Anyone running a site like distractify, viralnova, etc?

by DIABL0
16 replies
I have been studying sites like distractify, viralnove (there are many), most of these sites are just doing pure content curation and use click baity headlines. There are those that also create their own content. The biggest being buzzfeed which is a monster.

Further looking into them, it appear that most of their traffic comes direct or from social media, with the overwhelming bulk of the social being facebook. My assumption is that they are using organic reach from fans and probably more importantly shares.

Anyway, the model seems fairly simple and being a large mailer...my my legacy database for the last 3 years is in the billions (all 3rd party / can-spam compliant) and I have built some very custom tools - one which, I can pull from the data, just facebook users. So I'm thinking of launching a similar site and that overtime, I will have little problems driving cost effective traffic to it, that will get it off the ground.

My only concern is that since I'm not currently in the business, what might I be missing / pitfalls? So if anyone knows anything in-depth about this business model, please chime in.
#distractify #running #site #viralnova
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    From what I know about those sites, their success.. besides massive funding, can also be attributed to the way they split test headlines.

    I've heard they split test about 10 headlines per article, and choose a winner early on so it has a decent chance of going viral.

    The clickbaity headlines are only a result of what people choose to click on.. I hate those kind of headlines.. and I complain about it, yet I know that these sites are only going with the stats. It's our own fault.
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    • Profile picture of the author princetotem
      Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

      From what I know about those sites, their success.. besides massive funding, can also be attributed to the way they split test headlines.

      I've heard they split test about 10 headlines per article, and choose a winner early on so it has a decent chance of going viral.

      The clickbaity headlines are only a result of what people choose to click on.. I hate those kind of headlines.. and I complain about it, yet I know that these sites are only going with the stats. It's our own fault.
      I can believe this.

      It's click bait headlines and often topical news/discussion sparking content that equates their success. They also segment their content into things that are: funny, shocking/weird, news, quizzes etc.

      Another thing to mention is they put out a huge amount of list articles that use content from other places which speeds up output. (Seriously, the amount of their articles that are just lists of images from other places is ridiculous.)

      They tend to cling onto anything viral as well, if they spot something doing well Eg. A video of cats or babies, they'll chime in.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ellac
    I remember reading somewhere about how buzzfeed spends a ton on social ads.
    Prepare your your budget if you intend to grow your site to the size of the medium to big players.
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  • Profile picture of the author Julien Fletcher
    Ive got a fun news scroller - on mine.

    J
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Careful. The model is deceptively simple. You absolutely must avoid general viral website models, and instead (and pretty much as always) go niche. Facebook has recently taken a stance against clickbait but don't let that put you off. Clickbait is King in 2016, and, as it evolves, pretty much will always be King. Consider this. You walk into a bookstore and your eyes travel across the titles. What is your eye seeking out? Well, sometimes a favourite author, but also - something to GRAB those eyeballs and lure you in: images, titles, descriptions. If you want to learn clickbait, and have fun doing so, I'd suggest subscribing to the biggest channels on Youtube, or reading something like Cracked.com. Back on point: go niche.

    - Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
      Originally Posted by Tom Addams View Post

      Careful. The model is deceptively simple. You absolutely must avoid general viral website models, and instead (and pretty much as always) go niche.
      Why?

      I have zero interest in the model if I'm limited to a specific niche.

      I have seen a couple guys suggest that if you are going to try the model, that you should choose a niche. However, this was for the purpose of being able to target traffic. Not that you needed to avoid doing anything general.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    By all means, though, ignore Elvis and compete with Viral Nova. I mean, he's a singer. What does he know? Oh - and dead, there's that, too.

    - Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    If you do throw caution to the wind, though, and take The King's advice, let me give you some ideas. (You're honoured: my going rate is 2 doughnuts an hour.)
    • ViralDrunks.com
    • DrunkBuzz.com
    • OffMedsBuzz.com
    • UtterlyBonkersBuzz.com
    Those are all available. (I know, surprising!) I'm particularly partial to DrunkBuzz.com. Imagine all the fun you could have with viral media about drunkenness.

    Astounded with the genius? Of course you are!

    - Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    I wanna see ViralDrunks.com made real,

    make it happen Satan!

    -Ike Paz

    PS
    at the time I posted this, ViralDrunks.com was available. god, thats a great name for a site!
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
      Originally Posted by aizaku View Post

      I wanna see ViralDrunks.com made real,

      make it happen Satan!

      -Ike Paz

      PS
      at the time I posted this, ViralDrunks.com was available. god, thats a great name for a site!
      All are available. ViralDrunks.com would indeed be a winner, handled properly. Elvis told me I was mad. Can you imagine? Shows what he knows about domains.

      - Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by DIABL0 View Post

    . . . my legacy database for the last 3 years is in the billions (all 3rd party / can-spam compliant)
    Diablo,

    I always knew it was the devil that was spamming my email account.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Hersh
    How can you go niche with viral videos like "funny cats" and other videos one would find on viralnova?

    I can see one using specific niche videos from Youtube and Vimeo...but they aren't 'viral'.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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