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Published 12.09.2015 | Author : admin | Category : The Respect Principle Pdf

For a while, ViralNova was a one-man startup run entirely by DeLong and two freelance writers. ViralNova capitalized on social-friendly stories with catchy headlines that would explode on Facebook. In the past year though, Facebook has cracked down on viral sites and changed its NewsFeed algorithm to show fewer of their stories. The 32-year-old Ohio native had built websites before and sold them, but he had never been a full-fledged CEO.
GodvineThe most popular story on Godvine in 2014 was this video about a Chik-fil-a franchise closing to honor a slain police officer. ViralNova was meant to be an even broader version of GodVine a€” it would publish viral content without the religious tie.
But eight months after launching ViralNova, in January 2014, the stress of running a one-person startup became too much for DeLong. There weren't many bidders but there were a lot of people who wanted to invest in ViralNova. It took a New York City entrepreneur named Sean Beckner to convince DeLong to stay in the game.

Tilford built DeLong a custom CMS, which the team calls Nova, that has a bunch of social-engagement tools and data built into it, including the ability to test two different headlines at the same time to see which performs better.
Today ViralNova has 22 full-time employees and it is on track to generate $35 million this year. When asked if he's still working 16 hours DeLong replied, "It'sA much better now, put it that way.
Together they were able to grow their website to Buzzfeed's size and scale a€” about 100 million monthly readers a€” without having any full-time staff or raising any money from outside investors. Within eight months, his lean shop was generating six figures per month and millions of dollars annually.
EliteDaily, Mic, Upworthy, and Distractify all launched around the same time and grew to tens of millions of monthly readers by having their articles spread far and wide on Facebook. The changes have killed off some of ViralNova's competitors, and it caused DeLong's business to suffer too. His first successful online business was a website for Halo 2 enthusiasts that generated $500 a month from Google ads.
He launched GodVine, a website with uplifting stories that resonated with Facebook's female-heavy demographic.

His website was running on a bare-bones version of Wordpress; ViralNova had so much traffic that any widget DeLong tried to add would break his site. One of DeLong's freelance writers, Sara Heddleston, became ViralNova's managing editor and hired a dozen writers. DeLong launched it in his early 20s, shortly after he graduated from Kent State University. It became a top-1,500 website on traffic-ranking site Alexa, and DeLong sold GodVine for a "life-changing" sum to Salem Communications. And although ViralNova was netting DeLong millions of dollars personally, he was working 16 hours every day, even on weekends.
A direct-ad-sales team was also hired to better monetize ViralNova's 100 million+ monthly pageviews. The deal would allow DeLong to get paid and reclaim sanity while also continuing to further the business.

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