The other day I once again tried to pass on what is truly important if you want to have longterm success writing online. Whether you blog or not, whether you use Facebook or Twitter or some other niche social network, certain fundamental truths hold. Ninety percent of everything published online is crap.
You have only a few words beyond your title to prove your worth.
We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.
I collect awesome quotations, the above is from Kahlil Gibran. Finding the right words can be hard. Notice how much insight can be conveyed with such a simple observation. Short sentences have power!
Don’t overuse the exclamation point, two in one blog posting may be a personal record for me. Do however highlight your most important thoughts and words through clever use of typography.
Boobs and Kittens, two great things, that go great together.
Just like it is acceptable to reuse someone else’s words in the form of an attributed quotation, you can take advantage of someone who is famous or Internet Famous to make a point. Angie Varona is an example of someone who has become too popular online, just mentioning their name will lead to an increase in web traffic. I don’t recommend writing about celebrities, I certainly don’t recommend writing about human anatomy. However using someone famous, who has made some questionable decisions, to illustrate a point, can be quite effective.
Just like you need to establish your awesomeness in two or three sentences, the first image that accompanies your words can also be a very powerful motivator to get people to click on your post in sites such as Facebook. Sex sells. Cute sells. Always bet on cute. You can definitely derive a short term increase in visits from posting a clever image, but in the long term what you have to say is more important than the size of your breasts or how cute your cat is.
If you’re not a Internet pinup and you don’t have a cute cat, you have to rely on your wits. Being funny or clever can work but it is a much riskier strategy. Humor is subjective. Illustrating a point with boobs and kittens may not go over so well with your future boss. Everything you write online may be read by your future boss or potential mate, whichever worries you more should guide your conscience. You might not care now, but as Angie Varona learned, once you’re famous online, say for posting provocative photos, it is hard to become ‘unfamous’.
To complete this multimedia extravaganza I’ll include a video clip. Video clips are much less effective in the long run than words or pictures in driving people to your website. Copyrighted videos in particular come and go online. Posting clips you make yourself can definitely make you Internet Famous but if you want people to actually pay attention to what you have to say, you may be better served learning how to improve your writing.
Sometimes however, you just need more cowbell.
If you haven’t already you might want to read my previous post on what is really important when self publishing. Or you could just wait another day for someone else to write a post entitled “How To Craft An Awesome Blog Post“.
Update Dec. 23rd 2012
Apparently the folks over at MSN Now, have nothing better to do than steal jokes from bloggers, but instead of making jokes about kittens and boobs, they make jokes about cats and racks, so much classier. They’re only eleven months late in making this joke, congratulations on both your originality and your impeccable timing MSN writing staff!