How To Go Viral


how to go viral

How to go viral is a question that a lot of bloggers often ask. Having an image, a video or a blog post go viral can literally explode your visitor count in a very short space of time. But what exactly is it?

Going viral is when content such as the like mentioned above gets shares, likes, comments, tweets or whatever social interaction and lots of them – quickly.

Anyone who has a Facebook account will know what I mean. How many of you get a picture, symbol or a popular phrase come up on your timeline every so often? Next time you do, just check the amount of likes/comments it has. It will most likely be many.

This is one example of the term “going viral” – another popular medium is video. Youtube has had many very famous videos that have gone viral over the years, take for example the Star Wars Kid.

Why Does Content Go Viral?

Well, to put it simply people are social. If somebody finds something funny, or takes a vested interest in something – quite a lot of the time they will share it.

Sharing can come in the form of many ways. The more traditional online tools for sharing are usually at your fingertips everywhere you go nowadays. Take for example my blog – I use a free plugin called Digg Digg. This is great and allows readers to share my posts across selected social media platforms. I have tried many plugins for social sharing and this comes out on top.

This is not the only way though. Good old fashioned word of mouth is still very much present believe it or not in a world where everyone is glued to their smartphones! People still do share a coffee and talk – this can also be a great way of spreading content. There have been many occasions where friends of mine have said “have you seen the….” or “you should check out….” (Apologies about the self-promo comic below, it was time for a pic)

how to go viral stickmen

What Content Does Go Viral?

Basically anything can go viral – the top bloggers can pretty much post anything on their blogs, Twitter feeds or Facebook timelines and they will get hoards of likes, retweets or comments. For the average Joe though it can be a bit more challenging.

If you spend your days churning out average stuff then it is unlikely your content will go viral, it may take something controversial or a technique not heard of to send a few shockwaves out into the blogosphere.

Long in-depth posts with lots of thought-provoking ideas may do the trick. But you do not want your audience to switch off – a lot of readers, myself included sometimes like to skim read. So – they should fit this criteria too.

Further Tips: How To Go Viral

Start a contest

Contests are a great way to get your content going viral, people love the chance to get something for free. A photo contest on Pinterest for example would be a sure fire way to get your domain spiking in your traffic analysis charts for a short while.

Hide Content

Slightly controversial this but you can use plugins such as FaceBook Like Gate which will hide sections of content on your page until someone clicks the “Like” button. This is great for audio maybe, perhaps you could allow the first 30 seconds of content free but they have to click “Like” to hear the rest. It can be very powerful and get some great exposure.

Here is an example: But you have to click the “Like”

Now – this is just an example, but imagine what you could do with this? Perhaps a CPA offer, an exclusive chapter of your eBook, some super video content. Don’t forget each “Like” is potentially a share, which could generate more visitors.


As you know by now I am a big fan of these, and so are many other people. Infographics are great and very often they can go viral across many networks. Pinterest again has some great dedicated boards for Infographics and ones I have posted here on the blog have got many repins in the associated groups on Pinterest.

Be shocking and controversial

PostinatorThis may sound a bit dodgy – when I say be shocking and controversial I don’t mean write a post about “The Top 5 Ways To Take Out Your Rival Bloggers”

I mean challenge your fellow bloggers, I do this quite a bit. If I see something I do not agree with then I will challenge it – not in any malicious way of course, just to get my view across. Do not become just another blogger.

(Thank you Tims Minions for the pic!)


Make a video

Videos are great for going viral too – YouTube has had many viral hits over the years. Top viral marketers will always use video. It does not have to cost you a lot of money to get some viral video content. You could probably get someone to rave about your product wearing their pyjamas standing on their head in the middle of the road from Fiver I expect. Quite why you would want to do this is another question, but you get my point. Maybe.

Use Photos or Memes

Photos or memes are also particularly popular at going viral, probably more so via Facebook or Twitter.  These are often images to create a quick laugh, often with no serious point to them. But certain ones, especially ones that can relate to a recent news event or announcement can get a ton of exposure in a very short space of time.

Make it funny

Sometimes some light hearted humour can also do the trick. A funny comic sketch or even some funny geeky joke about SEO or something can go viral. Comments and reviews can work here too – take for example the Veet For Men reviews over on Amazon.

Now – this was either a very, very clever marketing trick or just some genius undervalued comics giving their honest opinions.

If there is one thing you do from this post please go and check out these reviews for the Veet For Men product on Amazon. Warning though – you will laugh so much you may not get much work done for the next 30 minutes, just remember to come back. The link is here: VEET FOR MEN REVIEWS

I hope this post has given you some ideas into getting your content to go viral. Please do drop a comment in below – and keep it clean.

Related Posts:

The following two tabs change content below.

Latest posts by John (see all)



  1. An excellent post John, not sure about that dodgy terminator looking fella though, smiling away like that, looks like he enjoys killing a bit too much 🙂

    Going viral is every bloggers dream and I have spent many an hour trying to think up some clever little idea, the funny stuff always works brilliantly, the Star Wars kid and Veet for Men reviews are excellent examples, I fell about laughing when I first read them, have you read the reviews for the ‘Ladies Pens’? another excellent way to lose a few hours. 🙂

    My worry is that the funny stuff that gets shared isn’t seen by the right people however, when you stop and think about it everyone has a sense of humour, even the people we want back to our sites find things funny, so if you create something for free that goes viral, is seen by millions and some of those people come back to the site and like our sites what have we lost? Nothing really.

    As you know, time management is a concern for us bloggers and I recommend people do not over stretch themeslves and spend time doing stuff that robs them of precious time which results in little benefit but if one or two of these little funny images really take off then you are onto a winner.

    I would like my articles to go viral, that would be excellent, but I think mine are not of a viral nature however I think I might write one on a hidden page, completely off topic, share it and see what happens. Hmmm I think this will be next months challenge. 🙂
    Andi Leeman recently posted..Don’t Spread Yourself Out Too Thinly.My Profile

    • Yes Andi – we should all be wary of our time management and yes spending time looking for the next viral hit could be a waste. However, this post was not just for bloggers really – it could be associated with any online business. I read your post on this and you did make some valid points.

      Viral video is used by many big corporations online nowadays, and having a viral video with thousands or even millions of hits can bring it substantial traffic as we all know.

      Glad you liked the picture – thanks for dropping by.
      John Banks recently posted..How To Go ViralMy Profile

  2. Hi John, great post!

    Viral content can be difficult to get right, but when it does, it has the potential to attract tons of traffic to a site. Videos and images are probably the best methods to aim for, as people tend to prefer visual media, though there are exceptions.

    I remember seeing the Star Wars kid ages ago, yet still people refer and link to it as it still makes people smile.
    Matt Smith recently posted..8 Top Tips To Help With eCommerce Website DesignMy Profile

    • Cheers Matt,

      Excellent point on the visual elements – this is something I am always keen to work more on.

      Thanks for dropping by…..


  3. Hi John, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier and sign posting me to this post. Interesting indeed.

    I might be showing my age here, but I really think we have to take a step back from things. Back in the day people would fight and clamour to get onto the frontpage of Digg. Doing so would often send so much traffic that it would break the website.

    It’s great for the ego to get that, but how many converted into customers? Most traffic reports suggested very few, with that traffic achieving incredibly high bounce rates.

    Even the original Harlem Shake video has only generated the creator around $50k in revenue. Sure you might say 50k is 50k and not to be sniffed at, but given the vast number of views it’s had, not to mention the once in a lifetime possibility of creating something so popular, and it’s not really that good a return.

    Sometimes in business the tortoise really is better than the hare.
    Adi Gaskell recently posted..4 levels of social business progressionMy Profile

    • Yes – it is an interesting point.

      This is what a lot of the viral images are like I think. People’s Facebook timelines are getting loaded up with images and they are getting huge interactions but how many actually visit the site? Very few, and how many from that actually become a customer – even fewer…

      Great point about the tortoise and hare.

      Thank you for dropping by….


  4. nice information about how to go viral. This is really good content.

    I am really like it about how to go viral at marketing information at this internet.

    There are have viral images at this content

    • Hey Barbara,

      Great to see you over on the blog. I am glad you got something out of the post.

      Feel free to drop by anytime….


  5. Hi John,

    I guess going viral is anyone’s dream to have. For example, the Gangnam Style dance craze that went viral made its singer/composer’s dream to happen. As a writer, I also want my posts, articles, and blogs to go viral. The feeling is great when you know that many appreciated, followed and even shared your work to others. This tip sure helps others. Thanks for the shared tips.
    Farrell John Conejos recently posted..One Piece Vs ZombiesMy Profile

Leave A Reply

* 5+3=?

CommentLuv badge