[METHOD] Get Viral Traffic, Extra Earnings & Increase Subscribers

Discussion in 'Blogging' started by dcuthbert, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. dcuthbert

    dcuthbert Regular Member

    Jun 15, 2011
    Likes Received:
    This tip is time sensitive, so don't just bookmark this page and come back to it in 2 months, you need to act pretty soon!

    This is a strategy which I came across completely by accident, but I've tried it since to great effect. This post is quite long, but there's quite a lot of good tips in it.

    Short version - it's making up a false story to post on April Fool's Day, then sending it viral.

    Long version - over the last few years since I stumbled upon the potential, I've tweaked and twisted the process the maximise the impact.

    How I stumbled upon this

    For a laugh (not realising the benefits) I made up a "news" post talking about a major news story which had broken a few months earlier in my niche, and added an update on what was currently happening. The majority of the story was of course false, but written to peak people's interest.

    How It Worked Well

    I published the story at about 1am on April 1st, UK time - this (without me realising) helped to make the article go viral, as Americans didn't realise it was an April Fool's joke since it didn't hit April Fool's Day there for another 8 hours or so.

    Because the Americans thought the story was real, they posted it on Digg, Reddit, and various large forums within my niche. People kept posting on these threads, keeping the threads at the top of the forums and keeping people's interest.

    The Impact

    When I checked my stats about 12 hours after it was published, the article had been visisted over 2000 times - my entire blog usually received around 100 uniques per day at the time, so this was a huge boost in traffic. For that whole day, my 100 unique blog had 3200 uniques. On the 2nd of April the blog had about 800 uniques, with the lion's share visiting the April Fool's post. The traffic was inflated for about a week afterwards, gradually decreasing.

    Once it leveled off, my blog maintained traffic of around 200 uniques per day - a significant increase on the original traffic. Checking my feedburner stats, the number of subscribers had soared, which meant that my traffic remained far higher than the original level - basically my blog was found by people who had never heard of it before.

    Due to the extra traffic, my Adsense earnings were much higher as well - the day I posted the article still remains as one of my best days yet.

    The Twists

    * If you post the article as soon as the 1st hits in New Zealand (I think it's the furthest ahead in the world), you'll get more time for the article to go viral. America is nearly 24 hours behind New Zealand, so no-one suspects it as an April Fool's joke until it's already gone viral.

    * Plan ahead - make an account at some of the largest forums related to your niche a couple of months before, and start posting relevant news stories at each - some of these news stories can be from your site (attracting even more traffic), but make sure the bulk of them are from authority, reliable sites in your niche. The same goes for sites like Digg. This means that when you finally post the april fool's article, it will be coming from someone who is known to regularly post news, rather than someone who just signed up to the forum and their first post is a link to some site.

    * Plan and write the article in advance for maximum effect, rather than throwing something together the day you post it.

    * I've never tried this, but it could be worth a go depending on your niche. Try writing your article about a particular product, which you then put an affiliate link to - eg if you have a fitness blog, write an article about some celeb who beefed up for a movie role by using a particular type of fitness equipment, with an affiliate link to that equipment. A similar tactic could work for weight loss - pick a really overweight celeb and post an article saying they've lost something like 2 stone in a month using some product which you affiliate link to.

    * Again, this isn't something I've tried, but could work well. Post the article, wait for it to go viral, and set up a content locker on it. Because people have been told that this article is great news, they will want to read it, so many will complete the offer to unlock the content.

    The Bad Points

    Be prepared for some negative feedback, particularly slating the time you post the article. Some people (from experience I'm talking mainly about Americans here) forget that other time zones exist, not just their own country's time zone. When I've used this method I've had countless comments on the blog post and forums calling me every name under the sun for apparently not knowing when April Fool's Day is, despite posting the article on April Fool's Day.

    My Disaster

    The second year I tried this was a disaster - learn from my mistakes. Here's the story of how I went wrong.

    Without giving too much away about my niche or the post itself, there was a well-known figure within my niche, who had left the niche a few months before, in contraversial circumstances, but still hung around one of the larger forums, posting occasionally. Now this guy was idolised by some, and despised by others, but pretty much known by all - think Matt Cutts, that kind of level. My article was based around what had happened to him, and said that he was returning with a new, contraversial project. While I didn't actually badmouth him or anything, it riled his followers, the ones who loved him. He replied to a thread about my article, slagging the article, my site and me. For the next 3 or 4 days, my blog was DDOSed to death. On the forum threads, Digg etc there were loads of people replying saying they wanted to read the article but couldn't access the site, so I missed out on loads of traffic and potential long term readers. So yeah - don't mess with anyone who is treated like a God in your niche :p