Monday, September 26, 2011

How to become a super-duper successful blogger

Yesterday, BoingBoing posted an excerpt from a book called "Blogger's Boot Camp: Learning how to build, write, and run a successful blog," with the most insipid advice I've recently seen on blogging. The advice? 1. "You must write a minimum of 1,000 words a day," a rule the author justifies by mentioning a blogger who specializes in writing pithy sentence fragments and quoting other people's writing. And 2. "Always Be Posting. You will burn out. When this happens, take a break. Always take weekends off and limit your off-the-clock consumption of social media." Got that? Write 1,000 words every day, except when you don't, because you will almost certainly hate blogging.

Here's the real advice:

1. Create a time machine, go back in time 10+ years, start a blog, and update it every day. Through the power of longevity and the luck/foresight of being first you'll amass so many readers that you'll be able to make a living simply by posting a couple of daily links to the New Yorker.

2. Become famous for something. Even better, become famous and attractive. Then start a blog. Your fans will adore your every post no matter how banal.

3. Be a mom blogger (marketers adore mom bloggers, especially those who link to the words insurance or bank) and mix in product reviews with detailed discussions of your family's most private secrets. Especially the ones about sex. When you run out of your own secrets, betray your friends.

4. Figure out a way to become a pornographer. Deadspin's basically a sports-themed porn blog. In fact, the porn doesn't even have to be sports-related. Gawker writers spend their time coming up with clever excuses for posting photo galleries of busty children and up-skirt shots.

5. Convince people you're a guru on relationships, or career advancement, or marketing, or health. Hope they don't notice you spend your time telling other people what to do, instead of doing it yourself.

Bonus points if you have the energy, knowledge, and willingness to manipulate traffic sources like Google, Reddit, and Stumbleupon.


6. Write a regularly updated blog, on a topic people are interested in, filled with original content and funny insightful commentary.

Of course, if you can do that, you don't need anyone's advice. There's also no reason to burn out. Writing a blog, if it's right for you, is fun. You can read my genuine tips on writing a blog here.


  1. i love this.

    i got my first troll comment regarding my post frequency this morning. i could NOT stop laughing (once i got past the early morning anger over someone presuming to tell me when i should blog).

    people spend way too much time on the internet.

  2. Awesome post.

    I stopped reading boingboing a few years ago, and I miss nothing about it.

  3. I'll tell you that I'm on your site several times a day. I love it, and always look forward to whatever you post next.

  4. I can add some to your very insightful list:

    6. Bash a piece of widely agreed upon, common-sense wisdom for 700 words and then, when you've got them on the ropes, finish them with a promotional upper-cut for that "personal development online seminar" or e-book you happen to be selling.

    7. Start an '80s retro blog and post scans from magazines you find in your mom's house. If the magazines are from the '90s, that's OK. Remember that more is better, so post at least 20 scans every day. You want people to drown in them. Salt these posts with long diatribes about how your husband/wife is a jerk, AND how in the '80s: Men were men, women were women, and this or that political movement/party made sense.

    8. Choose a lucrative retail product niche. Using resources listed in "7 Hour Work Week", pay someone in India $5 per article to write one or two "product reviews" a month in your chosen niche and then use a bot to spin 200 copies of it that are basically identical, but use different words and grammar. Post them on as many sites as you can. Don't worry that none of it is readable. You're just worried about pleasing Google's spiders. Use these articles, link exchanges, and comment spam to rank in Google for retail products. Don't worry that you're working 80 hours a week, not 7. The money will start rolling in sooner or later. Better yet, self-publish an e-book on how to do this and sell it to get-rich-quick suckers.

    Did I mention that I'm selling tickets to an e-learning seminar for single people who suffer from social anxiety on how to deal with Halloween? It's titled "Single AND Happy on October 31!"

  5. I was about to post, "I love this." then saw that someone already had.
    I still love this.