171 Upvotes and Rising: How to Go Viral on Inbound.org Using the Sleeper Technique
BY PETE OC The Clever Lazy Copy Coach


In this short post I’m going to reveal how to…

♦ Gain the respect and admiration of an influencer…
♦ Achieve VIRAL NOTORIETY on Inbound…

without even writing a blog post.

That’s right.

I’m saying:

You won’t have to come up with an idea…

You won’t have to spend hours researching…

And you definitely won’t have to torture yourself for DAYS trying to write something out.

All you have to do is look for a certain type of article – one I call a sleeper – and then post it to Inbound using the method I’ll describe in a second. And, it could be YOUR share headlining the ‘Inbound Digest’.

Like this:

Inbound Digest Pete OC

This will bring you followers, karma, email subscribers… and as yet unforeseen opportunities you can use to build your online reputation (more on that in a second).

It gets better…

The Sleeper Technique is a Passive Strategy

You don’t have to go out of your way to use it.

Just keep it in mind as you go about your normal internet business, and if you see an article you think might fit the description of a sleeper – test out the technique.

It’ll only take 15 minutes.

Wait a minute Pete!

Are you saying you can help me turn all that time I waste browsing articles into something more fruitful!?

You bet I am.

Let’s get started…

How to Identify a Sleeper (and Go Viral the Lazy Way)

First, the definition of a sleeper:

: an awesome article with a so-so headline.

Thankfully, these are everywhere.

I read at least one every day.


Because we’re spoilt for choice, we’re not going to focus on just any old sleeper.

We’re going for the cream of the crop.

This will make the sleeper technique WAY easier to use (you’ll see what I mean when I get to Step 3)… and make it far more likely for your post to gain traction on Inbound.

But how do you identify a top-notch sleeper?

By only choosing those articles that have what I call an ‘amazing titbit’ in them.

So that’s Step 1…

Step 1: Stay on the lookout for ‘amazing titbits’

An amazing titbit is a small piece of information that elicits a strong emotional response when you read it. Basically, anything that makes you sit back and think, ‘woah, that’s awesome’… or ‘woah, that makes me angry’… or even ‘woah, that’s really sad.’

It might be…

♦ An amazing claim – I work four hours a day and I get more done than Gary Vaynerchuk…

♦ A gripping story – I’d been in Sri Lanka 15 minutes when a man died right in front of me…

♦ A strong piece of proof – My last blog post gained over a million page views…

In my case, the amazing titbit I found was located in an article written by Nathan from Collier Marketing (he posted it in his Facebook group – the Content Marketing Lounge).

Here’s how Nathan’s article starts:

Nathan Collier's Article

15,030 words a week!

As a person who writes for a living (and who manages to write HALF that on a good week), this definitely made me stand up and take notice.

I thought…

Is this a man or a robot?

How does he do it?

I need to know more.

And there you have it – the amazing titbit works its magic.

But what was Nathan’s original headline?

Here it is:

My 4 Favorite Writing Tools

Not exactly the strongest in the world (sorry Nath), so his article DEFINITELY fit the bill of a sleeper.


So now you have a sleeper with an ‘amazing titbit’ in it, what do you do next?

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Step 2: Check if the author has posted it on Inbound

If you’re an Inbound lover, you already know how to do this.

But I’ll go through it quickly just in case you don’t know.

When you’re logged into your account, click the ‘Members’ option in the top menu. Then type the influencer’s name in the ‘Search members’ bar, like so:

How to Search Inbound Members

When their name appears, simply click on it to view their profile.

Here’s what Nathan’s looked like:

Nathan Collier's Inbound Profile

Despite Nathan’s large following on Facebook, he hadn’t been active on Inbound at all. His only post was in January this year and he hadn’t shared the sleeper I planned on posting.

I was in the clear!

Step 3: Write the piece a stronger headline

If you have an amazing titbit to work with, this is actually quite easy.

Sure, you need to understand the mechanics of headline writing… but with an amazing titbit, it’s just about getting out its way and letting the emotional power come to the fore.

Here’s what I came up with for Nathan’s article:

I Write 15,000 Words a Week, (Almost) Every Week – Here Are My 4 Favorite Writing Tools

Believe it or not…

1. This was my first try at writing the headline (no re-writes)
2. And it took me just ten seconds to type out

Am I saying that to brag?


It usually takes me ages to write a headline.

But when I have an amazing titbit it becomes EASY (there’s a lesson here btw).

Let me tell you a little bit more about why this headline works.

Obviously, the 15,000 word a week claim is VERY interesting to anybody who writes for a living. But then I borrowed from Nathan’s original title to add a second clause into the headline.


Because it implies a benefit – the reader now believes the four writing tools they’re about to discover can help them become a more prolific writer too.

And what writer doesn’t want that?

Also, do you ever wonder why so many headlines with the word ‘tool’ in them become popular?

It’s because the word ‘tool’ is an implied benefit in of itself.

It promises the reader a shortcut. That they can ‘get more, doing less’.

So really, what this headline is saying is…

1. I write an amazing amount each week
2. I’m going to show you the shortcut so you can too

… in an emotionally compelling way.



Step 4: Tip your hat to the influencer

It helps if you have a relationship with the influencer already, like I did with Nathan. That way you can be a little less formal.
But if you don’t know the influencer yet, never fear.

I’ve prepared a script for you to reach out to as yet unknown influencers.

(The trick is to appeal to their self-interest.)

Here’s the script:

Hey [insert influencer name],

I loved your post [Insert post title here], particularly the part where you said [insert amazing titbit].

I couldn’t help but notice how powerfully it grabbed my attention.

I think your post has a good chance of getting lots of traffic on Inbound, especially if you bring the [insert amazing titbit] into the headline. (Because it is so attention-grabbing.)

And I see that you haven’t posted it yet.

That’s why I’ve taken the liberty of writing you a new headline, here:

Insert Amazing New Viral Headline that Displays the Amazing Titbit

… and I plan to post it for you.

Is that OK?

Cheers, Pete OC

An offer to bring more traffic to their site and they don’t have to lift a finger?

Who in their right mind is going to say no to that?

Next step…

Step 5: Post it on Inbound

You know the drill.

Get to this page:

Post on Inbound

Type in the new headline, link to the post… and you’re pretty much done.

The only other consideration is what to write for the summary.

Don’t agonise over this too much.

Just stick to the message of the headline and try to tease the benefits of reading the piece. In my case, I simply poached the opening of Nathan’s article because it was so gripping. And added a few little flourishes.

Here’s what I wrote:

Nathan from Collier Marketing writes a LOT.

In the last week he bashed out over 15,000 words.

When you write that much, you learn a few tricks to get it done faster and better.

In this awesome article, Nathan reveals 4 tools that helped him become more prolific than almost anybody I know…

He believes they can help you do the same…

Once you’ve written the summary, click post… and sit back and wait…

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Step 6: Wait and see what happens (DON’T expect anything)

There’s a big chance nothing will happen.

In fact, you should expect that nothing will happen.

It’s very hard to predict what will go viral.

But think about it..

If it doesn’t take off, what have you lost?

Maybe 20 minutes of your time?

On the flip side, if it does gain traction you stand to gain A LOT. Especially when the influencer’s audience catches wind of the post, and they throw their weight behind it.

This will cause your Inbound post to climb even higher.

Of course, it’s hard to say exactly what you’ll get out of it, but here’s what I got out of posting Nathan’s sleeper:

The ‘New Guy’ Picks Up Some Street Cred

♦ Increased rep on my new Inbound account, including 16 new followers and 677 karma:

Pete OC Inbound Profile

♦ Three big endorsements inside Nathan’s influencer-filled Facebook group

Including this one: Pete OC Shout-out#1

♦ The opportunity to write this post and the benefits that will come from it (traffic, email subs and new relationships, if I’m lucky)

I did pretty well I’d say.

In fact, I have to think…

Is There a More Fruitful Way to Spend 15 minutes of Your Time as a Content Marketer?

I’m not sure.

In the 15 minutes it took me to complete the process of posting Nathan’s sleeper, I don’t think there’s anything I could have done that would have paid off as well as this.

I got BIG results from just a teeny amount of work.

(This is what I call being ‘Clever Lazy’).

You can benefit in the same way if you use the sleeper technique.

And remember: you don’t need to go out of your way to use it.

Just keep it tucked away in your content marketing kit-bag, and whenever you spot an opportunity, try it out.

You literally have nothing to lose.

Two Final Points Before I Finish Up…

#1 – An invitation to join the premier content marketing group on Facebook

If you haven’t joined the Content Marketing Lounge yet, I urge you to do so.

There’s viral content blasted out of there almost every week these days. And I guarantee you’ll learn something off Nathan if you follow his posts. On top of that, he’s a stand-up guy.

Nathan was the first person to reach out to me when I started floating about the community of content marketing and copywriting Facebook groups. So I love helping him out in any way I can. (There’s a lesson there too btw).

But if that’s not reason enough to join, here’s another:

There are influencers aplenty inside Nathan’s group.

Sol Orwell’s there.

The Cult Leader Colin Theriot is there.

Benji Hyman’s there.

The COPYMONK is there.

I’m there 😉

Fair warning though: if you do decide to join, please come correct.

If I bring a bunch of yahoos to his group, Nathan probably won’t be very happy with me.

#2 – A no-strings offer for help implementing the sleeper technique (if you don’t have copy chops)

I realise that writing great headlines and compelling summaries can be difficult if you don’t have much skill as a copywriter.

That’s why I urge you to learn copywriting – being able to write great headlines is the highest-leverage skill you can learn as an online business person. Its something that will open doors for you like no other talent can.

In the interim, if you’d like to use the sleeper technique, and you’re struggling with the headline or the summary – reach out to me!

If I can, I’ll give you a few pointers. And hopefully help you go viral on Inbound too.

P.S. If you enjoyed this post and think your pals can get some value from it, please share it on your social media platform of choice! (And, if you read it on Inbound or Growthhackers, give it an upvote too) 😉 Thanks.

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Pete OC

Pete OC is a launch coach trained at Agora ($600m/year marketer). He helps his students simplify the process of launching an online course using The Code of MAXIMUM SIMPLE. He works exclusively with people who are fed-up with the complicated and ineffective systems sold by most launch ”experts”, and just want a simple process that works.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 15 comments
Derric Haynie - August 10, 2016

Hey Pete,

Great article, I think I will do this some time soon for sure. And feel free to steal from me any time 😀

I’m wondering: when sharing a blog post, should you do it under “start a discussion” or “share something?”

I feel like people are starting to do it under start a discussion more and more to see if that helps the post gain some traction.

Thanks again.

    Pete OC - August 11, 2016

    Thanks Derric, appreciate the kind words!

    And if I see you post a sleeper I’ll definitely jump in 😉

    About whether it’s better to “start a discussion” or “share something”:

    I’m an Inbound NOOB, so I’m not sure.

    I’ve just been using “share something”.

    Definitely something to test though…

    If you ever come up with an answer, let me know.

    And I’ll do likewise!


MC Simon - August 11, 2016

A very useful article. Thanks for taking your time, Pete. Thanks to you I just joined the FB group. Loo

    Pete OC - August 11, 2016

    No worries MC Simon 😉

    I just checked out your website… and… it’s flippin’ sweet.

    See you in the ‘Content Marketing Lounge’!

Pierre - August 11, 2016

Loved reading this post Pete!As a firm believer in doing less and accomplishing more, I can definitely relate to your “hijacking” strategy. Looking forward to reading more in the future!

    Pete OC - August 12, 2016

    Thanks Pierre!

    And yep — always looking for the ‘clever lazy’ shortcut.

    Let me know next time you post a blog article, I’d love to check it out.

Arun Kumar - August 11, 2016

A pretty interesting & smart approach, Pete. It’s great that you have shared this.

Richa Gangwani - December 19, 2016

Good one! Thank you for sharing such an informative content.

Nicky - April 24, 2017

Hey pete, great article! i used to submit others articles on inboud, but never tried this technique. will try it soon!

    Pete OC - April 24, 2017

    Hey Nicky — thanks for the kinds words.

    If you end up trying it, let me know how it goes!

Guillaume - May 13, 2017

Hi Pete,

I think I found a titbit on top of your titbit here but couldn’t figure out a headline yet!
The sleeper technique seems perfect to add value as part of a content curation process + content promotion plan.
What do you think?

BTW, this article, found on Nathan’s group made me discover your facebook group. Can’t wait to join!


    Pete OC - May 13, 2017

    What titbit did you find?

    And cheers for joining the group, good to have you aboard.

Richard - September 1, 2017

Pete you have cover this technique very clearly and the best thing is that you have share with us which is great.


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