The internet has made it easier than ever to become famous. The cases of everyday people gaining international fame in a matter of days is now fairly common, thanks to YouTube, Facebook, and social bookmarking sites, like Digg and StumbleUpon.

These individuals gained fame because they did something interesting. Usually this internet fame fades after a month or so, but for some, they take what makes them big and utilize it to continue to grow their easily-recognizable brand: Themselves.

So what can we learn from internet bloggers turned “iCelebrities” like iJustine (Justine Ezarik) and Dooce (Heather Armstrong)? Their tactics to make people pay attention and spread what they have to say.

Incite Empathy.
Writers (or bloggers, in this instance) become famous because they are easy to relate to. Almost anyone can pick up their book or open up their website and empathize with what they are saying. When iJustine posted a video on YouTube about her 300-page iPhone bill, she became an internet sensation as other new iPhone users complained right along with her. As a result, AT&T changed their billing statements.

Be Approachable.
Knowing your audience and responding to what they have to say is the Golden Rule of Social Media. After all, it’s not called “social” media because customers like to talk to themselves. If they have a question or complaint, they want to know that it was heard and taken care of. iJustine regularly answers readers’ questions and Dooce chatters with her twitter “family” regularly almost every day.

Be Entertaining.
Don’t use social media to only post self-serving news and information. Post funny videos and pictures of your staff, company, and their adventures (iJustine regularly posts videos about Apple products and stuff she loves, and Dooce posts a picture everyday of something in her life, usually her dogs or children).

Stay Ahead of the Curve.
iJustine and Dooce became famous because their saw a niche of the internet they could dominate and went for it. Dooce is one of the most famous “mommybloggers” who wasn’t afraid to talk about her struggles with postpartum depression, and iJustine regularly talks about new technology and social media sharing services she’s been using. Start running facebook ad campaigns before your competitors do. Hold weekly Twitter or RSS contests to increase readership and possible client contacts.

Take Every Opportunity You Can Get.
These two bloggers are two smart women. They knew they were an in-demand brand, and have utilized this as much as they can. This includes speaking engagements and appearances on TV stations and conferences and corporate-sponsored reviews and ads on their blogs. Use the power social media and the internet to network. Partner with other businesses to offer package deals (i.e. a restaurant and a hotel create a “Valentine’s Day” package for couples) or traded advertising (they display your banner on their site and vice versa). This will not only increase your link value but will also increase visibility.

Use Your Online Fame to Be Successful Offline.
Dooce’s online fame has helped her write and publish 2 books, both of which were extremely successful. “It Sucked and Then I Cried” landed on the New York Times Best-Seller List. If you have a strong, respected following online, use that power to snag panelist spots or guest speaking slots at conferences where you can promote your organization. If you are an internet authority in your field, get a book deal and create a manual on the subject.

The Bottom Line: Once people start to notice you, capitalize on it. Share your expertise, even if you don’t have much at first, and you will soon become an expert.

Photo from

Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones

Founder/Chief Marketing Consultant at Six Stories
Kelsey Jones helps clients around the world grow their social media, content, and search marketing presence. She enjoys writing and consuming all kinds of content, both in digital and tattered paperback form.
Kelsey Jones
Kelsey Jones