A Note from Fatty: Hey, be sure to take a moment and check out the latest partner in my Ads-for-Schwag program: Matisse & Jack’s Bake-at-Home Energy Bars! As you may recall, when they sent me a couple boxes to try out, my friends and I loved these bars. I asked them (the makers of the energy bars, that is) to join the Ads-for-Schwag program, and they’re in! Be sure to watch for tomorrow’s contest; it will be your chance to win five boxes of what I would have until now considered an oxymoron: delicious energy bars.
As one of the world’s most popular bloggers (currently ranked 133,370 according to Technorati, and rising fast!) I often get email from people who wish that they, too, could be an awesome, popular blogger that everyone loves and wants to emulate. “How do you do it, Mr. Fat Cyclist?” they ask. “How can I, too, be an an awesome, popular blogger that everyone loves and wants to emulate?”
It’s a worthy question.
Most world-class, A-list bloggers would never reveal the “secret sauce” that makes their blog stand apart from the rest. That is because most popular bloggers–unlike me–are mean people who hate you very much.
I, on the other hand, am happy to share my wisdom with the little people (When I call you, my readers, “little people,” by the way, I am not referring to your size, but rather to your importance, relative to me).
Here, then, is everything you need to become a very, very popular blogger. Just like me.
- Find a niche with a large potential audience. No matter how excellent of a writer you are (I am an excellent writer, by the way), no matter how engaging your topics (extremely engaging, in my case), your audience is limited to the universe of people with the same interests you have. With that in mind, I chose “cycling” — the most popular sport in the United States — as my topic. I then carefully avoided unnecessary topical restrictions by cross pollinating “cycling”–an extremely intense physical activity–with “fatness,” the result of being a couch potato. With all my bases covered, how could I lose?
- Come up with a name that you’ll be proud to tell people about. Once you are a famous and very, very popular blogger, you will — no doubt — want to tell your friends and family (along with complete strangers, if you can find a convenient way of bringing it up) about your blog. So be sure your blog isn’t named something that sounds foolish and embarrassing. Astutely, I named my blog “Fat Cyclist,” and am happy to report that telling people my blog name never ever ever results in awkward silence, confusion, or expressions of sympathy.
- Base the name of your blog on a clever pop culture reference that’s certain to be around for a very long time. I’m certain that you, like most everybody, realizes that I launched “Fat Cyclist” right about the time that the very popular Showtime television series “Fat Actress” came out. As you no doubt know, I was leveraging the massive popularity of the television show as a catalyst toward my own success. (I’m sure season 2 will be coming out any time now.)
- Keep your posts nice and short. Get right to the point. Your audience doesn’t have a lot of time to read, and won’t put up with long, rambling introductions that amount to nothing more than extended throat clearing. Note, for example, how I wrote a mere six paragraphs before getting to this list.
- At some point, get really offended at some trivial thing someone does and have a prima-donna-ish fit. Make veiled references to ending the blog altogether. Sulk for a week or so, then come back to the blog and act as if nothing ever happened.
- Monetize. As you become popular, you’ll have a chance to advertise. This is what I have done, and now I am rich! I don’t want to brag or anything, but I am pretty close to the point where my Google Ads will pay for my hosting costs next year. I haven’t quit my day job yet, but hey. I figure it’s only a matter of time before I can become a truly full-time blogger.
- Be really funny. People love jokes! Especially puns!
- Talk a lot about your friends, acting as if they really existed. As a blogger, you very likely don’t have any actual friends. And since you spend all your time blogging, you probably aren’t going to make any, either. What’s the solution? Make up names for pretend people, and then talk about them as if you’re the best friends ever. I, for example, have made up Dug, Bob, Brad, Kenny, Rick, Dan, and another Rick (If these people were real, don’t you think at least one of them would have a less whitebread name?).
- Don’t blog about blogging. Nobody’s interested in hearing your advice about blogging. Luckily, this rule doesn’t apply to me.
- At some point, completely lose the original point of the blog. If, for example, you create your blog to shame yourself into losing weight but then find that people are willing to stick around even when you’re not talking about losing weight, it’s perfectly OK to stop talking about losing weight at all. Even, hypothetically, if it’s winter and you are currently packing on the pounds at an unprecedented rate.
- From time to time, blog about topics that use terms that will bring inadvertent search result traffic. I, for example, get considerable traffic from people who are interested in concocting their own ephedrine stacks. And from people who are interested in Levi Leipheimer (just think how pleased Levi must be that my fake press release is currently both the fourth- and eight-most popular result on a Google search of his name).
- Never embarrass yourself. Your dignity is your most important asset. If you start writing about things that expose your flaws–even if those flaws tend to be startlingly common–your readership won’t respect you. Instead, write about your successes and conquests. People love to here about other peoples’ triumphs, and won’t roll their eyes and think you’re an especially vain blowhard at all.
- If you get desperate, do a list. Once in a while, you won’t have anything useful to say. When this happens, put together a loose collection of barely related thoughts and post that, calling it a “Top 10” or “Baker’s Dozen” or something like that. Nobody will call you out on your sloppy, lazy post.