Friday, February 17, 2012

How To Write A Successful Blog!

I'm always trying to come up with new ways to make this blog better.  From the layout to the color scheme, I try to find something that is as pleasing to the soul as it is to the eye.  The biggie?  Voice.  How you, dear readers, interpret my words and hear my voice means a lot.  It is the difference between you understanding what I'm saying and you thinking that I'm just an asshole with a computer spouting nonsense.

So in an effort to revamp A Sane Break From The Insanity, I spent a good hour perusing other people's blogs right here on Blogger.  All of the knowledge that I gained in that small window of time could fill libraries and, since I am a contributing member of the internet society (not to mention I don't want all of this success for myself!), I decided to make a list of what I learned.  Here are the eight things you need to do to make your blog better!

1.) Get Yourself A Wacky Blog Name!

First impressions are everything, and the title is - obviously - the first thing someone visiting your blog is going to see.  Alliteration is very important here (i.e. each word in the title should start with the same letter).  For example, Just Justine or Pat's Pond or Susan's Sassy Shoes are all catchy and relevant to their authors.  "Uh-oh!" your readers will exclaim.  "I've stepped into the quirky corner of the world wide web!" Contrary to popular belief, the title does not have to do with what you write about.  Susan doesn't necessarily have to write about her sassy shoes, nor does Pat need to discuss the pH level of his pond.

2.) Use A Template Provided By Your Blogging Host!

An over-arcing rule here is that originality is unimportant, and your template should reflect that.  Now, I'm not talking about colors here (that's later), just the actual layout of the blog itself.  You want the entire top half of your page covered in ads?  Why not!  You want to walk that fine line between having your content pop out at the reader, and having it blend into the computer screen like a chameleon.  If it's important enough and your reader is determined to find it, he or she will.

3.) It's 2012, The Age Of The Internet, So Forget Everything You Know About Grammar!

Spelling and the mechanics of grammar are so 20th century.  These days, everyone and their dog is writing on the internet.  In fact, I have several comments on some of my posts that were written by actual dogs.  Writing out full words and worrying about comma usage is a complete waste of time.  Just say what you are going to say!  I believe in this rule so much, I adhere to it in my everyday person-to-person communication.

"I go poop!"

Also, you're going to want to bury each post in exclamation points.  Everything needs to be emphasized to show just how excited you are about what you're writing about!!!  <-----See here?  Don't ever think you need to stop at one.  Hold that shift and one key down until your nails bleed.

4.)  Colors!

The colors in your blog represent you as a person, and since you probably aren't dull (otherwise, why are you writing a blog?), you want to stay away from the depressing blacks, whites, grays, tans, etc.  Do the colors have to match with each other?  Hell no.  In fact, they should clash.  Use a neon green font with a burgundy background.  Humans naturally enjoy war - any kind of war! -, so much so that we used to pay to watch people fight to the death in Ancient Rome.  Clash of the Titans?!  Why not Clash of the Colors?!  If I don't have to highlight your text with my mouse in order to read it, then you're doing it wrong.

5.) You're The Star!

Remember who is doing the typing: you.  Remember who the blog is ultimately about: you.  Keeping with that trend, you should have either an abundance of pictures of yourself, or just one really large one that dominates a good portion of your blog.  And, again, let your quirkiness show -  channel your inner Zooey Desechanel here, and pump each post with a plethora of quirk.  Under your "about me" section, definitely write something along the lines of "part-time blogger, full-time ______."  It's so cute!  Every portion of your blog should ultimately remind the reader that you are the star of the universe.  Just, you know... don't be a dick about it.

Because Zooey Deschanel is the 
star of the universe. 

6.)  No Specialty Required!

Some people write about one specific topic like cosmetics or cooking or photography.  That's fantastic and all, but their base isn't large enough to attract every single internet-savvy human on planet Earth.  So how do you attract everyone?  Simple.  By writing about something that everyone can relate to: Life!  Everyone with access to the internet is alive, right?  Well, why don't you write about your own in incremental periods of, let's say, twenty-four hours?  Think of your blog as your own digital diary that anyone can access.  What did you have for breakfast?  Lunch?  Did you forget to feed your cat this morning?  Nothing - nothing - is off limits here.  Get wild with it!  Maybe you bedazzled your iPhone case or you had that second Nutri-Grain bar or you accidentally choked out Cinnamon in your motel room because she forgot the safe word.  It wasn't your fault - you kept asking her if she was okay, telling yourself that you'd pay her extra for the bruises that were sure to be on her neck, but then she stopped gurgling and that last bit of air slipped out of her lungs just as you neared -

7.) Stay Away From Humor!

Keeping with the whole "attracting everyone" topic, you want to be sure to avoid humor of any kind.  This is important because each individual has their own parameters for what is and is not funny.  Cultures, too, influence the individual's sense of humor.  Just look at the difference between American comedy and British "comedy."  So, again, in order to appeal to everyone, appeal to no one.  Remain neutral.  Think and write like a journalist would (minus the sensationalism and add the writing talent).

It most certainly is not.

8.) Add Music!

There isn't a soul on Earth that doesn't like music, just like there isn't a soul in front of their computer that has the volume muted 100% of the time.  Nothing wakes a lazy web surfer up more than Paula Cole shrieking, "Where have all the cowboys gone?!"  Oh, and that's another thing.  The music should not be current.  While you want to blend in with the crowd on every other point I've made, your choice in a song should separate the wheat from the chaff.  It should not be very well known or, at the very least, ten years old.      

If you take all of my advice, you'll rise to the top of the blogosphere in literally no time.  
Don't believe me?  That's your problem. 


Ted McLaughlin said...

You forgot one tip. Write super-long paragraphs. If possible, fill the entire page with only one paragraph. After all, people love a challenge and have nothing better to do than spend a lot of time reading your blog.

A Sane Break said...

Oh, absolutely, Ted! Everyone loves the "wall-o'-text." A successful blogger is one that is familiar with the shorthand phrase "tl;dr"!

shoefulofdrool said...

I completely disagree with tossing out proper grammar and punctuation as well as staying away from humor. That's my entire point, to make people laugh!!!!!! I'm not wild about multiple exclamation points either, I think it looks ridiculous. Ditto on the use of "super" as a modifier, as in "super-long, super-easy, super-delicious" it is just plain lazy writing. I promise you, I will not read a blog that is one long paragraph, as it is hard on the eyes and brain.