Epic Fail – Wishin’ and Hopin’ and Prayin’ for a Viral Video

Turns out you can’t manufacture a viral video.

Well, I mean, you absolutely can make a viral video but you can’t make it a viral video.

The other day, I threw out a hypothesis that I could turn a simple video into a viral video by simply asking my readers and the video’s viewers to Digg, Stumble, Reddit, Tweet, Facebook, email, and blog the video. Seems simple enough, right?

Turns out, asking your readers and viewers to do this stuff does have an effect: the video ended up getting about 5 times as many views as most of my other videos. The problem was, that still ended up being only 150 views, far less than the 5,000 or whatever that I wanted.

(As a side note – yes, I realize 5,000 views does not constitute a viral video. However, for me, that would have blown my mind.)

So, what’s the moral of the story?

I think I proved my point that you get a lot further by telling your readers and viewers what you want from them as opposed to beating around the bush. However, as has been stated many times before, you can’t make a video become viral, it just sort of has to happen.

What are your thoughts? Post your comments below.


  1. Shoot, I’m in the process of trying to get my website viral let alone video. Time to pick up a camera and start shooting. If all I had to do is ask people to spread my content then i should have been doing that all along. Thank you for the advice.

  2. I agree that you need to tell a customer what actions to take so that they know what is expected of them. I believe there are other factors at play and probably many more

    1- Is it a great product that solves some needs and wows your customer. Wow Factor
    2- Is there something in it for them?
    3- Do they believe its worth showing off?

    So I agree that you can make a viral video but you cant make it take off unless you get the formula right. I guess the question for me becomes “What is the right formula or a viral video?”

    Has it been seen before
    Could it be easily duplicated
    Does it stun and delight the viewer

    Maybe its just about capturing that one of moment that plays havoc with a particular type of emotion

    Hec I dont know, Im just rambling

  3. I liked the video’s. Really liked when you were up side down. Yes, I do agree with you that you have to tell people what you want.

    The nature of most people is wanting to help. If someone feels they are helping they are more apt to take the plunge.


    • Hi Debbie. I’ve been so guilty asking people what I want and it stems from fear and lack of communication on my part. It’s a self sabotaging behavior and one that I certainly want to replace with another more productive approach. My concern is that when I ask people for what I want or when I ask them for their help when does asking for help become too much?

      I would say that placing boundaries. There I go, I just answered my own question.

  4. I’m hoping for a viral video for sure!…:) Hi Brian…

  5. The upside down thing did make me laugh! You should include that feature in your next viral attempt, lol. I’m sorry that your first attempt didn’t yield the results you were hoping for. Don’t let that stop you though!

  6. Epic Viral says

    Its true you cant make a video go viral. The web likes what it likes.
    But you can do your best to get it to the people to it has a chance to grow.

    Imagine Numa Numa guy posted that video with no title, no tags, no description nothing to help it get found. It would probably have gone unnoticed.

    Tell people about your video. Post on other peoples blogs and sites premoting the video like im doing right now.