How to Write a Blog Post in 39 Simple Steps!

So, last week we got Freshly Pressed for the second time. Woooo! And we even somehow got more page views than during our first lightning strike of good fortune! Perhaps because we now have so-called ‘content.’  Anyway, after much frivolity and celebration, Sam and I set out to determine exactly how this came to pass. Unfortunately, our frivolity was a bit too frivolous, and the next morning, all we had was a pizza napkin with the phrases “internet gnomes” and “snorkel” scribbled hastily in tomato sauce.

We later expanded on this idea, but “really sneaky internet gnome oceanographers” still seemed like a subpar explanation.

Having failed at our initial attempt, we decided to do the next best thing: retrace our steps and copy them exactly.

After much sleuthing and step-tracing, we’ve compiled a handy, step-by-step guide that should allow us to achieve brilliance on a weekly basis. In our extreme beneficence, we’ve decided to share these trade secrets with you, the reader. This may be career suicide, but as enlightened members of the Internet Age, we realize that all information must be free and open for the good of humanity. So here, without further ado, is the secret to creating a killer blog post (maybe).

5 P.M. Step 1 (Russ): Prepare

Good. You’re starting early. This is gonna be a piece of cake. Sit down at your unnecessarily-powerful gaming computer, slap on your nerdy wrist guard that protects you from the dangers of typing, and pour yourself a little scotch to, you know, channel the Spirits of Hemingway. Here we go.

5:05 P.M. Step 2 (Russ): Procrastinate

You have more than enough time to write this bad boy. After all, you started early! You deserve a reward for your dedication. Maybe an episode of TV. Or two. Or three.

6:30 P.M. Step 3 (Russ): Guilt

I can’t believe you wasted all that time! What were you thinking? And you call yourself a writer. Writers write. They don’t sit around, you know, not writing.

7:00 P.M. Step 4 (Russ): Choose a Topic

Let’s see, what to write about? Your life’s been going on for a while now—something must have happened somewhere along the line. Something? Anything? Oh god. How could anyone ever care about what you have to say?

7:15 P.M. Step 5 (Russ): Admit Failure

Face it. You’ve never experienced a single real crisis or challenge or unique event (outside of that time you tripped and caught your ice cream scoop with its own cone). How could you possibly think you’d be able to produce quality writing inspired by your own life?

7:45 P.M. Step 6 (Russ): Beg

In the course of living amongst humanity, you’ve managed to spend a lot of your time around “people.” Maybe they can help! Go through your phone book and ask everyone you know if they have any brilliant ideas for your blog.

8:00 P.M. Step 1 (Sam): Receive the Signal

Instant message from Russ. Hello. Yes, you know what day it is. You’ll get done in about an hour probably. No you don’t have any idea about what to write about.

8:30 P.M. Step 7 (Russ): Resent Others

If they had truly been your friends, they would have dropped everything to figure out exactly what you should say to the people of the internet. Reminding you of the time you ate eight-month-old cream cheese isn’t enough!

9:00 P.M. Step 8 (Russ): Come to Terms with Reality (Not sure if this step has ever actually occurred)

Ok, it’s getting late. You need to have something written. After all, tomorrow’s a Tuesday, and you’ve made a group of strangers a promise for some reason.

9:45 P.M. Step 9 (Russ): Start a Draft

The time has come to actually put words onto virtual paper. Slap on some tunes, like the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack or the music of World of Warcraft. Pound a Rockstar or two and get in the zone. If you just start hitting keys, letters will appear, and perhaps they’ll form words, which will perhaps make sentences.

11:00 P.M.  Step 10 (Russ): Finish the Draft

Genius. This is pure gold. You’re really on a roll tonight.  You’re even starting to remember why you love writing.

11:10 P.M. Step 11 (Russ): Read the Draft.

Oh god, what were you thinking? Did you write those words? Those utterly despicable words. The caffeine must have given you hallucinations or something.

11:15 P.M. Step 2 (Sam): Finish Work at the Office

Holy cow, how did it get so late?

11:20 P.M. Step 12 (Russ): Freak Out

You clearly have no talent. Maybe this blog thing was a bad idea. But wait, blogging is all you’re qualified for. If not this, then what?!

11:30 P.M. Step 13 (Russ): Write Another Draft

Ok. There has to be something salvageable here. If you can just trim the bad parts, your junkyard of a draft should provide the materials to rebuild your post, stronger than it was before. You have the technology.

11:35 P.M. Step 3 (Sam): Go Home

Bike home in the dark. On the way, it’ll start to rain.  Keep an eye out for low-hanging branches which will whip you in the face, just to make sure you aren’t enjoying yourself too much.

12:15 A.M. Step 14 (Russ): Send It to Sam

Send the file to your co-blogger, hoping against hope that your words won’t cause his eyes to melt away in horror, like that time you accidentally looked into the Ark of the Covenant.

12:16 A.M. Step 4 (Sam): Ignore Draft

There’s a draft of something on your computer when you boot it back up. Lovely. You should read it, but you haven’t eaten in a while. Food will put you in a better mood, and you’re going to have to make it eventually anyway.

12:30 A.M. Step 5 (Sam): Finish Dinner

That was a good decision. Nothing like salami on pita bread to let you know you’re alive.

12:20 A.M. Step 15 (Russ): Worry

As Sam reads the draft, you’ll be unable to accomplish anything. Will this be the one that finally reveals your complete ineptitude? Will you alienate all your readers? Will they realize how unfunny you are? Oh god, why hasn’t Sam said anything? He’ll assure you it’s because he was making dinner, but you know the truth. He doesn’t know how to break the news to you.

12:30 A.M. Step 6 (Sam): Read and Edit Draft

Hm. This post makes very little sense and will probably insult a good many of your readers. How do you break the news to him? And how the hell does he expect you to draw a cow explaining ‘the concept of remorse’? Make some edits and hope the images won’t change in the rewrite.

1:00 A.M. Step 7 (Sam): Protect Russ’s Ego

Go back and add some positive feedback to your edits so Russ doesn’t think you hate it.

1:05 A.M. Step 16 (Russ): Rejoice

Sam says he likes it! Not only that, but he’s made a slew of edits and now it’s five times funnier. That guy’s the best!

1:15 A.M. Step 8 (Sam) Start Drawing

Well, you’d better get started—it’s not getting any earlier. Start with the one that seems like the easiest and least likely to be in the final draft. Make sure to save the most complicated one for last so that when you finally get to it you’re so tired that the thought of drawing it becomes an overwhelming chore!

It’s best to queue up all the latest episodes of The Colbert Report on the other monitor as you draw. Keeps the mind occupied.

After each drawing is finished, send it over to Russ. If it confuses him, you’ve done something wrong. Usually though, he’s absurdly excited about it to the point that you feel embarrassed. Then he’ll make a couple perfectly reasonable observations about how to improve them, and you will grudgingly grumble about having to make them even though he’s absolutely right.

1:20 A.M.  Step 17 (Russ): Rewrite Over and Over and Over Whilst Giving Feedback on Sam’s Drawings

You wonder how Sam will manage to bring your absurdly complicated whims to visual reality. Every half hour or so he’ll shoot you a draft of a drawing. How did he make that so good?! Once in a while though, you’ll need to step in and tell him that the hands he drew are too claw-like and terrifying. While he deals with this, do around 5 rewrites, making sure to work in some television, or, if you’re alone, something more risqué.

2:00 A.M. Step 9a (Sam): Enjoy Yourself

You’re making fairly good progress. See, this is fine. This is fun! Drawing is what you love to do, right? Why do you act like this is some sort of chore you have in addition to work? You just need to relax a bit!

2:10 A.M. Step 9b (Sam): Really Enjoy Yourself

Inhale or imbibe some relaxing substances. You’ll have a blast! This is going to be the best post ever.

3:45 A.M. Step 10 (Sam): Panic

Your masterpiece is complete! Adding that extra alien spaceship was totally worth it. And it’s only–how is it already 3:45?? There are still… 9 more pictures to draw??? How did this happen? You’ll briefly consider lying down and resting your eyes for just 10 minutes, but you know if you do that, there’s no waking up.

6:00 A.M. Step 11 (Sam): Rejoice

That’s the last drawing! Should you edit the text one last time? You could. But then again, it’s six in the morning.

“Can I go to bed now?”

The 30 seconds it takes Russ to respond will be the longest in the world.

6:00 and 30 seconds A.M. Step 18 (Russ): Let Sam Sleep

Sam never drinks as many Rockstars, so by the time he finishes the art, he’ll only be about 10% awake and will be very disgruntled by any requests for early morning companionship. If you try to ask him for input now, he’ll just start ranting, marveling at your ability to be so incredibly verbose without actually saying anything.

6:05 A.M. Step 12 (Sam): Sleep

Check Reddit one last time on your phone before collapsing in exhaustion.

6:30 A.M. Step 19 (Russ): Despair

You need to think of bonus jokes for all the images?! This last, dainty straw will be more than your caffeine-fueled, overclocked brain can bear. And you were so close to completing this week’s post without a mental breakdown!

6:40 A.M. Step 20 (Russ): Man Up

Just say the first thing that comes into your head. No one’s going to know. People probably don’t even read the mouseover text anyway.

7:00 A.M. Step 21 (Russ): Final Review

Read through it one last time. Too bad at this point you’ll no longer be able tell what’s funny and what’s gibbering inanity. Your ability to comprehend words will seem to have fled entirely. That’s the sign that you’ve finished the post!

7:15 A.M. Step 22 (Russ): Post It!

A great sense of accomplishment and release should wash over you as you stare at your fledgling post, all on its own out there in the dangerous world of the internet. It doesn’t know what it’s in for.

7:16 A.M. Step 23 (Russ): Refresh!

Time to go to the stats page and hit F5 until your fingers break. Has anyone seen it yet? What about now? Now? Any comments? I can’t wait to respond to comments!

7:45 A.M. Step 24 (Russ): Go to Sleep

When the sun is shining brightly in the rosy dawn and the birds begin their joyful song, delighted by another beautiful morning, you’ll know it’s time for bed. Shut down your computer, turn off the lights, and crawl under your covers, comforted by the fact that you’ve accomplished a bare minimum of productivity. You may not get paid, but at least it’s something.

8:00 A.M. Step 25 (Russ): Wait a Second!

As you drift off to sleep, your brain will drowsily mull over the post, which will inevitably lead to the realization that you should have referred to that evil taxi driver as a “toothless hobgoblin” instead of a “vehicle-dwelling night-lurker,” or something equally unimportant.

8:15 A.M. Step 26 (Russ): Boot Up the Computer and Make Changes

Leap out of bed and input the minor changes. As long as the computer’s already on, you might as well refresh the stats page. And if you wait just a few more minutes there are sure to be comments to respond to!…


And there you have it. As easy as stuffing a rabid weasel into a snake-filled gunnysack! And not nearly as much chance of infection! With these simple steps, you too can be on your way to making a mark in the blogging world. And if you’re nothing like us, perhaps you’ll manage to keep your psyche from shattering into tiny, unsalvageable parts along the way!

Note: If, in repeating these steps exactly, you find yourself able to write something that would gain Internet-wide mild approval and bemusement, we hope you’ll remember Reasonably Ludicrous as the blog that made it all possible. Good luck!

Bonus Step 27:

Add this step so that the title of your post can seem like a Hitchcock reference.


Filed under Lists

111 responses to “How to Write a Blog Post in 39 Simple Steps!

  1. You’re such lucky fellows to be FP’d twice! Thanks to that, I’ve been exposed, (in a good way) to your delicious blog. I am now relieved to know that my F5 key isn’t the only one around here with more punches than Mike Tyson.

    Also, caffeinated hallucinations may also result in awesome blog posts; keep those brews a’ coming! You guys are great!

    With love,
    Eve x

    • It’s certainly much better exposure than the trench coat kind the policemen told me to stop doing. Mike’s got nothing on our F5’s.

      Glad to have you around Eve! I’ll make sure to keep my caffeine intake up for ya!

  2. Hi I’m a comment! Respond to me! Helloo . . .are you still awake?

  3. dekeboo

    This post for has made me giggle more than the others and I am still trying to work out what a gunnysack is! I look forward to reading your blog each week, I was even just checking to see if you had posted yet (its totally irrelevant that its Tuesday morning where you are and not Tuesday afternoon like here – lol), and so thank you for turmoiling (I doubt that’s a word) and thank Sam for battling the sleep monsters.

  4. MMM

    As a new follower of your blog, I love it! Came across you guys from being freshly pressed and I’m so happy I subscribed! Keep ’em coming boys! 🙂

  5. trifoi

    Well, that is my exact process of writing! The writing part, without the lovely drawings. I tend to use conventional (read: boring) ways of illustrating the text. But asa professional journalist (and after that a blogger) I can say that without procrastination there is no story, no nothing.

    • I’d like to think you’re right. That would make me feel a lot better about all the procrastinating I do. Maybe I should go research exactly how procrastination is beneficial…right after I eat this sandwich…and read a few Cracked articles.

  6. I usually get stuck on a repeat of points 1-3 (point three makes you want to drink again). Which I suppose makes me an alcoholic procrastinator who prepares everything, and passes out before finishing.

    Congrats on the FP twice. Glad to know other bloggers do the same 🙂

    • I’m right there with you. This is just a guide for when I successfully write something. Much more often I get trapped in an endless 1 through 3 loop. And there’s plenty of alcohol involved. In fact, I had some last night while I was working on this very post.

  7. congratulations… u made a poor little soul suffering from cold smile…. god bless you Peter… shit! i sound like Spider-man’s aunt May… :p 😉

    • I’m glad we could make you smile. That makes me smile, and I too have a cold. Unless you’re suffering from cold the temperature. Cause I’m feeling pretty moderate in that regard.

      And I’ve always kind of had a thing for aunt May.

      • thing for aunt May….hmm…..never thought having a cold and bad throat would end up being so good 😉

        Now all i have to do is wait for the bad guys to kill peter’s uncle…and peter to get into super hero business…then am free to date…

  8. That sounds like me right now =P my website is suppose to be a place for people viewing it to post their advice and I guess that doesn’t count as content so now im trying to write a couple articles to submit because I’m having trouble generating traffic haha!

  9. Best hovertext this time was “I pita the fool!”

    (sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who routinely checks other blogs for hovertext. I’m so disappointed when all I see is IMG940328)

    • Haha, I do the same thing! And it’s all because of this blog. My hover text standards have been pushed to new heights!

      • Oh no! We’ve created hovertext-reading monsters! Maybe I should start putting more thought into them…

        Or maybe their charm comes from the fact that they’re forged on the anvil of early-morning brain firings that have almost no filter.

  10. Aja

    You’ve been freshly pressed twice, so you’re probably heading toward some kind of paid gig. Wonderful job, as always.

  11. Katie

    Great post guys. Oh the blood, sweat, tears and inanity that go in to any given blog post! I wish I had a partner who would illustrate mine. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    My latest post is on the ‘What People Think I do’ meme, I’ve done one for interns

  12. Rae

    Maybe I should start following your steps since you guys are on a pretty good successful roll. Actually, I already do a lot of these steps, except since it’s only me I argue with myself about how it sucks and then I respond with, “So what, I’m tired!” And those are the two steps to writing a sub par blog post!

  13. Russ: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems you are the master of your own demise. I had never even considered the possibility of noticing (let alone reading) mouse-over text until you brought it up. Now I will never ignore it, so your witticisms had better be good from here to eternity!

  14. oh god – he probably won’t wake up for another week now!!! well done, youse guys… and in other news, step #39, tag, you’re it… for details see feel free to cry or scream or brush your teeth, or… 🙂

  15. Hahaha hilarious. Grea tjob!

  16. Mahvelous!
    I think step #1 for a good chunk of us is to find a good co-blogger, so there are really 40 steps.
    I love Sam’s hair sticking up through the bike helmet

  17. I like this much a lot as well. Anyone who shares my love of resenting others (and by extension blaming them for my failures in life) is A-OK!

    Great post!

  18. Reblogged this on MyDestiny2011 and commented:
    Thank you very much for this great tips. I love the cartoons too. Do you that yourself? It makes your blog looks more attractive and very interesting. Keep it you and thank you for letting me share this, again. ♥♥♥

  19. Reblogged this on storiesofRYANlife and commented:
    for those who don’t know what to write in their blog, follow these simple steps 🙂

  20. LOL!! Omg I’m so tired after getting through how to write a post haha … but laughing hysterically =P
    And it was so funny, I was gonna say how the mouseover text for the pics are so hilarious!! I read every one 🙂

    • Yeah that was our longest post ever. At least laughter can help distract from the length. Yay for people who like the bonus text! I’m going to have to start putting more thought into those.

      • Haha, naw don’t too much thought into it. Unless you actually did put a lot thought into these ones. Then you’re gonna have to put in some effort. The bonus text bar has been raised. lol

  21. Absolutely hilarious and wonderful. And I am sure if I put even half of the time/effort into my blog posts as you guys do, I would have been Freshly Pressed too ;P. But seriously, your blog is great, and you two should be very proud!

    • Having the time to put into it is one of the upsides of being unemployed. You, on the other hand, have benefits like the joy of feeding yourself. 🙂

      And I am proud. This is exciting new territory for me. People actually reading the words I say!

  22. I learned a very important lesson in this post. F5 refreshes my browser! 🙂

    Great job guys! Off to the archives I go to finish blog-stalking you through all of your other posts! 😀

  23. I do. I read the mouseover text.




    No pressure. 😉

    (Also, I now feel vaguely guilty for enjoying your posts, now that I’m aware that I snuggle happily into my bed while you two are up at ridiculous hours writing and drawing. GO TO BED, YOU STRANGE PEOPLE!)

    • Every single time? Oh god. Now I can’t afford any screw ups!

      And don’t feel guilty. I probably wouldn’t be sleeping anyway. I’ve become quite accustomed to nocturnality.

  24. omicronceti3

    Why, why was I programmed to feel self-doubt!? Accursed brain! Yep, those steps are so very familiar — although they do end in success….

    • I’m not sure which I’d rather be programmed without, self-doubt or pain. Either way, the brain is certainly an accursed thing. I find that neither it nor I can gain much ground in our endless struggle for dominance.

  25. It’s scary how similar our writing process, Russ! I do virtually the same things, both for my blogs (the personal and collaborative) and my paid 9-5 job I can totally relate to steps 1-5 in particular. The endless cycle of procrastination and guilt hasn’t fazed me yet.

    “A great sense of accomplishment and release should wash over you as you stare at your fledgling post, all on its own out there in the dangerous world of the internet. It doesn’t know what it’s in for.”

    That’s exactly how I feel about my blog posts! It’s like letting a child out discover a scary, unkind world on his/her own, with no turning back. 😛

    Hilarious post as usual.

    • I’m appalled at the grammatical errors in my comment, ugh. It’s the end of a hard day at work where I am now, so my brain has turned to mush.

      • Turned to mush? I feel like mine is in a perpetual state of mush, and on rare occasions it solidifies into something passable. I’m so lucky to have people like you around reading this stuff. The fledgling posts have been met with nothing but support, as opposed to the usual flaming you see on most of the internet. Yay!

  26. Just seen you have “hover over” txt! Brilliant its like when you think youve eaten all the chocolates and then you find one lonely one at the bottom of the pack and its so exciting! ……. yes?

  27. Sometimes I bleed just to know I’m alive.

    Also, today I drew pictures for the first time while I was doodling instead of making abstract shapes and I thought maybe I could illustrate my blog with them, but then I realized I have no control over what I draw. My powers are too powerful.And by powerful I mean sloppy and imprecise.

    • Somehow I never realized how depressing those Goo Goo Doll lyrics are. Still, good song.

      If you have no control over what you draw, maybe you can just draw a whole bunch of random things and then try to craft a post around them. It sounds like a fun challenge!

  28. Freshly pressed again?! Who are you sleeping with? (And are they hot?)

  29. Freshly Pressed twice you say? Did you bribe them with chocolate or chicken wings? I find both to be highly influential in business transactions. I imagine it was your hilarity and madness that swung it.

    Keep up the great work! 🙂

  30. Su

    This was hilarious!!!! I have a question for you, what’s your best advice to deal with haters? If you even have any lol 🙂

  31. Ed

    So this pretty much describes my usual process for writing a blog (except I don’t have a nifty artist co-blogger, and I try really hard not to stay up all night).

    Sometimes I wonder whether being a writer is really just a kind way of saying that someone is a procrastinator. Meh.

    Oh, and I know how much comments and page views mean to a blogger, so I’m glad to add another notification to the corner of your WordPress window! 😉

    • Thanks for the orange notification! Best thing ever!

      And I do feel like procrastinating is mostly what I do. I’m impressed that you manage not to stay up all night. I need to work on that.

  32. Thank you so much for this very thorough and entertaining guide! It will be my favorite reference material from now on!

    • I’m not sure it really ought to be followed. My Sleep and Dreams teacher told me that sleep deprivation is like being drunk, and this guide certainly leads to sleep deprivation. Wait, maybe that IS a good thing!

  33. Hilarious as ever Russ, you and Sam have a good thing here.
    Being a struggling writer and blogger, I completely get the self-loathing bit! 😀 a day without some seems wrong now somehow… and I don’t have those wrist things (though its not a bad idea) but Id do exactly that too!
    *Thwip! Thwiping FTW!* 😀

  34. Ha ha ha…so true, i like the last part with F5 refresh

  35. You’ve perfectly articulated that scary, anxious feeling of publishing a post and waiting for the reactions from your followers. I’ve had a couple posts that I thought were crappy get a great reaction, and vice versa. I’m so confused now that I don’t even know what’s “funny” anymore. Needless to say, posting stresses me out to the max these days. Your latest few have been most excellent.

  36. Heh heh, that is uncomfortably true… But you made it funny enough so I can read it with a laugh and move on with my life, maintaining a comfortable step 2. Thanks! :D!

    …And I always love your mouseover text, btw. X)

    • The joy of humor. Allows us to briefly touch on the painfully true without the whole pain part. I’m on step 2 right now, trying not to let the fact that I have no idea what to write for next week get to me. Hopefully it’ll be something!

  37. Oh my, I knew I shouldn’t have waited with reading this until that stomach bug hopped over from my son to me. Of course there was another reference to eating ancient, rancid food in it! Serves me right for not giving your posts the treatment they deserve: read first thing when they arrive and laugh my head off. If only I could laugh off my stomach too…

    • If it’s a Reasonably Ludicrous post, it’s a pretty safe bet I’ll mention eating something gross. 🙂 And I’m glad you’re finally learning the correct prioritization.

      On the other hand, 4 out of 5 proverbists agree: laughter is medicine, so maybe it’ll help that stomach bug.

  38. The Empty Notebook

    I’ve been reading every single post of yours since your first post!!! LOVE how you got FP’d twice!! Congrats!!!

  39. K How

    Russ, Sam, I love you guys. This is exactly what I go through any time I write anything. I laughed so hard, and when I got to the part where you said that nobody reads the mouse overs, I was like, “Oh suck! There’s mouse over captions?!” and I went back and read every single one. Great post. Very funny. 🙂

  40. Reblogged this on mastertourism2012 and commented:
    Great story…

  41. Gosh, with a process that simple it’s a wonder everybody doesn’t blog!

    …Wait a minute.

  42. Amazing. I was somewhere around step #21 of this process when I decided to take a break and suddenly stumbled upon this post. Mind = Blown.

    Fabulous work on being Freshly Pressed twice. I’ll try not to let that get me too disappointed that only my cat reads mine.

  43. I´m back! So that means a lot!!
    It´s good to know we are all human beings!
    Very entertaining

  44. I had so much fun reading this!!!!!!! Thank you very much!! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed twice! You deserve it. 🙂

  45. laughed my drunkeness away!!!!

  46. SJ

    Awesome post. 🙂 Seriously, I didn’t know there were mouseover texts for the pictures – love itssss! Thanks so much for the work you and Sam have done. It’s an amazing feat and you deserve every reward. 🙂

  47. K. Noble

    Russ, I learned 2 new things from your post:

    1. Your pictures have mouse-over comments! I have probably missed dozens of great jokes already!
    2. F5 is refresh? How did I not learn that until you wrote it in your blog?


  48. Pingback: Go Viral in 10 Underhanded Steps | Reasonably Ludicrous

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    you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few folks are speaking intelligently about.

    I’m very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something concerning this.

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