Viral Site
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Oops, I’ve done it again!!!

how to make a viral websiteOK, so the title may be a little misleading and Britney Spears-y, but I have started yet another website and this post will be about how to make a viral website.

Or more specifically, how & why I am going to attempt to make a viral website!

I am starting to think that I really just enjoy the starting up part more than the maintaining bit and also that I have a short attention span!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the money part…but as many of you already know, I am kind of lazy!

I will keep this one short because i just want to let you know – Harry Vs Internet is all about testing things and messing around to see what works.

That extends to types of websites as well; not just SEO and so on.

So what did I do this time?

I am glad you asked.

I have been reading a few great blog posts about viral websites such as this one & this one, and it got me thinking about giving this sort of thing a good old try.

I had actually thought about trying this out for a long time, but other things just happened to get in the way, such as family life, living in a foreign country that loves to celebrate loads of festivals, (Laos if you’re wondering) and also the fact that I have severe shine object syndrome and start new things whilst leaving many lose ends…in real life as well as online!

But the question is: What the hell topic to base it around?

There are numerous different niches one could base a viral website around, the most obvious being an interesting news site like the infamous ViralNova.

However, these types of site will invariably fail due to the constant updating nature of them.

For example, you have to churn out several interesting list type stories a day and most of the big boys nowadays rely on a large team of writers and researchers to crank them out.

Another factor that can be a barrier to a single person site is the cost.

What do I mean by cost, I hear you grumble?

Well, the days of free, organic social media exposure is well and truly over, and social media is really the lifeblood of a viral site.

When was the last time you typed into the big G something like: “This mans wife had cancer, but he did next will shock you!”.

You never have – if you’re normal that is, but I bet most you have clicked on a title like that in Facebook; I have!

That my friends is called link bait and its primary purpose is to get the attention of us when we have increasingly decreasing attention spans.

So that leaves the question open again – just what do you base a new viral site around?

My epiphany

So…you are probably aware that I am a man?

And men visit certain websites every now and then…just for the articles of course.

Anyway, I was on such a site and I was looking around and I noticed something – they are stuffed full of adverts and I am sure they are raking it in.

Usually they are just Google AdWords adverts, but many times they are specific adverts that either the site admin has gone out and asked around, or they the advertiser has actually reached out to the site owner for advertising space.

Whichever way around it is; they are little dollar signs to me 😀

So, how to make a viral website and why I am doing it?

I have to be a bit careful here because it is something very specific and an idea that doesn’t seem to be utilized right now, apart from people using Web 2.0’s or social media pages etc.

It is also very easy to copy and I want to make some money first before everyone else.

Ain’t I lovely!

Basically people haven’t monetized it and seem to be doing it just for fun.

This says to me 1 of 2 things, either:

  1. There is no money to be made and therefore nobody can be bothered, or
  2. No one has thought of doing it properly

Now usually I would leave something like this well alone and I am the cautious type who would tend to the first of those points.

But, I think that it is so easy to set this up for the cost of a domain name, (I already have a ton of tools that I can use to help out), that it would be foolish to not try!

So what is the plan

Essentially, all I will need to do for content is to add a few posts a day, probably over the course of about a month in order to build up something pretty substantial, and then promote the fuck out of it.

The actual content writing part is very easy:

  • Watch videos – This is the fun part!
  • Find the funniest / weirdest / most disturbing ??? about them
  • Post content along with funny analysis
  • Find relevant image and add an arty Gaussian blur
  • Publish post
  • Repeat

This whole process should only take about 15 – 20 minutes per post, and once I get the process down, that time will reduce.

What theme will I be using

For the theme, I looked pretty intensely for one that both suited a viral style site, but also looked great and was something that would make people stay and convert.

I looked at a great them & plugin vendor called My Theme Shop who are fast becoming my go to plugin place, (great, clean code, fast loading and look great).

However I ultimately decided on using a Thrive theme called Pressive which is fast, good looking and has social features coming out the wazoo – perfect for sharing and creating a viral “buzz”.

Viral website theme

What about after the content?

The next step will be promotion.

For this, I will run a tentative campaign on Facebook to get an idea of how well it is received and if all goes well; scale up.

I think that this site will go down very well on the likes of:

  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon

I have left out Twitter for now because I think it is too esoteric and I want people to actually click through to the website instead of just reading through the social media site.

How to monetize

Adverts, and lots of them!

This will be the first step and I will give it some time to mature a bit and see what kind of income (if any), the site will make.

After that, I had a thought that I could essential do a Tee Spring kind of thing and have some of the content printed onto t shirts and the like and sell through a shop subdomain.

Let’s put a bow on this post for now

This is getting a bit longer than I originally wanted, but rest assured I will wrap it up.

I will just let you know that I will be periodically keeping this updated to keep you guys in the loop about what is happening and how well, or badly, my viral experiment is going.

Of course, you can always use the sign up form below to keep updated as soon as I send out new posts and also little tidbits of bountiful, beautiful information to hep you guys along.

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