Why That Sucky Blog That Sucks Has More Followers Than You Do, Part II

On Monday, the Daily Post asked the question:

Daily Post at WordPress.com

What makes a blog great? What makes you follow a blog or “Like” a post?

AB_LOGO_webready

Right now, attorneys are drafting a Cease and Desist letter with my name on it.

Yesterday, in Part I of Why That Sucky Blog That Sucks Has More Followers Than You Do, I made you all quite a bit paranoid about the readers of your blog by explaining the reasons why people Like/Follow your posts.  Armed with that knowledge, how can we explain the fact that the dumb post that stupid blogger wrote about his dinner at Applebee’s where his wife ordered this dish and he ordered that dish and that was it, goddammit, they didn’t even take pictures of the food, and not one thing happened that was memorable, let alone bloggable, and I just wasted ten minutes of my life reading that post and now oh my God how did this post get 114 Likes and 278 Comments???????

How can we explain that?  What is there to Like about a dinner at Applebee’s?  What is there to even say about a dinner at Applebee’s?

And yet there are 114 Likes and 278 Comments.

I consider myself to be a member of the Seinfeld School of Blogging, meaning I blog about nothing, so in and of itself a dinner at Applebee’s isn’t automatically disqualified as material for a blog post.  In fact, I envision a future post on this blog about dinner at Applebee’s, because I’ve eaten there (unfortunately), and I’ve rather a lot to say about the experience.  I consider myself to be a bit of a gourmand (or at least a foodie.  Or at least a person who eats), but I’ve decided I’m an abject failure as mother because my daughter wants to go to Applebee’s for her birthday because it’s her favorite.  I blame her father.  His favorite restaurant is Red Robin.

My point is, I don’t think it’s the content of an individual blog post that attracts Likes and Followers, which is why we so often see craptacular posts get a zillion Likes while our best work is ignored.  Think about it.  Isn’t there a post on your blog that got a ridiculous amount of Likes for no reason that you can fathom?  Here’s mine: What If You Had to Marry the First Person You Had Sex With.

Instead, I think we can attribute these mega-Like posts to the following:

  • The Lemming Like/Follow:  A blog is Liked/Followed because other people are Liking/Following.  When I first started blogging, I remember following a blogger for the simple reason that she had 1400 followers and I thought, “Wow!  She must be good to have so many people following her!” so I started following her.  It turned out she is an absolute psycho, and my original reason for following has morphed into something else (see: Trainwreck Like/Follow).
  • The Catch 22 Like/Follow: Similar to the Lemming Like/Follow but it also works in the reverse.  Your blog gets Likes/Follows because it has Likes/Follows and it also doesn’t get Likes/Follows because it doesn’t have Likes/Follows.
  • The Social Like/Follow: Packs of bloggers who roam WordPress in gangs and Like one another’s posts because they’re mafiosi friends.  I actually should do more of this, but I just can’t bring myself to Like that awful post you wrote about Applebee’s.  You’re better than that.  Really.
  • The Are They Fucking? Like/Follow: I’ll confess that there are at least a dozen bloggers I follow because I think they’re having affairs with one another (they aren’t.  Well, they probably aren’t.  I mean, they couldn’t be, could they?)
  • The Trainwreck Like/Follow:  The posts on these blogs are just so bizarre that you can’t look away.  This explains every single Like/Follow on Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please.
  • The Freshly Pressed Like/Follow: The least valuable Like/Follow, it’s the result of WordPress editors using the random filter (which is no filter at all!) on all the gazillion blog posts published each day.  I’ve been Freshly Pressed twice and while it does give a momentary spike to your stats, you’re left having to respond to a shitload of comments like this: “Your blog is very nice.  Can you please come over to my blog and follow me?”

So there you have it.  Those are the reasons Why That Sucky Blog That Sucks Has More Followers Than You Do.  I wonder if WordPress has any more questions for me to answer . . .

You can join me in mocking Applebee’s with images, like the one in this post, from their media page, Applebee’s newsroom.

The Second Time Around: Contrasting My Two Experiences Being Freshly Pressed

What does this mean, exactly?

What does this mean, exactly?

I was Freshly Pressed for the first time back in August of last year and lightning just struck twice: I was selected again for the honor this past Friday.  In the wake of the original selection, I wrote what I still regard as one of my favorite blog posts, The Absolute Last Post I Will Make About Being Freshly Pressed, but it turns out that title was misleading, because I have more to say (as is often the case).

That first piece, Blog Posts I Didn’t Write, was selected back in August and is fairly typical of what I write here at Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please: a short, (hopefully) humorous, non-fiction piece about something not particularly important (but, wait, maybe it really is important?) which includes a few naughty words.  The post that was selected on Friday, Welcome to the Committee, is not so typical: a long-ish (at 1700+ words it’s about three times longer than my usual posts), fictional piece that included the word “sausage” and was written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge over at the Daily Post.  Last August, I hit 3,300 page views in a single day for Blog Posts I Didn’t WriteWelcome to the Committee is seeing a much more modest ~200 views  a day over the weekend, which isn’t really much of an increase over my usual daily page views.  I picked up 80 new followers the day I was first published on Freshly Pressed; this time, it looks like I’ve added about 35 new followers as of this writing.

I’m an analytical person, so I’ve found it interesting to contrast the two experiences.  In the interim between the first time I was Freshly Pressed and the second time, I’ve read a lot of blog posts from writers who bemoan never having been selected and sometimes even criticize the blog posts that are selected.  For what it’s worth, I think the blog posts that get selected for Freshly Pressed are often real head scratchers, including my own.  Neither post I’ve had Freshly Pressed is my best work, but I do appreciate the recognition that comes from being selected, and the wider audience I’ll achieve for my writing.

I guess I’ll close this post by suggesting that folks looking to be Freshly Pressed consider responding to the prompts over at the Daily Post.  Your odds of being selected improve dramatically because you’re only competing against the bloggers who choose to respond to the prompts, rather than the six gazillion other daily blog posts here at WordPress.

We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming, in which I write about sex in the absolutely least erotic way possible.