Need Help With Your New Year's Resolution?

Grab a copy of our goals workbook today or hire a coach and make this year your best one yet!

Get Workbook
Disclosure: Posts may contain sponsored information or affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our privacy policy for more info.

3 Lessons I Learned From Making the Front Page of Reddit

Getting something you created upvoted to the front page of Reddit sounds fantastic, but what really happens when you go viral?

Here are three lessons I took away from my experience after a meme I created skyrocketed to the front page of Reddit.
The quote that made it to the front page of Reddit.


It is a wonderful feeling to see something you created get 18,000+ upvotes and 100,000+ views within 24 hours. But lots of upvotes, likes, and views don't translate directly into cash. I didn't have a ton of people hire me as a coach just because I had a meme that hit the front page of Reddit, at least not right away.

Raising awareness of your brand is helpful, but you still have to get people to purchase your products or services to make money. One viral meme isn't going to do that.

On the Other Hand

Don't get me wrong, anything that raises awareness about your business can lead to new customers. I've had plenty of people ask me to coach them on how to get their stuff to be seen by a lot of people after reading this article or seeing some of my other viral content (if that's you, click here, and I'll be happy to help).

But if you're selling things like coaching, that requires that people trust that you have their best interests at heart. It takes time to build trust, one viral meme isn't going to do that.

It might sell some T-Shirts though :).


My phone blew up when my slightly modified quote, “The most dangerous phrase is ‘We've always done it this way',” from Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper took off. Until I turned off notifications for the post, my phone was buzzing every few seconds from comments as it screamed past 10k upvotes, then 12k, then 15k, finally settling around 18k upvotes.

A few days later? The rest of the world forgot about my meme's 24 hours of fame and life went back to normal; or at least as normal as it gets when you run a site like this with tens of thousands of followers while running another business and chasing five kids.

What I Learned From Making The Front Page of Reddit


If you do a little digging, you'll find out that the original quote from Hopper was actually “The most damaging phrase in the language is “We’ve always done it this way!” according to quote investigator. Someone else had already tweaked the quote to say dangerous instead of damaging. I tweaked it a little more and added her picture. It was something familiar to most of the audience, yet a little unique.

The meme also had a lot of hidden depth behind it for people who knew Hopper's story, which is why it stood out to people. Some people even snickered a little with her title of rear admiral and the idea of doing things differently…yeah, that wasn't intentional and if you that was your thought when you saw the quote get your mind out of the gutter!

My thought when creating it was that most people would not consciously notice those very subtle tweaks unless they were pointed out, but subconsciously they would be drawn in, and I think that's precisely what happened. In my experience, success is always in the details, pay attention to them!

I encourage you to take notice of what works and what doesn't and make those tiny little tweaks in your own life if you want to stand out. If you want things to change in your life, try something different this year. How about starting by clicking here to join our community to keep yourself growing each week?

Like it? Share it!
Don Smith

Don Smith is a career and leadership coach helping people lead well at home and work. To work with Don, please click here.