You work your blogging booty off for months/years and then one post takes off. It’s exciting, it’s overwhelming – CONGRATS! However, now is not the time to sit back, relax and ride the gravy train. No, here’s what you need to do when a blog post goes viral.
What to do when a blog post goes viral
Whether you’re going viral right now and looking for ways you can boost your blog further, or you’ve never gone viral before. These are important elements that every blog should have in place!
This post contains affiliate links.
Contact your host
When you see the traffic begin to climb on one specific post, chances are it’s going to be high for a few days. In my experience, it goes high the first day, higher the next, and then starts to taper off a bit. That’s when it’s posted on a popular website (like Buzzfeed), I’ve had posts stay high for longer when it comes from sources like Pinterest.
I digress, what I was getting at was you want to make sure that your hosting plan can handle the traffic that is coming your way. I have heard horror stories of blogs crashing because their host couldn’t handle their virality. That’s lost page views, lost income, and a loss of potential new readers that will stick around. When in doubt email them, even if you’re sure it will handle it.
Looking for a new host? Here’s who we use.
Check your ads
Make sure they’re showing properly and ensure that your blog is fully optimized. It’s a good idea to email your ad network and touch base to make sure that you are getting the most out of every visit. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a blog overrun with ads either, there are ad networks (like AdThrive) that work hard at serving fewer ads at a higher RPM (there’s a lot more to it than that but I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole).
Optimize your post with an opt-in form
The best case scenario (in my opinion) with a viral post? Converting those new page views into subscribers, people that like what you have to say and will return!
The best way to convert new readers into subscribers? Offer a freebie. Give them something valuable so they know that you’re too legit to quit!
Those are opt-in pages, but each of those pages is also tied to sign up form that I can add into each post. I use ConvertKit and here’s an example of what you can do with it:
With ConvertKit I can add the opt-in form easily in any post, which makes it much easier for the reader (and more likely they will sign up!). If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you’ll also so that with the ConvertKit plugin, conversion opportunities are automatically added to every post (so even if you forget to add an opt-in form to your viral post, the opportunity is still there).
Make sure you have the option to share
It’s frustrating as a reader when I visit an awesome blog and go to share a post on Pinterest or Twitter only to find that there isn’t an option to do so. It’s even more frustrating to me as a blogger because I know that they’re missing out!
Make it easy for your new readers to share what you have to say: put sharing options at the top and bottom of your post! This gives you social proof AND helps that viral post grow even further.
Social sharing plugin I suggest:
Add affiliate links
This is a great opportunity for you to add relevant affiliate links. Affiliate links give the reader the product they want and it gives you a little commission as a thank you. Remember to post only relevant affiliates: you don’t want to share a recipe and have an affiliate link for a Channing Tatum body pillow (I’ve seriously seen that in one of my affiliate reports). The only way that would work is if you had a Magic Mike party and were sharing recipes that compliment the party, I guess that body pillow would work there (I’m giggling as I write this).
Good examples of affiliate links:
- A recipe that has an affiliate link to the pan/knife/small appliance they used or hard to find ingredients (or ingredients that don’t spoil).
- DIY project with the supplies used.
- Travel post with your must-have travel items.
Affiliate programs you should be a part of:
Those affiliate programs are where I make the most of my money because there are a lot of stores/items under the company’s umbrella. If there is a particular item you want, check to see if the brand as a private affiliate program on their website (scroll to the bottom and look for affiliates or partners). Keep in mind that it can take a few days to be approved, so in the meantime sign up for Amazon Associates and you can add an immediate affiliate link by doing that.
Important: don’t forget to disclose your affiliate links.
Add internal links
The new readers came to your blog because you had something to offer that interested them, so keep them around! Add 2-3 relevant links to other blog posts of yours. Whether it’s a similar recipe, another craft tutorial, or point them to the blog category that your post is filed under.
Don’t forget to check out these 10 things that bloggers should be doing to reach success. See what I did there?
Make sure you have a Pinterest Optimized Image
Even if you don’t use Pinterest to market your blog (PS – you totally should, it’s my #1 referrer and favorite platform. You’re missing out on a big opportunity.) make sure you have a Pinnable image (a vertical image, with a text layover telling people what they can expect from your post). Just because you don’t use it, doesn’t mean others don’t. This opens up a whole new opportunity for when a blog post goes viral.
PS: If you don’t like taller images in your post, you can hide them by using the Social Warfare sharing plugin. This plugin gives you the option to hide the image from your post, but when someone clicks the Pin button it will pop up with a chosen description.
Insert a call to action
Whether it’s asking them to sign up via email, directing them towards your freebie, or asking a question for them to answer in the comments: get your new readers engaged! This gives you the opportunity to start a relationship with them.
Share it on your social channels, your email list, sing it from the rooftops! Give your post an extra push.
By optimizing your blog posts with these elements, you’re set for when a blog post goes viral! You don’t have to worry about missing out on anything but this is a great list to go through when the traffic starts to spike.
Don’t forget to save this post by bookmarking or Pinning it to have on hand for when your blog goes viral!
What will you be adding to your blog posts from this list?