100 Ways to Write a Better Blog Post

There are three simple rules for how to write a killer blog post; unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.

Let's do 100, instead. Time to upgrade your trusty blog-writing toolbox with your choice of the many ways to write it, get it read, and get it linked better.

How To Annoy The Entire Blogosphere

1. Ask a blogger for a favor, especially if you have no intention of reading their blog.

  • Bonus points for starting your request like-a-so: "Hi, I don't read your blog, but would you mind..."
2. Use messaging on social networking sites (StumbleUpon, MyBlogLog) to ask people to visit your site.
  • Bonus points for not visiting the sites of those you ask.
3. Sport the dollar signs in your eyes with pride. Whether it be links, traffic or money, we're all here to serve you. Demonstrate your dedication to self-enrichment with every comment, email and post.

4. Avoid writing comments that resemble actual conversation. Comments that begin and end with "Great post!", "I agree!", or "Ditto!" are best.
  • Bonus points for fawning.
5. Copy another blogger's content.
  • Bonus points for not linking to their original post. They love that.
  • Gold star for submitting your copy to Digg.
6. Borrow heavily from another blogger's post, or repeat their news. Perform no hat-tip. After all, noone wears hats suitable for tipping anymore.

7. Write sponsored reviews without disclosure. People need mystery; fill that need.
  • Bonus points for reviews that are irrelevant to your readers. People need variety, too.
8. Have a unique perspective on spam: if it isn't Viagra or a Nigerian scam, assume everyone wants to hear about whatever it is you're selling. This frees you to:
  • Promote your link with every comment
  • Send cut-and-paste messages on social networking sites
  • Use a blogger's contact form to promote your site/blog/product
  • Et cetera
9. Focus on memes, contests, link-lists and any other masturbatory link-building scheme you can find. Bask in the ensuing irritation from every visitor not involved in the link-mania.
  • Bonus points for regularly featuring link-building posts devoid of actual content
  • Gold star for having more links than visitors.
10. Do everything on this list while fundamentally agreeing with the Golden Rule. Now that is annoying.

Kind thanks to all who contributed to this post via the "What Frustrates You The Most About Blogging?" thread: Liz, Steven, Jonathan, TK, Lora, Matt, and everyone.

Need more Bad Advice?

The 1-Step Plan Guaranteed To Get Readers For Your Blog

This article is for those who have read metric tons of "how to get traffic" articles and either:

  • have yet to see encouraging results, or
  • just want to find out what this so-called "guaranteed 1-step plan" is.
The typical list we're familiar with looks something like this:
  • Use social networking
  • Link effectively
  • Comment well
  • Be active on forums
  • Blah
  • Blah
  • Blah to the Blah
That's all fine advice (especially the "blah" part), but we'd all appreciate more than recycled versions of the conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom is valid as far as it goes, but also tends to be overly-general and far from guaranteed. Let's change that.

The 1-Step Plan To Get Readers For Your Blog
  1. Have A Conversation With One Person
As in, two-way communication. Dialogue. One-on-one. A real, actual conversation.

You might link to other blogs, write good content and comment all over the place, but how often do you actually connect with someone else through a real conversation? ("Good post!" followed by "Thanks!" doesn't count)

Fire-and-forget comments, impersonal messages and unqualified links look exactly like what they are (i.e., lame), and are generally returned - if it all - with about the same level of enthusiasm. A real conversation, however, takes a little time, thought and effort; the end result often being friendship. A good link may get you some traffic, but a good relationship is more valuable by far.

So, who to talk to? If what primarily interests you about someone is getting in on their traffic mojo, you really have nothing to talk about (as far as they're concerned, anyway). If they make you think or inspire ideas, however, you've chosen the right person. You can start these conversation any way you like:
  • Links
  • Comments
  • Contact Forms
  • Email
  • Private messages on forums or social networking communities
It doesn't matter, as long as your goal is to connect with another person who shares your interests, as opposed to trying to get links or traffic from them. In terms of networking, the rewards you're looking for come as a natural result of investing in - and building - relationships. Ask any successful blogger and they'll tell you the same.

Want more readers for your blog? Connect with one person. Have a real conversation. Repeat. If you know what friends do for each other, then you know what a friend can do for your blog.

It's guaranteed.

The Commenting Cool Kids

The people listed below are but a small selection of the outstanding commenters here at FTM, each of whom has a blog well worth checking out.

The comments section of a blog is where its true life is. While monologuing has its place (particularly when a would-be hero lies helpless in your clutches), dialog is the true key to success in the world of words that is the blogosphere.

For challenging us with your unique perspective, raising the level of dialog, or just being plain sassy, I salute you:

  • Kumiko: Certifiably enthusiastic

Are You Tired of Blogs About Making Money?

Jesse of Blogspoke is; I, myself, am not. I've been talking to him about it at his blog, and I think it's a great conversation to have.

Sure, blogging-for-money is a wading pool of low expectations. Low barrier of entry, little-to-no risk and, frankly, full of folks easily amused by splashing around without accomplishing much of anything.

However, it's full of potential; and - as I told Jesse - although it's easy to get snarky about all the wannabes out there (which I do on occasion, and could be accused of being one, too,) there are people out there with a vision for how they want it to be, who raise the level wherever they go. Walking the talk, so to speak.

Technology will eventually get us to a place where our online activities become a part of - or even integral to - how we earn our income. Will that future have room for lowest-common-denominator thinking, writing, and marketing to the level that it exists online today? I don't think so; but getting there will be a process, and people who are long-term thinkers will shape it. That's how we'll turn the wading pool into something with depth.

I'm not tired of money-making blogs or blogs that make money - I just want them to evolve into something better. I know I'll be thinking about how to raise the level; will you?

Here's a Quick Way To Know If You're An Underpaid Blogger

Scenario #1
If you:

  • Regularly create high quality, valuable content
  • Actively promote your blog
  • Don't make a reasonable hourly wage

Scenario #2

If you:
  • Spend more time checking ad/earning stats than creating high-quality, valuable content
  • Are more interested in monitoring traffic than promoting your blog
  • Also don't make a reasonable hourly wage
Whatever trickle of income (if any) you're making is JUST RIGHT - get used to it.

If you are a Scenario #1 blogger: Keep doing what you're doing; you will likely be rewarded sooner or later. You are a winner.

If you are a Scenario #2 blogger: Punt the ads, get off the daily traffic rollercoaster and spend your time doing something productive; like building and promoting a blog you can be proud of. Winners do it.

That is all.

All You Need To Know About the Blogging Bourgeoisie

Is an elite cadre of blogging gatekeepers keeping us all in our place and limiting our blogging potential?


However, if you have too much time on your hands ( :D ), you may have been following a theatrical little debate that pits the "A-list" against "blue-collar" bloggers. Oh yes, you know where this is going.

It all started with one blogger's annoyance at the trend of A-lister's who have taken to bashing poor ol' PayPerPost.

What follows is a (ridiculously) paraphrased version of the debate, including links to the appropriate whines tirades posts:

DeepJive: PayPerPost isn't evil. The A-list is just an elitist aristocracy who has no need for it.

Calacanis: BS! If there was an A-List, which there isn't, all it would take to be an A-lister would be to stop being such slackers. And then you'd be on the A-list. If there was one. But there isn't.

Lorelle: Yes, there is.

Calacanis: NEGATIVE, dummies. Stop whining.

Jim Kukral: You're all wrong and all right. Like that paragon of philosophically deep movies, The Matrix; the A-List both exists and does not exist. Oooommmm...

Webomatica: Jason's partly right, though; slackers don't make the A-list. Hard work alone, however, probably won't get you there either. After all, most of us have to write really good content to get links; Scoble can write about Earl Grey tea and bloggers around the world will swoon.

Gaping Void: Uh, no, Jason's all-the-way right; and you're all so wrong that I'm going to make a cartoon about how whiny you are.

Rebecca: Calacanis both sucks and blows. He's in denial. He's the Bill O'Reilly of blogging. Not only does the A-list exist, but hard work isn't even close to being all that's necessary for success.

Loren Feldman: Uh-huh. I have one word for you so-called "blue collar bloggers" - Waaaaa.

CopyBlogger: Funny, Loren; but you know, the A-list does exist. It just doesn't matter.

DeepJive: Uh, thanks for all your thoughts, but this isn't even really what I meant in the first place. :(

Update: Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim fame wants your RSS feed:

"I’m not claiming to be A-list, but I do realize there are a lot of great blogs out there, that don’t get the attention we do, so I’m sharing the love."

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