What Nobody Tells You About Going Viral

Oladimeji Ajegbile
3 min readNov 24, 2023

It’s something many people hope for, to go viral. We think it’s fantastic, but here’s the truth based on what I’ve been through after having a good number of my creations go viral.

Usually, when it happens the first few times, there’s this euphoria, that feeling of being seen, being recognised and rewarded for your good works.

The joy of doubling your followers in just a few months, or maybe even weeks.

You’d be overjoyed and grateful that your labour is finally paying off and this is fantastic, trust me.

After the first few experiences, you go viral multiple times, and at some point, almost every post about something related to what made you go viral did really well.

However, there’s an invisible border you just crossed that becomes very difficult to return from.

Now, you can only post about what made you go viral. Anything else you share doesn’t get noticed.

The algorithm thinks people only like you for your viral topic. But before you went viral, that wasn’t the case.

You loved connecting with people, having conversations, making people smile with funny posts, or inspiring them with content that was diverse.

But now, you’ve become invisible. People don’t know you anymore. Even if they recognize your face, Instagram thinks they only follow you for your viral topic.

I’ve experienced this and I’m not sharing this for sympathy. I’m sharing it because most creators like me are at points where we’ve lost connections and feel like quitting.

Imagine after putting in so much time and effort to build an audience, a lovely community with real connections, you suddenly lose it because a small part of your expressions go viral.

Usually, this isn’t the core of your creations and it costs you those connections you spent years to build.

It can affect you more than you could imagine.

So, going viral might sound fun, and you might think this is being said because I have a relatively large audience, but honestly, I would go back to having 10k followers or even less in a heartbeat.

If you’ve experienced this or currently experiencing this, trying to figure out what to do next and you’re thinking:

  • What do I focus on now?
  • Do I focus on what made me go viral, giving Instagram what it wants?
  • Or do I share content and things I love, accepting that it won’t get much attention?
  • Or do I quit altogether?

I understand exactly how this feels, I’ve been there and I’m here to help you figure a way forward.

I’ll be sharing more on my journey from being stuck satisfying the algorithm to actually doing what I love and want to share with the world without the fear of not being seen.

Remember, you don’t have to wait for the world to give you permission to do what you love, not even Instagram.

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Oladimeji Ajegbile

Driving Digital Transformation through Service Design & Business Innovation | Nurturing Creators into Founders, CreatorSeed