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Viral Stories

     I have explained that interesting stories attract people . To go one step further, let's make the stories not only attractive but also viral.


     First, viral stories must be the ones people want to hear. Say you hire a consultant. Even though no one likes having their faults pointed out, the consultant will discover your faults. Contrary to how you feel, such fault-finding will make your business grow. Therefore, the consultant's advice has value, but it is advice you do "not want" to hear. However, if the consultant just praises you, you will feel good, but your business will not grow. Thus, the consultant's advice is worthless, but it is advice you "want" to hear. You need to realize that the value or importance of stories has no relation to listeners' feelings, such as "want" or "not want."


     Coming up with stories people want to hear, however, is not good enough for viral stories. For example, an article about how to get rid of a chocolate stain on a white shirt is a story people "want" but one that is hard to spread. When an Internet user finds the "how-to," the first thing the user does is try it out. When the stain is cleaned up completely, the user might say, "Woohoo," but that's about it. It would be highly unlikely for the user to go back online and spread the word.


     The last ingredient in the viral stories is that of exciting readers' feelings. A recent story I noticed was a video of a man who flew up into the sky by sitting on a chair that had a bunch of helium balloons attached to it. That video was worthless, but people spread the video even after the man got arrested. This incident shows you that the viral stories must be extremely funny, not just "average" funny. Or, very funny stories are the stories that spread faster. (The same rule applies to other kinds of human emotions, like "touching.") Once you hit the emotional button of the readers, you can't stop your stories from spreading.

© January, 2016