Going Viral Versus Going Long

Seeing a post go viral can be exhilarating, but it may be more valuable to post content that viewers find reliable and relevant over the long run.The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for many content generators is a post that goes viral. That's great, but a better goal is to supply content that a growing group of loyal viewers can't wait to see.

In a recent forum, copywriters and videographers were asked to solve the riddle of how to make a post go viral. Many of the answers were surprising.

"Don't focus on making your posts go viral," counseled one writer. "Viral is short-lived and unsustainable. Focus instead on hitting singles and doubles. Strive to put out great content consistently and become known for that."

Another writer echoed those thoughts:  "To me, blog posts going viral shouldn't be a goal. If a blog post goes big, great…but my goal is to reach my core, niche audience on a consistent basis. Bloggers get so focused on page views and unique visitors, when the real metrics should be to get and keep subscribers and work those subscribers into revenue-generating paths to purchase." 

"When creating content to reach your audience, the goal shouldn't be to make a viral article," advised a marketing consultant and freelance writer. "You need to make content that is relevant, original and impactful to your niche audience. If it happens to resonate online to the level of going viral, then that's merely an added bonus."

Some of the most colorful advice came from a writer who said, "Don't worry about going viral. Go bacterial. Viral is not all it's cracked up to be. Going viral means your servers are going to crash. That's no good. Viral is good for large sites that can handle the traffic spike and sites that make money with ads.…Going bacterial means writing about a very narrow topic, solving a very narrow problem for people. These are the people that will promote your content across the community for which it is relevant."

Going viral is a challenge, but a more worthwhile challenge is going long with your followers who come to depend on your for reliable, relevant and useful content.