1. make sure you're signed to one of those indie labels that's actually a globe-spanning corporation (sub pop, matador, rough trade, etc.). this is crucial, because being independent makes it very hard to sell lots of records.
2. write a bunch of songs about how miserable it is to be a white male who writes songs for a living. you need to include at least two or three songs about how getting laid all the time makes you feel sad; for some reason, college girls love that shit.
3. keep it simple. cull the songs you've written that contain more than three sections. verse, chorus, verse will do just fine (throw a bridge in here and there if you must). try to avoid anything unpredictable, as it will distract the audience from your unhappiness.
4. dance beats are in. if the term "bedroom pop" doesn't apply to your music, use them.
5. get a cooler haircut. throw away every article of clothing you own that fits. pierce something. anything.
6. your album cover must be artsy, but not artistic. provocative sexuality is a plus, unless it's TOO provocative, which is a serious minus.
7. get a good review on pitchfork (8 or above). if you've followed steps 1-6, this should be a piece of cake.
8. sell oodles of records to debt-ridden college graduates. try hard to live large for half a decade. because, motherfucker, nobody's buying your fourth album.