Going viral is largely about leveraging a viral trend. In March 2021, one such example was a ship stuck in the Suez Canal.
Tom from “Not fun at parties” decided to take advantage and created a website called Istheshipstillstuck.com.
Initially, he was just wasting time on the internet. When he Googled “is the ship still stuck” he realized there was an opportunity. So, he built the website.
To make a long story short, the website received 50 million visitors in just five days. At its peak, there were nearly 10,000 requests to the site per second.
There’s the technical element to hosting a website that can host such a large volume of traffic, but most internet marketers probably just want to hear about the monetization part.
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He didn’t use ads.
1) He doesn’t like them, and
2) it takes time going through the approval process of an advertising network.
It would have taken more days to get ads approved than they took to free the ship in the Suez Canal.
He tried to sell an NFT of the page. It became one of the top 8 most viewed out of over 15 million NFTs on the OpenSea platform.
Still, it wasn’t that much. He sold the piece of art for $200 worth of cryptocurrency.
Affiliate marketing with Amazon
Getting approved for the Amazon Partnership Program is quite fast.
So, he decided to start suggesting books on his meme website. Revenue was $279.
Linking to his other site
He promoted his other site timetospare.com to generate some referral traffic and whatever the backlink is worth.
It’s not how much traffic you get, but what you do with it.
It’s hard to match a fleeting news story with high-grossing goods and services. This is why media companies largely sell ads.
Without ads, a generalized affiliate program (e.g., Amazon) can be a good bet as well as advertising other things you own as a funnel.