It is said that all things come in threes.
Twice this week I have been asked, by fairly random sources, what my favorite article is on IttyBiz.
Since someone else is going to ask anyway, I’ll just repost it.
I assume that you are here because you want to become rich and famous on the internet in five easy steps. Either that or you don’t speak English and you’re looking for dirty pictures. Therefore, without further ado…
1. Find something you’re so passionate about that people think you’re alarming and kind of creepy.
When I worked for Sprint, a Very Enthusiastic Man worked in the department next to mine. He was so Enthusiastic With A Capital E that when we spoke, which was fairly often, I was convinced he was hitting on me. But he wasn’t hitting on me in a normal way. Oh, no. He wanted me to fly a kite with him.
Every day, a new request to go kite flying. Every day, a new discussion of the type of kite that would be just right for me. Every day, another piece of kite tournament trivia.
Eventually, I had to tell him that I didn’t think the direction our relationship was going was appropriate. For one thing, I was engaged. For another, it was really weirding me out.
He gives me this totally perplexed look and says, “I’m not propositioning you. I’m married to the most beautiful girl in the world. I just really like flying kites and I thought you might like it too.”
That is a man who could make a lot of money on the internet.
2. Know or learn more about this topic than 98% of the world population.
This step can best be achieved by reading lots of books. An intelligent person could fake it by reading the table of contents of lots of books.
Somewhere along the way, we got the idea that “expert status” was granted by other experts. For tens of thousands of years, an expert was somebody who knew a lot about something. In the last hundred years or so, we got it in our collective heads that expertise could only be attained by years of school, paid experience, or ideally, both.
You don’t have to be Johnnie Walker to know which whiskey tastes like a harem full of honey-covered virgins and which one tastes like rat pee.
3. Choose a brandable attribute somewhere between Out Of The Ordinary and Outright Offensive.
Combine your love of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with your passion for harness racing and you have the recipe for making some serious bank. Do gambling podcasts and end them all with, “And I say these things in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.” That stuff gets you noticed.
Topless political commentary. Pajama-clad mommy vlogging while actually and exclusively clad in pajamas. Write under the pseudonym “Rufus” and bark when you get excited. Basically, be weird.
4. For the first 12 months, pretend you don’t notice the brand you chose in number 3.
Just do what you’re doing like there’s nothing strange about it. Just do your weird-ass thing. Do not mention it. Do not allude to it. Do everything you can to make people wonder if you’re so crazy you don’t even know you’re crazy.
Why? It’s a lot more fun to tell our friends about weird-ass crap we found on the internet when we feel like we discovered the weirdness ourselves. If we get a hint that you’re doing it as a publicity stunt, it’s not fun anymore. If I want to tell my friends I found this guy who screams his head off about wine, it kind of ruins the effect if his header says, “The Dude Who Screams His Head Off About Wine.”
(After 12 months, when other people have started talking about you, you may stop pretending you’re not a naked Mormon if you like, although I probably wouldn’t.)
5. Work your fool ass off at this and nothing else for somewhere between nine and 36 months.
Do not waver in your efforts, even when your website gets 6 visitors a day. Do not stop doing what you’re doing when you don’t get a comment on your blog for an entire month. Do not quit, even when any rational person would say you’re never going to succeed.
Continue being optimistic and gracious and charming, even though there is neither guarantee nor hope that you will make a damn dime from your efforts.
Bonus Step: Sell Them Something.
By this point, it doesn’t matter what you sell. You’re so insane that they’ll pretty much do whatever you tell them to.
Naomi writes more things like this in The Letter. Get it for free today. (It also comes with free marketing courses. You can’t move for free here.)