While looking for something else, I ran across a post from my old NASCAR blog (sigh … miss those days) that despite a few outdated pop culture references, updated for this post, still rang true. So, without further ado I bring to you advice from some thirteen years ago I only wish I would have followed back in the day, for if I had I’d be POPULAR!!! Or something.
I’ve long studied this strange and semi-unique phenomenon known as the blogosphere, and while going through the archives I have reminded me of various facts; nuggets of wisdom picked up along the way. So, as part of my offering to you, I now pass along this one thing that, when fully applied, will forever transform your existence.
I’m going to tell you how to be a successful blogger.
There are those well-meaning but misguided individuals who confuse success with such non-issues as, oh, quality. Balderdash! Success as a blogger has nothing whatsoever to do with writing something of quality or in any fashion worth reading. No, success is measured only by public visibility. You think people listen to “Baby Shark” because of its artistic merit? I rest my case. The sole purpose of blogging is to sell yourself, and sell yourself well.
To sell yourself well means establishing and maintaining the highest possible visibility. This can be done by following any or all of these methods known to be sure-fire cyberspace firestarters:
#1. Politics, politics, politics. Not everyone can do sports or celebrity gossip. And let’s face it — no one cares about your angst over relationships past and present; they’re too busy with their own. (Actually, they’re too busy looking for free porn, but let’s not go there.) Thoughtful analysis? Informed, sober opinion? Oh p’shaw! That dog won’t hunt. So what’s left? Easy!
Find a fringe and fill it. Left or right work equally well. Whichever side you choose, though, make sure you locate the outer edge and pack it full. Remember, when it comes to getting your name out there bombast is bliss. Bring on the bile. Name-calling? Mandatory. Insulting nicknames for those you oppose? De rigueur. Rewriting the exact same post or tweet five hundred times? No problem! It’ll take the dullards that many repetitions to get it through their thick skulls that you are the one true overlord.
Let your readers know you and you alone hold the keys to the kingdom, occasionally making a passing nod to other bloggers and such of similar mindset but never relinquishing the dictum of you being The One. Nothing happens without your say-so. The scales upon which the balance of power is measured reside in your hand. All must know if they want any part of the action, they’re well advised to hop on board with you or forever look on from a distance, cut off from the halls of power. After all, you’re a blogger with readers! What more evidence do you need who’s boss?
Not getting the readership you know you deserve? Your pearls of wisdom from on high (immaterial whether or not you believe there’s an on high — figure of speech here, okay?) being cast before swine, and worse yet not nearly enough of them? Relax. Commenting’s the key! Embrace your inner troll. Find a social media high-flyer, be it Twitter or Facebook or blogger or Instagram or what have you, where the expressed views are the exact opposite of yours, and start firing away. Nominally on “your” side but not marching in lockstep with you? All the better! Show you’re the true conservative/liberal/libertarian/whatever around these parts. Don’t let a thread go by without jumping in wearing full battle gear. Attack, attack, attack. Twitter is especially well suited to this. Pull in quotes and comments that support your view whether they have anything to do with the topic on hand or not as long as they sound good. Other commenters take umbrage? Sarcasm equals success! Don’t bother refuting their puny arguments; they’re not worth the time. Why should a superior being such as yourself waste time in this fashion with such dullards? Instead, sling it and sling it good! Profane plays on their screen names are always effective. That’ll show ’em … and drive ’em by the droves to your blog.
#2. There are always sports, or celebrity gossip, which in fact are the same thing. Just because everyone can’t do a sports page doesn’t mean you can’t. In either case, the approach is the same: never let the facts get in the way of a good snark. After all, no one actually goes to a sports page to read about (ugh!) sports. It’s all about the U as in Y-O-U. Parade your brilliant wit for all to see. Rip’n’roll, baby! Tell Steph Curry he can’t play basketball to save his life. Insinuate Mike Trout must be juiced because he’s too good of a ballplayer for any other possible explanation. Call that 6’5″ two hundred and eighty pounds of pure muscle lineman a wuss. Sure-fire Top Of The Pops ticket-punchers!
Hate someone — individual athlete, team, sport in general — with a hater’s hate? Not a problem. Ignore everything they do well, since if you don’t say anything it didn’t happen, and fire full broadsides at any little slip. Don’t forget to question their sexual preference on either the individual or group level, with a “oh but I personally believe in equality” alibi at the ready. Strike up the band, strike a pose, and say it loud — you’re the story and you’re proud!
#3. Crazed commentators. The more people you have playing Pavlov’s dogs to your every word — on your site, that is — the better. A comment thread simply isn’t a comment thread without a few dozen huzzahs for you. And what course of action should be undertaken if someone wanders by and dares to voice an opposing viewpoint? Grab some popcorn and pull up a chair to watch the fur fly as your minions tear into the poor unfortunate (but no doubt asking for it) soul like a wolfpack on wounded prey. Oh yes — make sure you show your people the love. Once in a while toss in a “now calm down” accompanied by a knowing nudge nudge wink wink. You’ll be all the more revered for it.
#4. Easier does it. Why knock yourself out writing your own material? In addition to the ever-popular method of riffing at length on any given MSM story, adding the all-important “me too” and/or “F U” to things because otherwise not a soul on this earth would know the proper reaction, many top-flight bloggers have discovered a far smoother path to tread on their way to stardom. Simply spend your time trolling everyone else’s blogs, then put together a post with links to same. Once in a while offer a sentence or two of your own, the snarkier the better as you dogpile on the day’s designated whipping boy, but for the most part simply keep those post links a-comin’. Readers will flock to your site and sing your praises for your brilliance in bringing this essential service to one and all. After all, how will anyone find anything on the Internet if you don’t tell them it’s there?
#5. Out-MSM the MSM. No one watches or listens to or reads the news media anymore, nor should they unless by some miracle someone therein catches the vision and responds by doing an appropriately fawning article on you. Yet, if no one’s watching or listening or reading, they’re not going to know what’s going on, now are they. What to do? Be the bringer! Slavishly note every everything being said or done that’s reported on by those so-called professionals, then recreate it all for your blog. Nothing proclaims you’re got your finger on the pulse of what’s what and who’s hot than telling the story the way it should have been told in the first place if only those jealous naysayers in the media would admit your total superiority and profound wisdom which you demonstrate by repeating everything they say … your way. After all, nothing screams powerful writer than post after post consisting of nothing but quotes and/or full-blown copy and pastes of other people’s social media and/or MSM content. Those keyboard commands aren’t going to work themselves, people.
#6. Bombs (of the f- and s- variety) and bikinis. Want to make that hit counter hotter than Arizona in July? Two keys. Nothing pumps up the public profile like profanity, as it shows you’re a rugged individualist sticking it to The Man. And you can’t go wrong with girlie pics, no matter the subject of your blog. Bikinis being suggestively pulled at equals blogosphere boom, baby!
Follow the above formula, and fame plus eventual fortune are yours for the taking. Of course, you could always try such methods as writing from the heart, doing your best to create something worth reading, and doing what you do out of love …
… but you’ll never get the love of this world that way.