What No One Tells You About Going Viral

Jenna Kutcher 

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March 23, 2018


Last Thursday I was sitting my car about to go out for a girls night when I realized I hadn’t posted anything to Instagram. I scrolled through my library, selected a photo and shared a little piece of my heart. One thing you need to know about me is that I’m a fast writer… I don’t overthink things, especially captions and so I shared a story of how someone had slid into my DM’s asking me how I had managed to land a guy as good looking as Drew. I told the story, shared a bit of our journey, hit publish and put my phone in my purse.

About an hour later, I clicked on Instagram and the post had gained a lot of traction. I didn’t think much of it (because let’s be honest, I was eating a delicious burger and catching up with my friends) but by the time I had gotten home that night, it was my “most liked” post ever. The next day, an email landed in my inbox from a writer with Yahoo who had seen the post and wanted to write a story. She said they were going to write about it regardless so if I got back to her but if I wanted to share more, I was welcomed to. I quickly responded to a few of her questions and hit “send.”

After that article got posted, it started getting a LOT of comments (mostly mean ones, like awful ones) but soon it was on the front page of Yahoo. Once that happened, all the other news outlets started picking up the story from Fox News to People Magazine, The New York Post to UNILAD, and our inbox filled with inquiries about this “story.” All of a sudden it was a media storm and we prayed we could remember a few tips from our time in public relation classes in college…

Good things that have happened since going viral: 

1.) We’ve gained thousands upon thousands of encouraging followers. At first, I was leery of our growing numbers but the people who are following us because of the story seem incredibly supportive and encouraging. I was worried that these followers may be temporary or nasty, but they truly are engaged and seem to be attracted to our page because of it’s authenticity and vulnerability. Only time will tell how the followers trend will play out, but so far I have been surrounded by positive comments and uplifting words… And let me tell you, It’s INSANE to refresh your feed and see thousands of new followers.


  • Over the last 7 days, 65,108 visitors, 58,320 of which were new
  • Instagram, People.com, MSN.com and Perez Hilton biggest referral sources
  • Up 147k Instagram followers in the last 7 days.
  • The post has 85k likes and 8k comments.
  • Drew has tripled his following

2.) We’ve gotten to share our message with the world, a message of positivity. From loving yourself more to finding your worthiness to the simplicity of just a darn good, normal marriage. We’ve been putting out messages like this for a long time, so we’re happy people can follow and feel inspired. It feels so good to be recognized for something so truthful, authentic, and “on brand”. We truly are two normal people getting press.

3.) We’ve come together even more as a couple as we’ve had to face this media craziness and really ground ourselves on the things we know to be true: we love each other, we are the perfect match, and life doesn’t change just because of all of this attention.

Bad things that have happened since going viral: 

1.) No one tells you how to navigate this… there is no rulebook. We don’t have a PR rep or a press team, so we are fielding everything on our own and trying to decipher where the best use of our time is. It’s been entirely consuming to figure out how to get this message out in a way that is true to our story. Our story has been twisted and turned to make the media feel like they have an exclusive angle and so it’s been hard seeing the original post skewed as it continues to go viral.

2.) Trolls, lots of them. It’s hilarious that this whole subject is about someone’s opinion on my our body types and yet the comment sections flood with more comments, everyone trying to have their opinion heard. Some of the things I have read about myself and our marriage are vile and awful. It’s hard to read these over again, but it’s the reality behind this press. People forget that there is a real person behind these articles, and yet, here I was, reading these comments:


  • “AKA he’s with her for her money”
  • “She probably doesn’t say “no” to anything he requests in bed”
  • “Some guys like insecure fat chicks”
  • “A “curvy” girl? LOL. Don’t make it sound sexy and sweet. Fat is fat. Tell it like it is.”
  • “He’s a closet gay and you are his cover story.”
  • “Wait until she finds out he has been doing someone else all along as well.That story soon to come.”

I’ll be honest, reading these comments hurt. It didn’t feel real, but at the same time, each word stung. At first, I read them all and they began to hit me at once… My sister called me and I told her I had decided to stop reading them for good. There were so many thoughts going on in my mind. I was embarrassed, I worried about my parents seeing these words… But I knew THIS was why I share body positivity, to begin with. Change needs to happen because people still make comments that vile based off only external appearance… but, along with that, there were comments that reminded me that my message was not falling on deaf ears.

There were a few thousand negative comments, but that HUNDREDS of thousands of people had commented positively, visited my site, or followed me… Which means that on some level my words reached them and resonated… I will never forget some of those negative words said, but putting it into the perspective of good outcomes versus bad, helps navigate the craziness.

3.) It happened on one of the worst weeks ever but it’s not like you can choose when you go viral. We’re packing to move into a new home, selling our current home, trying to get things ready and stay on top of regular work on top of all of this. It’s just been a bit chaotic but hey, we’re managing (I need coffee!)

All In All…

There you have it, the true story of how we (accidentally) created viral content, grew our following, and got national press… Simply by being who we are. Having our marriage- and bodies- has been on the national (and international!) stage was an experience I’ll never forget…

Sound like a great gig? It was…. and wasn’t. But if I had to go through this again, I would. There were wins, there were losses, but the final outcome was my favorite part: sharing our message of body positivity with the world!

Ready To See The Post That Started It All? Click Here!

Episode Sponsored by Greetabl

Photos by: Lindsey Roman

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  1. Amy says:

    Hey Jenna,
    Thanks so much for sharing this podcast. You know… something similar happened to me about a month ago on YouTube (obv not to the extent of your exposure but it was big for me). I keep listening to these podcasts telling you to be yourself and just create video, so I did. What I was not prepared for were the trolls on YouTube criticising everything about the video from the production quality, to the message, to the way I looked to my “need for validation from strangers” etc. It really affected me in a negative way reading all of the comments and I thought of writing some of my favorite podcasters about the experience because it scared me so much. I’m pretty down to earth and I am emotionally stable but what concerned me was others who may be doing what these marketing experts are saying, then going “viral” in a sense and not being able to handle the negativity and troll comments… and what this would look like for that person just trying to get a step ahead in their business. It’s scary to think the damage that can be done from the comments of those behind their screens putting their two cents without even thinking how it may affect the REAL PERSON that is being judged. Anyway thank you again for sharing the good bad and the ugly because since my video went “viral” I’ve been feeling really alone in what to do and how to navigate it. And I hope that more will talk about this ugly side so that we can all be prepared… as sad as that is to even have to say. Looks like you got through the worst of it and came out with a lot of experience that can help others so at least there’s something positive to come from it.

  2. I actually found you through Drew’s Instagram awhile ago and fell in love with your attitude! You and drew are such a beautiful couple and your love truly shines through each of your post/stories. I love your confidence and drive. I listen to your podcast, I use your templets and follow your blog. You’re an inspiration to me as a women, a wife, and an entrepreneur. You are beautiful inside and out!

  3. Catarina Corujo says:

    So powerful 😍 I keep getting surprised with the level of anger some people save inside them and share it behind screens! 😔 Just keep spreading the word, soon the bad vibes will fade away ❤

  4. Jenna,
    I have been following you for a couple of years now and I just want to say that I look up to you! You are so down to earth & REAL. I’m curvy as well and you give me hope that one day I’ll be as happy in my skin and with a love that appreciates me for me.
    Thanks girl! (:

  5. Rachel says:

    You are the spirit animal I have been looking for! 😊😊 Really though, I am completely impressed with your blog and your ability to resonate with everyday life for each of us! You Rock and I’m praying that at your reach is far beyond what you ever imagined! He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called! For such a time as this!

  6. Blaire E. says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing all of this. You are both extremely brave because I was reading what you said the trolls were saying and I started tearing up because I just cannot believe people could be so awful to another human being! You are beautiful and so is your husband and it’s because of who you are on the inside just as much as the outside! I saw your story on MSN.com and now I am a follower and you are so inspirational in life, business, blogging, on being body positive, your marriage and just your zest for life!

    Keep it up girl- we need more people like you out there and it’s infectious! 🙂

  7. You should translate this text in every language of the world. I’m from Poland and I read about you in our polish sites… I undestand your post (I understand English, it’s just hard for me to write what I want to say in English, but I understand everything), but other people don’t understand :p So now, join a few courses of different language and start your international blogging 🙂 Ok, enough of jokes – it”s really good that people like you comes viral – positive and full of love <3 Take care <3 Your new follower.

  8. Angie Charlebois says:

    Hi Jenna,
    I was driving way out of cell range when I decided to finally play one of your episodes I’d been downloading. And the podcast about going viral was my first one!! Talk about wow and vulnerable and beautiful. But since I am a new fan/follower, I had no idea what you looked like or really who you are (sorry). Here I was, in gorgeous mountains in the Yukon thinking about getting back to town so I could put a face to the name. All I can say is this: You impressed me when I first heard you on Amy’s podcast, you have a great voice, I love your business advice and now that I see you picture, I think your beautiful. Maybe I’m too old or too Canadian or have worked in fields where being a size 0 and tall didn’t matter but I see the shallow and ridiculous side while I also see the mean aspect of the way of how others judge on social media. I’m ready to take on the healing of body image injury with you. I stand beside you for a bully-free world (self-bullying included). Thank you for your great podcast… I’m rapidly catching up with past episodes. Angie

  9. Betty Lee says:

    I think you are so special and I love the message you are sending to girls around the world!!! I’ve always been a pretty confident girl but this past year I’ve put on a little weight so it’s been an adjustment for me. Next to my boyfriend, who has THE perfect body, I sometimes feel like I need to be doing more or that sometimes I’m not doing enough. Your story came at the perfect time for me and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing girllll!!! Keep on shining, the world needs your light!

    Love, Betty

  10. Miranda says:

    You are so lovely and in that quick segment have inspired me to love myself every day (a constant reminder), that is often a conscious decision. You’re totally right, that when we give in to the hatred of the world and dissatisfaction, nobody wins. So positive and real. Thank you <3

  11. Lizzy says:

    Jenna – this last month I’ve started following you due to Jamie Swanson (i think) pointing you out as awesome Insta example. This last week I started reading more of your stuff and today I finally hit Goaldigger. You are one awesome woman with an awesome message, a real integrity and honest to life openness which is not only encouraging but also inspiring and helping me to see where I want and need to be. I’m glad you’ve pulled through the trolls and maintained the positivity in a cold hard world. Keep slaying – as I know I’m now going to go out and push on rather than giving up like I felt at the start of the week! I know the soundtrack of this weeks photoediting sessions – its the podcast – my new positive and inspiring background noise instead of netflix! Thank you for sharing your journey and in turn helping me (and countless others I’m sure!)

  12. […] It seems lately that everyone wants to “go viral” to gain instant fame and recognition. Jenna Kutcher an influential podcaster, instagramer and creative entrepreauner recently posted a photo of her and […]

  13. Olivia Poyer says:

    Oh my gosh, this is so long overdue. I’m just getting to this episode, after starting at number 1 and back in May.
    Jenna, I am on the verge of tears 10 minutes into this episode because I am so angry at the hurtful things people said to you from this post. I am so sorry.
    I am so grateful for this post because it is how I found you. It popped up in my FB newsfeed and because I’ve struggled with my body image since I can remember, I was intrigued and wanted to see what it was all about. Then I saw the picture and thought you were beautiful. I hopped over to your Instagram and thought this is a girl I can get on board with and started following you. Then I started to see how dynamic you are and decided your podcast must be worth listening to—-and boy was I right! I was a podcast virgin before Goal Digger and obsessed would be an understatement to describe me now.. I’m both dreading and excited to be only 30ish away from being up to date—I love being able to binge! I don’t have a business yet, and didn’t even know that would be a dream of mine until I started listening to you and all the powerhouse women you have interviewed. I am so grateful for the fellowship and inspiration you bring into my life. Thank you!

  14. […] Be sure to read more about the good, the bad, and the ugly to come from accidentally going viral on Jenna’s blog, HERE. […]

  15. Jessica L. says:

    I. Am. Stunnnnned. That ANYONE, ANYWHERE, could even POSSIBLY consider your body to be anything but downright, freakin AMAZING!!! 😍 Let me tell you, I am an ‘hourglass’ figured girl, that most people would consider a good bod, and I have never seen this pic before today, nor the viral story that became of it. I was simply scrolling thru my GodUpdates email ads, saw the pic and my immediate response was, ‘wow, what a beautiful happy couple…she’s gorgeous in that swimsuit, I wonder if they still sell it (squirrel moment🤣…), he’s a good looking dude, and she looks really happy so I hope he knows how lucky he is, lol!’ THEN I SAW THE HEADLINE!!! Like ‘body shaming?’ Who the eff would even think that about her? That’s just crazy!!! She’s PERFECT!! Just blew my mind and I had to read the story and ultimately comment somewhere where you could see it. Like I’m seriously racking my brain that anyone could see that in you. I just don’t get it. You’re ‘body’ is perfect and your spirit is pure. Much love girl!


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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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