Learn how to make a BuzzFeed website? This tutorial shows you how you can build and run a successful viral website like Buzzfeed, ranker, LadBible, boredpanda.com, etc is all you need;
Steps To Create A Viral Website
- You need setup cost of USD150-400
- Buy WordPress viral themes
- Buy A Domain name /Webhosting service
- Install WordPress
- Install Viral quiz plugin, viral quotes plugin
- Install Front End Submission plugins
- Use Manageflitter to get twitter followers
- Engage Facebook influencers to post and repost viral images/videos/posts
What Is a Viral Website
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A viral website is a site that receives an unusual, abnormal, incredibly insane amount of web traffic that makes it so popular. Quite often viral website trends almost all the time and the strategy behind this concept is due to the power of social media sharing, word-of-mouth recommendations, links ( backlinks), and anything that makes a site becomes incredibly popular.
In short, a viral website receives a behemoth of web traffic from different sources; quite often in their millions per day; some expected and some not expected, the pattern is usually seeing an unusual spike in increased web traffic.
Top/Best Viral Websites
For example, LadBible has overtaken BuzzFeed as the top and most popular viral website. Using Alexa rankings I will be taking into account the global internet engagement; with this factor, the following are the best and top viral websites ( Updated, April 2020):
|According To Ranking||Alexa ranking ( in terms of global engagement|
Viral WordPress Themes ( Buzzfeed Style)
We are gradually moving to the technical aspect and this involves the designing stage and setting it up. Please know that paying a web designer to create a viral website for you is going to be expensive.
What I use and what most people use (even Buzzfeed, boredpanda, LADBible) is the use of WordPress software and its accompanying tools. Some professional companies design and sell creative templates that you can use for your design concept.
The best options are to get these professionally designed WordPress themes built solely for this online niche from these reputable companies ( listed below).
I have penciled down the following recommended mobile-responsive templates that are highly SEO optimized for you. You can get them for as low as USD35; after buying it, simply download the ZIP files ( on your computer system, PC or laptop, just keep it there, I will explain in the later part of this guideline on how you can use it to design your site).
You can get these themes and others from the listed companies below ( just search for the name above and lots of templates will be displayed to you).
Hosting And Domain Name
This is the most important aspect; the term ‘Buzzfeed’ is a brand known all over the world.
It is the name of the site, the same name is used as their domain name and the name is also used on all their social media accounts.
You need to consider a sweet and memorable name for your viral website; do not pick a long word name, it should not be more than 10 letter words.
Pick a name because you will use the name as your domain name ( the technical name the internet understands).
First, you need to check if the domain name is available; you can do that using the Bluehost form below. If the name is fresh, unused and available, register it immediately now before other people use it.
You can search for all forms of name that comes to your mind and settle for a name that will serve long term branding purposes and advantages.
WebHosting of the domain name
When you get the domain name using Bluehost (Bluehost is a big company, the most trusted name in terms of domain name registration, website hosting because of their unstained reputation, dignity, and security), you will automatically be directed to host the domain name. I honestly recommend you host the domain name immediately.
Hosting the domain name means that your website to be, will be accessible on the internet; people will be able to read, download, and stay on the website. Hosting the domain name is the second most important step to execute.
I use Bluehost for this blog and my news viral website, so I recommend you get on board Bluehost.
Another added benefit of hosting with them right away is that you will no longer pay for the domain name registration because they will make it free for one year. This is a good deal as you will be able to save an approximate amount of USD15 per year.
For your hosting, Use my link below and get started for just $2.95/month (63% off your hosting plan) from Bluehost AND also get a free domain name registration
You can follow the below screenshot on the domain name registration and hosting.
When you sign up for hosting, you will be guided for the installation processes, chief of which is the type of software to use, select WordPress, and proceed.
All these processes are not rocket science and within a few minutes, you should be done with the installation and configuration.
The reason why I am taking my time to explain all these things is that I want you to know how to handle all these things ALL by yourself without having to depend on me or any other programmer to get the ball rolling.
Follow the guidelines below and complete the installation.
At the end of the day once your site is up and running, you should be mindful of these two points below:
- Your Bluehost Login: Please remember your password and username ( keep it safe somewhere on your computer or laptop)
- Your WordPress Login: If the installation is completed, then your website is now being powered by WordPress; in such a case, you will also be given a username and password (you will be asked to create it); keep the login details safe.
So, in essence, if you check the browser, you should now be able to access the inside (dashboard of your new site) by typing the following: www.nameofyoursite.com/wp-admin and the following will be shown
Type your username (mostly email address or admin) and your password, and then you will have access to your dashboard.
The dashboard will look like this:
SetUp And Plugins
Front End Submission
What makes a viral website viral in the real sense is the collaboration, engagement of uses and their effect on spreading the contents to the extent that enormous /large amount of traffic starts flowing to the content/website.
This is mostly achieved not only by you but also by people posting and submitting content on the site without you having to monitor and approve the posts ( it depends, but it is advisable you approve any submitted content before publishing them, put a quality check in place).
This principle is called ‘Front end submission content’; to do this, you can:
- Either set up an account on your website for selected people and make them be a contributor, editors, authors, etc.
- Or simply install the ‘front end submission contents’ plugin; and anybody can submit contents to the site at will. ( however, on most templates I recommended, it is already installed, you will see the ‘submit’, create’, or ‘register’ button at the top of the site).
To set up an account on your site for these people, follow the guideline below:
- Go to settings, locate users and click on it
- Create users (chose whether they will be editors, contributors, writers, and author’s, etc.)
- Type in their emails, Upload their picture ( passport-sized photographs); though its optional
- Give a brief description of them and click publish
A notification email will be sent to their email address containing the login details; with this approach, they automatically become privileged to start posting.
The second approach on the Front end submission principle is by installing a plugin and from the plugin, you can adjust the settings. I fully explained how to use and implement the Front end submission process and also how to make use of dummy writers/users to speed up your growth in my earlier post on how to publish a video website like YouTube ( you can read it here)
Viral Website Ideas
Getting inspiring and successful viral website ideas can be challenging. Generally, getting stories to write about is a major challenge and everybody has gone through it in one way or the other.
However, for the viral niche, getting name ideas or post ideas is very much easy;
- Your number one source of inspiration is your surroundings
- Number two source of getting ideas is from established viral websites ( Viralnova, 9gag, vox, upworthy, distractify, etc).
- The most important of all is Buzzsumo ( explained below).
- Twitter and Google trends
I will explain;
Your Surroundings / Environment
Remember, if you want to achieve fast growth, then you must learn to publish original, non-duplicate and unique articles, videos or funny pictures etc.
The best place to get it is from your environment and surroundings; go to amusement parks, go to nurseries, go to comedy nights and shows, go to places where they train and keep animals, visit the veterinary doctors. Listen and follow popular celebrity’s etc.
You will be surprised and astonished at getting lots of humorous ideas if you can just think and act!!
From established viral websites
Let me share this trick with you; go to Buzzfeed or any other website in this niche, visit their old posts (published about 2, 3-4 years ago), get some posts, rewrite them with a new title and then publish them on your site.
Because most viral articles tend to have a little life span when initially shared, so going back to the old ones and republishing them will add flavor to your blog.
Buzzsumo is an important tool used by all online professionals, successful bloggers, and website publishers. However, the major use and importance of Buzzsumo are in the use of publishing viral content.
This tool makes it possible for you to know and detect popular posts/articles, determines and shows you the number of times the particular post or article has been shared on Facebook, the number of likes, number of tweets, retweets, and mentions.
With this idea, you can know and accurately publish something similar that tends to go popular. The tool also makes it possible for you to see influencers ( i.e. the fellow who shared the post, this makes it possible for you to contact them and form a business relationship in helping you also).
- Go to https://buzzsumo.com
- Type the name of a particular topic or title or even name of a website e.g. upworthy
- Chose the time frame e.t.c.
On a personal note, I make use of twitter trends. I study and observe what is trending on twitter, and then I quickly write a post about such headlines (keyword/topic/title) and then publish it.
After publishing, I share it on twitter massively and sometimes, give it a boost on Facebook using Facebook Ads.
How do you know a trending topic on twitter?
Sign in log in to your twitter account, look towards the right-hand side or left-hand side and you will see the displayed trending topics.
This is a very powerful tool if you are building your site to depend a lot on Google’s organic traffic. it is available in both English and Chinese. You can get trends using keywords, your country, categories, etc. Check out Google trends at; https://trends.google.com/trends/
Publishing your first article or posts
Once your website is ready and you have been able to write a comprehensive article, putting in place all the elements needed for it to go viral, then it is time to publish your first post.
To do that;
- Go to your dashboard
- Locate new, select ‘posts’
- On the displayed page, give your post a title, and start writing the article; remember to insert and put funny pictures. It is a MUST that your content should contain images and videos. I am not talking about 1 or 2 images, but images from 5 upwards; the same thing with your video
- Select the right category ( check towards the right-hand side)
- Add a featured image ( towards the end of the right-hand side of the page)
- Click on publish!!
After successfully publishing the post, your next line of action is to share them on Facebook and Twitter. Remember the scheduling process I mentioned earlier.
How to maintain your new site
Running this niche is a serious business and for you to achieve and maintain your success, you need to take critical steps to maintain and secure your site.
You maintain the site by:
- By constantly updating your plugins
- By regularly updating your themes and WordPress versions
These updates can be done right from the dashboard and you will be notified automatically because it will be shown visibly on the screen.
Set up on Google search console, and Google indexing the site and posts
All websites that want steady traffic and want to succeed automatically needs what is called the search engines. The biggest of these search engines is Google, so it is a MUST that you get your website on Google so that people can search, locate your site and then click through to check out the contents.
- Make sure you have published at least 20 quality articles
- After publishing these quality articles (they are already on the site) and the site is fully configured, remember to uncheck the portion that says ‘Do not allow search engines to index this site’. Do this because it is very much important.
- Go to ( https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home)
- Sign up and register your website. Configure your site there and get it active.
After this, submit your sitemaps and submit all your posts one by one (use the ‘fetch as’ feature to do this, you will get your articles and posts indexed faster).
Now, to start getting Google to index and show your articles on its search result pages, I recommend you watch the video above and also follow the guidelines in the image below. I also recommend you install the Yoast SEO plugins at https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/).
Social Media Set up And Marketing
All the above tasks and guidelines are meant to teach and show you how you can set up your site and blog all by yourself. Once you have correctly achieved the above points, we are now in the next critical stage of our tutorial.
And you know what?
This is the most important of them all, this is where you are going to work hard and invest money!!
Viral Website Traffic And Facebook
There is nothing viral without Facebook because FB is the powerhouse of traffic to your site. So, you have to do everything possible within your power and reach to get loved by Facebook and its algorithms. Now, this is the first step as explained below.
- Go to facebook.com, and open a Facebook page ( seen at the base of the homepage, or if you are logged in already, just look for a place where it is written ‘ open a Facebook page’)
- Open the page, and set it up nicely (including using funny images (including that of animal e.g. dogs and cats) as both your profile and background pictures).
- Invite your friends, enemies, colleagues, classmates, and family members, etc to like the page. You can also invite the people in your email lists to like the page. Doing this will give you your first initial followers.
- When done, the next step is to use Facebook Ads to get targeted traffic (and before you use the Ad, make sure you have shared some of your posts on the page already)
I honestly recommend you read Neil Patel: Beginners guide to Facebook ads that convert
- In the Ad, chose your interest with something viral, and you select a budget of around USD10 to start getting followers.
- Watch the video below to have an idea of how to use Facebook Ads in getting likes for your viral website.
- Give yourself a target of at least 50,000 followers (this shows your level of seriousness) for a start. As the Ad is running, continue writing articles and be sharing them always. Check out the FB pages of most of these viral websites, they are actually in their millions.
Buzzfeed has more than three Facebook page accounts, and each account has more than a million Fans/likes!!
How to Get Viral Traffic from Facebook
This niche is serious, and people that are successful with it will tell you that they invested a lot of their time every day on the site.
You only get massive traffic from Facebook for your viral website without spending money on Ads using:
- Facebook Influencers
- Getting active on Facebook Groups:
- Boosting posts with viral potential on FB:
Influencers on FB are individuals with lots of fans/likes. You have to start looking and searching for them. Not on FB, but also on Twitter and YouTube, reach out to them, make a deal on how they can be helping you to share your posts/videos/articles.
In some cases, these influencers are the owners/admin of some popular groups ( i.e. FB groups).
Getting active on Facebook Groups
You have to spread your tentacles to get every bit of traffic from FB. One area people do not pay attention to is in Facebook groups. Create a group for your site, keep it active and grow it.
However, wisdom is required. Join many related and popular groups ( groups with more than 50,000 members). Reach out to the owner/admin, present a deal/proposal for the admin to share your articles/posts for you. Trust me, it works in an amazing miraculous way.
The secret of buzzfeed, LADBible, naij and other viral websites is in the use of these Facebook tricks mentioned and embracing quizzes ( buzzfeed secret). Buzzfeed quiz is the most popular category, therefore, you also need to implement quiz on your own site. Do something that will get people engaged and active on your site!!
Boosting posts with viral potential on Facebook
Another reliable method is boosting of your post. I only use this method if I see the possibility of that particular post going viral. This method works perfectly well for major news, sudden shocking celebrity news/updates, etc. You can also study your traffic statistics (that is why they use of JetPack plugin is essential, you will see the traffic received by each published post).
If you discover that a particular post is receiving unusual traffic less than 4-5 hours after being published, such posts need to be boosted. Such posts can give you millions of traffic within days!!
Twitter account set up and growing targeted followers
I use twitter a lot because of the limitations imposed by Facebook. Though twitter is not as effective and powerful as FB it is still a formidable force to reckon with.
If you are serious about your project, then I also recommend you open an account with Twitter (remember to use your domain name to maintain the branding purposes).
This is to get the account and use it:
- Go to twitter at https://twitter.com/ and sign up for a free account
- Complete the sign-up process, fill up your profile, use nice pictures (same as Facebook earlier explained)
- Start sharing lovely, inspirational quotes first (this will set in motion people following you and also tweeting your tweets)
- Do not use twitter Ads ( it is expensive compared to FB)
- Now, the hardest part is getting real targeted followers and growing them
- From my experience and what I use, I make use of an App ( it is not automated); and with this App, I can grow my followers to around 66,578 ( as at August 15th, 2018)
- With this help, you will work manually growing your followers but with precision and speed
- The tool is called MANAGEFLITTER, I recommend you check it out and probably sign up for their TRIAL VERSION.
- You will need to get an influential account ( e.g. followers of Buzzfeed or upworthy), follow their followers and in turn, their followers will also follow you. Then you rinse, flush out the ones not following you after 5 DAYS, then you start again!!
- After signing up and you start getting followers, continue sharing your quotes and pictures of animals, funny images e.t.c. Tweets just like the Facebook scheduled approach I mentioned earlier.
Instagram Account set up
I also recommend you open an account with Instagram and get active. Not only on Instagram, do the same for Pinterest (because Pinterest is an image-focused website).
With both Instagram and Pinterest, you stand higher chances of getting traffic to your website from the shared images on them.
How To Make Money From A Viral Website
95% of viral websites make money using Google Adsense; apart from using Google Adsense ( they are the best, biggest and most reliable CPC network to join); you can also join other CPC ( Cost Per Click) networks and they include:
- Media.net (owned and run by Yahoo/Bing)
- Propeller Ads e.t.c
The only CLAUSE with the use of these CPC is that if you are using Google Adsense on your site, you should not use any other CPC network because you may get your AdSense account banned!!
Again, if 100% of your traffic is coming from Facebook to your viral website and none from Google and you are making lots of money from Adsense, you may also get your account banned. I support Google on this because they are trying to keep their integrity unstained.
However, I recommend Google Adsense to you, trust me; they are the best, pays highest and are most reliable!!
The above methods are based on CPC; however, the bulk of the money to be made from this kind of online niche business is:
- Direct advertisements
- Press releases
You can read about these other methods from an earlier article I published about running a successful news website (check towards the tail end on making money from news website; I also shared the model on how Buzzfeed makes their money). Read it here:
This is a comprehensive guideline on how to create a viral website like LADBible, BuzzFeed, etc. If you need help and assistance, you can reach out to me through the live chat feature below or the contact form. However, as a measure of your seriousness, you must have purchased your domain name and web hosting.