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How 28-year-old Emerson Spartz turned a website he built when he was 12 into a 45 million user media empire featuring Dose and OMGFacts

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Emerson Spartz is 28 years old, married, a college grad, and CEO of Spartz Inc, a media empire of websites that publish funny, inspirational, and mind-blowing posts that people love to share.

His two most popular websites alone, and, launched just over a year ago and are read by 45 million people each month, he tells us.

And it all began when he was 12-years-old. That was when he dropped out of grade school, taught himself to code, and created a Harry Potter fan site called Mugglenet that would become (and still is) the most popular Harry Potter fan website on the 'net.


While in college, he met his wife and cofounder, Gabby Montero-Spartz.

When she was 12, she also built a website called The Daily Cute that became wildly popular in the early 2000s. At its peak, it had over 30,000 unique visitors per day, the site says.

Gabby Spartz smiling How Emerson Spartz built a meme empire Business Insider

They had similar childhoods, "So we started building things together," he describes.

They build a site called “Gives me hope” where people could share uplifting, true personal stories, and it went viral in 2009. They launched one that lets people share love stories and one where people shared secrets.

All told those sites generated half a billion page views since 2009, he says.

Spartz's brother came to work for him, as did his best friend from college. They launched some humor sites, including one where people shared funny iPhone autocorrects, which went nuts in 2011-2012 and got a billion page views, Spartz tells us.


A year and half in, they launched, which focuses on interesting things you didn't know, and, which focuses on everything else.

They also started hiring writers and staff.

Both those sites are doing well, too, Spartz says.

In just over a year, "we went from nothing to 45 million monthly unique visitors, which is where we are now."

He's now at the point where Dose isn't just a website, but a platform that runs the other sites. Its claim to fame is how it can track and measure how likely any piece of content is to be shared, how it went viral, and why.

The sites earn revenue by selling ads through "programmatic" advertising, where an ad network automatically places an ad as a visitor views a page. But he has plans to start selling more custom ads to companies.

"Our plan in 2015 is to start using our tech to help brands and agencies make viral content. There’s nothing that we’re doing that couldn’t help brands and agencies do the same," he says.

Spartz admits that while he's become an authority on virality, he hasn't yet influenced an election or overthrown a dictator, or even started a movement.

But he's still working on being that powerful.

"I look at life is if I’m a character in an RPG game; I know that’s the most extraordinary nerdy way to think. But I’m a character, and I'm trying to get myself and my companies to keep leveling up. As we gain experiences, we create value to the world through the educational and entertainment and inspirational content that we’re creating," he says.

Here's what Dose and OMGFacts look like:

Dose homepage How Emerson Spartz built a meme empire Business Insider

OMGFacts homepage How Emerson Spartz built a meme empire Business Insider


So how do they have 45 million monthly visitors?

"seo" "ads" "facebook" "buzzfeed"

So a combination of clickbait, search engine tricks, and buying ads?

that is my guess from the picture. your guess?

That's my guess too. It's like BuzzFeed Light. 

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