Who Is Scott Delong? The Man Who Sold His Website For $100 Million
If reincarnation is a thing, then Scott Delong is clearly Aristotle reincarnate. Think about it. The father of rhetorical strategy and audience appeal, Aristotle created and delivered the recipe to the secret sauce that all successful game-changers use to this day: Know your audience and how to appeal to their emotions, and you can get them to think, do, or buy whatever you’re selling. This is a recipe that Delong could have written himself, and when most twenty-somethings were getting wrapped up in college drama or trying to climb the corporate ladder, Delong was changing the game of online content, defining what it means to go viral, and well on his way to making millions of dollars by entertaining millions of people. Also like Aristotle, Delong is all about hard work and self-reliance. Like many entrepreneurs worth admiring, he started with very little and learned how to get what he needed and wanted on his own. Growing up in a single-income home supported by a trucker, Delong quickly learned how to depend on himself. In an article he wrote for Entrepreneur, Delong gives those dreaming of making millions this solid advice: “One of the biggest misconceptions about starting a business is that the expertise in running a business is a precondition to creating one. You can always learn from and rely on others, but at the end of the day, there is exponentially more to be learned from doing something yourself.” The most incredible part of Delong’s success is how he makes millions off of other people’s work. This doesn’t mean that Delong doesn’t work his ass off. Building and managing a one-man, multi-million dollar show from scratch doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a ton of trial and error, and it takes even more hard work and determination than most of us exert in a lifetime. Delong’s formula for success enables him to basically double the profitable outcomes of the hours of work he puts into his empire each day. Making content takes time, and on its own, it doesn’t make money; you ultimately have to sell it. By cutting out content production time, Delong gives himself more time to turn that content into dollar bills. Millions and millions of dollar bills. Not only does Delong know how to read and please an audience, he more impressively knows when to ditch one and move on to another. In 2005, following the hype of crude slapstick shows like Jackass, Delong saw an opportunity to give a debauchery-hungry audience more of what they craved. He launched his first well-known site Nothing Toxic, on which he shared videos of people doing ridiculous things that usually made them look ridiculously stupid and got them ridiculously hurt. Much of the content was flat-out disturbing and offensive, but Delong knew his audience and what they wanted, and the site was quickly pulling in $8000 a month in Google Ad revenue alone. As his audience shifted from people wanting random acts of jackassery to something of substance, Delong sold Nothing Toxic for $800,000 and began developing GodVine, the site that delivers uplifting videos to a Christian audience. He later sold the site to a Christian media company for $4.2 million. Within the same timeframe, Delong also built and launched the wildly-successful cash cow ViralNova, which rakes in millions of viewers and dollars a month. ViralNova hits an audience that wants inspirational and interesting content without the religious ties of GodVine or the lude violence of Nothing Toxic. Like his other ventures, Delong built ViralNova on his own, and after it became insanely profitable, he sold it for an estimated $100 million. When it comes to his audience, Delong doesn’t discriminate. When he sees an audience willing to pay for content, he delivers that content and makes millions. Scott Delong made his millions by embracing his inner Aristotle, the master of audience appeal and the OG of modern marketing. By listening to and knowing not only himself but also his audience, Delong single-handedly built a multi-million dollar empire and a lifelong legacy that has forever changed how we experience online content.