Serial Bus

One post per week

10 Tips to Write a Blog Nobody Reads

with one comment

This week, I completed one year in blogosphere. My blog’s stats confirm that rarely anyone reads or links into my blog. Sometimes, charitable friends visit the blog to keep my hope afloat. Setting aside those anomalies, I have clearly perfected the art of writing a blog that nobody would read.

I know there are a lot of people out there who are overwhelmed by a gazillion daily hits to their blog. Their blog posts are cited in media and they are inundated with commentary by curious visitors. They often wonder how they could stem the tide of visitors to their blogs. I am offering some handy tips below to such beleaguered bloggers. I should know – I seem to follow each one of these:

1. Be verbose and long: Write 2 sentences to express what one phrase could do. Write 5 paragraphs when a list would be more engaging. And a 50 word post isn’t a post at all – it’s an apology for it. 500 words minimum is what the doctor ordered. This will temper the flow to your blog.

2. No pictures, videos or fancy formatting: HTML what? Keep it simple, stupid. You came here to write – so just worry about a legible font size. Everything else (pictures, animation, video, snazzy colors) is a distraction.

3. Write sedate prose: I know there are people out there who write in a very compelling manner, even if they were describing their visit to Walmart. Then there are others who are good at creating eminently digg-able content like ’10 best George Bush moments’ or ‘A nude man hijacks a bus’. Such posts will inevitably attract those who appreciate wit, flair and nous. The only antidote to this is a soporific writing style full of cliches, jargon, platitudes, grammatical errors and loads of junk information.

4. Never link into others’ blogs: You are here to express your irrefutable opinion – you don’t need the crutch of quoting another blogger to support your case. At the same time, you do not owe anything to the blogger community. Do not give them any form of attention – that is what they yearn for – no posting comments (flattering or incendiary) on others’ blogs.

5. Write on too wide a variety of subjects: You could keep your blog focused on one subject and in turn, cultivate a niche audience that will visit you more often. That is a risk you can’t afford, so write on a multitude of subjects, ranging from science to politics to films to stupid personal anecdotes.

6. Do not offer help; just commentary: Remember what they say about a better mousetrap – if you build one, the world will beat a path to your door. That’s exactly what might happen if you posts were helpful to anyone’s hobby, job or life. So, never write blogs like ’10 tips for driving your ex crazy’ or ‘How to get rid of skunk’s smell’. Such posts can generate a lot of interest and drive grateful followers to your blog. To ensure this does not happen, always offer morose commentary that can of interest to only the most vacuous of people.

7. Understanding the science behind traffic: Besides writing bland, there are some interesting technical aspects to avoiding high traffic to your blog. There is something called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which describes how one can improve the chances of a post appearing on the top page of a related Google search. Besides SEO, there are some pretty nifty concepts around keyword optimization, pinging, RSS feeds, meta tags, inbound/outbound links, site map submissions, blog directories etc, very well summarized by Darren Rowse in his excellent post here. Read it, understand it and studiously avoid each suggestion.

8. Never include any scoops: Oh yes, the moment you offer a piece of news that has not been heard elsewhere, you are bound to get hits and diggs. Luckily, unless you are a celebrity, you are living a life where scoops are limited to who is moving jobs at the lowest wrung of the ladder in your not-so-well-known organization. So, fortuitously, the real scoops will never happen to you.

9. Do not network actively on the internet: Does the following sound like you? A well-maintained profile on every networking website (Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, LinkedIn, Twitter), over 1000 friends/contacts/followers on each of those and an ability to constantly keep in touch with everyone you know. If yes, only your friends will be enough to make your blog superbusy. Therefore, shun all touching-base-type activity on the net, remove all personal pictures and keep the number of your web contacts limited to 2 digits (better still, 1 or 0 but that would stand out and attract interest).

10. Be inconsistent: If you develop a reputation for being consistent, you may end up enlisting some admirers. I fell into this trap during the first 10 months of my blog and to jolt myself out of it, I went absconding for 6 weeks in Jul-Aug this year. That gave my blog the perfect blemish of inconsistency. You need to be erratic, period. Seeing the same landing page every time one comes visiting will tire out even the most devoted of admirers.

If you follow the above tips religiously, I assure you that very soon you will begin to experience the true bliss of blogging. It’s like being alone near a turquoise-blue lake up in the rarefied air of the mountains – tranquil, private and freezing cold.


Written by serialbus

August 29, 2009 at 10:00 am

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Hope, I’m not intruding into your tranquil, private space..but i like your writing. However, one might try but certain things can’t go unnoticed..your blog is one of them.
    I enjoyed reading your blog.


    January 3, 2010 at 7:09 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: