Marketers everywhere relentlessly publish advice on how to create exciting blogs.
Research indicates the vast majority of blogs are boring. Clearly there’s an immense demand for boring blogs. I say give the people what they want.
Here are ten tips I genuinely believe will help you successfully blend in with the millions of tedious and tiresome blogs making our content completely worthless and our worldwide web wonderfully predictable.
Just sell shit
Educate? Entertain? Inspire? Bah.
The content marketing gospel is puffery, fluffery and other silly stuffery.
And come on, your resume doesn’t include a word about teaching credentials, performance experience, or motivational speaking.
You were hired to hawk. Do it. Get leads. Drive sales.
Real marketers forgo foreplay. They just get the deed done.
Write straight and stoically
How bizarre is the headline of this (stupid) post?
It sounds negative. What’s with the parentheses? And what’s with my cavalier writing style? Who’s going to tolerate…
- The sarcasm
- The dumb questions
- The made-up words
If you catch a blogger frolicking with your precious posts, fire his or her creative ass.
These aren’t the funny pages. Get serious or get out.
Only let Barry blog
Barry’s that dude in marketing who pens a darn competent post.
Remember that time Larry stepped in for Barry? Traaaaaaaaain wreck.
I heard a rumor CMO Mary wants HR Harry to bring an executive perspective to the blog. Someone said support specialist Terry could help share the voice of the customer. I even heard we might consider collaborations with cool customers like Carrie.
More is not merrier. It’s scarier. Don’t let anyone but Barry blog.
Don’t try anything new
Create a recipe for a blog post and follow the directions each time you bake another one. This way you won’t surprise your guests with unexpected flavors they might not love.
Perhaps a template will help you stay away from your impulses to be kreative.
Your “how to” or list posts please the masses. Why risk rocking the boat with out-of-bounds op-eds, stories and roundups? Why paint outside the lines with formats such as infographics and video?
Variety is the spice of life, not blogs.
Keep your opinions to yourself
The post you’re reading now is outrageously opinionated. What gives? Only objective journalists earn the right to blog.
You should bail on this outrageously subjective post right now. Or you could scroll to the comments section and tell me what a loser I am.
Suppress your audience
For quite some years, bloggers thought it was a smart idea to invite readers to respond with comments. They could:
- Ask questions
- Challenge ideas in the posts and present counterpoints
- Recommend content
But why? Who cares what readers think? If their comments weren’t compliments, they were mostly annoyances.
Even today, some publishers (who apparently have nothing better to do) even encourage readers to join communities, join groups on social networks, and share their opinions or their content.
This old school nonsense is thinly veiled as interaction. I’m listening. I feel you. I love you.
Don’t be pretentious. It’s your blog. The only thing you need from your audience is applause. Maybe money.
Stay away from you, I, me, and my
You’re a publisher now. Remember to remain aloof and disconnected.
Sure, the temptation is always there to bust down the wall between you and your audience. You’d begin by writing in a first and second person voice, but you’ll sound so much more corporate when you:
- Keep yourself out of it
- Refer to your company in third person, by its name
- Describe your readers in cold terms like “user.” You could also third-person them by referring to them by titles.
Pack the page with prose
Photos, illustrations, GIFs, video, audio, interactive features… blah, blah, blah. The pundits are forever rambling about visual marketing as if a blog is supposed to resemble a Highlights magazine.
Poppycock. Feed the need to read. Fill your page with precisely what readers came for: words.
Here’s a boring, but politically correct photo. The people seeem to really like drawings. And coffee.
Also, much is written about how web pages shouldn’t resemble books or newspapers. They say the act of reading from a screen is more laborious. They say online readers are skimmers. They say online readers are prone to shiny objects and quick to hit the back button. And so they say your pages shouldn’t be populated with long paragraphs (like this one).
They say write short sentences. And short paragraphs.
- And use bullet points
Use gads of white space. Yadda yadda.
Who comes to read white space? Pros populate pages with prose.
Earn an A in composition
Bloggers are trashing the English language. Not cool.
Why would the transition from print to pixels grant scribes everywhere permission to bastardize the rules of composition?
Contractions. Slang. Incomplete sentences… Ellipses. Periods. Periods. And. More. Periods.
WTF? No one’s LOL at your grammar blunders and Miss Spellings.
Bloggers shan’t use text talk; they should get out their old composition textbooks and learn how to use semi-colons. (This form of punctuation can be typed by pressing the key on the right side of your keyboard next to the L. Got a keyboard?)
Stay in the shallows
We established that web readers are reading impaired. Why torture them with long, detailed posts? If you filled your posts with depth, who among the attention-deprived set would remember all those details anyway?
Why has everyone in content marketing jumped aboard the scroll-your-readers-to-death bandwagon? Apparently screens now have “a fold” (though I still can’t get my iPhone to fold). Don’t go there. Give your readers a light and quick read so they can visit for 8 seconds and get on with their day.
Write posts that would reproduce well on a cocktail napkin. Keep ‘em thirsty.
P.S. Soon to come on this blog will be a sincere guide to publishing an exciting blog. It may be boring.