All eskimos smell.
While this isn’t a successful website of any description it does do a reasonable job of faking it to the untrained eye and, luckily, eye training is a dying profession. This doesn’t mean that I don’t know how to run a successful website, though; I simply choose not to. Creating a new blog or website and turning it into something that people will want to come back and visit time after time itself takes time and effort and, basically, I’m a lazy so-and-so.
However, if you’re marginally more inclined to do something worthwhile than I am and are keen to create a blog and make a success of it there’s no reason why you can’t if you follow the simple tips and tricks I’ve outlined below.
What Is A Blog?
Blog is an acronym created from Boolean Logic lOgging ThinGy, a date-based, diary-like system of posting content that relies upon the site owner following standard, logical boolean conditions in order to determine whether to actually publish what they’re thinking about or not.
For instance, on this site my blog rules are quite short and simple:
IF (voicesCommandIt OR medicationOutOfDate OR shirtCollarTooTight) crud.Publish();
You’ll need to determine your own blogging rules early on and write them down so you don’t forget. I recommend a pen of some sort and something on which the pen can write, such as the back of a hand, possibly your own. What sort of people do you want to visit your site? Tailor your rules to appeal to these people. Here are some popular blogs, their target audiences, and their rules:
- Wil Wheaton · Middle-aged women who fancy William Shatner or Jonathan Frakes but will settle for less · IF (mentionsFamily OR mentionsStarTrek OR mentionsOneOfTheCoreys) emotionalMemory.Publish();
- Darren Rowse · People who actually think it’s possible to earn money on the internet, hahaha, no, seriously, they’re still out there · IF (wordBlogInArticleAtLeast50Times OR newWayToRewriteArticleWritten10TimesAlready) blogBlogBlog.BlogPublish();
- Michelle Malkin · Klan members · IF ((antiWomen OR antiDemocrats OR antiForeigners) AND noTruthWhatsoever) hate.Spew();
Once you’ve hit upon your rules, it’s time for you to start posting content on your blog. What is good content? How do you keep producing good content?
People don’t like turning up at a website or blog that interested them in some way a few days or weeks ago only to find nothing has changed. It worries those people. They start to think that you might have slipped in the bath and are lying there still. This then makes them contact the police, if they know roughly where you live, and the police will then check up on you. Suppose you’re alphabetising your porn collection and the police break down the front door. And all because you didn’t publish some new content to your blog.
Write About What You Know
The best authors are those who write about what they know. This is why there are very few astronaut blogs or websites run "by honest salesmen, for honest salesmen". What are your passions? What do you know? If you’re young, for example, you haven’t had time to develop real passions and, despite what you think, you know absolutely nothing. This will make your blog really quite dreadful. So put down the blog and walk away. Don’t turn back!
Controversy is a wonderful tool for capturing people’s attentions and driving traffic to your website. You could incorporate controversial posting into your blogging rules or simply shake things up every now and then by throwing in a generalised comment about a group of people you know visit your site occasionally to ignite discussion. To my eskimo readers, for instance, I’d just like to say that I don’t really think you all smell at all; just the ones I’ve met.
Be Consistent And Brief
Good posts are those that have a simple message to impart and do so in a concise manner maintaining that message throughout. Long articles – even those spaced out with paragraphs with bold headings and a couple of pictures – should be avoided as they won’t be read by most people because global attention span was all but eradicated by solar flares at the end of the last century, and those that do read them will need to not be confused by conflicting ideas.
The last thing you want is for readers of your site becoming complacent and coming to know exactly what they’re going to see on your site when they visit. Complacency leads to boredom so spice things up by saving up a few posts and publishing them all at once, then leaving a gap. Keep your visitors on their toes and they’ll visit more regularly. Those highs and lows of expectation and disappointment will work like a blogging drug, getting readers addicted to your site and causing withdrawal symptoms when you take a few days off, and once they’re hooked you can get them to do favours for close personal friends, just take care of them for the evening, keep them happy, that sort of thing.
Make It Up
If you’re a keen knitter and know a lot about knitting and want fellow knitters to come to your site where you’re talking about knitting there’s a problem you’re eventually going to come across: the sort of people who would be interested in what you’re writing about already know all about it and won’t actually be interested after all. It’s a classic Catch 22 situation and it applies everywhere. Start any successful website or blog on any subject and the people who regularly read it will soon know everything you do so how do you keep them coming back anyway? You make it up. They won’t know. Talk about how you prefer wool shorn from the backs of giraffes as it doesn’t shrink in the wash. If you write about your kids a lot then pretend one of them has a mild case of Ebola. And so on.
One popular method of posting when you’re regularly running out of ideas is to develop daily themes and run with them week-on-week. Some bloggers like to engage in something called Wordless Wednesday, for example, where they post using only numbers and high pitched squeaks saved as MP3s. It works well to bring in fellow particpants in the themed day as well as enforcing scheduled posting on your behalf. You don’t have to use an established blogging theme and can easily come up with your own which, if you’re lucky, will be adopted by others in time earning you internet-based fame (that’s the worst kind!). Here are a few possibilities to consider:
- No Smelly Eskimos Monday
- Pictures Of My Open Sores Saturday
- Memories Of Child Abuse Thursday
- Flashing Red Text On Lime Background Sunday
- It’s The Same Post As Last Tuesday Friday
Follow these blogging tips and in somewhere between sixteen and eighteen days you’ll be a success with new friends that you’ll never forget hanging on your every word, guaranteed. I wouldn’t make something like that up.