The #1 Secret to a Viral Blog Post…Or Any Success

Do you know the #1 secret to writing a crazy viral blog post? It’s also the #1 secret to being successful at anything. But most people don’t want to talk about it. You won’t find it in many how-to guides. It’s not fun or enticing or “no one ever told me about that before” amazing. In fact, it’s downright boring.

Success secret

This is part of a year-end countdown of my top 5 posts of 2014. This was my 4th most popular post of the year and one of my favorites. I hope that you find value in it if you are new or just needed a reminder. Don’t worry…not all of my content for the rest of the year is “Best of.” Stay tuned for some other great posts and offers.

First a story…my story.

I recently had my first truly viral post. It was this one: How to Properly End a Meeting, Regardless of Your Role.

Take a look at that post. There is nothing special about it. It was one of the least commented upon posts I wrote all of last year.

Don’t get me wrong. I thought it was good or I wouldn’t have shared it with you. (Trust me, I write a lot of crap that you never see)

But nothing about this post screams that this is going to happen:

Viral Blog Post in Google Analytics

That is my traffic during a three-week stretch last year. If you were to look at it for a longer period of time, you would notice that the right side of the bounce is consistently higher than the left. That’s what happens when you have a post go crazy viral…some of the people stick around.

So what was the secret of that post?

Nothing, except one thing:

Before that post, I had written approximately 300 posts.

I wrote that post in October of 2013 and it didn’t go viral until December 5th. Those first 300 posts had an average readership of 194 readers. Since then, more than 300 people read the average post. To date, more than 5000 people have read that one post. At this point, that is a large number.

Did you catch the secret, though?

The secret was that I wrote a lot. That’s it.

In fact, I had written more than 170,000 words before that one post. That’s nearly three times the average length of a book.

My only secret to writing a viral post is the same secret of anyone who has achieved success at anything:


When no one was reading, I didn’t quit.

When no one was sharing, I didn’t whine or throw in the towel.

And then…overnight some would say, my readership grew by more than 50%.

But it wasn’t overnight. It was the result of 300 posts. It was the result of writing before 300 sunrises. It was the result of intentionally honing a craft even if no one was watching, so that when someone was watching, they liked what they saw.

Whatever it is you are doing in life, you hopefully want to be the best. You want to blow up today. That’s great. Dream big, think big, and continue to visualize what success looks like.

But, remember that you never know when you’ll get a big break.

Put in the hours when no one is watching.

Do the things that no one else is doing.

Experiment and fail in front of a small audience.

And don’t ever, ever, ever give up on your dreams just because you don’t see success today.

You have a dream because the world needs what only you can give it. So don’t ever quit on your dreams.

What are your dreams? What are you working towards right now but not seeing the results?

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