It seems like everyone is obsessed with going viral these days, including me.
Who can blame us? Society equates fame and success with virality, likes and shares with popularity.
Mega-star authors are made overnight on social media.
Alex Aster got a book and movie deal from one video.
Colleen Hoover has five books on the best-seller list because of BookTok.
There are lots of courses out there that will teach you the “tried and true techniques” for building a massive following online.
I’ve taken them.
I’ve implemented their tips.
I’m still not famous.
I used to beat myself up for not outsmarting the algorithm. I’ve cried for my failure as a marketer. I’ve complained it was too much and given up social media completely.
Then I found the one tried and true answer to how to make it online as a writer.
Ready for it?
(Have you guessed it yet?)
(If you’ve been here for awhile, you probably know what I’m about to say.)
(Don’t hate me for stating the obvious, okay?)
The answer is perseverance.
The truth is, you can’t outsmart the algorithm.
Everyone I know who has grown a massive audience and gone viral did it through a combination of consistency and pure luck.
Once I let go of the “shoulds” of social media, I was able to find a way to show up authentically as me in a way that worked for me.
One day, I decided to try posting a video on Instagram every day for 30 days.
I gave myself three topics (a concept taken from Jenna Kutcher’s Instagram course ) to focus on – writing/books, entrepreneurship/the business side of writing, and my personal adventures/family and friends.
Every day I would take one of those topics and make a ridiculously simple video or post about them. The easier the better.
I was aiming for quantity over quality, practicing putting myself out there consistently more than trying to predict if something would hit.
This experiment gave me an 800% growth on Instagram in a month. 800%
I had a few videos go viral and it was always the ones I least expected to do so!
That video opening a box of fries with cheese that I almost took down? 18,850 views in 24 hours.
That funny joke I made about how working out in a gym looks silly? 15,000+ views and hundreds of comments.
That in-depth video I did that I was sure would hit big? A couple hundred views.
This experiment proved that I don’t get the algorithm. And the algorithm isn’t meant to be understood. It’s meant to keep you on the app.
The only way you can make it – in not just social media but in publishing too! – is to keep going.
Keep going when no one likes your work.
Keep going when your friends hit fame first.
Keep going when it seems like nothing is gaining traction.
Keep showing up authentically as you.
Because the world needs your story now more than ever.
P.S. Want help staying consistent in your writing? Join us in Write Your Friggin’ Book Already® . We’ve got weekly writing sprints, monthly coaching, and whole group of supportive writers there to help hold you accountable to your goals.