Stop Trying To Go Viral And Start Focusing On Adding Value

Ken Reid
4 min readMay 3, 2021
Photo by Aaron Weiss on Unsplash

Each morning at 6:30am, I click publish.

This is the one,” my brain tells me. “This one’s going viral.”

I don’t allow myself to look at stats for at least two hours. After all, it’s going to take some time to gain traction.

Finally, around 10am, I take a peak.

“12 reads? There’s no way! That was my best one.”

I tend to think I have a good gauge for what people want to read; that I understand the masses, even though I have no evidence to back my belief. When it doesn’t work, I respond the same two ways every time.

First, I sulk.

“Clearly I just don’t get it. I don’t have a clue what people want to read. I should just stop. There’s no point in continuing if I can’t figure out how to get even one post to blow up.”

Writing this out loud, I get how ridiculous it sounds. But in my head it always seems to make sense.

Second, I dig.

When my pity party is over and the clean up crew has arrived, my brain goes back to strategy mode.

There’s gotta be a way. It’s gotta be my title. I need to practice writing killer headlines.”

If it’s not my title, it’s my opener. I just have to figure out how to get more people clicking on and reading my content. But then, when people do read it, why don’t they share it? Maybe it isn’t just my intro. Maybe the key points weren’t clear enough, strong enough, or interesting enough.

The next day, I’ll write a post that, by my internal audit, gets a score of… meh. But because I’m committed to publish something every day for 30 days, I edit it and publish it anyway. While it doesn’t explode, for some reason, it performs far better than the post I just new was going to go viral yesterday.

This cycle continues day after day. I keep trying to discover the secret to virality, all the while, I’m losing sight of something.

While I’m trying to go big, I’m missing the real impact I have one the small group that isn’t just engaging with my content. They’re feeling inspired and motivated by it.

Ken Reid

Marketing Director & Storyteller | I’m not a dreamer, my brain just vacations in the future.