Friday, February 10, 2012

The DEFINITIVE Guide To Viral Marketing

The Definitive Guide To:

Creating Content That Can Go Viral

And Doing Everything You Can To Make Sure It Does

Introduction - Why You Should Read This Report

This report is designed to walk you through an entire process that should be virtually guaranteed to help you create something that goes viral.

Everything from planning your content, to how it gets distributed to the widest possible “seed” audience, to even “content association” will be discussed.

Understand that because this is meant to be a “definitive guide” I go into a fair bit of detail.  If you want to know how to “go viral” and enjoy the massive traffic that can happen as a result, sit back and enjoy.

Actually, one thing before I go into the report itself.

I am not going to cover “viral idiocy” in this report.  Lots of people do lots of stupid things in an effort to capture their fifteen seconds of fame.  Idiocy and/or stupidity doesn’t lend itself well to turning traffic into sales/money.

Therefore, this report is going to focus on methods and techniques that will let you leverage your viral content into a better reputation, growing market authority, more sales, and more money.

Chapter 1 - Getting Started
(or Introduction part 2)

+Corbett Barr of Think Traffic calls it “writing epic shit.”  Honestly there is simply no better way to put it than that which is why I started the actual report content with two separate links to Corbett’s site (the second goes to an article about writing epically).

I’ve also talked about this somewhat extensively both on my own blog and on articles I’ve written for SEO chat, about “being worthy.”


Before we get into a discussion about content types, or content creation, or anything else, let me say this:Mediocre junk doesn’t go viral.

If you want to go viral, start with an understanding that you’ve got to be “epic”, that you’ve got to create something worthy of going viral.  Something that if half the planet got their hands on it, you’d be damn proud to call your own and not just because half the planet got it.

The point here is that you don’t want to just create something “as good as” something someone else did that may have gone viral.  You want to create something truly “epic”.

You want to create something so incredibly great people can’t help but talk about it.  Seth Godin calls this a “purple cow.”

Imagine for a minute you were driving down a road, and there grazing on the side was a nearly neon bright purple cow.  That would be something so unique and incredible that you couldn’t help but talk about it for probably days after you saw it.

If you want something to go viral, you want to create a proverbial purple cow.  Something so great and unique that people can’t help but talk about it.

Once you’ve decided from the very beginning that you’re going to be worthy of the attention (and dare I say it, admiration) of a bucket full of people, we can talk about what actually helps something to go viral.

The “SEO Guide to Creating Viral Linkbait” has a FANTASTIC chart about what it means to truly create something that goes viral (on the next page).

Notice that there’s only one surefire way of getting something done and that’s to have all of the pieces of the puzzle.  An awesome concept, a great “USP” or unique selling proposition, excited market participants, available resources to do the job, great design, an “outreach plan” so that other experts in the space will spread it, and an easy mechanism for spreading the content.

Chapter 2 - Movers & Shakers

The next thing, before you even go any further, is to identify who the “movers and shakers” are within your market.  

Who are the bloggers, forum owners, and social media “stars” that can share your content to their people?

If you don’t know exactly who these people are then stop now and find out first.

Here’s the thing, your viral content needs to be spread and often that’s done by people in your market, or somehow related to it, that have blogs, forums, or active social media presences.

If you don’t know who these people are, or if you’d like to expand your reach, there are numerous services that can help with that. dramatically assists with finding sites and the link as does  However I personally really like the Link Acquisition Assistant from SEOmoz.  Those tools are designed to help you find sites which you then use to find the people.  You can also point at your competitors sites and find out who’s linking to them.  

Which brings me to something important:

You aren’t looking for “sites”
you are looking for people

However, it’s by finding the blogs, forums, and social media profiles that you get to the people.

You should also consider checking out the Competitor Analysis for LinkBuilding by SEOmoz as well.  This is a fantastic resource that can help you find a bunch of people you can contact.

You’ll also want to check out which is a forum specific search engine you can use to find out who the active forum participants are in your market.  Additionally there is the social site which has quite a number of bloggers and journalists (who are amazing sources of links).  Just search for profiles with one of those words in their profile.

In a nutshell, what you’re trying to do is build the largest database of people related to your market as possible.

However, if you’re smart, you’ll do one more piece of analysis.  You want to see how often the people in your database share something that is then shared by their followers.  In other words, you’re looking for “network hubs”.  

Ask yourself if the site is popular with other twitter users or social media folks.  In other words, is there anyone out there sharing what they do.

The more sharing you see, the more you want to craft a customized method of contact and the more you want to follow up.  Getting even just a few larger “network hubs” to share out your content can push it into the hands of the most folks and cause the most amount of discussion.

The Wider Your Viral Content Is Initially Distributed The Broader Of An Audience It Will Reach

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start building a database of relevant journalists in the relevant print media as well.  Often journalists are desperately seeking things to write about and you can be a bit of a savior for them at the same time your score some major links for yourself.

Journalistics has an article on finding journalists on twitter as well as “helping them find experts” (meaning you through something they call “expert engine).

You want to start cultivating lists of journalists relevant to your viral content.  This often starts by getting twitter, facebook, Quora, or G+ profile pages and using that to contact them.

However you need to get the journalists on the phone to find out what their schedules are as this may dictate your own deadlines.

However a true pro will actually meet with a journalist face to face when ever possible.

That’s when you can also find out about what they have coming up that may fuel viral content ideas for the future.  Basically, buy them lunch, be a resource, help them out, and they’ll help you out.

The reason this section is all the way up here, before we’ve even started talking about content creation is the fact that the cultivation of resources like this takes time.  It’s relationship building.

And this is done offline much more than it is done online.  You want to talk to these folks on the phone, and face-to-face as often as possible.  Attend conventions, go to meetups, and just take them out to lunch or dinner.

Now here’s the thing about building these relationships.  You want people that will share.  You’re looking for the sharers.  Contacting someone with 200,000 followers that won’t share your content out doesn’t do you any good.

People with social media accounts where 80% of their posts are them sharing other people’s stuff, even if they only have 1,000 followers is much better.

You’re looking for people willing to share others content.  Building your relationships with those folks is simply incalculable.

Build Your Linking and Journalist Relationships Now

Chapter 3 - Idea-lize

Before you can create anything, especially anything of a good enough quality to be called epic, you’ve got to brainstorm some ideas and plan out what you’re going to do.

At this point you need to understand something.  There are lots of places where you can find information about “link bait”.  In some ways (a lot of them actually) the process of creating link bait is the same as the process to create something that goes viral.  In fact the very best pieces of link bait go viral and how viral a piece of link bait becomes is actually a gauge of its success.

Having said that, some link bait is create solely for the purpose of generating the links for the search engine optimization perspective.  I’d rather you not do that.  Instead, you want to create something that can stand on its own and is good enough to literally expand the perception of the market that you’re a genuine market authority.


Before you should even have a brainstorming session everyone needs to know what’s going on.  

What kinds of things are people in general finding interesting along with what the hot topics are in your market?  

Everyone should spend some time before the brainstorming session doing a little research.

Easily the way to start getting your finger on the pulse of what people are thinking right now is which uses twitter to produce it’s results.  That means what this service shows is literally real time information which makes it absolutely invaluable.

In fact, there are several places that you should go and do research for this and my own personal list is below: (Lets you see trends based on what people are searching for on Google) (twitter term trending that I just talked about) (What’s trending in the news and other sources and in some ways better than Google Trends) (The Google Zeitgeist can give an impressive array of information) (This is a “sort of” curated list of the hottest trends going on with search right now) (This will tell you what’s hot in the market place and often gives some great ideas even if the results have nothing to do with your specific market) (Technorati is a massive blog search engine so you can see what’s being talked about) (a Technorati competitor with a slightly different take on blog search that can also provide you some unique insight into what’s being discussed right now in the blogosphere) (This is basically your one-stop shopping for best of and most popular lists. It includes feeds from numerous social media sites, including,,,, and a whole lot more. Seriously, this should be your FIRST stop).

Now don’t stop there.

You see, there are actually entire trend watching communities out there that can provide a wealth of information and ideas.

In fact I personally get ideas from the communities about as often as I do from my own research.  gives a daily report of some new and interesting concepts, which can spark your more creative side. They also have a information that will teach you how to spot trends, a community where you can become a “Trend Hunter” and create your own trend portfolio, and a ton of different web applications for your social media site of choice (Facebook, Twitter….). This site starts with its own curated list of interesting trends that it collects.  However, the site focuses its effors on its “monthly briefings”. but you will want to check out their tips on trend watching. This is a great site that posts some interesting trend ideas via daily blog posts.  Seriously entirely new businesses could be started with some of their ideas, they are that good. This is one of my personal favorites. This site reports weekly on new trends. What I like about this site is that you can send them information as well as them sending you their weekly updates. This makes the trends reported here truly a “communal” effort which means some of the trends will be dramatically different from other sites.

There is a TON of stuff out there regarding brainstorming and even some debate regarding the best ways to go about it.  To me, I think a very limited number of bounds need to be placed on your brainstorming session.  During this session you’re looking to come up first with the content your viral initiative will cover.  In fact, that’s the first rule for your initial brainstorming session.

The Rules

1)  limit to either talking about what content will be created
2) Strict time limits.  Each person has 5 seconds to spit out some kind of idea and each person has to say something for an idea.  Often I’m after “titles” for the piece that will be created as that will drive much of the later content.

I like 5 to 7 people in the brainstorming session, with each person getting six different times to give ideas.  

Each person will get 5 seconds (or more if they have several ideas, but they have 5 seconds to give some kind of idea) and then the next person will go and the next.  I like to set a total time for the “throw ideas out there” portion so that gets each person in the brainstorming session gets 6 “times” of being visited and asked to contribute something (and when it’s time for someone to give an idea, more than one is fine).  

Understand what that means.  Even if each person only gives one idea each of the times they are visited and even if I only have five people, that means 30 different ideas.  Something can be come up with.  Now imagine that there’s seven people and people are giving more than one idea each time they come up for a turn (which is what happens most of the time because ideas from a different person will fuel their own creativity) and now you’re talking 50 to upwards of 100 ideas.

Once that’s done, it’s time to pare them down.  

Start by considering the implications of your titles.  

Also, as a point of something to think about when doing this the farther “out there” you can be the better (remember, the idea is to create something people will talk about).  Having said that, if your brand or persona requires a certain level of seriousness then you may need to dial it back a little.  

Also consider your market as well.  If you’re in a super serious market, then some outlandish piece of viral content may not go viral at all as no one in your market will want to associate with it.  

The idea here is to create something that people want to talk about with and several people in your market will even want to be associated with when they share it out.

Now, one important thing about this brain storming session is that there are no bad ideas.  

You want to throw stuff out there and you want to encourage others to throw stuff out there.  Further you need to make sure that no one is teased, laughed at, or anything else for any idea they give.  You want ideas and the more ideas you get the better.

Often the best pieces of viral content will come from combining odd ideas together that may not have seemed all that great when the idea was given.

Scott Berkun has a great article on how to run a brainstorming meeting.

What’s the hook?

When planning your viral initiative, there’s got to be something interesting, eye-catching, some reason why people would want to not only take their time to look at what you have … but to feel good about sharing it.

You need to realize that attention spans on the web are abysmally short.  

Seriously, you’ve got about the time it takes to glance at a headline or a subject line.  That’s how long you’ve got.
A glance.

You need a hook that will drive curiosity enough that people will, once they’ve given you the glance, decide to look farther.

Some great “hooks” comes from an article by 7boats where they list (among others):
  • interviews
  • case studies
  • original research.  
In just about every market consumers love to look at them which makes it more likely that they’ll spread.  Additionally, Megan Marrs in a guest post over at the compete blog gave 12 ideas for hooks.
The 14 most common types of hooks are:
  1. Numbered lists
  2. Infographics
  3. Comics
  4. Interviews
  5. Case studies
  6. Videos
  7. Data/statistics/facts/figures
  8. Data Visualizations (charts & graphs)
  9. Quizzes
  10. Special reports
  11. Controversial statements
  12. Apps for mobile devices (these are new but becoming hot)
  13. Software
  14. Flash games

Where’s the barb?

Now that you’ve hooked them, you have 5 to 30 seconds to give them something that will keep their attention.  Almost like a barb on a hook.  

It’s the thing that keeps people sticking to your content and enjoying it.  

It starts by asking yourself, “is this interesting enough that I’d read it if I didn’t know who created it?”

In other words, once someone has gotten past the headline, will it be read beyond that?  Is there something interesting, unique, or compelling that they’ll want to continue looking?

Is there some kind of interesting story
that you can tell?

Can you weave in some kind of “strange intersection”?  

If you’re a lawyer wondering if Bella shouldn’t maybe sue the werewolf pack.  

Or if you’re a fitness person if Jennifer Anniston shouldn’t gain a little weight.  

Or perhaps if you’re a firearms manufacturer if Selene from the Underworld movies should be using better guns … e.g. “Is Selene packing the wrong heat?”

Or can you in some way be controversial?  

Can you say something that some people will strongly disagree with while others agree with enough to defend the detractors?  Controversy can spark insane amounts of sharing and virality.

You just need to be aware that you’ve got to have a thick skin to do this one.  The people that disagree with you may all too often not be nice about it.  

I remember some time ago (probably 4 or 5 years ago at this point) an SEO expert that I can no longer remember the name of said that Google was going to start tracking clicks through websites as a means of determining how things should rank.

People went nuts.  Some of the biggest names in the search optimization business at the time thought he was off his rocker and said that Google had no such way of doing anything like that.  This SEO guy was positively filleted by others in the space at the same time his notoriety grew extremely quickly.

Then along came Google Analytics and guess what … they did exactly what the guy said they would.  Tracking clicks through websites became one way that Google determined which links should ACTUALLY carry link juice and which shouldn’t.  The SEO expert proved to be right (though it did take longer for Google to implement than the guy said it would) and to this day I’ve never seen anyone ever admit they were wrong.

Today we have Search+ Your World and Google has gone far beyond anything those folks said would be possible.

Long story short, if you’re going to go the controversy route then understand that you can gain notoriety quickly … but you may not necessarily like the attention either.

How Will You Deliver It?

What I’m really getting at here is how will your viral content be given out.  

Will it be an:
  • article
  • special report
  • full blown “manifesto”
  • massive guide like this is
  • quiz
  • video
  • perhaps a cartoon, or even an app
  • or …

literally there are an endless number of ideas.  Just keep in mind something, if you want people to talk about your viral content then you really kind of need to deliver your content in a way no one else is doing it.

Ideally, you want to present something new, or present something old in a new way.

But Don’t Create Anything Yet

Let me say this however, during this phase of your viral initiative you just want to plan things out.

The reason you should plan first before you create anything is that you can plan anything.

Planning is limited only by your imagination.  That means you can make your viral “thing” almost anything.  It can be much grander and much better that way.

Not only that, but before investing time and effort into the project, why not begin your outreach now?  

Contact the other folks in your industry that have a large following and discuss your idea with them.  

If you want to create a piece of viral content then getting buy-in from other folks in your industry that you are hoping will spread the content early in the development process is a good thing.  Besides, you never know what ideas they will have that will improve the project.

This could almost be looked at like a secondary brainstorming effort.  Since it’s the other bloggers/social media players that you’re going to be looking to help spread what you’ve created, getting early buy in and their own ideas and input on it can only help make things happen.

+Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz has a fantastic whiteboard video where he talks about increasing the odds of your content going viral.

In that video he not only talks about running your content by your influencers to get their ideas, but also talks about getting their direct opinions on the project.  Doing an interview with them.

Basically, actually getting their formal input directly into your project.

He also describes other methods for improving the odds of your content going viral so you will definitely want to see the video.

Not only that, but to create something “epic”, something “worthy” of going viral, you’re probably going to need to do some detailed research so you definitely shouldn't be creating anything yet.

Chapter 4 - Research

Going back to the “SEO Guide to Creating Viral Linkbait” they have this to say: In general, look for data sources rather than information sources. If you can find data sources that publish fresh, new data regularly, then being the first mover to do something interesting with the latest ‘annual population figures’ or something has advantages over rehashing previously published information.

I can’t tell you how crucial this is.

For one thing, taking the time to find data sources can often mean the generation of still more ideas for more viral content.

For another, most pieces of viral content are either written reports, infographics, or videos and most of those are going to need some kind of hard data to back them up.

Now the SEO Guide I’ve linked to a couple of times already gives a number of sources for your data.  I’m not giving sources in this report because the sources you need will vary greatly depending on what you’re wanting to create.

What you need to do is make sure that the data that you’re using is from a reputable source.  A great piece of viral content can absolutely kill your reputation if you use bad data or if the way you’re using the data isn’t correct or valid.

Once you have some data, the next step is to create “visualizations” of the data; charts, graphs, that sort of thing (just use excel, numbers, or even google docs for this).  Often when the data is visualized you’ll find further interesting trends or outliers that you can talk or write about.

Which brings me to writing about your data.  You could just describe what the visualization says that you’re putting into your content.  But besides being boring it misses the point.

Why not instead start by asking a question and use that to lead into a story that is then followed by a shocking statistic?

In other words, write in a way that leads your readers through the data visualizations.

Now go back, and rewrite it.  Consider what I said earlier: attention spans on the web are short.  Most people are just going to skim what you wrote.  If you want people to fondly receive your content then it has to be digestible very quickly.

That means to write with bullet points, and other things that can allow someone to skim your content and still get the “gist”.

  • Short
  • Concise
  • To the point
You could almost think of this as being a bit “punchy”.

Short sentences.

That can be consumed quickly and easily.

Not that doesn’t mean that you can’t write something longer with a bit more “meat” to it, but that needs to be broken up with graphics, bullets, headlines, and so on.  In other words, it should be able to be consumed at a skim, and in further detail for those that want the whole story.  Make sense?

At this point I suppose you could start writing.  But honestly that’d be a mistake.  

Grab a whiteboard or a legal pad and layout what your piece of viral content will look like at a high level.

  • What graphics will you have created?
  • If there’s going to be headlines, can any of those be done as graphics?
  • Will you really need a set style or can you “mix things up” graphically a little to keep things interesting?

What’s important is to lay the thing out, just a wire frame is good enough for this point.

Seriously, the point to this piece is to make sure that your content is not only visually appealing, but also keeps people interested.  Something can be visually appealing, but if it’s the same thing, for too long, even appealing gets boring.

So how (and when) will you change things up?

What will you do to not only keep your content appealing, but also keep in interesting?  Again, laying out a wire frame of what you’ll do and when is a crucial step.

Outsourcing A Graphic Artist

If you don’t have a graphic artist, or the one you do have is busy on other projects, then your best bet is to outsource this piece.

Understand something, hiring an artist isn’t much different from hiring any other skill or profession. 

Just because you don’t clearly understand what they will do doesn’t mean you can’t clearly understand the kind of result you want.

What you will need to do for any graphics you want is give a description of what you’re looking for.  Is there something similar to the graphic you want that you can show as an example?

The more descriptive you can be about each piece of art you want, the better.

And here’s the thing, with many kinds of graphics there are numerous examples you can find, especially at a major site like or one of the other large stock images sites.

Now, this is stock imagery that we’re talking about and if you want something unique to your piece that means employing an artist.  That doesn’t mean you can’t take some of those stock images and explain how you would like them to be different

  • What colors do you want?  
  • Or perhaps you want several of an image together (like this report’s title)

Take examples and simply explain how you would like them to be different or more appropriate for what you’re doing.  The more descriptive you can be the more likely you will get the exact kind of image that you’re looking for.

It is in the imagery that something merely good can become great; so you want to seriously think about this piece of the puzzle.

Having said that, you want to be careful.  Give an artist a single thing to work on and make sure that they’re doing the kind of work you want before giving them anything else to work on this way you know the person you’ve hired will produce great work for the rest of your project as well.

Now you just put it all together.

It Takes Time

By now you’ve probably come to the inescapable reality that producing something great is actually a lot of work.  Folks, there is no doubt about it … it is.

It’s also very worth it!

Now at this point I want to say something that might leave you gritting your teeth because I waited until now to say it … viral content that is a “blend of media types” is seriously killer stuff.

As an example, embed video into anything written.  Include copius use of cartoons in your videos.  Or cartoons in your written work, along with graphs and data visualizations.

In other words, take the time to create something epic.

Further, while this takes even more time, I want to share another strategy with you that’s proven in multiple niches to be amazingly effective.

Very often there are a lot of struggling smaller players.  Many of them are pretty good and really know their stuff.  What if instead of gaining a bunch of insight from just a few big dogs you instead created a major post with input from a large number of smaller players.

What you’ll find is that every single one of those smaller players will then link to the content when it’s created giving you a surprisingly large reach very quickly.

And to be clear, it’s far easier to get those folks to work with you than it is some huge top 5 influencer in your market that is getting 50 such requests every single day.

In other words, by working with smaller folks you help them out at the same time you’re helping yourself out making it a win for everyone.

Chapter 6 - Distribution

As I said earlier, the wider you can distribute your content, the better.

If you’ve followed my earlier advice, you’ve already started talking to people about what you’re creating.  In fact hopefully you’ve gotten their direct input and contribution.

It’s tempting to want to jump the gun and send something out at this point but don’t do that yet.

Your link partners should know what you’re doing, they’re on board, and possibly are even excited to be associated with the project.  What you want to do now this:

Get Your Link Partners To All Share Your Content
On The Exact Same Day

Ideally this is the exact same day that your content will in some way be linked to or talked about in the print media.

The idea here is two fold:
  • Your content will suddenly appear everywhere at once (which will help to stoke conversation)
  • None of your big dogs will seem to simply be copying any of the others.  This helps them out as well.

And again, when you start to distribute your content, remember that getting several “sneezers” who will share your content is better than distributing to massive people that won’t.

In fact, this whole concept of making sure that you are putting your content out through people that will share it is a major reason why I’m going to say …

You Must Be On And Share Through Google+

In fact I would say that this should be the place you consider starting your viral efforts because there is much more sharing that I see going on at G+ than on any other social network.

Not only that, but it’s much easier to seem as if your content is everywhere on a smaller network.  In other words, it’s easier to make what seems to be a big splash which can then carry over to the other social media platforms.

And that my friends mean using +Daniel Treadwell’s “Google+ Your Blog” plugin for wordpress.  There are both free and paid versions, but seriously the paid version gives some hardcore, no joke KILLER functionality, and when you figure it’s only 10 bucks I say that what you get is money well spent.

Having said that, because the Google+ community is so small, they will know if you’re just faking it which means you out to consider going on a “Google+ Diet”.  That’s where, at least during the planning, production, and distribution phases of your viral content, you focus your efforts ONLY on Google+, and use the other networks simply to repost.

Not only that, but thanks to the fact that Google+ is a smaller community, it becomes far easier to connect with people that will share you content and to build a following yourself.  

Louis Gray has an incredible post “10 Great Ways To Get Discovered On Google+.”  With a smaller network, you can:
  • embrace the community more fully
  • Speak from your experience without being drowned out by everyone else
  • Have a sense of humor that won’t look like another “me too”
  • Gain the attention of others through mentions of them and their stuff in your own content
  • Embrace “Hangouts” (some of the most cool functionality of G+)
  • Break news.  

Now that’s just a seriously hacked to bits and summarized version of Louis’ post which goes into much more detail and provides some incredible examples as well. Here’s the other, and it kind of goes without saying but I’m going to anyway.

When you create something truly great, tell everyone you possibly can about it.  Talk about it on your YouTube Channels, tweet about it, write G+ posts about it, and tweet it.  Share on Pintrest and Quora.  Sheesh, talk about it on the elevator!

Which brings me to something.  

Your content needs an easy to remember URL to get at it.  

This way even if you’re just talking to someone and you bring it up, the URL should be something they can remember so that they can take a look when they’re back in front of a computer.

Secondly, and this is nearly as important as anything else in this report, you must make sure that sharing your content is as easy as possible.  

Next, I want to circle back around to something somewhat important.

The smaller social networks like Pintrest, Quora, and especially Google+ really are the places to be focusing your efforts.  It’s so much easier to get noticed and to be heavily shared in those places.  If your content is also easily shared on the other social networks through sharing buttons then the excitement on one should eventually spread to the other.

Next, once your content is create and once your sharers are sharing … keep the discussion going.

  • Write posts with excerpts from the full content and then link to the actual thing.
  • Create videos and talk about the full content and link to it.
  • Talk about it until people are sick of hearing about it and then talk about it some more.

Once you’re building a following, you are not done yet!!!

Now follow that up with more viral awesomeness and continue to “spread your fame.”

Here’s the thing.  The first time you do this it may not get you much attention.

Sure, it’ll get you some, but probably not a bunch.

If you follow that up with something else awesome following the same steps in this report, you’ll find you can spread your content a little farther … a little wider.

Do it again, and you’ll get farther still.

Soon producing epic content will become a habit and getting that content into the hands of hundreds of thousands will be a piece of cake.

The Steps

With the details and information out of the way, I’d like to give you the steps without all the other stuff in there.

Build your database of people

Build your database of possibly interested journalists

Contact and talk to the people and journalists (just let them know you’ve got something coming)

Research what’s going on out in your market and the general public

Brainstorm ideas with 5 to 7 people

Decide on your “hook” and your “barbs”

Research for data and sources

Decide on how that content will be structured (report, video, etc)

Contact your resources and reach out to people that may be interested in sharing and let them look over what you have.  Get them involved early as contributors to the project

Create a wire frame design of your content

Decide on unique graphics and data visualizations




Before I get filleted by any academicians out there, I am well aware that just laying out the links isn’t exactly an appropriate “MLA” cite.  However, I wanted to give people credit where it’s due.  Below are the various and sundry places that this guide was generated from.  I’d like to take this time now to thank each of them for their work in this area which contributed greatly to this definitive guide. 

 Others (as noted in the About page of this guide) also contributed heavily as well, but via so much content that linking to any one thing would have been a challenge.

Not only that, but let me highly suggest checking out these source documents and reading them for yourself to further expand your knowledge and capability in creating viral content.

Google+ Your Blog from +Daniel Treadwell

Louis Gray 10 Great Ways to Get Discovered on Google+

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