What’s it like to go viral? Like on the internet? (Not COVID)
I may actually know a thing or two about that.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the “Wine Workout” videos – they were really popular a couple of years back- but if you have, most likely it was one of my videos. There were a few copycats later on, but I was the OG of Wine Workouts. What a thing to be known for right? Overall, I’ve had over 500 million views total on Facebook alone, and I have no idea how many on other social media sites, but it was definitely a crazy thing! Here’s a few of my terrible ( but fun!) ideas:
So, yeah, those are a few of the videos that ended up making the rounds online. I’ve had a few other non-alcohol related videos take off, usually involving my awesome dog Cash, or my family’s animals, and it’s been really fun to see them pop up in random places online, and see the internet’s reactions to them. You can check out all the videos on my Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSkrUpVBFD-AWmFSsTcUl7g
That being said, I often get a ton of questions from people about the videos, and going viral in general. Here’s the ones I always seem to get:
DO YOU MAKE ANY MONEY????
Of course, people always want to know that. Which, honestly, I find kind of rude. But if you really want to know, yes, I do. Not a ton. Not enough to get rich or anything. But with licensing with great companies like Storyful, Newsflare, and Jukin, it’s a nice side gig. It definitely pays for wine and then some. I’ve been really lucky to have zero overhead or production and to be able to randomly make videos that sell. Now, to really make money off of videos, you have to really commit to it and grow your Youtube channel (which I’m bad at doing) and put a lot of work into it, OR be a celebrity and have built in followers. I’m in neither camp, and just see the videos as a fun anitdote in my life. My real gig is radio, and I want to keep it that way. The videos are purely for fun.
HOW DID YOU GO VIRAL?
Luck! And a random, off the cuff idea that I came up with one day after the gym. I came home, and I saw a cartoon of a girl drinking wine while doing push-ups. My friend Stacy had sent it to me, and light bulb had gone off in my head. Before I lost interest, I poured a glass of wine and stuck a straw in it and gave my phone to my husband. I put the video up on one of the Facebook page of one of the radio stations that I worked for, and it went bananas, getting over 27 million views.
Yes, my form was terrible, but it was done on a whim, and I had absolutely NO idea what it was going to do. I remember being so excited about it, and pretty much everyone at work was like “So?”
Gotta love that kind of support.
Anyway, online outlets took notice, and then companies started reaching out and it pretty much snowballed from there. I was definitely onto something, so I kept making videos. Wine not??? So that’s how it happened. A total happy accident. I just ran with it.
WHERE WERE YOUR VIDEOS FEATURED?
My favorite was a story on “Good Morning America”! Lara Spencer and Amy Robach (two of my favorite women on tv!) covered and I’m still not ok.
Also, sites like People, Daily Mail, all the viral sites like Unilad and Viral Thread, Viral Spiral, Newsflare… it’s all been really cool. Local tv stations have covered it, and I’m still in disbelief that something so simple could go so far.
Other fun videos that had a lot of reach…
Thanks to my BFF Erica for making the unicorn noises on this one…
I filmed the above video while working a wedding on my parents farm. I put it on YouTube and ABC News picked up the next week. It just goes to show that you NEVER know what will be a hit!
BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE COMMENTS???
One of the things about going viral for WHATEVER reason is that people are rude and salty and will make terrible comments about anything. Admittedly, it hurt at first, but after awhile, I realized that it wasn’t that big of a deal. People, in general, can be absolutely terrible, and social media gives those kinds of people an outlet to be keyboard warriors. So I learned to just laugh it off, and move on. It’s not like I actually know those people (thank God!) so I don’t take it personally. If nothing else, it’s entertaining for me to see how idiotic people can be. Oddly enough, it’s made me stronger, having to see those things written about me, and realizing that these opinions matter absolutely zero. But if you ever do have something get a lot of traction online, prepare yourself for that fun.
OMG!!! DO YOU WORK OUT LIKE THAT EVERY DAY?
I get this one a lot.
People are idiots.
Absolutely not. It’s a freaking joke. For the eight millionth time, it’s just satire. A funny idea. In a perfect world, maybe. But it’s insane to realize that a lot of people think it’s real. I mean, come the heck on, seriously??? Then again, people think “The Bachelor” is real, so… maybe not so preposterous.
ARE YOU, LIKE, AN ALCOHOLIC?
Yes, really. That’s another popular question.
Like, what am I supposed to say? “Well, now that you mention it, yes, I certainly am. I better go to a meeting.”
No. I’m not. I love wine, but I’m really all about moderation. But nobody likes videos about moderation, sooooo….
CAN YOU MAKE MY VIDEO GO VIRAL?
I get a lot of people sending me things telling me to make them go viral. I never really know what to do in that situation. I just tell them to send them to an actual company and go from there. I honestly have nothing to do with it. Sorry friends.
But what I CAN do is give you some tips on how to make a video that will get attention and perhaps have a shot at lots of views.
1: Keep it Short
People have the attention spans of gnats. Get to the point! Now, longer videos have gone viral, but a majority are to the point. Keep it under a minute!
2: Get That Good Lighting!
Like instagram photos, bright, sharp, well-lit videos get more attention that dark, out of focus ones.
3: Have Something That’s Relatable to the Masses
That’s a big one. It’s got to be something that a lot of people will want to stop what they’re doing and watch. If it goes well on your social media, then you’ll know you may have something.
4: Promote It!
Reddit is great for that. Also, tell your friends to share! Don’t be afraid to self-promote. It took me a while to get over that one. I always felt uncomfortable asking people to share things, but I got over it, and you should too.
5: License it!
If you have a video that performs well on social media, you may get approached by video companies and definitely look into it! How that works, is that a licensing company will have the rights to your video, promote it, and sell it to major news outlets. You’ll get a cut of the profits. It’s a lot easier than trying to pimp out a video yourself, and you can make a little extra money.
If you choose not to license it, you can let anyone use it, but you won’t get paid. And not having it licensed opens you up to people stealing your stuff and you getting NO credit for it. Which happened to me a ton. The worst is those OMG Quiz sites, who like to screen shot my videos and use them for advertising. So, licensing with a company can help protect that from happening. And let me tell you from experience, getting a social media credit doesn’t really do anything for you. You may get a few followers, but not what you would think. For instance, the video of me with the wine curl bar on Unilad had 47 million views. There was a social media credit. Did it really do anything for me? No. I think I may have gotten 50 followers off of 47 million views. People just don’t care enough to click on it, and I get that. Other people may have gotten a ton of followers, but it wasn’t that way for me.
Overall, going viral has been a really fun experience. I love seeing all the random places my videos end up, and it’s just a fun anecdote in my life. It’s just not something to take seriously (for me, at least). Just know that once your video is out there, it’s out there. There’s no taking it back on the internet. Since I’m in radio, my ridiculousness is kind of encouraged. But if you have a real job, just be aware of the fact that there could be negative repercussions.
Let’s just hope my husband doesn’t run for office one day!
Good luck, and have fun- you just never know what will make the news. If I did it, then seriously… it can’t be that hard.