We all can’t be writers, but we all want to be bloggers. It seems like everyone with an internet connection and an index finger has a blog. And why not? It’s cheap, it’s easy and you can do it while soaking in a baby pool of pudding in your living room if you want. A lot more convenient than running off a thousand copies of your manifesto and thrusting them into people’s faces while they shop downtown, that’s for sure.
But, how do you make your blog’s star shine brighter than all the others in the blog-o-verse? In the wide, dark waters of the blogging ocean, how can you make your one little drop cause an internet tidal wave?
Well, knowing a couple of kick-ass metaphors helps, but there are a few rules you can follow to increase traffic to your blog and get you noticed.
1. Write a “How To” post
Don’t make it too technical or sciencey. You need to reach a wide audience, so your subject should be relatable to most people. Like “How to Insult Strangers” or “How to Breathe With Your Mouth Closed.” It doesn’t matter if you don’t know a rat’s ass about your topic because most people will only read your post in order to comment, point by point, how wrong you are anyway. That’s okay! There’s no such thing as negative press in blog-land. A page view is a page view, right?
2. Write a “list” post
Movies you love, books you’ve burned, foods that make you sneeze – list it out. Lists are easy to read, which is important. Lengthy paragraphs with no breaks frighten blog readers which makes them clutch their bag of Smartfood and click elsewhere. You want them to wipe their hands on their pants and stay a little while.
3. Have pictures
As I inferred in item #2, people who read blogs have short attention spans and need pictures to break up the words. Blogs are not novels. They’re more like comic books or those pamphlets at the free clinic that teach you the warning signs of a raging meth addiction or that it’s not your fault your uncle is handsy.
If your blog post is “Top 10 Ways to Train Your Pet Weasel” do a Google image search of weasels or scan Flicker for weasel pictures. Just be sure to give an image credit so you don’t get sued. Or, just draw the picture yourself in MS Paint (or whatever paint program Apple has that I’m sure is soooo much better).
4. Link to something else
It’s not necessary to write much of anything at all if you just link to someone who already said it in a smarter or funnier way than you ever could. Or, take a cue from item #3 and link to, or embed, a video. People love watching videos because it’s much easier than reading and there’s sound. Like TV! Why spend 500 words that no one will read ranting about Justin Bieber, when you can just type, “Look at this douche” and then post a video. Blog post: Done.
5. Mention Justin Bieber
Or whatever embryo currently has a hit song on constant radio rotation. It’s called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), people. You gotta know what’s popular in order to be popular. Some of you are already screwed, I know.
6. Have a child
I don’t condone spawning just for the sake of blog fodder, but it is an insanely popular genre and if you can’t get a handle on SEO, you may want to consider it. For maximum post material, have more than one, a boy and a girl, if you can manage it. Plus, you will never run out of copyright free pictures to use.
I had a few more tips, but this post is already on the near side of 1,000 words which is critical mass for most readers so I’ll wrap it up. How To’s, lists, pictures, links, Bieber, kids. Got it? Great! Now go blow up the front page of reddit.
Or, if you would rather humans, not automatons, read your blog, write whatever you like, however you like. Just be true to yourself.