How to go viral

Nine years ago, an eighteen-year-old American posted a video onto of himself dancing and lip-synching to “Dragostea din tei” that almost immediately went viral. You may better recognize this song as “Numa Numa“. Today, the video has almost 53 million views on YouTube alone.

In the history of the internet, this particular video was the first video to go viral.  How did that happen? How did a low-quality video of an unknown young adult lip-synching garner such attention?  When the marketing industry spends copious amounts of money trying to achieve this sort of exposure, how did a random guy do so without even trying?

That is the million trillion dollar question that, unfortunately, does not have an answer.

According to Duncan J. Watts, it is impossible to predict a reliable hit.  You can’t create something and know in advance that it will go viral.  There is no mathematical equation. No Exception.

Why? Watts says one reason is because of something he calls the cumulative advantage.

Similar to “Numa Numa”, a photo taken during Hurricane Sandy of a carousel and posted to Instagram without much thought turned into an internet sensation and went viral immediately.  It was unexpected and unplanned.

Now you may be wondering why I would title this post as “How to go viral” when I just finished explaining how it is impossible to do. But hold on, there are certain measures you can make to increase your chances.

It all comes down to your exposure online and your interactions with others.

Mack Collier wrote a great post explaining, step-by-step, how to help your blog succeed. Blogging is, in my opinion, the best way to get yourself out there in the digital realm and make a name for yourself.

Ultimately, you need to create a strict plan – and stick to it.


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