Get More Social Love With Viral Lock

Could a social action replace the password to premium content?

Want your creative work to go viral?

I just found out about a pretty controversial plugin available that could help.

Viral Lock requires visitors to take social action, such as liking your page, tweeting a link to their followers, or giving it a +1, before it can be viewed.

There’s been some negative backlash surrounding the idea, but I think the plugin offers great potential … and there’s definitely a right and wrong approach to using Viral Lock in my opinion, which I’ll get to near the end of this post.

Viral – An image, video, advertisement, etc. that is circulated rapidly on the Internet.

The controversy

By the looks of the comments under Guy Kawasaki’s post on Facebook (about moving his blog to WordPress because of the potential the Viral Lock plugin offers), there’s a bit of an uproar about it.

Makes sense … I wouldn’t want to click a compelling link only to find I’d have to share it with my friends before I could view it. But again, I think there’s definitely a right and wrong way to use Viral Lock … and hiding your content before the visitor knows it’s worthy is wrong.

The potential Viral Lock offers

Some bloggers might feel some hesitation to use it due to the controversial aspects of it, but I assure you that using the plugin correctly holds no controversy at all.

This plugin is especially useful now, as people are becoming more decisive about the content they share with their friends. This plugin can effectively help you boost the social action around your content, which in turn could go as far as helping your search engine optimization. No joke. This is all in addition to the additional traffic you’ll experience the more social action you receive.

I’ve never liked the term viral marketing, because it’s often the only thing conservative, uninformed companies know they want from any type of social marketing. I’ve always felt the term “viral” referred to a dynamic measurement unique to what ever you were measuring. To many, “going viral” means doing the same thing Old Spice did.


To me, going viral could mean doubling your traffic with one post or seeing a 300% increase in your following on Twitter because you were mentioned.

It comes down to the definition … whether or not your content was circulated rapidly on the Internet, and what impact it made.

Viral Lock gives you the tools needed to effectively increase social action around your content once you’ve earned it, because unlike the tools we have now, Viral Lock asks viewers to share the content once they’ve realized it’s wroth it, but before they’ve experienced everything it has to offer.

If you use the plugin effectively, you could extract the same social action a restaurant might see if they offered free dessert once guests provide social action.

Don’t lock all your content and expect to go viral

It’s easy to use this plugin, but it’s not going to be easy using it effectively … it requires creative thought. Installing the plugin and requiring social action before any of your content is viewable won’t work for most people publishing content online.

Your followers aren’t going to take social action unless they know the content they’re sharing is worth not only their time and energy, but their friends’ attention as well.

You need to earn social action

Like WordPress itself, there are countless ways to use Viral Unlock, and how you use it should be based on your individual blog, content, and followers.

But there’s one thing that’s certain no matter how you use it …

You need to earn it.

No matter how you use it, you know visitors aren’t going to share something unless they know it’s worth their time, worth their energy, and likely to make some kind of impression on their friends, so you’ll need to find a way to earn your social action.

How can you earn it?

Two ways I plan on using this plugin for CreativeBlogger

To show you how rad this plugin can be, I’ve locked this portion of the post, which I hope will be enticing enough to earn your social action.

Like or Tweet this page to reveal the content.

I’m buying it

Viral Lock is only $16 from CodeCanyon, so I’ll be buying it and implementing it into my work. Tag along and give it a whirl with me — I’ll be posting how things are going on my end once I begin using it, and I’d love to see how it’s working for you as well.



  1. says

    I have seen a number of blogs using this approach. I haven’t tried it myself, but it seems to be a pretty good concept as long as it is not overused. If I followed a blog that used this approach all the time to require readers to view the content I would probably stop following the blog. But if it were only used occasionally or for some type of content that is basically an add-on to the post, I don’t have a problem with it.

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