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How to Make Your Blog Post Go Viral

By Lauren Holliday

The other day in Maker Hunt’s Slack group, an entrepreneur asked the #content channel to read through his Medium post before he submitted it to TNW, FastCompany, Entrepreneur and other similar publications.

This led to two questions from a cool Product Hunter Gabe Roeloffs.

  1. How do you submit content to to be published to popular sites?
  2. How do you make your posts popular besides writing good content?

My answers to Gabe’s questions elicited positive responses, in the form of “Publish that ish.”

The result is this post on content distribution, in which I tell you how I make my posts popular through nine distribution tactics.

But first, let’s start with Gabe’s first question.

How do you submit content to to be published to popular sites?

I’m going to be a Debbie Downer for a moment and say that getting published is effing hard; i.e. it’s very likely you won’t get published on your first try.

And unless your Medium post goes viral, or unless you’re Paul Jarvis, it’s highly unlikely big publications – such as any of the ones mentioned above – will republish something that has already been published somewhere else.

No one wants sloppy seconds, plus this leads to duplicate content, which is bad for SEO. I certainly know as an editor, I do NOT like ever syndicating content unless it’s really good stuff.

Typically, you’ll have to create a buzz around your Medium post before it will get syndicated.

You can’t just post it and hope it gets traction or that some big publication will seed through all the noise and find it.

The good news is Medium is a large network. It’s like having a new blog with a built-in audience. I love it.

Anyway, you make your post popular by distributing it to the right places and/or the right people then the publications will come to you to syndicate it.

If the publications don’t come to you, go to them – assuming the post got fire (fantastic) results, of course.

Take a screenshot of your posts analytics from Medium, and send editors a killer email pitch.

I highly recommend reading this 15-minute guide to getting published.

P.S. It’s always really helpful if a popular Medium publication shares your post as well. It will get more visibility that way.

Here’s more information on submitting your Medium post to a Medium publication.

How do you make your posts popular besides writing good content?

Gabe is definitely right – you MUST HAVE written a fantastic piece of content for it to be popular.

Here are nine of my distribution tactics for really, really good blog posts.

1. Share in Slack.

I am a member of a few different Slack groups. SitePoint actually just wrote a post about the 12 best Slack communities for entrepreneurs here. You can also view a directory of popular Slack chats here.

2. Share on Quibb.

Quibb accepts a mere 40 percent of applicants, but even still, I recommend signing up because it emails you great content daily. If you aren’t a Quibb member, find someone who is and share your really great post with them.

3. Share on social media.

I prefer to share my blog posts via Buffer on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

For social media, it’s vital that your “share statement” is fantastic, i.e. it makes social media users click-through to your post or at least like it or retweet it. The reason you want your “share statement” to be so amazing is because social media algorithms tend to favor links that get more likes, clicks, etc. fast.

P.S. – Pay attention to No. 2 of this article on Kissmetrics.

P.P.S. – ALWAYS include beautiful visuals with your social media copy, and I recommend using gifs on Twitter because it makes you stop and look.

4. Share with influential advisors and/or mentors.

I have a few really influential advisors, who I ask to share my really, really good content with their social media followers. They are huge drivers of traffic for me at times.

P.S. Check out this tool that was on Product Hunt to help you find influencers to Tweet.

P.P.S. Here’s another cool influencer tool.

5. Share on forums and communities.

Here’s a great round-up post of the best communities and forums.

Remember: Only submit really, really good articles to the sites listed in the round-up post linked to above, and again here.

P.S. HackerNews (HN) and Reddit are tough nuts to crack, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Read this article for more information on hacking HN, and read this post on hacking Reddit. Here’s one more on Reddit.

6. Share on Scoop.it.

Read No. 2 of this post to learn more about Scoop.it.

7. Use Start a Fire and Snip.ly.

I personally don’t use either because I find the tools confusing, and I’m on the fence about how ethical it is or isn’t.

8. Share on Quora.

No. 2 in this article on Unbounce provides a great use case for promoting your content on Quora.

9. Share via email.

If you have a list of people who signed up to receive your posts then this is a no-brainer.

Remember: The money’s in your email.

P.S. Try adding your amazing new blog post to your email signature. You can even track clicks if you have Sidekick or Yesware installed.

More Resources

Here’s a few of my favorite articles on content distribution strategies:

I know I missed something. Please tell me which tactics I forgot about in the comments below, and I’ll respond.

  • http://cneude-createur-web.com Matthieu

    Thank you very much for all those advices ! It’s very nice to share all those links.
    If one day I write a very, very good article I will go back to this article for sure.

  • http://www.999webtemplates.com/ ahmad ali

    thank you for sharing. i got some new useful forums to be part of.

  • Niraj Ranjan Rout

    Excellent article, Lauren. It gives you a good roadmap to approach the ‘viralling’ process. Thanks, Niraj (Founder at grexit.com)

  • Antonella

    Thank you, Lauren, that’s really helpful. There’s so much going on besides Facebook and Twitter!

  • Jason Demakis

    Fantastic post! As someone who has had their articles published on several “big boy” personal growth/development sites (ExpandedConsciousness, The Mind Unleashed, MyEmpoweredWorld, etc.), I can vouch and say that social media was THE catalyst for me. Because of that, my articles got picked up by said sites, posted, and a slew of new followers and mailing list opt-ins ensued. Clients became abundant as a result! :) Great advice here!

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