There have been big success stories as far as profitable viral blogs are concerned. Sites like Upworthy, Distractify and ViralNova have gone insanely popular and brought their creators millions of dollars. For example, ViralNova has been sold for more than $100 million.
How Viral Blogs Work
Essentially all viral blogs are some kinds of content farms that survey the internet for favorite memes and vidoes and share these with their readers. The source sites can be the whole of internet but mostly they head over to sites like Buzzfeed and 9GAG etc and copy content from there. Add their own twist to the headlines to make these linkbaits and then promote these thin posts. Since these viral blogs are not the original creators of the content itself, therefore, they can take a start even on a shoestring budget. For example ViralNova initially started with only one man and then added two other staff which it calls writers. And this team of three people took it to the popularity level of buzzzfeed. Soon they were earning $100,000 per week from advertisements. And finally the website was sold for $100 million.
Most of these sites initially get their traffic from cheap advertising like from Facebook. Due to inherent nature of their viral content, Facebook is the ideal platform to promote such kind of posts.
Is it Still Possible
It is still possible to create profitable viral blogs though it is not that easy anymore. The sites like ViralNova have made Facebook tweak its algorithms and now the posts shared on a Facebook page reach only a select number of followers. And for additional exposure you have to buy Facebook ads.
The success of viral blogs like in extremely aggressive promotion of posts via multiple channels. Once you have built an audience it becomes easier. But initially, you have to put in a lot of effort. The maker of ViralNova said that he worked like 18 hours a day for a long time to make it a success.
The key is that you need to put in your 100 percent effort and no half-hearted attempts are likely to succeed now. You need to carefully track, split test different headlines and also use a website design that is designed to be encourage sharing of posts by readers. ViralNova uses a theme from MyThemeShop, so you might want to have a look at their theme. Another trick that these profitable viral blogs use is that they split up a single post into multiple pages to encourage clicks and page-loads.