Viral Websites – 5 Steps to Building Your Own
Anyone who works in affiliate marketing would love to have a Website that draws lots of free traffic. Hundreds of visitors a day would be good; thousands would be better. What about millions? That’s the stuff of dreams, isn’t it? Is that what sites like CNN and Huffington Post get? How can we lowly marketers ever hope to build sites that draw those kinds of visitors. The answer is to build viral Websites that have content that people feel compelled to share. You put the content out there and people will see things they like, tell others about them, and after that, your traffic will take on a life of its own.
For an example of viral Websites, consider Viralnova. This site was built in late 2012. The site features interesting photos and stories that have been gathered around the Web. They’re fun, interesting stories that people see, like and want to share. It’s all fairly straightforward, and none of the site’s content is unique. This rather flies in the face of what we’ve been told about building sites in the make money online niche; duplicate content is supposed to be bad. Yet Viralnova is currently the 1085th most visited sites on the Web, with just under one million visitors per day, roughtly 7.5 million pageviews per day, and an estimated income of something in the range of $250,000 per month. That’s about $4 million dollars per year, all of it with free traffic. Think about that.
Viral Websites in 5 Easy Steps
Viralnova isn’t the only site that uses this model. Sites like Distractify, Popdust, and Upworthy use a similar model – find interesting stories, post them, and reap the traffic that comes from millions of fascinated readers. It might seem impossible to build a site like that, but the steps are really straightforward and you’re not going to have to create any original content. There is minimal promotion involved, but there is one crucial step that needs to be done or you might find yourself in a lot of legal trouble. This method won’t be for everyone, but if you’re the sort of person who actually enjoys spending time at viral Websites like these, it will be perfect for you.
Below I’ll outline the five steps necessary to build viral Websites of your own.
1. Pick a site name. It doesn’t have to be overly clever, but it does need to be short and memorable. Clickathon or Viralhome or Coolsomething will probably work. Try to get a .com extension for this. While a .net or .org will probably work, you’ll probably have better success with a .com. There are lots of name choices out there. Don’t spend too much time on it; just get something that’s short and easy for people to remember.
2. Build a site as well as a Facebook fan page. You can build the site in WordPress. Just use a simple but professional looking theme. Make sure that the theme that you use is responsive, so that the site will look good on mobile devices. For Web hosting, use whatever you can afford, but be sure to use a company that offers something other than shared hosting. You want to be able to quickly and easily upgrade to something bigger, including a dedicated server, in a hurry if your site happens to join the big viral Websites out there.
For the Facebook page, come up with a cover photo and profile picture and regular updates. Make sure there’s a link to your main Website somewhere visible, but don’t include links to individual articles. You want people to visit the site, rather than reading your content on Facebook.
3. Add content to your site. The big viral Websites add a number of articles to their site throughout the day. Where are you going to get yours? The same place the other viral Websites get theirs – from other viral Websites. Browse other similar sites as well as sites such as Reddit, where interesting things often get posted. Check out sites like Viral Nova, Popdust, Bored Panda, Hello U or Upworthy.
Don’t copy their new articles. Search for some that are a few months old and you can bring these articles back from the dead. The Internet has a short memory span, so when you bring some of these months-old articles back, a lot of people will think they’re new. Be sure to look for articles that have signs that they had a lot of traffic when they were fresh. Look for lots of shares or lots of comments as an indicator.
When you repost the content to your site, be sure to write a new headline, and it must be catchy. You’re creating clickbait, so look for headlines with phrases like, “You Won’t Believe…” or “See How One Weird Trick Does…” or “The Top 5 Reasons Why…” Browse a few articles like those and you’ll get the idea. Then write a new headline with your own twist on it. Remember – this is the only content creation you’ll have to do. Be sure every post includes a way for your site visitors to share your posts via social media. There are lots of WordPress plugins that can do this, but sharing your posts is what’s going to make your site go viral. IMPORTANT: Be sure to include a link to the source of the original article.
4. Create a Facebook ad campaign to send traffic (and likes) to your Facebook page. You’ll want to test a few different headlines and photos. I’d try testing two headlines but perhaps 10 different images. It’s the image that’s likely to draw the traffic, so concentrate on finding interesting images and headlines to draw people to your page. From there, they can find your site. It’s cheaper to buy likes to your Facebook page than it is to buy clicks to your Website. With luck, these Facebook visitors will find your posts and share.
5. Include a DMCA policy and have a link to it on every page on your site. This is a must; don’t skip this. You’re using other people’s content, and on occasion, you’re going to be asked to remove it. The top viral Websites all have a DMCA notice, and you need one too or you might face legal problems. This policy explains what you will do and how you will do it should you receive a copyright complaint. Post it, use it, and abide by it. If someone asks you to remove content, take it down.
Viral Websites Conclusion
After this, just keep it up. All it takes is one article to go viral and you could suddenly find yourself with more visitors than you can possibly imagine. Pay attention to which posts are drawing the most visitors and try to find more content like that. A plugin like WordPress Popular Posts can help you keep track of which posts are drawing the most visitors. After the site is online for a few weeks, you can monetize it by using ads, CPA offers or Adsense. After a while, you’ll find yourself in a groove. You’ll know which sites can offer the best content for your audience and you’ll know which sorts of articles draw the most visitors. Keep it up, and you’ll find yourself among the big viral Websites soon enough with millions of visitors, all of it free traffic. What could be better than that?