Sunday, 20 February 2011

Another five ways to an atrocious blog post

Since the last time I posted on the subject people are still putting themselves at risk of getting some decent blog posts together. This will only lead to one thing – a following. You've clearly forgotten why you started blogging in the first place – it's not about them, the readers, it's about you – your ego, your self respect, your self-indulgence. Let's not forget that.

So if you find yourself in the unenviable position of actually entertaining and enlightening your blog readership here are five bullet-proof tips to guarantee your following will stagnate and erode before you can tweet 'new blog post'.

Say nothing in your headline

Hard core readers of blogs will have a list of posts to read that makes their twitter feed look like a walk in the park. Chances are they'll only look at your headline. This is an ideal opportunity to head a potential reader off at the pass by providing an uninteresting, unrevealing and uninformative title for your post. Even better – give it no title at all. You got a hundred and fifty posts in your blog-reader, are you ever going to pick the one that says 'Great News!', or 'A Day in the Life of Iyam Dullasfukovich'. Probably not.

Talk about yourself

It's not about content, it's about you. You don't want readers, you want fans, right? In which case, you must pontificate for ages about what you've done that morning – to the minutest possible detail. Tell people what you're listening to on your iPod, what brand of coffee you use, what you fed your pet for breakfast, what your poor, privacy-invaded child said that was really funny on the way to school. People only care about that kind of stuff when they're obsessed with you – real die-hard fans - and you know how many of those you've got (a clue - it begins with a Z and ends with an O).

Mention your 'product' as often as possible

I've seen some popular and informative blogs masterfully undermined when the blogger attempts to convert their 'platform' into sales. A pushy sales pitch will put off a buyer even if they want the damn thing – never forget that. It's best to mention your 'product' in every post, in every mention of that post, and if possible, within every paragraph of that post. The great thing about that is, not only will they unfollow you in droves, they'll do so with the name of your 'product' ringing in their ears. If you can manage one sale out of those deserting hundreds, you'll have achieved something.

Be inconsistent

It's hard to write on the same subject week after week, so why bother? Write whatever the hell you like – one post can be about writing, the next cooking, the next goat-porn. It's a common misunderstanding that this will increase potential readership because of broader appeal, but it's not true – unpredictable, uninformed posts on unrelated subjects will actually drive readers insane and away. Use that to your advantage.

Don't tailor content for the medium

Who the hell wants to learn about a new medium? And who the hell wants to think up new content all the time for that medium? That's right – that would take time, effort and what would you get out of it? No fandom, no sales, and no Tuscan villa. So, the best way to use your blog is as a dumping ground for all the crappy writing you've done and can't quite bring yourself to put in its rightful place - the shredder. In fact, it helps to think of your blog as your online shredder, because there's every chance some editor may chance upon a hidden gem and make you rich and famous. Think about it.

You know all this makes sense. You start setting higher standards and you'll only end up having to maintain them. You wouldn't want that, right?

7 comments:

  1. Oh dear. *checks blog furiously*

    At least I don't have a 'product' to bang people over the head with yet. Or children. But I do now have an image of swatting someone over the head with a five-year-old. Teehee.

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  2. So true. I just hope that new writers realize you're kidding. :) And it makes me sad when a great blogger gets published and then all they do is talk about their book and what's going on with it - I eventually stop reading even if I love the book!

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  3. Hmm...but if those 5 things aren't what writing blogs are for then...

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  4. ROFL ! THat name 'Iyam Dullasfukovich' made tea shoot out of my nose!

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  5. I must bear this is mind - I fear that I have the potential to waffle if I don't keep myself in check. Your words will ring in my ears :-)

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  6. @Girl Friday - thank you, love the graphics on your blog, btw

    @Hey Laura - yeah, me too, nobody wants to feel like a platform, right?

    @becca - are you saying I need to write a post on what writing blogs *should* do?

    @eeleenlee - tickled me too, even if I do say so myself.

    @Hemmie - I don't think you have any worries there, Hem - did you notice that I have one of your posts in my 'Great Blog Posts' over on the right there?

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