Probably because it’s been a while since any of you have asked me for advice.
I can’t imagine why.
After absolutely no new advice questions for weeks, I finally got an email the other day from the adorably named Mumun. The email came with the equally adorable subject line: “I need advice that I don’t think I’ll need.”
Well, I think we can all agree that she came to the right lady! Because, not to brag or anything, but I’m pretty much awesome at giving advice to people that they don’t think they’ll need.
Like I can now tell you how to put unicorn horns on ponies. And cats. And one-eyed chihuahuas.
I bet you never thought you’d need to know how to do that, huh?
(Answer: get your mom to do it. Because you’re too busy “checking the lighting.”)
Mumun’s email went something like this:
I have a travel blog that is specifically about my own country (psst… Indonesia). I really want it to go Rambo-famous and become internationally known so I can legally trash hotels like Rambo (wait, that’s the wrong movie), and it would be nice if more people came by. But I don’t know how? Aside from writing stupid stories about myself, what should I do?
First of all, writing stupid stories about yourself is always the key to success.
Secondly, I don’t usually like to give out blogging advice on my blog. Mostly because there are lots of really awesome bloggy people out there dishing out really awesome bloggy advice (like here and here and here).
These people really know their stuff.
I really do not.
Maybe you’ve noticed?
But how could I resist answering an email with so many references to Rambo?
I could not.
So here goes:
How to Have an Internationally Known Blog in 12 Easy Steps (Or 6 long years. Whichever one comes first.)
Step 1:Move to Japan.
Start your first blog.
Make sure to give it some kind of funky name that no one can remember or spell. Bonus points if you can give it a name in some foreign language that almost no one (including yourself) speaks, like, say, umm, lemmethinkforasecond, Japanese!
Write your first blog post. Make sure it’s about something really poignant and meaningful. Something that really shows you’re having an Authentic Experience.
Like, say, your lunch.
Email all your friends and family members to tell them that you’ve started a blog and send them the link.
Take their silence as a sign that they’re too busy reading your blog to email you back. Or comment. Or answer your calls.
Step 2:Start writing longer, more blathery posts. About topics that really show the reader the workings of your inner soul.
Like, say, your couch.
Hardly ever use photos. And when you do make sure those photos are dark and kind of blurry and taken with your teeny tiny cell phone camera.
After all, you wouldn’t want to show too much.
You need to maintain an aura of mystery, you know.
As well as an aura of “Did she take that photo in the bathroom? I think that’s a photo from the bathroom. I hope she washed her hands.”
Step 3:Get your first comment ever from someone who is neither a friend of yours nor biologically related to you.
Jump up and down. A lot.
Because, obviously, you’re on the brink of Internet stardom.
Step 4:Join Facebook.
Start harassing all your Facebook friends into reading your blog.
Take their silence as a sign that they’re too busy reading your blog to like the link. Or comment on the link.
And that’s probably also why they de-friended you on Facebook – they’re simply too busy reading your awesome blog posts to be your friend. Whatever. That’s cool.
Step 5:Change the name of your blog to something that’s a lot easier to spell. And doesn’t require any foreign language training to remember.
Spend about a week changing your blog over to a blogging platform that no one ever uses. Probably because it’s ridiculous and breaks down a lot and makes your blog almost impossible to find with a Google search.
After all, you don’t want to make it that easy for people to get to your blog. You need to play hard to get.
Step 6:Join Twitter.
Realize that Twitter is even better than Facebook because people are on there ALL THE TIME. Unlike your Facebook friends who are always doing stupid stuff like sleeping or going to work or de-friending you.
Start following other bloggers on Twitter.
Because, guess what?
Other bloggers exist.
You had no idea.
You were pretty sure you were the only one.
Start reading other blogs and realize that blogging is actually this thing that people take pretty seriously.
You had no idea.
Notice that no one else is writing blog posts about their couches – instead they are writing informative pieces with lots of bullet points.
Wonder if you should be doing that too. But you hate bullet points and you love your couch.
Keep writing about your couch.
Step 7:Leave Japan. And your couch.
Start traveling and writing about non-couch-related things. Like cats.
Get over a hundred hits to your blog in a few hours after a kind-of-big-deal blogger tweets a link to one of your posts. This is more hits than your blog has received in EVER.
OMIGOD. OMIGOD. OMIGOD. OMIGOD.
You probably shouldn’t sleep tonight in case a Hollywood agent needs to call you to get the rights to your blog to turn it into a movie.
Also, you need to think about who is going to play you in the movie. Is Angelina Jolie too obvious? And can she type? Because most of the movie is going to be her typing.
Google search “Angelina Jolie typing.”
Be disturbed by the results.
Step 8:Travel some more.
Go to Chiang Mai because everyone else is doing it.
Finally switch your blog over to WordPress.
Because everyone else is doing that, too.
BLOGGER PEER PRESSURE, you guys. It’s real.
Step 9:Move to China.
Get a new couch.
Write about your new couch.
Win a kind-of-big-deal-award.
These two things are probably related.
Step 10:Attempt to write shorter, less blathery posts.
Start taking photos of EVERYTHING and put them on your blog. Because, apparently, people like to look at things and not just words all the time.
Include lots of dark, blurry bathroom photos. After all, you wouldn’t want to forget your roots.
Step 11:Move home.
Get another couch which is not nearly as exciting as your old couch.
Compensate by getting a cat. Start writing about your cat.
Decide to start an advice column on your blog.
And by “advice column” I mean “just an excuse to write stupid stories about yourself.”
Tell all your readers that you will now be answering all their questions about everything ever.
Take their silence as a sign that they’re too busy reading your blog posts to email you with their questions about everything ever. Whatever. That’s cool.
Step 12Totally start trashing hotel rooms.
And by “trashing” I mean “take lots of photos of the bathroom because everyone loves a good bathroom photo, amirite?”Have any blogging or how-to-get-kind-of-famous-on-the-Internet tips you’d like to share? Or want to get some advice from me? Leave your question in the comments, send your question via the contact form or shoot me an email at unbravegirl at gmail.com