The Kafkaesquí Guide to Blogging Fame
So you finally took the plunge and set up your very own blog on the Internet. In it you placed links to dozens of blogs of your close, and not so close, friends. You've posted an array of comments which comment on the comments from other blogs, who in turn comment on other comments commenting on comments from yet further blogs. You paid a company to place your blog in all the search engines -- including those only they seem to use. You even have some new blogging buddies referencing you in their tirades. But after all this work, it seems few if any visitors come around to check out your blog, and those who do rarely make a repeat performance. It's starting to feel as if you built a ghost town on the blogger frontier.
Not to worry! Help is at hand with the Kafkaesquí Please Let My Pretty Blog Quickly Rise method. This is a mnemonic to help remember the following easy yet very effective strategies I learned through my own blogging growing pains. By observing these simple rules of thumb, you can avoid your own learning curve and quickly become a respected and popular blogger of repute. The type of repute is up to you.
Place a digital (or scanned) photo of yourself at the top of your blog. The bigger the better, and don't worry if it seems out of place with your blog's design. No one of any use to you visits blogs regularly unless they have a good idea what the person behind it looks like. Would the Wizard of Oz have been as successful as it was if the Wizard never stepped out from behind the curtain? No way! Don't you feel more inclined to pick up a book which has a picture of the author on the back? Of course you do! Also, a grainy black & white photo or badly scanned Kodak moment can lend an air of artistic quality to your shot, and hence your blog. And it's a good way to go if you have 'appearance issues'.
Provide alongside your blog entries an ever-changing registry of the music, movies, books, TV shows, celebrities, sports teams, video games, computer peripherals, ice cream flavors, children's names, Catholic saints, Renaissance art works, lawn mowers, sex toys, and body piercings you're caught up by at present. There's nothing more certain to draw crowds than the detailed minutiae of fandom several steps removed, or ones hobbiest enthusiasm. If you can't update these constantly, you can make do with a static list, but it should take 50% or more of your blog's real estate when on screen.
The pointy-headed definition of 'meme' is an object of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action. In purely blogging terms, a meme is just one of those endearing and fashionable personality tests, pet projects, old jokes, quirky images, flash animations, conspiracy theories, or informative spams bloggers purposefully pass along from one to another, turning blogs into the next generation of "take a look at this" e-mail. I myself like to think of these as 'blogging dealies'; but whatever you prefer to call them, make use of them!
More of them, that is. Upload to your blog as many and as often as your Internet connection is physically able to support. People want to see those pictures of you, your family, your friends, your pets, your neighbors, individuals you don't really know but happened to bump into on your last vacation, your car(s), your computer(s), and so on. Few if any will ever be able to make the trip to flip through those real world photo albums, so you'll be doing everyone a favor. And make them as large as you possibly can!
Never, ever use words like journal, weblog, diary, articles, compositions, or slashdot-like to describe your online collection of brief, chronologically posted scribblings. These terms are either incorrect, out of vogue, or will come off making you sound pretentious. The 'regular folk' out there call it a blog, and so you should, too. Always.
Start boning up on all those favorite song lyrics, book passages, lines of poetry, and stuff overheard at the deli counter, because they're going to come in handy. Quoting others shows you have an interest beyond your own words, and have a good memory to boot -- or at least good search engine skills. It can also infuse those short, near meaningless entries with much needed length and depth. And I can't think of a better reason to recall a couple lines from Britney Spears' latest single.
It doesn't matter what you decide to rant about; just choose a topic or issue you have the ability to fume and foam over, long and vehemently and often. If you can carry one specific rant for several weeks or more, all the better. Once other bloggers jump in and begin to rant over your rants (and believe me, they will), start aiming your rants at them. Ranting is a cathartic and exciting activity, but more importantly it will drag in vast numbers of readers to your blog, kicking and screaming if need be.
And that's all there is to it. Once you've put these prescriptions to success into everyday practice, get ready for your fifteen minutes of Blogging Fame. Good luck!