How To Become Famous

Back in 2008, my book about how to become famous, Dirty Little Secrets of Buzz, hit stores. Unlike my first book, which was quite popular and was even stocked in huge, imposing stacks at Urban Outfitters, I knew that Dirty Little Secrets of Buzz was only for a very specific circle.

For those brave, vain souls who were utterly self-confident and felt the yearning for recognition — to become famous or to use viral media in order to gain attention for a small business, blog, or other independent endeavour that would be impossible to get attention for through the traditional channels.

(Few political or news bloggers can afford a billboard in Times Square, but FOX News and CNN can easily afford such a marketing expense. If you don’t have money to spend on marketing yourself, you need to act smarter than those who do.)

During the process of researching the book, I interviewed many celebrities — with a particular focus on those who had risen and become famous almost exclusively via the Internet, and without the benefit of powerful friends in the entertainment industry. 

I also tested out the theories in the book — although I prefer to be anonymous, and since 2009 have mostly been exactly that, I knew small business owners wouldn’t buy a book with such bold claims on the cover unless I could prove that the techniques worked. (They did, by the way; I wound up getting interviewed a couple times on CNN Headline News, and also ended up on Fox’s national morning show, FOX News, XM, ABC News, CBS Radio News and practically everywhere else that an entrepreneur would dream of getting completely free air time.)

Since I wrote the treatise on how to become Internet famous, the techniques are still absolutely valid, and several readers have since become well-known using the blueprint laid out. Human nature and “viral” tactics don’t change much in three years. Despite this, some things have changed. Drastically. I thought I would share those observations here for readers:

– Twitter is no longer a “fringe” service for tech savvy early adopters. It’s ubiquitous and a vital part of almost any attempt at viral lift.

– Facebook, although already huge back in 2008, is more important than ever since the introduction of the “social graph” and the embedded web site “Like” button.

– MySpace, still a legitimate path to Web fame when Dirty Little Secrets of Buzz hit shelves (think Tila Tequila or Dane Cook), is now practically worthless — it just doesn’t have the tight-knit community loyalty and traffic numbers necessary to take someone or something viral.

– YouTube remains absolutely vital, and from what I’ve discerned, its recommendation algorithm is better than ever. If your video is starting to get organic interest because it’s cool or unusual, YouTube will do the heavy lifting for you at a certain point and take your fame to the next level when your video starts getting prominent play in the “Recommended for You” region.

– Fame is still often undeserved. Two words: Justin Bieber. 

Get Dirty Little Secrets of Buzz in the Amazon Kindle Store or buy it as a paperback anywhere books are sold.