Tips For Going Viral With User-Submitted Content Sites
*For clarification, I’m talking about sites such as TFLN, Mom’s Msgs, FML, MLIA, etc. Personal blogs and product or services Web sites can also go viral, but I have no idea how to do that.
1. Be able to explain your site in 6 words or less.
TFLN = “funny texts with sender’s area code”
Mom’s Msgs = “parents embarrassing their kids using technology”
2. Make it as easy as possible to submit (at least in the beginning).
– Content is the name of the game with user-submitted content sites. To get that content, the submission procedure should be as clear and simple as possible. Do not jump out of the gate requiring log-ins or any sort of complicated procedure. People are always reluctant to create accounts at new sites.
– As time goes on, and you’ve established a stable audience, requiring log-ins for people to interact with the site (comment or submit content) may be necessary and actually will improve the site. People like being able to establish profiles on their favorite sites.
3. Monitor content
– Pageviews will not come if the content isn’t there. It is worth it to read what people are trying to put up on your site. Having a content based site without monitoring the content is brainless, particularly if you’re going for a humor site.
4. Use Twitter and Facebook sparingly
– Update once or twice a day (I’d suggest once with Facebook and twice with Twitter) with content from the site. For example, TFLN usually updates a short text from the site. People are more likely to retweet a quick saying from your site than a link to the site. Twitter and Facebook should be used to boost the image of the site, not the hits.
5. Try it out with a WordPress, Tumblr or Blogger account first
– See how people react to the idea before you invest money.
6. Work it!
– Promote, promote, promote. Put your site out on Twitter and Facebook. Also, join social networking sites such as 20something Bloggers (20sb) or forums such as TheNest, Twilight Lexicon, Spartan Tailgate…whatever will fit in with your demographic.
Or, you could do nothing and things could get wild on you. Internet is weird. TFLN’s friend over at Highdeas left his website alone after sending it out to friends and didn’t realize it had gone viral until he got a notice from Mediatemple telling him that he was about to go over in his monthly hosting plan.