Many of you might have noticed posts showing up on your Facebook from sites like ViralNova, BoredPanda or ViralThread. You may have also heard of ViralNova’s success. You might be wondering how to repeat it. I tried it. And here are the findings.
First I did my research and came across Viperchill’s post about how to reach 100 million unique visitors in 6 months. The post was very insightful but I realized as indicated in the post, the information was very time sensitive.
Here’s the findings of ViralNova’s website:
- All of the content was taken from other websites
- The site was run on WordPress and had a paid WordPress theme (use our reader coupon code ThemeShopPW60 for 60% off)
- Each post had a clickbait title
- Targeted social media channels (primarily Facebook)
A look at ViralNova’s website in the early days:
THE VIRAL WEBSITE EXPERIMENT
I started by thinking of a creative name and picking a niche market. I then registered the domain, created a website, Facebook page and a Google Adsense account and put $30.00 towards Facebook ads. Why only $30? I was interested to see the results.
The money was put towards getting page likes instead of promoting posts. These are our stats.
The interesting thing was even after the ad campaign, the page was still getting likes from what showed as paid Facebook likes.
The page had a total of 4k views in the time the site was up. How much did it make? Ready for it?
A whopping $0.71.
These numbers are definitely lackluster. For someone to succeed at imitating ViralNova’s success, you’d need a hefty budget to put towards advertising. I didn’t feel the need to pursue this any further so this was chalked it up as a fail. Our conclusion? The window to make money off this business model has closed and the cost for entry to market has gone up significantly.
You might say that I didn’t do it right. That I picked the wrong niche market. That I didn’t put enough money in it or stick to it long enough. Let me be clear, by no means was I thinking I had struck gold and were going to make millions off of this (though, you never know right?) . I do believe that if I had stuck to it, I could have broken even or even made a few bucks. But this just wasn’t my thing. This experiment did provide me with some valuable lessons and experience that made it worth my time.
Now for the important part. I sometimes talk about how I have ADD for business ideas because I want to do and try everything. I’ve tried a few different entrepreneur things so far. I’ve learned a lot – which is why I’m here to share my experiences and failures, so that you don’t have to.
From this experiment, I’ve learned the following:
- You can set up a website, social media, and monetize it in just a few hours.
- Clickbait titles work.
- This market is difficult to enter unless you’re willing to put in a lot of money for advertising.
- News sites are catching on to ViralNova’s success too. BBC anyone?
Still interested in trying this yourself? You’ll need the do the follow:
- Register for web hosting. We recommend StableHost (use our reader coupon code F2F40 for 40% off) or BlueHost.
- Get a domain at GoDaddy (if you didn’t get one with one of the above web hosts)
- Set-up your WordPress blog on the web host (tutorial coming soon) and get a theme from or MyThemeShop (use our reader coupon code ThemeShopPW60 for 60% off)
- Install the Jetpack plugin
- Put up some content – good sources of content include Reddit and old viral posts that can be brought back to life
- Get a Google Adsense Account
- Put up Google Ads on your website
- Get a Facebook Fan Page and set up your Profile pic and Cover Photo
- Push your Viral content to your Facebook Page
- Pay for some Facebook Ads
- Keep posting content until you see traction