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.