Julian Assange is a wanted man. On like an international scale.
Among the nations that publicly want him are the United States and Australia.
Who knows who’s after him behind the scenes.
But how could a pale, skinny, white-haired programmer and activist from Australia possibly get himself in so much trouble?
He’s on the war path. And big, corrupt institutions and their secrets are his opponents.
Since it’s inception in 2006, his baby WikiLeaks has released more classified documents than most of the world’s newspapers do in 30 years.
- Documents on extra-judicial killings in Kenya.
- Memos on toxic waste dumping in Côte d’Ivoire.
- Secret manuals used by Church of Scientology.
Not to mention the over 250,000 U.S. military cables.
But while big governments want his head, guess what everybody else thinks of him? That’s right–they love him.
In 2010 he was voted Time magazine’s Person of the Year…by the readers.
He’s won multiple journalism awards…
Is constantly being interviewed…
And he gets a flood of classified information–both electronically and by postal–that he’s not even equipped to handle it.
In fact, at Assange’s TED talk, host Chris Anderson asked the audience how many people view him as a freedom fighter.
Almost unanimously everyone raised their hands.
So how does a Australia programming enthusiast go from sheer backwoods obscurity to international popularity king in less than five years?
More importantly, what can his whistle-blowing mandate teach you about becoming a blogger who attracts a large and loyal following–on like an international scale?
Never thought you’d ask.
1. Find a Common Enemy
Bonding with readers is the trick to growing a blog readership…
And one of the quickest ways to do that is by finding the person, institution or idea your readers hate. And then taking them to task.
See, going to war with a giant troublemaker is a proven, old-school advertising tactic.
And it’s also the trick that can push your social media efforts to new heights.
2. Pick Big Targets to Attack
But you just can’t pick any target.
Choose an enemy who’s small and you’ll look like the bully. That, my friend, will work against you.
Besides, the bigger the enemy you can find, the broader your reach. The more people you’ll impact.
And once you’ve found that sucker…
3. Vow to Crush the Bastard
He then added, “And I enjoy crushing the bastards.”
That kind of commitment is nothing short of inflammatory. Hostile. And down right inspirational.
It’s the sound bite to end all sound bites. And swarm people to your blog.
4. Not Afraid to Catch Hell
Listen, Julian Assange is on the run for one reason: he’s he’s caught some serious heat from people. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a bounty on his head.
But that’s not really what impresses me about him.
What impresses me is he doesn’t back down. He remains in the public. And he remains committed to his cause.
That, my friend, gives people courage and hope. In return, they give him their loyalty and attention.
5. Shine Light on Dark Secrets
Assange’s concept behind WikiLeaks is simple: expose everything that people are hiding.
Do you got a hunch that Google is gaming search so their franchises appear on searches versus their competitors?
Go after that story. If you’re right, expose that fact and the followers will flock.
And who’s going to argue they’re not popular?
6. Nurture Victims
Assange isn’t all bad boy rebel. He’s got a soft side, too.
He told Chris Anderson that he lives by this advice his father gave him: “Capable, generous men do not create victims. They nurture victims.”
In other words, both great leaders and great bloggers know how to blend their hard-nosed stances on evil with a dose of compassion.
James Altucher’s compassion for those trapped in cubicle prostitution is part of his blogging charm. Yeah, he’s hard-nosed on corporations and college, but people believe him because he used to be one of them.
He gets them.
Regardless of how you feel about Assange, what other “common enemy” lessons can you share with our readers? And yes, there’s the negative impact on being a whistle-blower. But what are they?
Share. I’m curious.