Here’s How howlermunkey Turned Diet Coke into a Jameis Winston Jersey

…With his earnings from a viral Hub on Diet Coke at McDonald’s!

I’m very excited to congratulate Hubber Jeffrey Boettner (howlermunkey) for creating the first viral Facebook hit of 2014! Starting on January 2nd, his Hub, Why does fountain Diet Coke taste better at McDonald’s?, has received over 800,000 views (and still climbing) from Facebook, as well as several thousand search views. So far, he’s earned over $2,000 and counting from just this Hub! Here are a few words from Jeff, who is still in shock after discovering his Hub’s explosion in popularity:

Where did you get the idea to write about Diet Coke at McDonald’s, and why do you think this particular Hub has become so popular?

I’ve always noticed a huge difference between the sodas at McDonalds and elsewhere, and apparently, so have my readers, which is the reason I believe this hub went viral. I touched upon a question that has been asked for years but not answered…. people suspected sodas at McDonalds were superior (and trust me if you drink soda like I do you notice the difference), but most people have no idea why. Many people think there is a secret contract between McDonalds and the Coca-Cola company.

What do you plan to do with your viral earnings?

First I’m buying a Jameis Winston jersey on eBay (!!Go Noles!!). Second, I plan to give a percentage of my earnings to my favorite cause, Coach Luma Mufleh and The Fugees Family. Most importantly I just want to give a very sincere thanks to HubPages for everything you do. You Rock in so many ways, and I’m very proud to say that I write for HubPages. Thank you so much.

For more on viral content, check out our previous Blog post.

You Won’t Believe how Brownie83 Is Paying for the Birth of Her First Child

…She earned $5,000 from one Hub in just 7 days!

Kelly’s Story:

Just a few days ago, Hubber Kelly Brown (Brownie83) took Facebook by storm with her viral Hub, 10 Things Nurses Don’t Want You to Know, breaking the HubPages record for the most viral Facebook Hub ever! Starting on December 12th, her Hub began to pick up steam, ultimately receiving  over 2 million views in the last 7 days. Though her Hub achieved most of its success through Facebook shares, she additionally received over 2,000 Pinterest views this week. From her week-long whirlwind of popularity, Kelly has earned over $5,000 and counting from just this one Hub! Here are her thoughts:

How does it feel to have one of your Hubs go viral?

I’m still in a state of shock in finding out that one of my hubs went viral. I started my amateur Hub writing last fall after completing graduate school, when I found myself with extensive free time due to my unwanted unemployment. I simply started Hub writing as an emotional outlet and a way to productively spend my time while searching for career opportunities. I never shared my Hubs on social media or even with my husband as I really didn’t think of it as a “big deal.” However, I have to say I’m kind of impressed at how much of a stir I’ve made so far with my viral Hub. I may have to consider refocusing my interests back to paper (HubPages) once again!

Were you aiming to go viral when you wrote this Hub, or did it take you by surprise?

Absolutely surprised! I wrote this Hub over a year ago and didn’t think much of it until I got your email that mentioned my Hub has become “quite a success.” Shortly after starting HubPages last year, I began my career as a Nurse Practitioner and have been so busy I haven’t had the free time to write further Hubs or even take notice when they’ve become popular.

What aspects of your Hub do you think had the most influence on its popularity?

I think everyone has been affected by the Healthcare industry in one way or another and that in itself stirs a lot of emotions. Life, death and life-changing events happen on a daily basis in the hospital and each person can tell you a different story, a different experience and a different opinion based on their point-of-view. I myself have been the patient, a nurse’s aid, a floor nurse, and now a Nurse Practitioner over the years. I understand the hierarchy that works within the hospital and I’ve seen when “the system” fails the patient. I feel strongly about patient advocacy and it was a large reason why I wrote the article in the first place; to give a quick look into nursing behind the white walls and piles of papers (or now electronic medical records).

I feel that my topic about pain control was also a big stir as I feel many people believe nursing care is black and white with defined rules and universal care from one nurse to the next. When in fact, it’s quite personalized and varies from one nurse to another and is a part of what makes nursing unique and even controversial at times.

Reading back on my Hub from last year, I notice things that I could add or maybe a different way of wording my thoughts to make it a better article. But overall, it’s the context that stirs the emotions, opinions, praises and criticism. It’s almost as if the reader’s comments alone have made their own Hub below mine, which I find the most interesting.

What do you plan to do with your viral earnings? Do you have anything special in mind?

I am currently 7 1/2 months pregnant with my first child, so my husband and I will be saving that money for our future hospital bill. Hopefully, we have some left over to put towards a trust fund for our daughter.

A Bit About Viral Content:

Creating a viral hit is incredibly challenging, and there’s a huge amount of luck involved, but Kelly’s story shows us that it’s possible. There’s no set formula that will guarantee a Hub to go viral. However, there are a few characteristics shared by most viral content, including Kelly’s. Here are a few reasons we think her Hub was such a huge success:

  • Kelly’s title intrigues you. It piques your curiosity. Admit it. You want to know what nurses are hiding from you. I sure did, so I read her Hub!

  • Kelly’s image is clickable. Her Hub’s first image (the one that shows up on Facebook Shares) is interesting and attention-grabbing. It makes you look twice and entices you to learn about the context.

  • Kelly’s Hub offers exclusive, insider knowledge. Most of us have depended on a nurse for care during some point in our lives, but Kelly offers us an insider’s look at the world of being a nurse, from her own experience. She gives us information most people would not have access to without reading her Hub.

  • Kelly’s Hub is positive and empowering. While giving us an insider look at nursing, Kelly stays positive. She doesn’t vilify or put down either patients or nurses. She makes it clear that quality of care is very important to most nurses while providing useful information to help patients get the most out of their health care experience.

  • Kelly’s Hub is sharable. Kelly does more than just make you curious enough to read her Hub with a clever title and interesting photo. She delivers with her content too. Her Hub provides new and interesting information that people want to be the first to share with their friends.

How to Spark Interest

Online Writing InsiderWhat is it that sparks the interest of a reader or journalist?  What makes an online article go viral?

Find out in this episode of the Online Writing Insider (How to Spark Interest) in which PR expert Pia Chatterjee and internet meme fan Simone Smith discuss just various means by which online writers can attract reader and media attention.

With a mixture of expertise, unexpectedness, foresight, and pattern recognition, you can be on your way to composing viral-ready articles in no time!

From Bigfoot Sightings to the Best Beef Chili

One of the things I love most about HubPages is the fascinating and varied expertise of everyone in our community.  North Carolina Hubber crazyhorsesghost serves as a great example – he is both an excellent cook and an expert in the paranormal.

Yesterday crazyhorsesghost published a Hub about a Big Foot sighting he had on March 22nd that has since gone viral.  The Hub is quite well done – it includes both crazyhorsesghost’s original photos and video – and it has already been picked up by the NY Daily News,, Huffpost Green, and Fox News, and liked over 2,000 times on Facebook!  Clearly crazyhorsesghost has proven himself to be an expert by going out there and documenting his paranormal experiences.

In true HubPages fashion, crazyhorsesghost publishes all sorts of useful articles, and even shares his award-winning beef chili recipe as well as directions for making the World’s Most Dangerous Chocolate Cake in a mere three minutes.  Like many, crazyhorsesghost has several interests and does a great job writing about all of them on

HubPages is full of everyday experts like crazyhorsesghost who publish truly interesting and useful Hubs every day.  We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we do!