How to Get 1000 Comments With Little to no Effort
A friend of mine wrote what has become Almightydad’s most commented on article. The article has 1,054 comments as of yesterday and has shown no ebb. Almost every day I get one or two, and it’s been more than a year since publication. The subject of the article is an MLM company called Send Out Cards. I won’t get into the specifics of what the company does but suffice to say it’s an MLM, and that’s enough to understand the cultish hate we’ve been receiving in response.
Back to the point; do you want the simple answer to ‘How to Get 1000 comments on a blog post without much effort’? It goes like this: Write something that makes cult members mad. A cult, by the way, does not have to believe in supernatural powers. A cult can be any group that thinks and behaves in unison and which has slavish devotion to an organized or faddish movement. Members of cults, when challenged, often become irrationally insulted, defensive and angered.
So that’s the trick. Anger the idiots. Because once you rile them up they just keep flooding your inbox with hate mail – and it never stops. The best part of it is that you don’t even have to troll them intentionally. You just write something you think is true and which is also something you think people will benefit from knowing. Sane people, for instance, know that infomercial products are usually scammy. They also know that joining an MLM (Multi-level-marketing) company is a really awesome way to lose all your friends and get holy water tossed your direction. Nevertheless, good people often fall for obvious traps, and mentioning where the biggest traps lie is a worthwhile pursuit for those of us who want to do humanity a favor. I would want someone to step up and warn me if I was about to do something silly, too. I might not listen but, then again, I might.
So What Prevents Every Article from Being a Winner?
Fear: Stirring the pot can be scary. I don’t like to do it either. But, since I wasn’t the one who wrote the aforementioned article, I didn’t have to pain myself with what-if’s. Once it was published, however, I can see the clear difference between writing safe articles and getting into the muck. Since that article came out, people have been flying out of the woodwork calling me all sorts of creative derogatives, and I’ve become so hardened to it (I took it personally at first) that the idea of angering idiots sorta appeals to me now.
Passion: It’s hard to write about a thing you’re really passionate about. In some respects you’ll feel like it’s too personal, and you won’t want to reveal too much by pouring it out. The alternative, which many of us cling to when we write opinions, is to soften them with qualifiers. For instance, I don’t believe in Zeus, the tooth fairy, Amaterasu, Allah, or any God for that matter. But, to say all that without a qualifier would be begging for an argument. After all, most people, where there is a lack of information, tend to make assumptions, and the assumption will always be, regarding religion, that “You’re either with us or against us”. Thus, I have to add something like “… but I will always respect the beliefs of others.” See? By writing “I believe X, but I have no problem with anybody believing Y.” I am essentially announcing that I don’t want to fight; rather, all I want is to say a little harmless something about myself. As soon as I qualify, Poof! There goes the passion. And that makes what I say a lot less compelling.
Is going unnoticed through life really what you want? Or are you just playing it safe but deep down you wish you could break free and be yourself? The basic fact of being heard is this: A lot of people think like you think but are unwilling to say it. Naturally, though, a lot of people think you’re opinions are crazy, too. If you want to write something, it should be what you believe or there isn’t any reason to write it. Most of what I’ve written in the past couple of years has been informative and interesting to a few people at a time. And, don’t get me wrong, there’s value in putting an idea on the table when you’re feeling ambivalent – that’s the sort of thing that sparks conversation. However, if you want to get a real debate going, you’ll need to take a solid stand.