This blog post was originally part of a different contest, but since apparently someone got drunk and deleted it, we’re giving it a second chance in The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest. Enjoy!
So most people would tell you that blogging under the influence is like drunk texting everyone you know at 3am to tell them you’re at the IHOP to get your short stack on. Not many people are gonna advocate topping off an evening of Irish car-bombs with an unbridled WordPress rant. Sure it SEEMS appropriate to explore your mommy issues or publish the tale of an ex who still won’t return your calls or your Weezer CD. But the light of day is looming. And like any kind of drunken communication, you’re likely to wake up nauseous; half from your hangover and half from the realization that your cyber humiliation is irrevocable.
But, this post is called why you SHOULD blog drunk. Am I really about to encourage you all to engage in BWI? Well based on certain criteria, I say it’s not a bad idea. My inspiration comes from one of my favorite drinking jokes; the one that explains the various phases of drunkenness. Oh, you’ve probably hear it. It’s this one. According to this, there are 5 Stages of drunkenness. All together, they make for a pretty good night out and if used properly, they can also help make you a great blogger.
Stage 1: Smart.
The formula says that when you’re drunk you know everything. A person in the “smart” phase of drunk is confident in their mastery of every subject known to man. Well a good blogger doesn’t need to be omniscient, but a little mastery of your niche is helpful. This does not mean to blog like you know what you’re talking about if you’re actually an idiot. If what you are contributing to your subject area is as valuable as an arm pit noise, here’s a hint; people are going to catch on. Well, the people who aren’t dumber than you anyway.
That doesn’t mean that you are relegated to blogging on subjects you are already an expert on. There is something human, honest and even inspirational about following a blogger as they study, and learn something new.
What it does mean, is that the age-old writers credo “Write what you know” is true for bloggers too. Before you start writing about anything be smart on the subject first, and be smart in choosing your topic. Or if the first 2 ships have already sailed, well, then it’s never too late to get smart on your topic.
Stage 2: Good Looking
This isn’t about physical beauty, this is about a mentality. Someone in the Good Looking stage of drunk BELIEVES themselves to be the most attractive person in the room. Reality is not a factor in this belief. Feeling attractive makes you believe that people are interested in you, and want to hear what you have to say. That assumption can even help you get the digits of a girl you thought was way out of your league two vodka tonics ago. In blog world, it can help you get a following you never believed you could have. Most people will tell you that hotness is 90% confidence. If you’re Smart on your blog topic then be confident that people are into you.
Stage 3: Rich
If you’re ACTUALLY rich you’re probably too busy picking out new rims for your Maserati to care about where you stand in Technorati. Being drunk Rich means betting Günter, the 300 pound biker, a Grand that you can take him in arm wrestling. Or buying that entire Bachelorette party a round of cosmos because you like their falic little straws.
Blogging like you’re Rich means blogging like you don’t care if it ever makes you rich. People who start a blog because they think it’s a quick route to early retirement are due for a reality check. Or a bitch slap. Or both. According to these numbers, 72% of people report NO income from their blogs, but 61% of people report blogging to supplement their income. Um, I’m no good at math but that seems off. If only 28% of people are reporting an income from their blogs… then a lot of people are either liars…or screwed.
Even if you are making money with your blog in order to have a really good one, it’s most effective to write like you AREN’T. Huh? Listen, writing once a week about the virtues of Pay Day Loans or the dangers of Mesothelioma is a dead give away that your wallet is more engaged in the blog than your heart. Whether you are running ads, affiliate programs, writing reviews or however you are monetizing your blog, the key is to keep the content authentic. Writing like you don’t care about the money is the best way to ensure that everything you put out is high quality work that you can be proud of. Coincidentally, that’s the same kind of content that can help you make better money.
Stage 4: Invincible
This level of drunk is where you can easily break a toe kicking an insubordinate dartboard, or Günter, without noticing. Nothing hurts, and you can’t BE hurt. To apply this concept to blogging it means… well it means pretty much exactly the same thing. Courage is a part of blogging I’ve struggled with myself; fear is something that affects most bloggers at some time or another. Fear of backlash, fear of retribution, fear of mockery or hell just a fear of being called wrong. But in order to be truly successful as a blogger you have to get past the fear. No one achieves greatness by playing it safe. If you blog long enough and build a big enough following as a blogger, then the fact is that, yes you will say something stupid, yes, you will piss someone off and yes, people will make fun of you and hate you. Once you accept that inevitability, once you can convince yourself that sticks and stones may break your bones, but trolls can never hurt you, you’ll be fine. When you are true to yourself, and write what you truly think and feel without that fear, you are blogging like you’re invincible.
Stage 5: Invisible
When you’re an invisible drunk, you have the freedom to do whatever you want because, what the hell, it’s not like anybody can see you! Or you’ve just has so many Long Island Iced Teas that the concept of “shame” eludes you at this point. Invisibility in blogging, at least to me, is two fold.
First an invisible blogger is transparent. Reputable bloggers have been talking about the importance of transparency in blogging for years. It’s not new. The idea is simply to be honest about who you are, your motivation for blogging and the intent of your blog. If you run ads and try to hide them you look super shady and people won’t feel like they can trust you. And in case you’ve been busy re-directing Ring Tone sites to Porn sites, let me fill you in; trust is a huge factor online. In cyber-world it’s way too easy to scam and be scammed. People worry about liars, hijackers and spam pretty much with every click. So everyone has grown increasingly wary and cautious online. For bloggers that translates to, be honest and you’re good; lie and get caught… yeah you’re pretty much done.
The second part of invisible blogging involves getting out of your own way. It’s really easy to develop an ego when you acquire a following. People start thinking “Wow, all these people are reading what I have to say, I must be awesome…and rich and smart AND good looking! You know what, you may be… and even if the blog is about your personal stories and experiences, the blog really shouldn’t be about YOU. It should be about the message. And, of course the people who take the time to read and comment on it. That’s why it’s important to make yourself, and your ego, invisible on your blog. Take pride in your work but check that pride at the publish button. Learn to accept constructive criticism and for god’s sake, interact with the people who care enough about your point of view to weigh in on it. You are not the pied piper of subscribers so learn to become invisible on your blog so that the content can take center stage.
Ok so if you were hoping for a blog that endorsed doing keg stands before sitting down at your computer, I’m sorry to disappoint. But if you can manage apply the 5 stages of drunkenness to your blog, you might find yourself a little tipsy on the joy of blogging. And who knows, you might even be able to get away with a little pre-blog pre-gaming, I mean after all your Smart enough to know when you had too many…right?