How To Write a Viral Blog Post

There is nothing better than getting the attention you deserve on the Internet. The best way of doing this is by writing a blog post that goes viral. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, “viral” means that everyone in the history of the world reads your writing but you still eat a can of reheated chicken noodle soup alone for dinner.

As someone who has never written anything that has reached an audience that exceeds the maximum capacity of a Denny’s, I am the perfect person to tell you how to compose and handle the thrill of viral blogging.

Step One: Choose your topic.

This is the most important step so feel free to take notes. Creating a Venn diagram may be helpful. Circle A should contain a fairly straightforward topic, such as the upbringing of the youth, politics, or the contents of a Hollywood starlet’s sock drawer. Circle B will contain the “party” of your viral post, where you assert something so inflammatory or righteous that any sane person would be ashamed to mention it to even a deaf German shepherd. The place where those two circles intersect is known as the Virality Sweet Spot.

blog chart

Have you found it yet? If not, here are some fantastic topics for your soon-to-be viral post:

• Anyone who does not buy organic bananas is going to hell and is likely also in favor of child sacrifice.

• People who chose to breastfeed in public are closeted vampire strippers.

• Christmas is no longer treated as a religious holiday in many pockets of society, so Justin Beiber will be the next pope. Hope you’re happy.

Step Two: Compose your piece.

Writing is a highly nuanced skill, but there are a few elements that you should incorporate into your viral post. Within the first two sentences, you should announce that you are going to make a lot of people mad with what you are about to say. This lets your readers know that it’s totally cool with you if they get whipped into a frenzy and cannot handle all the feels that your writing will inevitably elicit in their stomachs. The denizens of the Internet are polite to a fault and must be invited to become angry or elated at your beautiful words of truth. You must be a good host. Be sure to use the phrase “ruffle some feathers.”

Consider adopting the “open letter” format where you write an angry letter to an empty box of cereal, berating it for its audacity to no longer contain any more Cheerios. That’ll show it.

Also, make it clear in your post that you have not even flirted with the idea that you could be short-sighted in your standpoint on the topic you’ve selected. Taking into consideration the vantage point of other people is what university book-lernin is for, not blog posts. Do not apologize when someone calls you out on your highly valid opinion that all pitbulls roam the streets in search of infant blood.

As far as word count goes, make your viral post as long as you please. However, get your wondrously insightful ideas about the moral depravity of certain ethnic groups out at the very beginning so that your scores of readers know what you’re all about and can skip down to the comments and start haranguing you/ telling you how you should be the president.

Step Three: Moderate your comments.

You’ve posted your work of composition to Facebook and – surprise! – within twenty-four hours you have wracked up 57847585634875634876 views. Congratulations! You have gone viral! Now it’s time to read your feedback.

You will find that lots of people agree with what you have to say, commending you for your good common sense and your wordsmithian tendencies. Those are obviously the genius people who you should listen to. They will herald you as the voice of a generation and urge you to sire their unborn children. Don’t worry too much if there are 92 typos in the comment they left.

Sadly, there will also be people who tell you that you are the spawn of Satan, the poster child of what is wrong with society today. Instead of deleting their comments, you should let them through because it is a common practice for the best, most Pulitzer-prize-winning writers in the world to benevolently listen to their naysaying critics. Tell them how wrong they are in their outrage. Be sure to call them by the f- and c-words no fewer than 32 times.

You will know that your post has reached the pentacle of virality when there is rioting in the streets over what you said. Did your words lead to a body count? Even better. You’ll have your own column for The Huffington Post in no time.

Step Four: Write a follow-up post.

With all these zillions of new readers and your inevitable Nobel Prize on deck, you will need to write a follow-up post that addresses all the issues you are now facing as a Famous Internet Writer. Practice saying over and over how surprised you are that your piece describing how no puppy deserves to be thrown into a volcano struck a chord with the the literate world.

This is your chance to show you’re not just a one hit wonder. Be sure to spend at least twice as long on this post as you did on the post that made you famous, because precisely 0% of the people on Earth will read it.

Step Five: Buy your domain and become a professional blogger.

The people have spoken: they want more you! Immediately ditch your blog that is hosted on a free platform and hire an expensive web designer to create a beautiful new digital piece of real estate where you can show off all the Very Serious Writing you do on a daily basis.

Quietly resume writing about your kid’s poops and posting Cheezburgers pictures monthly, proclaiming yourself the JD Salinger of the Internet.

Like me on Facebook? You should totally like me on Facebook. It’s like a warm puppy in your heart. Or bacon. Or being retweeted by Adam Savage. 

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87 comments

  1. Good lord, that made me laugh. “The denizens of the Internet are polite to a fault and must be invited to become angry or elated at your beautiful words of truth. You must be a good host.” — That in particular got me.

    1. Thanks. I have found that people need to be invited to speak their mind on the Internet. Everyone is just so shy and conscientious.

  2. Awesomeness! I had a post that went mini viral for me anyway once. 1600 views in one day. I played on peoples love for death and sad bastard stories. Funny how something can gain traction so quickly. I may try one of your topics suggested here to try to do it again. I bet a post about why Autism is just in everyone’s mind and isn’t real would get lots of hits!! Lots of hate mail too, but those are the trade offs for fame, right?

    1. That would certainly get lots of hits. Maybe you’d even get some kudos from Rush Limbaugh!

  3. OH my gosh…Justin Bieber the next pope. Brilliant. The best thing about this whole post is that, while it is hilarious, it’s is pretty much SPOT on. I’m laughing so hard. “This lets your readers know that it’s totally cool with you if they get whipped into a frenzy and cannot handle all the feels that your writing will inevitably elicit in their stomachs.” Yes. Yes. Yes. Just yes.

    1. Thank you! I feel like this post has been in me for some time. I read a viral post yesterday and just had to get this out. I apologize from bringing the Beibster into the equation ;D

  4. Love this so much! I have seen this so many times on here, it is generally followed a few months later by said blog disappearing into the wilderness.

    1. Thanks, Jayde-Ashe! I agree, it’s funny how someone can write something that gets popular but then is never heard from again. I guess that’s why I’ll never go viral. I just can’t shut up. Thanks for reading!

  5. Emily, you make me laugh out loud. You are so deserving of all this attention. I knew when I began following you in the wayyy back that you were a special kind of writer (and person). I LOVE this: “Within the first two sentences, you should announce that you are going to make a lot of people mad with what you are about to say. ”

    I would really like to take that advice but I’m too sensitive and would probably just curl up in a ball and suck my thumb if there were mean or snarky comments on my blog.

    You are a brave and funny girl — just delightful.

    1. Thank you, kind Brig! I never know how to manage snarky comments either. I’ve gotten them in the past and they weren’t even that bad but they still made me feel really insecure and barfy, so that’s why I tend to stick to lighter fare.

  6. I’ve found that being Freshly Pressed is like a miniature version of this.

    1. How does one become Freshly Pressed, Cutter?

      1. I kind of followed the same steps as above. And got lucky that someone at WordPress liked it.

    2. It really, really is. The good thing about the WordPress crowd, though, is that they tend to have a good sense of humor. They don’t issue death threats in the comments of your blog if they disagree.

      1. Maybe you’re just hanging with the wrong crowd then?

  7. Emly – this artcl made me so f’ing angry I cant see strate!!! Where do you get your Fax?? Justin Beaver has to be the latest weapon for the Muslems taking over our great nacion! You Poeple Make Me Sick!

    1. I think you forgot to put some of your comments in all caps. ;)

  8. This is rad. Hope it goes viral you socialist scum sucking cretin/ most magnificent creature to grace this planet.

    Meredith

    1. It’s gone viral in my mind. Now off to eat some soup. xoxo

  9. Great post! I don’t think I’ll ever write a controversial piece but it’s interesting to see from such a point of view how viral posts create human behaviour!

    1. Viral posts bring out the best and worst in human behavior. Thanks for reading!

  10. And boom goes the dynamite. Also, I hope this goes viral. Also, also, going viral (even mini-viral) is overrated. I’ve decided I want my readership to resemble an intimate cult of crazy people, nestled away somewhere in California.

    1. T, Lucky for you, all of the crazy people are already in California. ;)

      1. Clearly I need to move to California.

      1. Exactly!

    2. Word. Virality is nothing but fifteen minutes of fame. It’s the equivalent of being the second runner up on The Bachelor, except without herpes.

      1. Thank GOD we can’t catch herpes on the internet. That shit is a MESS.

  11. Priceless advice, and the Venn diagram really helps us visual learners. Will be practicing what you preached in my next post. Thanks lots!!

  12. I really hope you know how much I adore both you and your wickedly wonderful writing, Emily!

    1. Thank you! You are my sunshine! *Kisses!*

  13. You are freaking hysterical. End of story. Really all that needs to be said.

    1. Thank you! But bacon. It is always a good idea to say that bacon exists and must be eaten posthaste.

  14. Lol, I love it! Sooo true.

  15. Oh my gosh. so funny. I’ve never had a post go viral, but I still am full enough of myself to go self-hosted. ;) I try to refrain from writing about poop, although I am tempted almost daily! Maybe I need to try out one of your topics??

    1. We should form a support group for people who fight off the urge to write about poop everyday. It is so.hard.

        1. I’m actually kind of serious. Ha.

          1. K. Well, you let me know when it is up and running.

  16. Twindaddy · · Reply

    I think I’ve seen this formula at work somewhere….

    1. I can’t imagine where.

      1. Twindaddy · · Reply

        Lol.

      1. Twindaddy · · Reply

        It’s true.

  17. It’s funny reading this because after a friend nicknamed me “controversy” I wrote a post that (according to my WP stats) went viral – a whole 87 readers in one day. It was kinda fun to make that many people mad. ‘Cause I’m evil that way, don’t-cha know.

    1. I’d love to read it! I promise to be supportive ;)

  18. HA!!! This is so amazing. The closest I’ve ever come (which is truly not close at all) to having something I write go viral was a satirical post that people didn’t realize was satirical (you may know the one I’m talking about).

    Now with these tips, I’m confident I can put something together. But I just want to warn you, some people might be offended by it…

    1. What? You mean people on the Internet *don’t* have a sense of humor? YOU JUST SAID THAT AND NOW I AM OFFENDED.

  19. I’m ready to piss someone off now, Emily. So, this is how it’s done. This should be Internet gospel.

    1. Thanks, Amy! Angering the world can be fun!

  20. We can only aspire to such lofty heights!
    PS You suck

    1. Or to such depths of obscurity ;)

  21. I think another fast track way of your site going viral is to get shot at while going duck hunting with Dick Cheney. And with his new ticker, the outcome might not be so good for you, so be careful of what you wish for.

    1. I always felt like no one made a big enough deal out of it when he shot that guy while hunting, and it kind of made me mad. Maybe I should write my viral post about that. I’ll throw in some off comments about apartheid too to amp up the numbers.

  22. ksujulie · · Reply

    I’ve had a post go viral…this is all so true. Why didn’t you write this a few years ago so I could prepare my stomach (and toilet for that matter) for the negative comments! I have not bought my own domain. Hey, I know my place. ha

    1. Ha! The toilet is a good receptacle for all the feelings that blogging stirs up inside. Can you send me a link to your blog, Julie? Thanks!

  23. The “open letter” thing made me laugh. Some of my most read posts are open letters. People love anger, they really do.

    1. Come to think of it, me too. I think we all just want to read other people’s mail. We’re so nosy. And easily excitable.

      1. Plus catharsis. We can live out our own anger through others vicariously. Still produces the same adrenaline stress, though.

  24. Dang, you just outted me as the closeted vampire stripper that I am. Or was, since I haven’t breast-fed in 4 years. You have a knack for shedding light on so many things! I hope I never go viral…I rather enjoy the small audience for all things beach, Cheerios and poop. Grate post as always, Ms. Em.

    Hope I left no typos here.

    1. I agree with your sentiments on virality. My blog is still pretty quaint in relation to some of the bigger ones out there, and I’m glad for that. I don’t deal well with confrontation when people take what I say out of context. I usually just run to the corner and start rocking back and forth.

  25. I thought step one was cut a hole in a box?!
    Have I been doing this wrong?

    1. Lololololol! That’ll work too. ;D

  26. Has this post gone viral yet? Why am I here again? I’ll come back to add some anger and post my open letter response to you once it’s gone viral

    1. Ha! Not yet! Please do write a viral post though just so I can say I know someone who is Internet famous ;D

  27. Thank God you wrote this – I had no idea how to get more readership. All I thought you had to do was post a stupid picture of a puppy on Facebook and put a cute caption on it. Sure – everyone will share THAT….but do you think anyone shares a blog post that put 300 times more effort into it?

    Bitter. Party of 1.

    1. Care if I join you in your bitterness bonanza? I saw a video on Facebook a couple weeks ago where two girls were dancing in the street to some country song. It had 3,000 likes. I can’t even.

  28. I’ll say it again: You’re my hero.
    Well done.

    1. Awwww, thanks. I had a lot of fun writing this one.

  29. Oh for heaven’s sakes. This is so funny. And I don’t know if sakes should have that last “s.” I don’t have time to Google it. I had one viral post so I’m kinda a big deal. I can start to misspell things once in awhile. I’ve earned it. ;)

    1. I always thought it had an “s”. Which post of yours went viral? I hope it was one where you mention how food allergies are worse than war.

  30. LOL “Viral” isn’t how I’d describe my posts but I hAve picked out my new domain. :p
    Love the humor. Nice flow.

  31. OMG. Thank. You. For this.

  32. […] How To Write a Viral Blog Post […]

  33. LOL! You should be the president of blog land. ;-)

  34. Unfortunately the only thing I feel this strongly about is gun control for the US before they shoot all us Canadians off the continent!

    1. Not all Americans are gun fanatics! *Waves frantically.*

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