Let me ask you a question…
Do you think people would pay Brad Pitt $1,000 to fix a toilet?
Of course they would.
Because he’s Brad Pitt.
It doesn’t even matter if Brad knows how to fix a toilet. He’s Brad Freakin’ Pitt.
Thousands of people would pay simply to have him hang out in their bathrooms — and, honestly, probably break their toilets even further. They’d pay because Brad is famous, and fame makes us like people.
When we like people, we want to be around them… and then, if those likable people have products and services, we want to work with them and buy things from them.
Want to have a magnetic blog?
Well, then you’ve got to be like Brad.
Now, your goal as a blogger isn’t to grace the cover of Us magazine. Your goal is to become famous in a niche — also known as “internet famous,” or “known among dozens.”
“Famous,” doesn’t have to mean flashbulbs, paparazzi, and being married to Angelina Jolie. It can simply mean a modest amount of recognition.
You want to be just famous enough that when people who are interested in your niche talk amongst themselves, your name comes up… and when it does, others in the group will nod and say, “Oh yes, I know her. She’s a big authority on naked mole rats.” Or whatever your topic is.
You want to be known. You want to be respected.
And most of all?
You want to be loved.
Here’s what I mean:
You want to transform your readers into fans
What’s the difference?
Fans are fanatical about the things they enjoy, which is what “fan” is short for. Fans tell everyone about you. Fans wave your flag. Fans buy your stuff just because you are you.
Readers just… well… read. And while that’s fine in the beginning, it’s not enough to grow your blog into a real brand.
People don’t say, “I read Seth Godin.” They say, “I like Seth Godin.” Then they tell their friends about Seth Godin, and those friends tell their friends… and suddenly, a bald guy behind a keyboard in New York becomes an icon. Seth’s fame gives him a reputation that precedes him, and establishes his credibility before he even shows up.
And while Seth fans might not pay him $1000 to fix their toilets, they’ll certainly decide to buy his next book without needing to read the dust jacket.
How to become famous (on your blog)
If you want to become famous in your niche, stop thinking of your blog as a website and start thinking of it as a stage. Stop thinking of your posts as information broadcasts and start thinking of them as performances.
When you’re out there in the big world of the internet, don’t just think of yourself as a person who types and creates words. Think instead of yourself as a superstar who’s going out to WOW the crowds.
Do you want your blog post to be readable and informational? Or do you, as a superstar, want those posts to be sensational and must-see and receive rave reviews from opinion-makers?
A superstar doesn’t want to simply make a point. A superstar wants people to stand up and cheer.
The streetcorner test
In Jon’s guest blogging course, he gives a simple test for deciding whether or not your content is good enough.
He says to imagine you’re on the street corner in New York City. People are bustling by, paying no attention, but you pull out your iPad and start reading one of your blog posts outloud right there on the street corner.
Would people stop to listen? Would they be late to work? Just to hear you?
If not, your post isn’t good enough. Junk it and start over.
Yes, that might seem harsh, but think about it: the Internet is even busier than a street corner in New York, and it’s even harder to get people’s attention. You have to be good enough to stop them in their tracks, or you’ll be invisible for the rest of your life.
So, step it up. Try something new.
The bottom line?
Make people feel something
You know how your lips feel after a trip to the dentist?
Well, most people’s emotions feel like that, and not just for a couple of hours. They’re numb for most of their life.
Our job as writers is to snap them out of it. Not just to teach them or persuade them or entertain them, although all of those things are important, but to reach through their cloud of boredom and apathy and give them a jolt of genuine emotion.
Emotion leads to fame. Fame leads to fans. And fans, my friends, lead to very loyal and long-term profitable relationships that tend to be fairly unshakable.
The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll find that growing a readership and customer base isn’t about giving one boring lecture after another. It’s about making people fall in love with you, hundreds or even thousands at a time.
You are a superstar. Admit it. Embrace it.
Now go out there and strut your stuff.