That Time My Blog Post Went Viral


Viral: "A viral blog post is one that has an extremely high number of shares compared to the number of shares for your average post." (via Write to Done)

Something weird happened to me last week. 

I noticed an oddly large amount of traffic on a post I wrote a month or two ago titled "10 Reasons Why Running a Marathon is Like Having a Baby." I only noticed the traffic because my crockpot BBQ chicken recipe has been holding the top spot pretty much since I posted it. Apparently people love them some bbq chicken. So I was curious how a random post on running could get so much interest when I hadn't done anything personally to promote it. 

Upon checking my stats, I realized that the marathon baby post had gotten 4,000 views. IN ONE DAY.

I know that's not a lot for big-time bloggers, but for The Lady Okie? Holy wow.

So I checked the source of all the traffic and saw it was coming from Facebook. Weird, since my FB page has less than 200 followers. And... down the social media rabbit hole I went. Just call me a blogger/private investigator.

The Lady Okie at your service.

At the end of it all, after I scoured the interwebs and stalked twitter and facebook for a good 15 minutes, I found out that Canadian Running Magazine had linked the post on their Facebook page and broadcasted it to over 20,000 fans. I can only assume they discovered the post because it was featured in the Health section of BlogHer, but that's just a guess.

At the time of this writing, my post had 118 likes and 133 shares, as well as a number of reshares from those shares as well as a lot comments.

Hence the four thousand pageviews. Also hence the reason my blog is currently so popular with Canadians. (Not that I don't like Canada, but I was confused since most of my pageviews originate from Oklahoma City. No, I don't sit at home all day pressing "refresh" on my own homepage. Why would you even think that?)

This was exciting, as you can imagine. Who needs the lottery when you're an internet sensation! My second thought (after the visions of fame and fortune) was to be glad more people were getting the chance to experience my witty sense of humor. Honestly, I feel like I've been wasting it on you people. It's time for a new audience.* 

Greetings, Canada! What's that now? You think I'm funny? You're too kind. Hang on. Ellen DeGeneres is calling me to appear on her show alongside the two-year-old who plays piano and sings Adele songs.


I started reading the comments.

Apparently there are people in the world (all women so far, go figure) who do not like that I would dare to compare running to giving birth. I didn't know that my post would be so offensive, but apparently it is.

These people, whoever they are, do not understand a little concept called being funny. Clearly it was a post that was meant to be read by someone with a sense of humor.

Calm yourselves.
That's what I want to say.

Did I say running a marathon was the exact same thing as having a baby? No. I said it was similar.

As much as I say it doesn't matter, I can't help but be offended by a few of the rude comments. Of course, there are also a lot of "LOLs" and such, which is great. Why does the 2% of rude have to ruin the rest? I don't know, but it does leave a sting when someone leaves a comment about something I wrote and basically says I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm not upset about the fact that they disagree with me. I'm bothered by the fact that they're not understanding me. They don't get me, and they don't get my writing, and that makes me feel bad.

Anyway, the point of all of this, I guess, is to tell you that it's difficult to write online. To be a person with no face, just a screen with letters on it. And it's hard to try to write so that you can feel whatever emotion I'm trying to convey. 

I enjoy sarcasm, and I enjoy jokes. I'm also able to laugh at myself. All of these things are great in person and more difficult in writing. That's why we need to remember to take anything we read online with a grain of salt. Some people just don't come across well in writing, and just because we disagree doesn't mean we have to be rude about it. 

So far in my blogging experience, I haven't had a lot of negativity to deal with. That's thanks to all of you! You leave me awesome comments. It makes blogging lots of fun. I appreciate the fact that you read and the fact that you comment. And I appreciate most of all that even when you disagree with me, you do it nicely.

So. In conclusion,

Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for reading my blog. 
And thanks, most of all, for getting me.
Just assume everything I write is 40% hyperbole, 50% sarcasm, and 20% dramatic. 

Then assume I'm not very good at math.

*Please don't make me add a disclaimer to that line. THAT WAS A JOKE. I love you all and wish I could buy you each a cupcake. Unfortunately, I already ate them all.
Breenah A said...

I've have both had a baby and attempted to become a runner. I had the baby with no problems, yet I'm still not a runner. I think your post was awesome :)
I do feel like there's this secret group of "mommies" online that sole purpose is to go around being santimommies.

Breenah A said...

Sancti, not santi. But if that means Santa and I get gifts, they can go ahead.

Jessica Elyse @ Memoirs of a Mommy said...

You are the stuff! Now my curiosity is killing me. Off to read how marathons and birth are similar. I think the comparison sounds pretty perfect.

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

Dude. Don't worry. I got it. I might have pointed out a few ways which they weren't similar, but I think your style comes across well. You'll always have a few who just don't get it!!

And congrats on that taking off. It was a really great post!

Nikki B said...

My friend randomly sent me your marathon/childbirth post on Friday (and we are not Canadian, we live in Milwaukee). I don't have a kid, but it seemed pretty accurate. And was definitely funny. And I follow your blog now. So, win? Keep on keepin' on. :)

Megan said...

I really need to read that post and see why everyone got their panties in a bunch. Expect a comment on that soon!

eileen ragan | leaner by the lake said...

I believe this who heartedly - if you're not pissing someone off or ruffling a few feathers along the way, you're probably not making progress or pushing yourself and making new creative connections. Everyone is ALWAYS going to think they have a right (and ought to voice it) online - whether it's the writer or the commenter. Remember that you were being true to yourself and that's what matters!

I loved the post, btw.


eileen ragan | leaner by the lake

Claire@MyDevising said...

Pshh. Buncha uptight crazies. I don't even want to read the negative comments because it will make me all hot inside. No marathon experience for me, just half marathons, but I HAVE birthed a child naturally out of my lady parts and I did not think your post was offensive. Yeah, childbirth is probably harder and more painful than anything else in life, but it doesn't mean it can't be compared/contrasted to something. People need to c-h-i-l-l.

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

oh girl! I'm so glad your post went viral. I should read it soon =) (I know, that sounds so rude but I wasn't following you when you posted that). Anyways, a friend of mine during her full marathon had a stranger say that running a marathon was harder than birthing out a baby =). Maybe you should just pop a kid out so you can have a personal experience on both sides ;) jk!!

Nicole Shea said...

Way to go on the viral post!! I wouldn't even think twice about the negativity-there is always going to be someone who has to rain on your parade.

Allison said...

First of all, congrats on being famous! :) I think it's so awesome that you got so much traffic! Way to write a post that so many people found interesting enough to read and take the time to comment on! That's huge!

Second of all, I'm sorry that you had to deal with the negativity. I dread the inevitable day when something mean and nasty shows up about my blog. But I feel your pain. That stuff stings. I haven't run a marathon or had a baby, but I'm fairly convinced both seem nearly physically impossible. I still enjoyed the post, though. I have a feeling that each person who has done either has had a unique experience. So why can't everyone just loosen up, stop judging, and take a joke? :)

Katrina said...

Funny, as I train for my first marathon I always use the pregnancy/giving birth analogy! And psst, I've told my husband that training for the marathon is way harder than giving birth was (for me).

Allison said...

WOW!!! This is crazy town for several reasons. The first one being I never think about where my writing could actually end up (Canada article?!) Second I don't always think about how I come across to others because I write for me first of all. Sorry you had to deal with some Negative Nancy's, but your post is great.

Britt and Hive said...

Hahaha. Oh yes.
I remember that one well - it was a great - and very hilarious post.
booo haters gonna hate - just sad it was over such a well written post.

The truth is, the more eyes you get, the more will dislike you. Shake em off, you run faster anyway.

Anonymous said...

They just can't take a joke, eh? ;) You are hilarious and I'm glad you won't let a negative comment bring you down!!! way to be! And congrats on the 4,000 views. I'd faint.

Unknown said...

Reese, I love you. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Rachel Sedaker said...

Well, I was there when my sister gave birth to her son, and she actually compared it to running a race- she even high-fived me after my nephew came out (she had a natural birth, no drugs- there was no time!)! She felt such a rush of adrenaline from his birth, and she was incredibly proud of her accomplishment (going through with a natural birth like she wanted). Definitely marathon-like. But again, every mother experiences labor differently, just as every runner experiences distance-running differently.

Curly Pink Runner said...

Really, you ate all the cupcakes? well gosh darn, now even I'm offended!!
PS. YAY for going viral! Can I get your autograph?!

Tracy said...

Maybe Canadians lose their sense of humor since it gets dark and cold early and stays like that? I liked that post and I don't run but have had a baby. Makes real realize I'm not running a marathon.

Cece @Mahogany Drive said...

I had one post featured on blogher and luckily there was no nastiness to be had but yeah-it's scary to write online because you really do open yourself up to criticism. One of the upsides of being a "smaller" blogger for me is for the most part flying under the radar.

Cece @Mahogany Drive said...

I had one post featured on blogher and luckily there was no nastiness to be had but yeah-it's scary to write online because you really do open yourself up to criticism. One of the upsides of being a "smaller" blogger for me is for the most part flying under the radar.

Unknown said...

Rock your awesome socks off! Just like Friday;

Keep what is worth keeping -
And with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.

I love the faceless, word filled party that you bring to my screen every morning. But I do like your face too!

Anonymous said...

This happened to me once... I pinned a photo of my halloween costume & it went nuts. And then made the same mistake of reading all the comments from my adoring fans. They were not all so adoring. "Love the peacock tail but NOT the outfit. Never." Ouch. I even got some comments on my weight because people are mean. There's a dark side to fame I guess. :)

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

I'm sorry about the negative comments, but hey, blog views are blog views, right? :)

J is for Jessica said...

This is so funny...well,not the meanie-heads part, but the part about your BBQ post holding the top spot! As much as I want to rule the blogging world and become super famous, because we all know that's going to happen-I am scared of what all the mean people out there might say when that happens. (that's right, when, not if, I'm an optimist) Some people just like to use the fact that they're on a computer as an excuse not to have a filter!

kristyn said...

You're awesome. And I love this. And screw the 2%. People just want to be offended by something. I thought it was hilarious! Obviously Canada did too ;)

Jena Roach said...

Haters gonna hate.
I love those kinds of comments. They always come from someone who has never read my blog before... wake up and smell the sarcasm, my friends :)

Saba said...

You are HILARIOUS. psshhh who doesn't think so? Though, admittedly, I haven't read the marathon baby post, I am sure that you are spot on with your comparison! haha

By the way, your vlog was great! (I know it's a while ago now) You talk like you write!!! And you really are funny. Love following your posts!


Katie said...

So fantastic! Congratulations on your viral status:) I'd be lying if I said I've never imagined a celebrity like Ellen finding my blog and wanting to offer me fame and fortune. However, between you and Mandie Marie (another Internet friend of mine who just went viral with her post about being 26 and single), I am now officially terrified of strangers reading my blog.

Both of you speak of a few truly terrible comments from some truly terrible Internet trolls and I know I would be uber offended if they found my blog and posted mean things about me. How do people get to be so mean? I'm doing my part in the classroom and trying to teach the mean kids to be kind so they won't one day be an Internet troll leaving rude, ignorant comments on blogs of unsuspecting, sweet people who have gone viral. But I don't think it's enough- there are already too many trolls in our society. So I'll be thankful that only a handful of people leave me comments, knowing that at least that handful won't be mean.

Gosh, I'm rambling now. Sorry about that. Way to be! Thanks for making me laugh:)

Laura Darling said...

Woo hoo! Not only did your post go viral, but it went viral and featured some controversy! :) Haha this is seriously so exciting - congrats! :)

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

Yeah for you post going viral. I thought it was hilarious. i will never understand people who need to be rude when they disagree. Don't let them steal your thunder girl!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I loved your post on how running a marathon was similar to giving birth! I, too, have never had a child but I can see myself making similar comparisons. Ha! I actually thought you were going for the figurative versus the literal. In putting your writing out in the public forum, there will always be someone that might take offense. So, don't let that stop you from writing out of who you are and from your unique perspective on life. Really enjoy reading your blog!

Betsy said...

have you heard of mommyjacking?

it's one of the LAMEST things on the internet, and it sounds like that's what you got hit with.

I'm sorry.

but now you know there's a term for these people!

17 Perth said...

Okay--So you wrote all of this while I was still in my "hole" under a rock. lol. Called being pregnant and having serious morning sickness....haha. And what is SOOOOO funny about this is that I have actually compared having this baby (even though I haven't done it yet) to running a half-marathon. I am so with you--have a sense of humor! haha. I am sorry that people didn't appreciate your post....but I sure did!!

AmyG said...

If it's any comfort to you at all, I GET your humor, I think you're very funny, AND I've had six babies and am a wounded runner still trying to get out there every day and crip along with a sub-average ankle. I also write a blog that, on occasion, astounds me by going viral. Not everybody gets my humor, either, and to them I say "THBBBBBBBbbbb!" and then I smile sweetly and assure them that I value their comments. ;)

Sarah @ Sometimes Photojenik said...

So this happened to me within the past couple of weeks and has had me so stoked ("internet sensation" is a perfect way to describe it). I remembered reading this post awhile back and knew I had to come find it because I figured you would understand. Thankfully all the comments I've seen are pretty positive!