A Foolproof Guide to Going Viral

By
Photo: Jonah Peretti

Jonah Peretti knows a thing or two about making things go viral. Before founding Buzzfeed, he co-founded (or was an early hire at — stories differ) the Huffington Post. Now he's posted a helpful slideshow to teach the uninitiated how to make the Internet gaga for their goods. Step 1: Find the sweet spot in the Venn diagram where crazy people intersect with The Bored At Work.

Step One explained:
a. "Millions of bored office workers blog, Tweet, Facebook, and IM all day. The BWN [Bored at Work Network] is bigger than the BBC, CNN, or any traditional media network."
b. "The web is ruled by maniacs like Perez Hilton, Ron Paul zealots, Apple fan boys, blog commenters, animal lovers, and other crazy people. Content is more viral if it helps people fully express their personality disorders. Couch potatoes don't matter on the web, crazy people do."
Step Two:
Borrow the Huffington Post's "mullet strategy": business in the front, party in the back. AllThingsD's Peter Kafka elaborates, "Many people still think of HuffPo as a political site fueled by celebrity bloggers, but the site’s real recipe for success is its focus on real-time traffic analysis."
Step Three:
Some math you are probably not interested in.
Step Four:
Be more like the Mormons, less like the Jews. "Judaism is a really high quality religion, but quality is NOT a growth strategy. Mormons want you to be Mormon! Make evangelism core to your strategy."

See what he did there with the whole pitting Mormons against Jews? Lesson learned.

The Secrets Behind a Viral Web Hit-And the Huffington Post’s Success [AllThingsD]
Mormons, Mullets, and Maniacs [Jonah Peretti]