🧠 What worked 6+ months ago will work again today

Ever wondered how some people are able to bang out viral tweets, essays, or projects all the time?

Here’s their secret.

They study what worked 6+ months ago and then post the same thing again with a little twist.

I know, it’s kind of annoying. On some platforms like Reddit people scream “REPOST!”. But on most, they don’t. Especially, if you don’t post a carbon copy.

People don’t have a good memory and at any point there’s a fresh cohort of newbies.

This is why there’s a high chance that what worked a few months again will work again today.

This tactic works in all kinds of context.

If you want to grow your Twitter audience, you simply study what tweets and threads in your niche went viral a few months ago. Then you use this input to brainstorm tweet and thread ideas.

For example, in January 2021 Julian Shapiro posts a thread on the “lies you’re told about the world” that earned 35k+ likes and was read by millions of people. In November 2021 Aadit Sheth posts a thread on the “lies you were told growing up” and gets 8k+ upvotes. In fact, Aadith was able to grow his account to 150k+ followers using almost exclusively this strategy. You can usually find the original tweet or thread that inspired his most viral content within a few minutes.

If you’re interested in technical marketing, you can head over to Product Hunt and study what projects ended up at one of the top spots a while back. Then you brainstorm how you can launch something similar.

Here’s an example. My project What to Tweet went viral on Product Hunt in December 2020. A few months later someone launched the exact same thing and also got hundreds of upvotes.

If you’re interested in content marketing, you study what posts were well received in communities in your niche and then publish something similar. Especially copying successful headlines works really, really well.

For example, my post on “A simple system I’m using to stay in touch with hundreds of people” that went viral and directed more than 50,000 visitors to my site was (very obviously) inspired by Derek Sivers’ post on how he stays in touch with hundreds of people.

Now I’m definitely not suggesting you should do this all the time. I personally find it often annoying when people do it and would prefer if people would stick to fresh ideas.

But it’s undeniable that the strategy is working.

Written on March 9, 2022

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