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9 Proven Tips For Creating An Extraordinarily Successful Blog [Lady Gaga Edition]

Posted By Darren Rowse 26th of July 2010 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

A Guest Post by Karol Gajda from Ridiculously Extraordinary.


I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m a Lady Gaga fan.

I didn’t really know who she was until about 6 months ago. I knew the name, but hadn’t heard the music or learned about the artist. Then I heard the music and my first thought was: “pop genius.” That said, it wasn’t until I heard/read a few interviews and witnessed how she carried herself that I actually became a fan.

Lady Gaga isn’t just a pop genius, she’s an unapologetic strong-willed marketing genius as well.

There is a lot to be learned from someone like that.

Here’s the tip of the iceberg …

1) Be opinionated. Take a side. Lady Gaga isn’t afraid to speak out on issues she feels strongly about. In doing so, she keeps herself in the public eye. Even more, she attracts her right people.

2) Don’t be afraid to make money. Blatant product placements in the biggest video of the year? Sure, why not? There is nothing wrong with making ridiculous amounts of cash if that’s what you want to do. There is no such thing as a sellout. If you want to put ads on your blog, do it. If you want to sell products, do it. Don’t apologize. You should be paid to create art. Being a starving artist is nothing to be proud of.

3) Don’t call your fans fans. Give them something unique to connect with. Gaga calls her fans Little Monsters. Chris Guillebeau has a Small Army. Adam Baker has The Militia. And I have the Freedom Fighters. (Whoa, I just noticed a bit of a military theme!)

4) Be different even if it’s obvious you’re trying to be different. But don’t state that you’re different, because if you have to put it into words then it’s not true. Confusing? :) How about this: there are too many normal people with normal blogs and normal writing. You are extraordinary so show it. (Show, don’t tell.)

5) Be good to your Little Monsters. Treat them well and they will reciprocate and make you a superstar. During concerts, Lady Gaga calls a fan in the audience from the stage and invites them to have a drink with her after the show. Whoa! What can you do to connect with your people on a deeper level?

Personal example:

For the Version 0.9 launch of How To Live Anywhere, if you were one of the 132 who bought in the first 24 hours you got a hand written postcard from Goa, India.

Why? 3 reasons:

1) I wanted to thank the Freedom Fighters for changing the world, because every sale in the first 24 hours got doubled (by me) and sent to Kiva.org. I ended up sending $1600!

2) I wanted to thank the Freedom Fighters for taking quick, decisive action. Because that’s really what the Ridiculously Extraordinary Movement is about, action.

3) In this ever expanding online universe I wanted to connect with the Freedom Fighters old school. Yeah, it took me a good 6 hours to write out those postcards, but it was worth it.

6) Piss lots of people off. You can’t please everybody, right? Take it a step further and piss off the people that you’re not going to please anyway. :) It keeps Gaga in the news and reinforces her message.

7) Befriend the right people. Lady Gaga has, among others, people like Perez Hilton on her side. Having someone like Perez, who influences pop culture strongly himself, in her corner is a perfect ally in her quest for pop world domination.

8) Produce killer content. Gaga writes ridiculously good pop hits. Undeniable. She doesn’t produce an extraordinary amount of content, but everything she does is done very well.

9) Don’t be ashamed of the mainstream. Gaga straight up admits her pop sensibilities are calculated. Everything she does is on purpose. Shoot for the top of your niche with your blog or don’t take a shot at all.

What did I miss? What other lessons can Lady Gaga teach us about blog domination?

Read more from Karol Gajda at Ridiculously Extraordinary.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I love badges, I think they give you the opportunity to say something about yourself.

  2. Thanks for a great Lady Gaga review.I am a big fan of Lady Gaga and i think she is the best preformer onstage and offstage as well.We need people who are honest and i belive she sets a trend among young people to speak out and be who you are.

    Very well written Problogger!


  3. One thing she does well is brand herself. Her way out style has defin. gotten her publicity. Once again, like you mentioned in your post, she does, over the top fashion, “very well”.

  4. I think being unique is probably one of the most important ones on the list because how else are being going to stand out? Lady Gaga wasn’t afraid to embrace her uniqueness and now look, she’s one of the most famous pop artists in the entire world. You can’t go anywhere without reading her name or hearing her music and I’m sure that that’s something that we’d all aspire to in one way or another.

  5. Brilliant post Karol! My favorite point is “don’t be afraid to piss some people off.” WAY too many small business owners want to keep it safe..but, safe isn’t going to get you anywhere! If you’re going to get get noticed in this overcrowded jungle of fierce competition, you better be unique, opinionated and make a statement!

  6. I guess I need to stop calling all my fans, fans. Hmm. I wonder what to call them then. I kind of disagree with number 2 though. If you go to a site with pop-ups and tons of ads you’re not gonna go back.

  7. Yes, Lady Gaga is unusual..

    …but aren’t those the ones that do stand out?

    Great thought- provoking post!

  8. I think “be unwavering” is an important one. I don’t know much about Lady Gaga, but one thing I do know is that she doesn’t get distracted by all of the detractors and naysayers. She’s focused and is running at 1,000 miles per hour towards her goal. Anyone who tries to get in her way she just blows right by them without even waving in the rear view mirror.

    But, with that being said it seems like she has all of the time in the world to stop and pick up the passengers (fans, family, etc…) who support her.

  9. Thanks for the roadmap to distinguishing yourself from the pack in your own way. There’s so much same-old-same-old stuff in blogs.

    I absolutely love your points 1 and 4, and since I blog about aging, health care in the U.S., and such, being opinionated and pissing people off come with the territory. I think I could rachet it up a bit though. Fortunately, I seem to have a natural talent for pissing people off.

  10. Outstanding post, Karol! I’m a Lady GaGa fan, too. I might not like every single thing she does or says but her music is outrageous.

    The thing about the Lady is this: Pop music seemed to be boring itself when she exploded onto its radar. That’s kind of what we need more blogs to do – explode!

    With all the social media sites we’re up against, we have to stand out – or we’ll fade out. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. I agree 100% with the first tip. It is no good being in this niche if you are not going to brave enough to be opinionated.

  12. Awesome post…
    there are so many tips that are to be followed..
    for me the learning lesson was “Never consider your fans, fans”
    Will remember this always..
    thank you for the post..

  13. Nice to hear of another Gaga fan! I love her strength of character! She is who she is and she built it herself!

    What a great roll model to follow!

  14. I’m loving this post. I am working on sharing more opinions and pissing people off. I just have to find the right topics to be consistent.

  15. One of the comments mentioned “pop-ups and ads.” They aren’t the same thing. An ad sits on the site and I can interact or not when I choose. A pop-up is rude, interrupting what I’m trying to read.

    If I’m interested in what the blog author has to say, there’s a good chance the ads on that blog will be helpful and I’ll click on them. I like having them there. On the other hand, a pop-up is a violation of my personal space and all I can think about is getting away from it, and usually the blog it’s on as well.

  16. I agree with Annie Banannie, pop up ad sucks but somehow marketing sites thinks the opposite, they even have a pop up when you try to leave the page asking you if you really want to go. Duh… We’ll maybe it works for some… I don’t know.

  17. Thanks for the tips. All of them are good although some of them are extremely uneasy to implement for me personally. Like “pissing lots of people off”. I am so busy with all the rest.

  18. Some very nice tips and an interesting way of telling them.

    Good read.

  19. I enjoyed reading the post. I like the 3rd point “Don’t call your fans fan”.

  20. I usually just read in my RSS feed reader and don’t come over to comment all that often. Today I just had to say excellent post. I truly enjoyed it and loved the creativity and comparison to Lady Gaga!

  21. Yes! I immediately took action and added a line on our Facebook fan page for PraiseMoves Fitness Ministry — “Greetings, PraiseMovers!”

    I’ve called our “fans” that, but not in a BIG way before – well, now I will. Thank you, Karol!

  22. Lady Gaga is a great superstar. Her name is recognized all over. I love the fact that she does what she wants and doesn’t care about what others think. She’s not afraid to be herself which I admire. I feel that in blogging it is good to write about what you find interesting but you also have to think about what your readers what to read. It can’t always be about you. Without them you have no one. Quality over quantity is a good lesson to learn because some may think that they have to write a post daily but that’s not true. As long as you have posts that are of good quality you don’t have to blog everyday. Do what you feel is the right amount but don’t over do it. Just don’t space your blogs out to far. Another good point is to appreciate your readers. Respond to their comments-don’t just leave them hanging. They’re commenting on your blog for a reason. Show them that you care about their options and say thanks. I know I like it when I get some acknowledgment for a comment I left. Great tips thanks to Gaga!

    -CKR Interactive Intern

  23. Darren, you KILLED it like you always do man. EXCELLENT tips.

    Now I just need to think of a few controversial topics in order to piss some people off :)

  24. Brilliant insight. I particularly like the reach out to the community, which makes the fans even more appreciative, even if they aren’t ‘the chosen one’

  25. Fun post. I also liked the idea of “shooting for the top of your niche” and don’t be afraid to make enemies.

    Not sure Perez Hilton would be on my list of people I would friend, but you bet he would be if I was an entertainer.

    Think I’ll go paint my nails black!

  26. He he, very inspiring and empowering post. I can’t wait until my blog is large enough to amass an “army” of my own.

    “Shoot for the top of your niche” and “Be opinionated” are the things I need to work on, for sure. Thanks so much, Karol for the great and entertaining advice.


  27. Stan Lee calls his fans and twitter followers brigadiers. Just now I got aware of this little fact.

    By doing the things she does in her way, Lady Gaga managed it that other celebrities seem to stand in line to work with her. Even though they are much longer in the showbiz as she is.

  28. Maybe I’m slow…but I it just hit me that pissing people off goes hand-in-hand with being opinionated. People who take a side — even if it’s not one you agree with — are infinitely more attractive than those who don’t.

    Thanks for the post! It’s a great reminder about how important it is to be comfortable standing out.


  29. can definitely relate to a number of the points you’ve made such as not apologizing for placing ads on your weblog. Your weblog is there to make you funds, why apologize for doing so. If your readers understand the purpose of your weblog, they would understand why the ads are there.

  30. I can take a side on my weblog. I guess I can call sure people douche bags for writing non-sense, but in my niche there’s best practices & then there’s those that don’t know the market THAT well. Nice article.

  31. Great article Karol! I especially like the point you make that you are not going to please everyone…so why try not use that to your advantage and create some edge and buzz.

    It’s a slippery slope and caution needs to be taken, but if done strategically, I think it can prove to be worthwhile. We know it works b/c we see it in the news every day.

  32. Be pissy, be opinionated.

    This is how we win blog fans? (Sorry, blog monsters?)

    Lively debate, attitude, edge, yes, that’s fabulous. But being pissy and opionated is another way of saying be a rude know-it- all. And I get enough of that in real life/cable news.

    Sorry, count me out.

  33. This is a GREAT post. Many times I don’t get through bloggers list because I find them repetitive and boring, but I actually read of of this…lol Good job

    Baltimore SEO & Internet Marketing

  34. Great job here. I really enjoyed what you had to say. Keep going because you definitely bring a new voice to this subject. Not many people would say what youve said and still make it interesting. Well, at least Im interested. Cant wait to see more of this from you.

  35. Lady gaga is awesome :)

    Love your blog


  36. Karol.. what a funky post .. liked the fans idea have used it on my portal but wouldn’t mind naming my followers on my blog :D


  37. I couldn’t help but feel awed by Lady Gaga’s astute sense of business in the super competitive industry of pop… They say if u wanna b successful, model one tat has already succeeded. Well, I’ll start studying abt Lady Gaga now!

    But also think Lady Gaga’s success depends alot on image or reputation… not sure how it can last long in her industry, as fans or lil monsters tend to have short memory


  38. Yup, to be success in this “blog” world, I think every one of us have to think different, like your “Lady Gaga Style”, hehe.. nice info

  39. Nice tips. The Lady Gaga philosophy can be applied in all domains.

  40. So who else is a dork and actually starting using your fan name? Mine is “Substancistas” for “Stylish with Substance”,

    I do try to please people. Right now in fashion the big thing is to post daily ensemble photos, and I just cannot measure up, but I strive for it. I work hard, wasting other blog promo/posting time, to end up still failing because I’m still learning. (And my old camera isn’t compatible with a remote, but I think my new problem is punctuality, thinking 12 noon is required in my “photo spot”.)

    Anyhoo, I also read again & again that showing photos of one’s self is needed; another reason to do this.

    But it’s never what my blog was and showing myself is so not me.

    Yet it’s because of some “fat” and my blog has been about all-size beauty for a while. It’s a good thing to “come out of my closet”.

    But anyway, I realize even more that I should not back away from one of my main blogging focuses: opinion, etc.

    How can I have so much substance without that? Since this is – yay! – also great for blogging, I will focus harder on that!


    And I want to see you all USE your fan names! (So I’m not alone?)

  41. I’m not a big Lady Gaga fan, however I think that folks are giving her a little bit of a hard time. Certainly, she’s a bit out there, however she also has talent. Her singing voice is a refreshing change when compared to the no-talent manufactured singers that have been assaulting our eyes and ears of late.

  42. yah you’re right. I still feel ashamed if have to sell in a forum. humans have their own expertise. sometimes when we see our friends before us to sell something on a forum. then I realized that my friend did in fact I can do. but he dared to sell, not shy and he who gets the benefits.

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