OK, now that I have your attention, let’s look carefully at that statement above: “I MIGHT be getting married soon.”
I might also be climbing Mt. Everest sometime soon, or perhaps, be curing AIDS.
I think you see what I am hinting at. Humble reader, let me introduce you to the power of words like might.
The central theme of this post is blog stickiness. Yes, it’s all-important. There is no point putting your fabulous work up if no one ever reads it, is there? And after maintaining countless sites with different degrees of success, and one eventually dead blog after another over the past 5 years or so, I’ve noticed things that make some blogs more readable, and hence more sticky, than others.
Here’s a short list of my observations in no real order. Feel free to add some more of your own in the comments area. (See, there’s one already!)
- Make sure your blog has no topicality. Sure, this may sound counter-intuitive. You might feel, yes, if I keep all posts to that topic, tons of people who care about that topic will flock to my site. Not so. Tons won’t do squat, and all you’re doing is alienating the probably many more visitors who don’t give a damn about that topic.
- Use magic words like ‘might’ and ‘probably’ often. Use these with grand things that you know won’t happen. But you never lied. You never said they will happen, you said, might happen. Yet for some strange reason, people don’t read mights as a might nots. Ah well, failing this, you could blatantly lie.
- Be self derogatory and appear more insecure than you are. You don’t know how many arbitrary strangers—who don’t really care—pseudo try to sound helpful. Of course, since you never needed the help, just the reads, your job is done.
- Use pictures often. Why? I don’t know, human beings just seem visual creatures. Large blocks of text put them off.
- Which brings me to the next point, break long text into many many smaller sets with suitable cliffhanger moments keeping people come back for more.
- Most importantly, don’t tell them when, say things like, “I will tell you in a little while.” How much in real time units is “a little?” No one knows. And since they don’t, they will become regulars and read often because they have to know (for some strange reason), and they don’t know when the big finale/next part/grand news is being released.
- Link many random people, and guilt them into doing the same to you. Such linking will also result in suitable google bombing, and move you up on search engine ranking lists. If said linkees don’t seem to notice, leave ample notice in their blogs. Comment intelligently, subtly (or not) admire, praise and all that sort of thing. Be concerned, or fake it. In time, the community will be built, and stickiness is ensured!
- I could go on and on, but I will stop. But before I do, I’d like to point out to this blog, for some of the finest examples of stuff I’ve mentioned above.
Follow these, and you’ll soon make me a regular. Good show!
And that children, is how it’s done.
And no, I might not get married soon.
Again, I’d love to hear your secrets… not.
Afterword: This is only here because it’s vaguely related to our topic of the day. As I was showering today, a bit of shampoo lather got into my eyes and they burned like crazy. After a long session of antics trying to get my sight back, I decided to go through the list of chemicals in it to see what could have caused such a strong reaction (not like I would know it even if I looked, but did anyway).
I noticed some potential offenders, but that’s not where I am going with this story. I noticed that that my shampoo contains weightless moisturisers. Now, what could this magic material be? Is it something that has no mass and hence no weight? Do Newton’s or Einstein’s gravity theories break down at this singularity? No, it’s a lie. I know for a fact it doesn’t moisturise. I also know, it has to have weight.
So where am I going with this you say?
Had I (and by that I mean normal moderately sane person) seen it at the store, I would have just moved on and bought something else. But if Joe Schmo did see this, (s)he’d go <homer>Mm-mm… weightless moisturisers, must haaave.</homer>.
Such, humble reader, is the power of marketing. The contents don’t matter, all you need the catch phrase and the super model to make the sale.