The Secret Recipe to Great Blog Posts: what the experts never told you

WARNING: If you have no palate for satire, read no further.

What you are about to read is a collection of the four unspoken, yet ubiquitous, components that are essential for writing unrivaled, mind-blowing posts.

As someone who has been blogging for a little under a year, I wish the experts had told me this sooner.

Yet, as I scoured and studied the habits of the Greats (meaning those who have thousands of followers), I began to recognize several common factors underlying many.

These Greats trumpet the merits of well-known and oft-proclaimed strategies such as writing solid content, planning, revising, and citing other bloggers. But the dirty little secret ultimately responsible for their success far outweighs these pedestrian practices: it is the four objects subliminally present in every idyllic blogger photo.

For my readers’ benefit, I shall identify each of these four mystical objects, without which one can never hope to write a truly great blog post.

Glean what wisdom you may.

1) The coffee mug.

If you don’t have a mug sitting within reach when you begin writing, you may as well give up.

No great work was ever written without the presence of coffee, tea, or some other fluid poured into a cozy-looking mug (preferably cradled in a saucer). Research has yet to prove whether the actual fluid itself is of any importance—so far all that can be verified is the positive correlation between aesthetic drinks and content quality. Those seeking exceptional posts should consider swirling some white, creamy substance into the surface of their drink to enhance its beauty and subsequently their own brilliance.

2) The MacBook.

No one with a non-Mac laptop can advance beyond amateur status.

To purchase any other brand is folly; to use said device for blogging is creative suicide. Only the MacBook, with its slender, silver body and minimalistic keys can fully transmit your message to the screen. While the magic of the Mac is not an ability to conjure ideas (coffee mugs and Components 3 and 4 do that), its inherent powers of Chic infuse raw ideas with unequaled, hipster-level eloquence and efficiency. 

3) The pen and notebook.

These appear frequently beside the obligatory coffee mug, furthest from the MacBook itself (although the precise location is not known to impact their effect).

Whether or not you use said pen and notebook is irrelevant—the key is simply to keep them within reach, as these objects are known to channel the elusive forces of creativity. Their necessity is actually rather controversial, considering that their wanton use of paper has been decried as wasteful; however, this social ill can easily be remedied by the perpetual reuse of a single, blank notebook for every blog post.

4) The succulent.

Of all the critical ingredients for great blog posts, this object holds the most mystique.

When the succulent emerged as a commonly photographed blogging asset is difficult to pinpoint—however, it likely took place in conjunction with the rise of the MacBook. The specific power of the succulent remains relatively unidentified, unlike its three counterparts, whose influences boast extensive scientific verification. What has been discovered, however, is that bloggers whose photos feature only the first three objects experience less predictable success than those who regularly incorporate a succulent into their photos. The location of the succulent, unlike that of the notebook, does seem to bear some significance.

As a symbol of sophistication, the succulent’s success-inducing powers seem to thrive most when positioned subtly in the photo, rather than prominently.

This could mean applying a selective focus to the camera lens and placing the succulent in the unfocused zone, or one could simply sneak the succulent into the background (e.g. partially hidden by the MacBook). Consistent with the theme of subtlety, it is also recommended to choose a small succulent, lest it unwittingly attract too much attention and sabotage the creative forces it helps to summon.

END SATIRE

I have compiled these four blogging gimmicks both for a laugh and for a point I think is worth making: When we take all of our cues from what other people do, we often become followers of a fad. I have actually learned a good deal from following certain other bloggers (who truly do put out great content), and what makes them great isn’t their conformity to a specific aesthetic, vibe, or trend.

Moushmi Radhanpara writes heartfelt poetry, among other things. Pooja shares a combination of her thoughts, poetry, and six-word stories. Ailish Sinclair posts gorgeous photos of Scotland with sneak-peeks at her historical fiction novels. Kamal offers poetic analogies and insights into otherwise mundane aspects of life. The list goes on.

I hope you enjoyed reading this little snarky entry as much as I enjoyed writing it. And more importantly, I hope you continue to create according to your own gifts, interests, and “aesthetics”—not someone else’s idea of what the idyllic blog looks like. 🙂

Drop a comment and let me know if you’ve noticed other blogging gimmicks! Or if you simply agree with this list.

Or… if you yourself have identified the mysterious power of The Succulent.

5 Comments on “The Secret Recipe to Great Blog Posts: what the experts never told you

  1. The beautiful desk with no clutter – the succulent doesn’t count, of course. Because no blogger worth his/her salt writes from the sofa.

    • Haha!! Two confessions: if you look closely at the photo, you will see that my laptop is NOT a Mac, and also I usually write from the couch. Guess my prospects are limited! XD

      • I’m afraid I’m the same on both counts. The couch because my desk has too much clutter… Oh, woe! 😉

  2. How have we not run into one another until now?
    What am amusing post!
    My blog does not have many photos (mostly only the header image) and I believe that is one of the reasons why my following is not in the tens of thousands. I blog on a computer. Having to transfer random photos to my computer is too much work for my lazy self. But maybe one day. You definitely added a little more fuel to the fire.

    • Sam, I actually had the same thought when I read your post on alienation and started browsing your blog! And thank you, it’s always fun to infuse a little healthy snarkiness here and there. 🙂
      Yep, the photo transfer process is always a bit of a drag… stock photos can be a blessing, but I try to use my own as often as possible… but I literally never take “cozy blogger photos” lest anyone think that I actually have a pristine desk and Macbook!

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