“Going Viral” is the new American Dream. Everyone from pre-teens to my co-workers are clamoring to get the latest viral sensation. After having an accidental dalliance with going viral myself I’ve been fascinated with the phenomenon. So I called on some experts to chat about their experience with me.

My friend Anna Lind-Thomas from HaHas for Hooohas is an author and fellow podcaster who has touched the viral heavens numerous times. Her co-host on The Anna and Susannah Show is author Susannah B. Lewis of Whoa Susannah fame. Both have gone viral with their website, memes, and online videos.

Anna shared her perspective on how her website went viral when she posted The Fart Story, which you should totally read if you haven’t yet.  But she also explains how a video she recently shot also shot through the roof. Is there a rhyme or reason? Who knows. But had a few good laughs trying to figure it out.

I can tell you after the whirlwind week I had after Christmas I had a deeper understanding of the appeal of mass appeal. When millions of people watch something you posted, there is a trickle down effect of sorts onto your other platforms. And you think for a moment, this is it. This is when I become a star!

That traffic from my YouTube video transferred over to my website, and my social outlets. Everything got a boost in numbers. Everyone around me was saying we would go on Ellen, we would be on the Today show, or that even Steve Harvey would want us on his show to talk about our famous cat and her sneaky moves.

None of that happened.

In fact what actually happened after my video went viral was kind of a bummer.  There’s such an expectation of what a viral video can do for your career or fame. And maybe that does happen for some people. But in the age where people are going viral every day, I believe there are now different levels of going viral.

There’s David at the dentist viral (one of the originals), Chewbacca Mom viral, the every day viral (like me), meme viral, gif viral, website viral, reddit viral, imgur virla and more. Even my friend Kristian thinks he went viral with a few thousand retweets on Twitter. Bottom line, viral videos are so saturated now it’s hard to break out and really become a viral star unless a TV talk show like Ellen picks up your video and features you on their show.

I explain more in-depth in this episode how signing with a media licensing company effectively ruined any chance of making money and helping my video grow even more. This was a big lesson learned for me. Now if lightning strikes twice, hopefully I’ll be in a better position to make smart decisions.

But that was just one part of the puzzle. The timing of my viral video was great for everyone in the Christmas spirit who wanted a laugh. Not great for making TV appearances because every major talk show was on hiatus. So by the time they went back into production, the video was weeks old and no one really cared any more.

There is also a huge misconception about how much money viral videos make. I did some research and found that on average, YouTube videos pay .004 a view but no one really knows for sure. I can’t even get YouTube to email me back with confirmation about how much they pay on my own video.

And as one of my friends lovingly pointed out, I effed up my one chance to get viral fame because it wasn’t me in front of the camera. To which I replied, next time I’m recording a special family moment with my daughter I’ll make sure I randomly stick my face in front of the camera so everyone can see me. Because that’s what it’s all about right?

Anna and I dissect the desire to go viral and if you reach that pinnacle, can you recreate it?  Good stuff here people!

Thanks for listening! Make sure you subscribe to The Anna and Suzannah Show on iTunes and follow Anna’s funny shenanigans on her website.