Blogging Basics: The Art of the Running Joke
Most of my readers probably already know that I love ponies. And that’s because I’m doing something right.
The internet is a big place. Blogs are a whisper in a tornado. Lots of people struggle not just to get page hits, but also to keep steady readers on board. None of us, after all, are saying anything that absolutely no one else in the whole world could say.
So personality actually counts for a lot. You can have the best information in the world, but if people don’t remember your blog, they’re only going to see it once in a while when someone else links.
A lot of very successful, profitable blogs have attracted their readership by just having an interesting personality and keeping it consistently out there. Hyperbole and a Half is widely read despite its erratic updates because the erratic updates are part of the engaging, unfocused, off-the-wall image it presents. The Art of Manliness gets away with some pretty thinly-researched content because even the worst articles are loaded down with a healthy dose of nostalgic testosterone, transporting you right back to the good old days when men were men and women were property. And so on.
Thus, ponies. So that if nothing else I will be remembered as “that guy with the writing advice, the one with the ponies” (or perhaps “the guy with the adorable pony pictures who sometimes talks about writing” — you never know) rather than just “one of those writing blogs.”
Also I just like ponies. It’s a very bittersweet sort of sentiment, since I will always be far too enormous to ride them. But there you have it.
Misanthropology101 has ponies. Linda Grimes over at Visiting Reality keeps me coming back for camels every Hump Day (Wednesday). Elizabeth Craig has, okay, let’s be honest, the enormous lists of EVERY WRITING-RELATED LINK EVER that we like to browse through. Little, fun things that keep people coming back. Running jokes!
What does your blog have? If you can’t answer the question of the top of your head, it might be time to start thinking about adorable animal options…