What we cover:
What “going viral” means
What counts as “viral”
The 4 reasons a post goes viral
What prevents a post from going viral
The 5 things that make long-form posts go viral
Viral posting strategies
A deep dive into one Substack writer's viral post
The one thing we know a post definitely needs to go viral
A writing exercise to help you write your next (viral) post
As Substack’s Head of Writer Relations Farrah Storr puts it, we do these workshops in good faith that people won’t sign up for the link and then unsubscribe. We’re here to build a community of writers who will come together to grow. If you prefer to purchase the workshop, you can do so here:
This is part of the Craft of Writing on Substack series, where we take the best creative writing techniques and make them work for us on Substack.
Time to write your viral essay…
NOTE: Revision of what makes long-form go viral #4: Speak to a specific group/belief & oppose another
++A couple more examples of posts that went “viral” on Substack. In the workshop I mentioned that viral long-form posts often take a stand, agree with one group, and oppose another.
But the emotions that also cause people to share are joy, awe/surprise—positive. Check out this from @Jeannine Ouellette
Also, taking a stand doesn’t have to be political. I wrote this in favor of writing fewer words:
(I think it’s best to think in terms of viral for each of us, i.e., particularly widely shared and restacked, rather than putting a number on it.)
Please read Kirsten Powers’s essay “The way we live in the United States is not normal”—such a good example. No surprise it went viral.
Here’s the annotated version with my notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tsqAP7s42KJt9mhkpzY0u8Aw3U50zIOKY7jENr41h3I/edit?usp=sharing
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