Content Writing Wins: Tell Us About Your Most Viral Blog Post

Evan Jensen

Content Writing Contest: What's Your Most Viral Blog Post?.’s your best, most shared, traffic-generating blog post? We want to hear about your content writing wins.

Turn off the news for a minute. Step away from the non-stop coronavirus updates. Take a chill pill (as in…coffee, chocolate, or some other delightful treat you stocked up on the last time you braved the grocery store).

And dig up the best-performing blog post you’ve published or written for a client.

We’re hosting a contest to show off your best work, share tips on content writing that get results, and (drum roll, please) give out some pretty sweet prizes.

What made your best blog post get more clicks, likes, shares, and site traffic?

If you don’t have metrics for your best content writing work, that’s OK, too. Anecdotal proof (like comments on a post, even if they’re from your mom) that show off your content writing superpowers works, too.

Maybe you’ve even written a blog post that went viral…you know like every blog post Jon Morrow writes. Now’s your chance to tell us about your top content writing win.

Here’s a few examples and details about the contest:

Content writing wins: Check out these examples

So what does a content writing win for a blog post look like? There’s lots of ways to measure the success of a post, such as:

  • Number of views
  • Clicks to read more, or follow links within the post to resources and sites
  • Likes and shares on social media
  • Average time spent on the page
  • Comments
  • New subscribers
  • Backlinks…the number of sites that link back to your post

Note: If you don’t have this data, or you’re not sure what it means, don’t worry. You can still enter the contest, and you can still make a great living as a freelance writer. But if you’re willing to learn the language of content marketing, you can also make a lot more money.

Most popular Make a Living Writing posts

Ever wonder what some of the most popular Make a Living Writing blog posts are?

Here’s the top 5 traffic-generating blog posts from 2019:

  1. Celebrity Interview Secrets: 7 Strategies for Writers to Score a Meeting
  2. How to Self Publish a Book That Earns $125K in a Single Night
  3. Pay Survey 2019: What 1,400+ Freelancers Get Paid to Write
  4. Content Writing Jobs: 10 Handy Places to Get Hired Online 
  5. Content Writing Productivity: 11 Bright Hacks to Get Organized

What made these blog posts successful? The short answer…A lot of different things…starting with useful content about how to be a freelance writer. Then there’s keyword research, headline writing, and search engine optimization. And every post gets plugged into an email campaign and social media campaign to drive traffic.

Here’s another example of a content writing win

I wrote this blog post for a client, a popular online fitness guru based in Australia: 5 Fat-Shredding HIIT Workouts to Get Results. Here’s what happened:

  • Subscribers received an email with a short message and link to the post
  • The post was promoted on multiple social media channels
  • The day the post was published, it got 3,500 views
  • The average reader spent 8-plus minutes on the page
  • Fun fact: Most of the blog post content came from user-generated content curated from the client’s private Facebook group.

Contest rules: Tell us about your most viral blog post

Ready to share your most viral blog post for a chance to win? Here what you need to do:

  • Tell us about your most viral blog post in the comments below, and what happened behind the scenes to make it successful. (Note: Comments won’t let you include the URL. But share the headline of your post and name of the site it’s on.)
  • Only one entry per person
  • Contest ends Sunday, April 5 at 11:59 p.m.
  • We’ll review all the submissions and announce the winners in the April 8 blog post.

Prizes for the best content writing wins include:

Grand prize: A free ticket to Earn More as a Content Strategist Bootcamp hosted by content marketing expert Jennifer Goforth Gregory and Carol Tice in the Freelance Writers Den. (A $297 value, with 4 weeks of training, live Q&A calls, homework, coaching, and more.)

Runner up 1: A complete set of freelance writing e-books by Make a Living Writing.

Runner up 2: A one-week free pass to the Freelance Writers Den.

Tell us about your most viral blog post and how you made it happen for a chance to win.

And the winners are…

What’s your best content-writing win? Share in the comments below for a chance to win.

Evan Jensen is the blog editor for Make a Living Writing. When he’s not on a writing deadline or catching up on emails, he’s training to run another 100-mile ultra-marathon.

300+ Hours of Trainings. One Affordable Price.


  1. Marie Sultana Robinson

    My very best, was 20 years ago. At the time, I was writing for Accounting Web. I aggregated a lot of tax and IRS info, and I interviewed a lot of accountants. One day, bored, I pitched “The Patron Saint of Accounting” to the editor. She laughed, “Go for it.” In a dry community of data, this was an immediate hit, but the proof positive, was an Accounting convention in NYC a few months later. It was near Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and a small Catholic shop that had statues. The Saint was Saint Francis of Padua, an obscure Saint Francis, there are about 12 official Saint Francis. But there are 2 who have statues, probably the best known is Saint Francis of Assisi, lover of animals. Suddenly, the Catholic shop were selling any St Francis statues, cards, anything with any Saint Francis and taking orders to ship. My editor who was attending asked a Jewish accountant she knew well, why he was toting a large Saint Francis statue, and what his clients would think of a Jewish man with a very obvious Catholic symbol. “Look, Frankie here can live in the closet. But if he’s the patron saint of accounting, I’m not taking chances.” So not only did it go viral, there are lots of Saint Francis statues in closets, and corners guarding and inspiring accountant’s abilities to fill out our taxes.

    • Evan Jensen

      Hi Marie,
      And it all started like this…”One day, bored, I pitched “The Patron Saint of Accounting”…Love it. Nice work. You never know what will happen when you put yourself out there.

  2. Neil

    Headline: NZ owner of rotary engine swapped 456 GT angers Ferrari
    Site: Drivetribe
    Views: 590,900
    Shares: 23,678

    This was a pretty interesting story to begin with – a New Zealand mechanic bought a Ferrari with severe front end damage and ditched the expensive supercar motor, swapping it with a $3,000 Mazda rotary engine.

    But what I’ve always done is not only look for interesting stories but look for an interesting angle as well. Although the story would have probably gone viral on its own, I thought I’d go for the angle of how Ferrari reacted to someone defiling one of their supercars. On top of that, I put a tonne of humor and personality into the writing, so it was a pretty entertaining read.

    Anyway, the story did very well and was shared by James May and Richard Hammond (former Top Gear, now Grand Tour hosts) on their Facebook pages, as well as covered on a couple of other major automotive sites (including The Drive) which referenced my article directly.

    That’s pretty much the way I do all my writing – find an interesting story and tell it in an interesting way. It capped off an insane month for me with 3 articles getting over 1 million views between them and led to my first magazine feature which is coming out next month.

    It was the first time I’ve been noticed by ‘serious automotive journalists’ and gave me a huge confidence boost.

    • Carol Tice

      Getting the celeb shares — for the win! Love it, Neil.

    • Evan Jensen

      Hi Neil,

      That is awesome. You’re in Jon Morrow territory with over a million views.

    • Neil

      Forgot the link – it’s attached to this comment

  3. Debbie Kane

    I’m a contributor to Garnet Hill’s blog Threads (for those of you who don’t know Garnet Hill, it’s a home furnishings/women’s clothing brand). I contribute general lifestyle topics, from how color affects mood to travel guides; I write the headlines and select the photos and links. This post about barn vacations was the second-most popular post in 2018! I wish I could tell you why but I really don’t know…, Going Rural: The Barn to Bed Vacation

    • Debbie Kane

      By the way, I meant to say above that in addition to writing the post, I wrote the headline, selected the photos and included the links! Whew, need more coffee.

    • Carol Tice

      Debbie, believe contest rules are to post the URL you want us to check out as your comment URL in the form — that way people can click and check it out more easily.

      • Debbie Kane

        Oops, sorry. Like I said, needed an extra cup of coffee this morning.

    • Evan Jensen

      Hi Debbie,
      Nice work paying attention to a trend and pitching an idea.

      Useless fact: Before my grandma died, she sold off walls of her old barns in Idaho for thousands of dollars to a bunch of different restaurants and interior designers.

      • Carol Tice

        Wow, now THAT is enterprising!

  4. Debbie Kane

    Headline: Going Rural: The Bed to Barn Vacation

    As I mentioned, I’m a contributor to Garnet Hill’s blog, Threads. The blog offers a more in-depth look at Garnet Hill’s clothing and home furnishings, with behind-the-scenes details about the company’s catalog shoots and products. I pitched the company on including more lifestyle-focused topics that relate to their brand: travel features, lifestyle trends, etc. The Bed to Barn topic was one that I pitched based on something I had read elsewhere noting that barn rentals were really popular on Air BnB and travel sites (thank you, Chip and Joanna Gaines and their Magnolia empire). The company told me it was their second most popular post in 2018.

  5. Brian Nibley

    Headline: Dash Crypto Could Serve as the New PayPal

    It was originally published on, my longest-running freelance client. I also published it on Blogger and a blockchain news site called, and then it got picked up by, the official website of DASH (currently the 20th largest cryptocurrency by market cap).

    The post received thousands of views on the sites it was first published, although I don’t have access to the exact view/share count or in-depth data like bounce rates or time users spent on-page. But the big winner for me was that it got picked up by all by itself.

    What happened behind the scenes to make it successful was the usual stuff for this kind of content – good research, a captivating story, the right keywords, bringing value in the information in a way that hasn’t quite been done elsewhere, etc. I used a headline optimizer to find the right headline, included some imagery/charts and embedded a few tweets.

    • Evan Jensen

      Sounds like you included all the elements that help make a post successful, great writing + keyword research, headline, graphics and social media plan.

  6. Janine L Clements


    I think my most successful recent blog post was one for parenting site, Red Tricycle. It was about the dangers of posting photos of your kids online.

    10 Things to Consider Before Sharing Kid Pics on Social Media

    The editor told me it had over 5k views soon after being posted, mostly generated from Facebook so they put it at the top of their newsletter and the homepage. It has since been shared over 3,000 times.

    • Janine L Clements

      I think it was a very timely subject. It was promoted on Facebook and one of the sources, a renowned parenting expert also shared it on her site.

    • Evan Jensen

      Hi Janine,

      Wow. That is a hot topic. Read your post. Love the reminder to “be present” with kids instead of fussing with your phone. And some of the other tips and reasons to pause before posting pics of kids on social media are just kind of terrifying. Nice work.

  7. Tom Bentley

    Whiskey Is a Bad Chaser for Coronavirus
    85K views, 1.6K shares

    Sadly, my post doesn’t skirt the topic of coronavirus, because it’s about coronavirus. I’ve written a lot of pieces for the popular The Whiskey Wash site, and the publisher asked me to write a piece on some deadly misconceptions some people had about drinking distilled spirits to prevent infection or cure it. (In fact, the president of Belarus today said that people could stay healthy by taking saunas and drinking vodka.)

    I did a Q&A interview with a UNLV epidemiologist, who is a whiskey drinker, and he gave some helpful answers, as well as expressing his whiskey preferences. When I looked today (it’s been up since March 12), it had lots of views and shares, but no comments. One does wonder if the avid drinkers on the site might be concerned about typos in their comments.

    • Evan Jensen

      Hi Tom,

      Great results. We look at Make a Living Writing traffic all the time. Sometimes there’s clear reasons for why a post performs well. Other times there seems to be a Mysterious Force controlling the interwebs.

    • Carol Tice

      OMG I think this topic is awesome…

  8. Rafal Reyzer

    These stories are truly inspiring! My example is a second article I’ve ever published on my blog, called “40 Best essays of all time (with links)”. Since the day of the publication somewhere at the end of 2016, this 10k-word monster managed to attract 192,439 unique users. Why was it so successful? The scale of the project and its in-built sharability is one thing, but I think that what’s more important, is that I put in dozens of hours, researching and reading these essays. It was during my stay in Madrid, Spain, where I was working as an English teacher at the time. These hot nights were conducive to literary explorations.

    • Evan Jensen

      Hi Rafal. That’s awesome. Reminds me of Jon Morrow talking about his blog writing process that includes hours and hours of thinking time, strategy planning, writing, and executing. Once in a while random blog posts go viral and get a lot of traffic. But more often than not, the best-performing posts are reverse engineered to drive traffic.

  9. Olivia Walters

    “7 Real Questions Editors Ask During Freelance Writer Interviews”

    After I heard good news from a client, I wrote a blog post on my site and promoted it on my Instagram. Instead of posting a generic picture of a notebook to celebrate my writing success, I put a picture up of myself with a pull quote from the blog post in the picture (“Friends, I’m soaring on a magic carpet because today I nailed an interview.”) I made sure to highlight my best angles and added a balloon emoji to elicit a celebratory reaction.

    This got me over 100 likes and 37 comments. I saw traffic to my blog increase more than 25% in March. My Instagram network is full of writers and non-writers, so marketing myself requires some thinking, but ultimately I think users see my face and feel more of a connection to my content. Over 50 people are going to my Linktree url on the Insta bio a day. I’m flourishing because my content is real and down-to-earth.

    • Carol Tice

      Olivia, you seem to have given us just a link to your home page — can you reply with a link to the actual post, for consideration? I’ll moderate it in, it’ll go in spam but I’ll find it. OR — you can make it the URL you put in your comment form under website, that’ll get it right in. Look forward to seeing!

      Also… can you explain what your ‘Linktree URl on the Insta-bio’ is?

      • Olivia Walters

        Hi again!

        Okay I’ll leave a link in the website box to my post.

        Linktree is a url aggregator that allows writers to display their work on Instagram. Since we can’t put urls in an Instagram post, many writers ask their readers to head to the link in their bio. From there, people can click on the Linktree url and see a writer’s work.

        • Carol Tice

          Wow, you’re making me glad I don’t do Instagram there, Olivia! Especially for ‘writer info,’ sounds like it’s not a great platform, if you can’t post a link. #annoying


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