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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.

Lady-Gaga.jpg

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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Hey Karol,

    Awesome Post. These are some awesome Tips karol.
    I really like the point 3 “Don’t call your fans fans”. Really Brilliant Point. Giving some unique name to your fans is really a great idea.

    Thanks for sharing this amazing Post. Keep up the fantastic work. Lady gaga can teach us so many things about blogging.

    ~Dev

  2. I think the most important point is do not be afraid to take a stand. When I first started to write I wrote in a general cautious style. Now as long as it is ethical writing and with good intentions I do not mind get a few people’s blood going. In fact to date these have been my most successful posts. Posts that take a stand, however, backed up by information and research.

  3. Really liked this comparison cause I’m trying do something with my music blog so I understand every point of this post very good.

    Nicely written.
    D

  4. Hey Karol, you’ve made some very interesting if not brilliant points here. I’m not a Lady Gaga fan but I can’t stop singing Popooker face, popooker face every once in a while, and even though I’m not interested with her music I see her face all the time and now I recognize her when I see her on TV. I agree that she has some very good marketing skills that we all could learn from. Thanks for this post.

  5. Little monsters! Thats funny. I also link the fact that she connects with the audience.

  6. Thanks for this awesome post! Everything you say is so true and immensely inspiring. And you’re right, she is very, very good.

    Now I’ll have to go and work on pissing off some people….

    Sylvia

  7. Yes, I think lady gaga is onto something. I’ll have to have little explorers…

  8. Not calling fans fans! It sounds interesting, really interesting.
    I am going to find a good name then! :)
    In whole article, I liked the following line the best:

    Shoot for the top of your niche with your blog

    Not that I didn’t like other lines but this one stands out as best! ;)

  9. Nice share..the analogy that you have made here is completely unique..

  10. Content is the key… If you look at “YouTube” some of the top channels only have a few videos but have millions of views. Sometimes average content can dent the hype…

    ;]

  11. Excellent post! This is good advice, not just for blogging, but for life as well. I’m dealing with a few difficult people at work and I especially like the notion of “pissing off” the people who don’t like me anyway, no matter what I do.

  12. Fabulous tips! You are spot on!

  13. You’re absolutely right about the “military theme”. Mine are called “revolutionaries.”

    I like number six the best. It’s the one everyone is most afraid of. Great list.

  14. Great post Karol. I love the idea of calling readers by a pet name. And the last one, don’t be afraid to be commercial, if that’s what you want, do it all the way. There are, however, some of us who secretly want to be artists, and we have a set of choices and tradeoffs we have to make and commit to.

  15. What else can we learn from Gaga? She’s not that pretty but she looks REALLY GOOD. There are a lot of blogs that I like to read, they have good articles, but the design is bad. Blogs should look good too, even if the content isn’t cute.

  16. Seriously you stole my idea…LOL just messing with you. I like her myself. And I’ve been analyzing her for a little bit myself.

    I watch the today show in the morning sometimes and it was crazy what she created there when she visited. NO artist does what she did when they go there.

    She’s definitely the new star of our times, the things she does are always crazy and worth spreading.

    Great Article and worth spreading the word too. Thanks!

  17. Hm, my nickname is Blog Angel, my fans could be the Army of God? No, too presumptuous.

    I think I’ll have to think it about it a bit more. LOL

    I’m not very good at pissing people off, but maybe I’ll try shooting a few lightening bolts. That could steam a few behinds eh?

    I shall take all these pointers under advisement. But I better not loose my wings dude!

  18. This is an amazing article that made me think a lot. My niche (video games) is a very competitive one, however most of them do the exact same thing while I wanted to do something different. Seeing this post makes me think my idea is much more plausible now. Thanks again for the great article!

  19. “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. :) ”

    I love this one lol! yes I think I will :)

  20. You can’t please everyone, it’s a fact. Saying what you think and know if always good to stick with.

  21. I would add:
    10. Be true to your passion. When you write about what you really care about, it will be easy to be opinionated.

    Your blog reinforces my resolve to say some stronger things on my blog, even though it goes against all of my people-pleasing skills learned at my mother’s knee.

    You’ll hear from me and my Storyteller Kids in the next few years. Thanks for your post!

  22. Woohoo! Thank you Darren for running this and thank you everybody for your comments. :)

    @Heather You are so dead on! “What else can we learn from Gaga? She’s not that pretty but she looks REALLY GOOD. There are a lot of blogs that I like to read, they have good articles, but the design is bad. Blogs should look good too, even if the content isn’t cute.”

    @Mark “I think the most important point is do not be afraid to take a stand. When I first started to write I wrote in a general cautious style.” – This is normal. We’re sometimes afraid to show our true selves to the world. But you’ll notice when you do that great things happen.

    Cheers,
    Karol

  23. I probably saw the same interview you’re talking about. I was really impressed with the artist after I saw her interview. Especially hearing how she actually writes her own lyrics! Wow what a concept! So many artist as well as bloggers have others write their material.

    Your post hits it. Be original, don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers and embrace your fans (readers). Love the comparrisons!

    D

  24. Another good reminder of the importance of not being afraid to take a position on things, rather than being a sycophantic people pleaser that tries to be all things to all people.

  25. Nice comparison
    she’s not the most viewed artist in Youtube for nothing

  26. Before I started writing consistently, it seemed like a given that I would just naturally write what I was most passionate about and not think twice about it.

    Now that I’m actually doing it, I have to say that every time I hit publish and imagine people reading my thoughts and beliefs, I truly do feel this strange mix of fear and excitement.

    It’s helpful to look at others as reminders of what’s possible – to manage the fear and magnify the excitement. Lady Gaga is a good example and, for me, you are too Karol. Relentlessly putting your true thoughts and experiences out there.

    My strategy now is to just feel and accept the emotions that come with publishing but to shut them out when it comes to sitting down and writing the next piece, instead focusing on the topic at hand.

    I think everyone should blog just so they can experience this strange sensation for themselves!

    -Nicky

  27. Trying to be a people-pleaser just makes your content dry and boring. If you don’t take a stand, no one is going to want to read your post because it doesn’t really SAY anything. You have to let your personality shine through, and I doubt anyone’s real-life personality is ever all things to all people. Trying to be that just makes you a mirror, and a dull one at best.

  28. Lady Gaga can teach bloggers about design. Her costumes are outrageous (buy awesome), her sets at the show are on the money. While the songs (content) are important she also knows that good design helps as well.

    She also connects with her audience and is often seen on videos thanking fans and speaking to the personally. And she rocks on Twitter.

  29. Mario Monks says: 07/26/2010 at 6:59 am

    Looks like everyone is going to create cool names for their fans after reading this blog and soon calling your fans “fans” will be something original and way to go! :)

  30. I hate “lady gag me” lol.. but you do make some valid points, and as much as I hate her, I can’t deny that she’s made a name for herself when it comes to Pop music, which isn’t easy to do these days with everyone and their brother singing songs.

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

  31. “3) Don’t call your fans fans.”

    Yes, excellent advice!

    My tag line is “Web Zero to Web Hero in 1 Weekend.”

    Obviously, my fans and readers are Heros!

  32. Something tells me you like Lady Gaga? ;) Oh, and I am definitely NOT afraid to make money! Haha.

  33. You are right Karol — Awesome post. What you have said works . That you have explained is the positive factor working in Lady Gaga . and the tips are very useful for bloggers .Thanks for your post .

  34. Jeez, I am not sure that I can really take a side on my blog. I guess I can call certain people douche bags for writing non-sense, but in my niche there are best practices and then there are those that don’t know the market THAT well. Good article.

  35. @Nicky “I have to say that every time I hit publish and imagine people reading my thoughts and beliefs, I truly do feel this strange mix of fear and excitement.” I know what you mean. Interestingly, when I have that feeling the strongest that article becomes really popular. :)

    @Wynne I don’t mean call people names. I mean simply disagree (that is, if you really do feel that way). For example, I don’t agree with everybody in my niche and I write about it. We’re still friends. :)

  36. I am glad that you made the confession. I share the same thoughts. It is not so much her songs that I am really into (although they do not have catchy beats) but in the manner that she brands herself. Lady Gaga is a marketing genius. And before Lady Gaga, there was also Madonna.

  37. Excellent Post!

    Darren and Karol:

    Can I translate this post to Spanish and publish it on my blog? I will give you the credit of course.

    My blog is http://www.eltiempoyelviento.com

    Thank you!

  38. that’s unique name of “fans” reminds me of the supporter for WorldCup Championship :-)

  39. Bravo for this brilliant article, Karol! Whether connecting with your fans & audience, as Lady Gaga does, or with your clients, it is true that the more that you positively engage & interact with them the better! By inventing a cool name for them…that takes the “personal touch” to the next level of almost intimacy! Lady Gaga is truly a phenomenal business woman, on many levels. And yes, we can & should learn from her…!!!

  40. Loved ur post :D

    I wished I had fans, too!
    Now, I’ll be ready with something unique for my future fans!

  41. You can’t be afraid of being the black sheep, there’s risk in standing out. You have to ask yourself what type of reimbursement will you achieve without any risk.

    And I am too old to know if she writes her own lyrics so I’ll take your word for it,

    Shawn

  42. “there are too many normal people with normal blogs and normal writing. You are extraordinary so show it.”

    That stuck out to me! I think it’s definitely true…Don’t put something on your blog that someone can find on any other old blog…make sure your content is “extraordinarily unique”!! That is what brings them back to your blog time after time. Make sure that what you have on your blog can only be found on YOUR blog!!

  43. Karol,
    #7 is right on the money.
    Lady Gaga seems to align her self with power brokers. When I saw her do a song with Beyonce and attempt to do a tour with Kanye, I knew she meant business. She’s going for Madonna (pop icon spanning decades) not Mandy More.

  44. I never heard before about here, but after reading this i must say that she is really a outstanding marketing genius.

  45. Great post. I never looked at lady Gaga this way, but it makes sense. I love the idea of just being yourself and if you piss off a few people, well so be it . I admit I a little shy when it comes to promoting myself or what I do. Hopefully the 31DDC will change my blogging approach for the better.
    Just now, I will check out YouTube for some goss on Lady Gaga, I am a bit of a troglodyte when it comes to pop.

    Thanks for the post.
    Maya

  46. A nice analogy.

    The one point I would disagree on is when it comes to selling out. There are many examples of fantastic artists who have stopped producing cutting edge content and plumped for mediocracy and it’s always sad to see that.

    I would actually say that product placement cheapens the production and is also unnecessary. Sure, do some adverts and sell some t-shirts but once you sell out on your art it’s a slippery slope.

    This is also true of some of the “make money online” blogs out there (not this one!) which are now just made up of 90% sales pitches.

    As a reader nothing has me reaching for the unsubcribe button faster. Especially when these people are only making money online by selling MMO related products. Common sense tells us that we can’t all do that and so all trust and integrity goes out the window.

  47. Incorporating your key insights on a personal/personality initiative,Lady Gaga is the most suitable representation of how brands can actively engage in the social media community.
    Also check how vibrant and enticing attitudes are contagious.
    Great post Darren
    http://www.bufferingbrain.com/the-ripple-effect-of-a-paradigm-shifthow-attitudes-become-contagious/

  48. I like Lady Gaga attitude, she is unique, not afraid to speak her mind and above all very successful. It is ok to be different, opinionated but it will not benefit you if you are hated by all readers. You can’t please everyone but do not piss everyone too.

  49. Lady Gaga is my idol too and I am happy that you can apply her techniques into blogging. Yes, don’t call your fans fans, call them little monsters :-)

  50. @Jezza101 you’re right. depending on the art there may be a fine line. But we’re talking about blogging. Lots of bloggers are afraid to make money and they shouldn’t be. I don’t mean that ads should be plastered everywhere or that every article should be a sales pitch. I don’t have ads on my blog, for example, but I do make money from my blog.

    @Maya Don’t worry about being shy. I am too. You should’ve read the e-mail I sent to Darren with this article. :) Don’t be afraid to be open and don’t be afraid to get your thoughts out to the world. We need you.

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