I am an actor as well as a writer. Allow me now to invoke the character of your typical generic Net guru posting about how to make a real blog.
Ok so I'm up extra early today hoping to get to Starbucks while the early bird barista is there. She doesn't %$#^ up my order and is absolutely THE only one that mixes my grande white mocha. (Better stop thinking about it...drool on keyboard=so not good.)
Anywho, blogging. Yeah, I think it's about time somebody mentioned how to do it right. And by right I mean do it in such a way that somebody wants to not only read your blog, but crawl inside of your brain, set up shop and kiss your ass like every day. Just kick back in a chair in your brain and relax forever. (Damn, that brings me back to my white mocha...OMFG "Stacy" please don't call in sick today!)
Lists. You love 'em. I love 'em. So here's one.
How To Build a Blog The "Right" Way.
1) Piss Everybody Off
If you are blogging in order to make people think, it's YOU that should be thinking again. It is not the job of a blogger to make people think. You know what the three most important concepts in real estate are, don't you? Location, Location, Location. Well if you want a blog that's worth a damn, remember the three rules of real blogging; Offend. Offend. Offend. Natch. After all, if you haven't offended anyone today, you obviously are not bold enough to be worth reading. And you want people to read your blog don't you? (Oh yeah, I forgot, some of you fancy yourself as "writers". As though writing and blogging aren't two different things. Girl, please. Plug in...)
2) Code: Master What Matters
You say you want to create good prose that stands up to scrutiny and inspires thought? You want to provide intelligent content? Um...1986 just called...he wants to speak to you.
For real, if you are one of those people that believes that bloggers ought to be able to prove they can write well, I am not sure you can be saved. For the rest of you with half a brain, use it to master code. XHTML, or in fact every single solitary code that exists out there should be something you gain expert status on. Sure it is time consuming, and can take years of work to master. Yes it can require hours just to find the right color fade on your front page. But those are hours spent making a real blog. Unless you want the blogosphere to laugh at you, (not that your insistence on not paying for your own domain name isn't causing that already) you need to know code. Period.
Remember the famous studies that indicate each page of a blog or website needs no less than 13 pages of code to be considered "passable." No less than 30 to be considered "worthy of time." (Please Jehovah, don't get me started on people who use templates...we don't cook over an open flame anymore and we don't use templates.)Why would anybody stop off at your blog if you don't have counters, blogs rolls, links, agregators, news updates, live video feeds from your office, streaming radio content, ringtones and the like? You think people who come to your blog want to waste time reading?
Can you believe that there are people who continue to live lives with problems and difficulties, when by simply getting an account on Twitter nothing would ever be difficult for them again? Nobody wants to say this to you, but everybody is thinkin it...NEWSFLASH: If you don't have Twitter, you are garbage as a human being. Forget about being laid let alone having thousands and thousands of hits to your website the minute you sign up for Twitter. Phew. It's out there. It's said.
You think people want to visit a blog that is dedicated to something that as many as three other people in the country have already written about? Do we live in a nation of clones? Get out there and find a subject that nobody on this planet has ever once spoken or written about at any time in human history. That is if you want people to be taking the time to read your blog. If your goal is to be boring, fruitless and ignored, by all means chime in on something that somebody may have heard about before. Yawn...
5) Write Something IF You Must. But...
*Sigh* Ok, I probably shouldn't really make this point before I've had my morning coffee, but we're in this far so I might as well go for it. (But I am not to be held responsible for any choking I may be forced to do if I encounter anyone who doesn't understand the following point..
The best blogs do NOT have content.
There, I said it. Let the cries of the ignorant and ancient ring out against me. Let's resurrect 2003 for the poor lost souls that want to say something and make a difference blah blah blah.
Look, the days of having something to say with a blog have gone the way of Humvees, CDs, and the Gin Blossoms. In other words.."bye bye!". Yes, I know there are still some hangers on out there who happen to be very prominent in the blogosphere that do still provide content in the form of (help me god) WRITING. And yes, I do read some of it, BUT...(hear this, minions)...there are exceptions to almost every rule. Please don't think that just because Seth Godin or (*gag*) Wil Wheaton continue to be popular even though they actually have writing on their blogs that you can do the same. Content is dead. People are far too busy to have to stop and read or think about anything. (I'm in Gen-Y. Hello????? I have shit to do!) Stick with bells and whistles. Preferably the ones that activate within .5-.9 seconds after arriving at your site. (According to a famous study, that's the average time it takes a person surfing the net to become bored with you these days.)
Ok, and I know that some of you dinosaurs are just not going to get it into your walnut sized reptilian brains that actually writing good content has gone the way of...well..the dinosaurs. So I offer this piece of advice to those who must participate in it.
Blog about blogs. That's really the only inroad left. Blog or (*shivers*) write only about how to blog. Or about people who blog. In a pinch for content, consider blogging about other social media. Preferably Twitter. MAYBE about Tumbler if you are desperate.
If all else fails, blog about Gen-Y. But please PLEASE be as broad, vapid, brief, yet offensive as possible when you do so. (See First Rule.) Otherwise, what's the point?
Nuff said. "Stacy", here I come.