Viral sites are big business these days with some of the biggest names in the industry selling for millions. By leveraging the power of social media to drive traffic you can create a profitable site in no time at all. In this case study I’m going to show you how to create your own viral site and bank hard.
Case Study Overview
- Create our own viral wordpress site
- Get the best content, rewrite and add to our site
- Post on Facebook and drive huge volumes of traffic
- How to monetize your site to make money.
Why Build Viral Sites?
Viral news sites are one of the only ways to make money by offering 100% free content. You’ve probably heard of sites such as Bored Panda, Buzzfeed and Daily Elite which are sites that specialise in viral content and as such receive millions of visitors everyday. In turn they make money from advertising through Google Adsense, paid articles and paid advertisements. Once you’ve built up a solid visitor base and following you can sell these websites for large profits. Just last year the Daily Mail bought Daily Elite for $47 million USD. Yes $47 million!
Viral sites are easy to build and maintain however you do need to ensure you continue writing content so visitors return. If you start building viral sites you can’t stop posting content when you reach 100 articles. Later in the course I’ll show you how I get help building viral sites so you don’t actually need to focus on writing content everyday – that get’s boring! Let someone else handle that process for you.
Part 1: Create Your Viral Site
When I build viral sites I like to follow a set process which involves choosing a suitable domain name, linking to the web hosting provider I use, then using a particular template that is perfect for such websites.
Choosing A Site Name
You need to choose something unique and nifty that’s a little bit different. You can look at BuzzFeed and BoredPanda as perfect examples here. You could stick with something with the words Bored or Buzz or Feed. Try not to copy someone else’s domain name, especially if you plan on trying to sell the site at a later date.
Things that might help you pick a suitable name include markets you intend to target. I’m from New Zealand so I’m going to target the 4 million kiwis (nickname) that live in our country. I’m going to focus on bored people so the name I came up with was BoredKiwi.com. Quite similar to bored panda but there’s a clear difference in our target market and domain name.
Viral Host did a good article on how to choose a suitable domain for a viral site. Also you can checkout domain suggestion tools which might help with inspiration. Always pick a .com or .net domain so your not limiting yourself to local countries.
Once you’ve decided on a name, I’d register it with either Godaddy or Namecheap.
Web Hosting For Viral Sites
If your site explodes with viral traffic then shared hosting probably won’t cut the mustard. Now don’t panic you don’t need to rush out and buy VPS or dedicated server hosting just yet. The main problem your going to face running a wordpress blog on shared hosting with lots of traffic is your page loading times and the pressure on your shared hosting server. The best way to solve this is to setup Cloudflare which offer a free solution to get you started. You’ll find their $20/mo plan is much better but to get started it’s free.
What is Cloudflare and how does it work? Cloudflare offers a solution to supercharge your website by offering a CDN feature which distributes your content around the world on their servers to that your content is closer to your visitors thus speeding up your website. They offer solutions to protect your websites from a range of online threats from spammers to SQL injection to DDOS protection which means if your main host goes offline, cloudflare will keep your site online.
You can get more information here, simply enter the name servers they provide you into your domain provider.
After creating Cloudflare, get the nameservers as below.
Now you’ll want to add this into your Godaddy or Namecheap account. For Godaddy this is under Domain Management > Manage DNS.
Lastly you’ll need to add your hosting companies nameservers into Cloudflare and then you’ll see this message meaning your all setup. Once setup your site will already start to load super quick.
WordPress Setup + Template Selection
I build my viral sites using WordPress. If you use any big name web hosting these days you’ll be able to install WordPress through your Cpanel control panel (if your using Linux hosting). There’s many guides out there on how to setup wordpress but I’d recommend this course.
Next you’ll want to choose a suitable template. The one I use for all my viral sites is Newspaper by MyThemeShop. It costs $59 however I think it’s worth every cent. The theme ranks your posts in Google within hours and looks great on tablets, cellphones and even desktops. The social sharing options are very helpful when building a viral site.
The reason I use this theme is as follows:
100% RESPONSIVE LAYOUT OPTION
NewsPaper Theme was built in with responsive design. Automatically It will adjust any types of devices. Now a days more than 60% visitors are visiting world most popular sites via mobile phone. So, it’s situation demand to make a responsive website, NewsPaper Theme is made with mobile friendly option.
ATTRACTIVE FEATURED POST SECTION
By featured section you will be able to add your extra oriented post by highlighting your article. Featured post will include HD images to grab more attention. Featured post section make an important role to advertise on your site.
It’s the great option to reduce your bounce rate by Speed optimized option. Google give priority those sites take less time and load fast. So, increase your visitors and pageviews using NewsPaper Theme.
FULLY SEO OPTIMIZED
All MyThemeShop themes are search engine optimized including NewsPaper Theme. It will help search engines to crawl and index your content quickly. Without search visitors you will not get proper ranks. NewsPaper Theme will increase your search visitors by giving more impression.
HIGHLY DECORATED CATEGORIES SYSTEM
NewsPaper Themes allow multiple categories option to decorate your posts. It’s grab more attention for new visitors about what they want to know. Simply make categories and give your site a professional look.
GOOGLE ADSENSE OPTIMIZED
When it comes to monetize blog, Adsense is most popular monetization method quality blog and websites. NewsPaper Theme is Google Adsense and others ad optimized theme that will increase your CTR’s and CPM’s rate. So, make money blogging via NewsPaper theme.
To help search engines and schema.org to understand your blog, Mythemeshop developers made this theme with neat and clean code . Search engines will easily understand theme code for SEO purpose.
SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATED
Whenever you make content in NewsPaper Theme, it will go for viral quickly. Facebook, Twitter and more popular social sharing button are included with this theme.
EASY OPTION PANEL
Easily you can customize your theme options from one place. Specially newbies can monitor their themes from option panel.
Option panel are includes General Settings, Styling Options, Header, Homepage, Single Posts, Social Buttons, Ad Management, Theme Typography, Sidebars, Navigation, Theme Translation Panel, Import / Export Options etc and more.
Full Support is not appear in maximum themes club. But in Mythemeshop something different, i got instant support from Mythemeshop expert team. Just you can ask them a query, definitely they will answer your query in right away.
This concludes the first part where our site is now built ready for adding content.
Part 2: Finding Content, Writing Articles
Now that our website is build we’ll need to start adding content. There’s many other sites out there that you can get inspiration from to re-write articles from for your own website. One of those websites I like to use is called ViralViralVideos.com where they seem to post videos all day everyday of viral content. Most of the videos are hosted on Youtube so you can simply right click on the video and choose, ‘Get Embed Code’ and then embed it onto your own WordPress blog. You can take the authors text and spin it or reword it to suit your own style of website. There’s literally thousands of websites like this online, you just have to find them.
Other resources include the big players in this industry including TheLadBible, BoredPanda, BuzzFeed, DailyElite. Of course Reddit and Twitter are also two of the best sites for finding topics to post about. You want to look for something that you would probably share with your own friends as sharing is the number one way to spread your posts on social media.
How To Write Viral Articles
The best way to write viral articles is to use the structure such as, ‘9 of the Best Ways To…’ or ‘Watch What This Man Does… What He Does Next Will Blow Your Mind!!’ or ‘Watch What Happens When ….” Basically you want to encourage users to click on to your articles. Later in the article I’ll be showing you how to market these on Facebook so you should write articles such as this.
Here’s an example from my BoredKiwi website.
Other styles you can use are articles such as “6 of the World’s Scariest…” or “5 of the Best Ways To…” and of course the “How To…” Videos are always a good way to drive traffic.
Buy Viral Articles
It’s great writing your own articles but it gets boring after a while so the best way to ensure your website is stuffed full of high quality content for your readers is to buy articles from sites such as iWriter.com. iWriter allows you to sign up as a buyer and connects you with writers all over the world who’ll write articles from 150 – 2000 words for prices ranging from $1.50 for 150 words to $40 for a 2000 word article. As all your articles will be no more than 300 words you can get lots and lots of articles for your site with not much effort.
Once someone has created an article for you, simply upload it to your site, add a few pictures or videos and then post to your social media pages (we’ll show you later).
There’s plenty of guides on how to create iWriter jobs however this is what my typical job looks like.
- Project Type: Have articles written
- Project Description – I like to keep this at 150 words. Most writers will write more than this
- Category – purely for iWriter’s reference, I leave it all
- Article length: 150 words. You can try longer articles if you want
- Submit to: The cheaper articles can be done by any one, stick with it
- Keywords: This is effectively the name of your articles (1 per line = 1 article)
- Project Cost: $1.25 per article x 8 articles for me for $10 – Super cheap
- Writing Style: Choose between Professional or Friendly – I always choose friendly
- Purpose: Here you need to tell them what you want, see my example
- Special Instructions: Make sure you tell them you’ll reject spun articles.
That’s really all there is too it with iWriter. Your articles will likely be done within 12 – 24 hours. You’ll probably have a few spelling mistakes however you can reject articles or request rewrites however remember your paying $1.25 for 150 words so you’ll have to factor in that you might need to fix some typos etc. You’ll be able to download the articles once completed. If you find a high quality writer you can then hire them (at the new rate of $2.50) to write all your articles next time.
So now we have our articles you can post them on to your new website, if your using WordPress and MyThemeShop your screen might look like mine below.
Part 3: Drive Traffic From Facebook
You’ll want to use Facebook to drive traffic to your website. Be sure to go to Facebook pages manager and setup a new page. There’s plently of guides online on how to do this so I won’t describe the process here however once you’ve got setup you’ll want to ensure you’ve set yourself up with a logo and banner image to match your site. I’d recommend using AdExpress here – checkout our review. You should end up with something such as this,
Now Facebook has recently implemented a feature that requires all new Facebook pages to have 50 likes before you can register a sub domain such as Facebook.com/boredkiwi – This is quite annoying as someone could come along and steal your chosen url to match your site – I personally think for SEO and traffic building it’s important to have something that matches your site so the best way is to buy 100 likes from Fiverr.com to get you started. Then register your Facebook url.
Now your ready to post your first article on to Facebook.
So this article didn’t go viral but I boosted it using Facebook Ads and the results were quite incredible for $15. Now remember you only need a couple people to visit the link then hit the share button on our website or on the Facebook post. In this case the article got lots of shares via my website which churned out a few thousand visitors in 24hrs.
There are many other ways to promote your posts, for example if you have 5000 friends then you only need a few of those to share your post and it could start going viral. I have a friend who has 10 accounts with 5000 people (this is Facebook’s limit) which he posts his articles in and they go viral very quickly. Another friend uses Facebook groups – for example there is some groups out there with 250,000 members that will see your posts if someone shares them into that group.
Part 4: Monetize Your Site
The best way to start monetizing your site is to put Google Adsense or a similar ad network (pop unders) on your site where you get paid a small commission on every visitors. Let’s say your site had 5,000 visitors a day – you’d probably be making at least $10 a day on Google Adsense which is $300 per month. Now imagine if you had 500,000 visitors a day? Go figure.
Here’s my Adsense stats form my first few days running this BoredKiwi site.