Dear Anna: Tips For Viral Video Fame

Rebecca Black/YouTube video still

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


If that punk Rebecca Black can get rich by making a crappy song and video, I wanna do it too! How can I make viral videos that win me financial and celebrity acclaim?

~Rebecca CRACK

If I knew the answer to that, do you really think I’d be telling you how to become a millionaire while I sit here in my Target pajamas, drinking Charles Shaw out of a measuring cup?

For the three of you who haven’t been on the Internet for the past few weeks, or have simply had better things to do with your time, eff you. I mean, this is what happened with Rebecca Black. She’s a 13-year-old whose rich parents gave $2,000 to Ark Music Factory to write two terrible songs and make a video out of the one whose lyrics included the order of the days of the week, and breakfast. Black “sang” it, and Ark made said video into an auto-tuned monstrosity, with kids in braces pretending to drive convertibles and such. The scathing reaction to the song made the video go viral. (As of this week, it’s been viewed almost 65 million times). Musician Mike Bauer impersonated Bob Dylan in a hilarious cover of it, which is totally worth watching just to hear him sing, “Gotta have cereal.” And bam! Insta-fame.

According to Slate, Black has probably made about $40,000 from the song, and assuming she doesn’t use most of it on therapy from the hatefest she inspired, that’s a decent sum for a 13-year-old. While there’s no magical key for making lots of money that you don’t deserve, here are a few suggestions for you to try on your way to Internet infamy, based on YouTube’s most-viewed videos of all time.

Read the rest of my social media column at SF Weekly.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate