What are the requirements to be called one? I was recently featured in the latest issue of US Magazine Internet Celebrity and, though I see myself more as an Internet influencer, it was nice to get recognised by the impact that your work makes online.
When approached to appear on the magazine, I visualised a very different idea of what an internet celebrity is. People like Kim Kardashian or Perez Hilton quickly came up in my mind and I did not see any resemblance of what they do or represent on myself. Perhaps the term has a wider meaning than I thought or has not yet been officially defined as it’s quiet a new and recent “job role”. One way or another, it seems clear that it refers to those individuals which actions, statements and online appearances have an impact and influence on big audiences or, in short words, they are “popular” in the Internet world.
In the online world, like in traditional friendships, you don’t want to be either the guy that never calls or the one that calls you every hour.
Don’t be repetitive: At school, if you failed a question on an exam you wouldn’t go and repeat the same answer again and again to your teacher; you would try to find out the right answer and be ready to give it next time, wouldn’t you?
I have never been popular. One, because I didn’t and don’t have the sort of personality you need to have (extroverted, confident in public, charismatic when talking to an audience…) and second, consequence of the first reason, because I never wished to be popular; on the contrary, I have always avoided attention as much as possible, unless when focused to my work.
So how did I get here?
Not consciously, for sure. I have talked in previous posts about my need of communicating and interacting with people. Starting from the traditional method of posting letters to write editorials or building a blog. At the age of 16 I had around 50 penpals from all over the world, which certainly got my postman mad. Now, thanks to the benefits of Internet, I had around 3,500 followers in LinkedInplus some other thousands in other platforms and my magazine. It’s much less than many other people out there, yet still, they want me to feature on Internet Celebrity magazine. Why?
Some might think that you are as popular as the number of fans/followers you have. Not a very accurate way of measure, I would say, since you can “buy” followers or, even, if they are legitimate, a big percentage of them just pressed like/follow on your profile once and never read any of your stuff ever again. With my penpals it was really easy to track down “social engagement”: if they replied back to my letters and continue doing this over time, they were definitely my “followers”. Can it be possible to get the same level of loyalty from your online “friends”?
There are some simple rules you have to stick to if you wish to keep your followers interested and engaged on you. The line between being annoying and being responsive online is very thin. In the online world, like in traditional friendships, you don’t want to be either the guy that never calls or the one that calls you every hour.
- Be consistent, in your arguments and in the amount of content you post on a daily/monthly basis. Your followers could see easily if you have suddenly changed your mind on a subject you blogged about previously and might not trust in you again. In the same way, if you are not a regular blogger and suddenly overload the channels with posts your followers will question your reasons behind: have you just been hired by someone to blog in their behalf? Are you promoting an event or product you discreetly mention on All your recent posts?
- Don’t be repetitive. I understand how frustrating might be posting something and not getting any response at all. However, do not attempt to just copy and paste the same text next day and post it again and then again the following day. Your followers will treat you as Spam and you will loose all credibility. Instead, try to understand why the original post didn’t bring any attention: was it the theme, the title, the lack of visual support to your words? At school, if you failed a question on an exam you wouldn’t go and repeat the same answer again and again to your teacher; you would try to find out the right answer and be ready to give it next time, wouldn’t you?
- Be yourself. Most of the best and world wide known writers started writing talking about their personal affairs, or adding bits of their own life to their fiction characters. Talk about what you know and add your personal experience without sounding arrogant or condescending, just with the aim of sharing something that might be of use for someone else who is reading. My most read articles have been those where I have included some personal life situations and observations. Your readers will value your honesty and will trust you more if they see that you are writing from your own experience.
Read my full interview at Internet Celebrity magazine here.