9 top tips for really crap blog content
August 12, 2009
Ever wondered how you can get really crap content for your blog? (Or newsletter, or e-newsletter, or weekly team update?) Ever wondered how you can bombard the search engines with your crap content? Because every hit, whether they ever come back or not, is a potential “customer,” since all you’re trying to do is drive ad traffic anyway?
Well, I’m here to tell you. Because It’s a murky world out there, and I’ve been reading the marketing, PR, copywriting, SEO and blogging blogs so you don’t have to. You can share the real fruits of my labour: just scroll to the bottom of the page, where my interestingly positioned “sidebar” is, and browse my growing list of wonderful links. I’ve seen some great stuff. But in amongst all the pearls there are some real swine. And so I bring you… Tadaaaaa!
… the Text Pixels 9 Top Tips for Really Crap Blog Content.
1. Blog about blogging. Better yet, why not make money running a blog about how to make money running a blog? Send your readers spinning round like headless dogs as they try to find the nugget of goodness amid all your smoke and mirrors. Write a mission statement like this one: “I am a xxx who wants to make a difference by helping other xxx’s to do just that.” (Do wha…?)
2. Make sure you have a funny word that makes no sense outside your own website. Gwyneth Paltrow’s (obviously PR-company-driven) lifestyle website is called GOOP, and is written – as I pointed out when it was started – at an 8-year-old’s reading level. (This isn’t sarcasm! I tested it for reading level.) You could be a “problogger,” or an “innerpreneur.” You should “grow” inorganic things. “Build” abstract, immaterial things. Don’t have a website, have an “Online Presence.” Use words like “craft” (the verb). Talk about “running” a blog, not “writing” it. Don’t “do” something, when you could “optimise” it instead. See Goodcopybadcopy‘s list of 30 words and phrases you should stop using. Do as many of them as possible.
3. Write about how you make all your readers get past a “sign up for FREE” pop-up before they can get into your “content.” This is how you swell the numbers of your all-powerful email list, which means each hapless passerby who only wanted to read your 5 Top Tips will then be in your monetising clutches. So the very readers who are reading and admiring your methods are your willing stooges! Well done you.
4. Fill your whole blog with ads. Put an ad for your WordPress template, but customise your page so it looks really ugly. Make sure some of the ads look like completely random pictures. Then write blog posts that read like ads, all lists and tips, and readers won’t know which are the posts and which are the ads. They’ll be clicking on anything, just desperately trying to get the hell out of there, OHMIGOD, but your advertisers will pay you because it’s only the click-through they care about! And is the reason you’re pushing a particular online “resource” in your text because they’re paying you? So that your readers click on a link, innocently expecting something mildly diverting on the other side, only to be hit inth e face with aggressive sale copy? Brilliant! You PRO.
5. If you’re a girl you can go a bit more aromatherapy than this. Personal enrichment and financial enrichment are two sides of the same coin, remember. Just take a little bit of half-baked philosophy and get inspiring! Fluffy lifestyle posts littered with ads for getting rich through fluffy lifestyle aids, yoga, self-actualisation, you know the kind of thing. And remember: pastels only, girls.
6. And don’t forget: if you have kids, you can be a Mom! It’s not enough just to have kids any more, and be their mother – no, if you’re not “a Mom,” you’re not using it. Post stock photographs of babies. Or else perdsonal photographs of your own children. Roll out that treacle barrel and let’s get sticky. With bows, and fake stitching around your ads.
7. Take something that might have some meaning in another context and contort it to fit your agenda. The more ancient the wisdom, and the less you know about it, the better: 5 Top Zen Tips for Growing Your Business. Be a Yoga Yogi. How Buddhism Got Me Through My Redundancy. Cleanse Your Chakras and Increase Your Website Hits. Build Your Online Presence With the REal-Life Secrets of Atlantis. Tell people how they can discover their life’s true purpose in 20 minutes. (What you do is, you write at the top of a page, MY LIFE’S TRUE PURPOSE. Then you just write anything that comes into your head. When something you write makes you cry, THIS is your life’s true purpose. See? It’s easy. Let’s hope it wasn’t about the time they threw your old teddy bear away. Or your eyes welled up at the thought of helping other people to get rich through advertising systems.)
8. Excise all personality from your anecdotes and your prose style. You’re trying to appeal to everyone, remember? The blander your little parables, the better you’ll be at crafting really crap content. Also, bland works better with slavish SEO “content.” Keywords have a tendency to look and sound like keywords – they are bland – so if you’re already really bland your slavish repeating of the keywords won’t stand out so much.
9. Once you’ve mastered bland, set yourself the challenge of completely asinine, as above.
Bonus tip: once you’ve got asinine down, I’d get an outdated hairstyle and go for the full-on sinister. Apparently it really works.