When content goes viral, it can result in plenty of publicity for a product, writer or business–and cash to boot. However, making content go viral is trickier than it seems. Sensationalism only works a small percentage of the time, and it’s impossible to know exactly what kind of sensationalism people will respond to. Instead, focus on proven approaches to boost the chances of viral content.

Start with a solid piece of content. This often means well-written or composed and with information that isn’t readily available anywhere else. Viral content isn’t going to be something that’s in numerous magazines. It might, however, be information that’s hidden in dull research and presented as a stunning infographic. Viral content has something to say that hasn’t been said very publicly before, and here are 5 ways to make it happen.

#1. Spread the Word

Don’t depend on readers to start the spread of the virus. Instead, spread it on discussion boards, forums, social media sites and anywhere else it might catch on. Quality over quantity counts here. There’s a good chance the content appeals to a certain demographic–albeit hopefully a large one. Focus on posting it where it will get attention.

#2. Keep ’em Wanting More

People are driven by the fear of regrets. The saying that most people regret what they didn’t do rather than the things they did rings true with viral content. If possible, create content that lets readers know they’re missing out on something huge. Whether or not solutions are given doesn’t make much of a difference when the sole goal is going viral.

#3. Weird Trumps Sensationalism

Everyone loves weird facts and statistics that are easy to remember. The good news is that there’s plenty of weird, strange and random facts out there with science to back it up. In fact, there’s so much of it that there’s an endless supply of fodder to create viral content. Again, this goes back to offering up information that isn’t readily available anywhere else.

#4. The Power of Sharing

Share buttons aren’t just an easy option to add to a blog–they are the vehicle that helps content go viral. Whenever possible, include a share button on every single site where the content is posted. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and any other available platform. Make it easy for readers to think, “Wow, that was really strange/weird/interesting–I’ve gotta share this!”

#5. Choose the Right Medium

It’s unfortunate, but fewer people are reading actual full articles, which is why blogs or blog-esque postings often go viral. However, following internet marketing trends and email marketing tips is a smart way to keep up with general trends. Video marketing is hailed by many to be the next big thing, so consider a video approach to viral content. People want to watch something quickly, digest it and then spread the word.

Infographics are another great avenue. No matter what, keep the audience in mind. Viral content is rarely rooted deep in scientific theories, or at least it’s not presented that way. It might make people feel as intelligent as Sheldon Cooper, but it doesn’t demand a PhD in physics. Focus on mass appeal, scarcity and quality to set the foundation for viral content.