Are you getting bored with articles advising you on how to blog better, all banging on about the same bland clichés? How to sell squillions’ worth of whatever via super posts in social media if you “invest” your hard-earned cash only to receive the same old garbage that the blog gurus duplicate like rabbits er, procreating in the springtime?
How to grab your readers by the throat and get there, they’re, oh yes – their - undivided loyalty to your product or service even if your speling and grammer is terrible (‘cos bloggin’ ain’t the same as writin,’ so it don’t matter?)
Here's how to do it not just badly, but atrociously. Yee Hah!
Get their attention with a headline they’ve seen 952 times before
Ever since Dale Carnegie wrote his popular book “How To Win Friends And Influence People,” people latched on to the idea that writing a headline for any form of business-based article would work perfectly provided that it began with the words “how to” and from there you could add more or less any tail end and you’d get them falling over each other to buy your stuff. I am guilty of this, so mea culpa, but at least I approach a lot of my associated blog posts with a sense of humor.
Why not try it? And of course all capitalized in the US-preferred way that makes you read in hiccups, because the gurus think All Capitals Make Anything Short Of A Shopping List Look Important...
How To Reassure Your Clients That You’re Honest Even Though You’re Scr*wing Them Stupid
How To Get Lots Of New Business By Lying Through Your Teeth
How To Spot The Fake Social Media Expert In This Post
Use images that illustrate absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the topic
Everyone understands that you’re in a hurry when you write your blog posts, yeah? Of course they do. So don’t bother searching for copyright-free images that enhance and embellish your words – waste of time.
Just trawl the internet for a few minutes and grab hold of any old garbage that vaguely suggests “business” and “success.”
Bar and column charts with a large arrow pointing upwards (never downwards) are just fab, even if your blog post is about minimizing the odour of cat poop in your exciting new kitty litter product. Ditto shots of smiling humans as long as they’re wearing business suits of course, and preferably represent a good spread of ethnic variety. If all else fails, slap in a question mark or a pretty flower.
And of course, only bother to put one image in, somewhere near the top, even if the rest of your post is solid text with paragraphs the length of War and Peace. Who looks at pictures, anyway?
Ensure that keywords are used to the max: after all, clicks and backlinks are all that counts
Long ago and far away we learned that keywords are pretty much all that counts in shoving your blogposts up Google’s nose. A while back Google tried to spook us off doing that but hey – it’s still easy and Google won’t notice if you overdo it!
All you need is to get those keywords into your text as often as possible, without of course overdoing the keywords as to overdo keywords might be seen by readers as something of a keywords overkill. Mind you, because keywords are so important in this context you would be justified in stressing the importance of such keywords because readers might not understand the significance of keywords unless they were to have keywords repeated in one paragraph (about keywords) 9 times or more.
Focus your blog post on “you,” ...whoever and however....
Years ago there was this advertising guru called David Ogilvy (he was the one who said “the consumer is not an idiot; she is your wife.” Soon after he was roasted on a spit and eaten in New York City by women who, similarly, were not idiots, but thankfully were not vegetarians, either.)
Consequently all good advertising, marketing, political and other desperate organizations who want to sell stuff have followed Ogilvy’s advice and talked to “you.” This concept has now followed us into the social media and blogging culture, e.g.:
Could Your Insipid Nature Be Why You Can’t Sell Diddly Squat To Your Customer Base?
You Can Reduce Your Stress In 10 Seconds By Clicking Away From This Boring Post
Why You Are Such A Hilarious Yet Predictable Failure
Don’t forget the numbers game
Social media gurus go on at some lengths to tell you that heralding your blog post with a number – e.g. “XX best ways to...” is a failsafe way to get traffic. Once again, mea culpa, but ....
10 Top Tips On Getting The Fastest Clicks Away From Your Site
2,870 Detailed Tips On How To Quickly Grab And Hold Readers’ Attention
7 Killer Ways To Kill All Interest In What You’re Trying To Promote
And finally, the all-famous Call To Action (a.k.a. CTA...)
Unless you’re just writing blog posts for fun or for general interest we have to assume that they’re trying to sell something. No-one gives information away for free, right? There’s no such thing as a free lunch, right? So let’s get jiggy here as my good friend and client Kriss Akabusi would say, and think of some bloody awful CTAs (still with all words Capitalized Of Course)...
So Don’t Just Sit There With Your Stupid Mouth Gaping Open - Click Here And Get My Stuff Now
Much As You Should Buy My Product, Do Yourself A Favor And Get My Competitor’s Product Because It’s Better, Cheaper, And I Get An Affilate Fee Anyhow
Buy, Buy, Buy – Anything, I Don’t Give A Flying F*** As Long As It’s Something Of Mine
More ways to write a bloody awful blog post
Just have a look around the internet – Google “blogging coaches;” that will give you a good start - and copy what you see in the vast majority of me-too posts from all those gurus who proclaim spectacular expertise in blogging.
I don’t proclaim such expertise, by the way. I just try to make some sense about online writing and share it with you ... and give us all a few laughs into the bargain.
What’s the worst or most useless blogging advice you have seen? Please share!
This article first appeared on Suzan St Maur's popular self-help site, HowToWriteBetter.net.