments on your post, survey your email subscribers, and ask your Facebook fans for ideas.
Here are a few of my ideas to get you started, but keep in mind it needs to tie in nicely with your own post:
- Instagram challenge or daily prompt (partner with brands for giveaways to increase engagement)
- Write an ebook that goes more in-depth than your post topic (kinda like my ebook right HERE)
- Create a course to teach people how to implement each step of the process outlined in your post, or to go more in-depth than your post topic. (Free courses are easily delivered via an automated email series. For monetized courses, I highly recommend Thinkific.)
BONUS: The bonus is, your viral post has turned into a way to monetize. WOOT!
#10 - Write a Follow-Up Post or Series
Why stop at one epic post, am I right?
Perhaps your epic post was so epic that it includes LOTS and LOTS of content. Break it down into several bite-sized posts and add a little extra info to each one that you may have left out of the original post.
If it's a DIY project, craft, or recipe, create similar projects or recipes (and link 'em up in the original!). You could make this a monthly feature on your blog that readers begin to anticipate!
You could also write a fun follow-up post about "What Happened When My Post Went Viral". It could be tongue-in-cheek or a learning experience you feel led to share.
BONUS: If you write a follow-up post or create a series, be sure to also add a link to your original post in each consecutive post to keep readers clicking!
The great thing about all of these tips is that you don't have to wait for a viral post to implement them. Each of these tips can be applied to any of your existing or forthcoming blog posts to create engagement and grow your email list!
Now it's my turn to give YOU a call-to-action. Ready?
Did you enjoy this post? PIN IT!
*This post may contain affiliate links.