These days, just about everyone has a blog… even my mother- on her bit of internet real estate she talks about flowers, beads and other shiny things that fascinate gypsies (I am convinced my mother is actually a gypsy). A blog is snapshot of life, seen through the eyes of the online publisher- it allows us to live alongside them for as long as it takes for us to get bored and click through to the next. Having grown MyCityByNight into the online McDonalds playpen that it now is along with Kreg and Stacky, I frequently get asked for advice on how to generate similar amounts of excitement and traffic from arbitrary thoughts and ramblings. So I’ve decided to help all aspiring bloggers and purveyors of online entertainment with a guide for being great… as great as some of the favourites here in South Africa.
You see, there are different types of bloggers. They each have a particular mould and style and people follow them for a reason. For ease, I will divide the different variants up into broad categories with names that are made up (and have totally nothing to do with blogs with similar names). From this list, you should be able to draw on all of these traits and become a superblogger- capable of getting enough free stuff to support you and your fetish for samples (that is why most of you do it, right?).
Hangers & Cash
If you go the Hangers & Cash route it is very important to remember that it is all about you as a personal brand. Try show up to meetings drunk and pick a random and totally un-content related item to associate with your blog… like say a moustasche. Have made up names for people and consistently refer to them in the 3rd person. eg “The Cleaner” and I decided to surf some waves. It’s also all about being the guy that intrigues pretty much everyone, wear a hat, show up to parties holding a balloon and constantly have cryptic conversations on social media platforms with people in your friends circle that make your life seem like one large bowl of awesome. You should inspire others to be better human beings (even just a touch as cool as you), one post at a time. As an added note- be sure that everyone that you are seen to be talking to online is equally as cool/filled with angst as you are. Never… never endorse anything you don’t personally use/believe in- otherwise by next week you’ll be going on about how much you love apple flavoured lube (when we all know guava is the best flavour).
MR (INSERT A CITY HERE)
It is a fairly big deal to take on the entire name of a city and put yourself out there as its self-appointed significant other. You are going to need to know a lot of people. This is where the core of the MR (INSERT A CITY HERE) blogging approach lies- the masses. You’re kinda like the People’s Champ- the guy who everyone can relate to as being one of them. Focus on drinking brands that are slightly less than premium (think along the lines of a papsak) and talking about all the places and things we all love but are often a little embarassed about indulging in (like going to the Spur). Then to make things more interesting, be incredibly filthy at every opportunity possible. If someone mentions bread- make a joke about yeast infections. Then at the drop of hat, clean up your act and mention how excellent you would be at managing any brand anywhere- based on your ability to remain out of jail even after all of the sexual harassment lawsuits.
Not another food/nightlife/music blog
This one is slightly easier than most of the others, as it doesnt require you to manage your reputation online in anyway. You’re anonymous so you can spew just about whatever hatred comes into your head about a particular topic (clubs, restaurants, bowling alleys). It also makes for more entertaining reading if you are an ex-employee of the industry that you’re hating on and can get really technical. Just remember it’s only good if you write really long run on sentences without any punctuation while you talk about how cool hipsters think they are in their hats and “vintage” sandals (much like I have just done).
This one is probably the most difficult because it requires you invent an entire lifestyle and then be seen to be living it all the time. This will typically involve you doing strange things like sitting on top of a table when out and about on the town, but hey it adds to your allure. You’ve always got to be cutting edge when it comes to what you are offering (basically just take what they’ve done overseas and do it here, before anyone else can afford the new overpriced tech). Once you’ve got a bit of a following make sure to train others to write like you do, to keep the content coming while you get your brand out there in every form of media out there. Start an online radio station from your bedroom and have your best mates on as djs (that way you can convince them that they will one day be paid when you get sponsored with much more ease). Even if you’re actually the complete opposite to your tagline, buy into the idea with everything you have… be the… um… well… the holiday. If you crack this one- you will be on some Super Saiyen Level 6 Dragon Ball Z type shit- people are going to need to use the Fusion technique to stand a chance at beating you.
The trick here is have an action statement as the name of your blog- like GoParty, thus telling everyone exactly what they should do after reading your blog. A nifty trick is to put a DONT before the action statement- this will make everyone want to do the action even more (basic psychology). Here it is very important to be underground- so underground that you can heat up your waffles on the core of the earth. Your following will be grown through throwing a series of parties featuring the hottest in electronic entertainment and you will need to be ill behaved at all parties you attend. Remember though- you need to keep your street cred in tact, so no-one and I mean no-one can know about your tendency to sing Keisha in the car. Oh and where possible graffiti things with your blog logo- letter boxes, the beggar at the traffic lights… everything.you.can.find.
Over here the angle is sex, followed by hope. If you are lucky enough to blessed with some decent looks put some saucy pics of you on your headers and avatars- this will immediately gain you a fairly solid following of mooiness. These girls will believe that you are a shining beacon of hope that pretty guys can have brains too. Remember. Stress how big your arms are while chilling out at Caprice or wherever. For added mystery spend a couple of months in a different country, blog about how you’re trying to win money on a craps tournament because you’re allowed to be there, because your aunt owns a cake shop or something equally touching. Refer to yourself in the third person occassionally- but make sure to make it grand- maybe refer to yourself as Papi Tame.
Here the key is to go on about how your work is all for the people and the community that support your endeavours online with their traffic- even give them their own name in the same way that Locnville calls their fans Locnvillens- it’s smells of ass but does wonders to foster a sense of family. Run competitions… competitions for everything- if someone is giving away their granny, get those fuckers to like your Facebook Fan Page and give that old woman away at the end of the week. BOOOM! (place this or some other nonsensical word after all paragraphs). To keep people coming back, always be as honest as possible- even if this does get you some fire from club owners/promoters and PR agencies- I mean who needs them, you’re that friggin cool already, right?
Then as a final way to ensure your success in the blogging world- give all of your competitors a digital high 5 at every opportunity and wherever possible be seen to be getting absolutely sloshed together- mooiness and corporate brands love this- you’ll have a fucking awesome six pack of the latest energy drink waiting at your door at home with at least 5 offers from people wanting to pay for advertising banner space on your site.
After all of that I’m trying to make one real point to everyone out there… There isnt one formula for success. Just be you- if people like you, they’ll visit your site, share your links and do tequila shots out of your belly-button (if only on tuesdays after the full moon).
BOOOM! (fuck you)