Tag Archives: Comedy

Go Viral in 10 Underhanded Steps

As the cofounder of the most successful blog I’ve ever cofounded, I’m well aware that you reader types are filled with envy toward me, or if not envy, at least a weird, tingly feeling. But you needn’t see a doctor about it, because I’m right here with your diagnosis: tingling sensations are pleasant; enjoy them! Now, Sam and I are nothing if not gluttons for some healthy competition (or unhealthy, now that you’re refusing to see a doctor), so we thought we’d explain how we became so tremendously successful. And trust me, we are successful. After all, we’ve sold nearly 8 items on our store, and my parents only bought 4 of them.

We’ve already taught you how to write a blog post, and in merely 39 steps, no less. But we neglected to explain what to write about.

This post will remedy that oversight. You see, people read our blog not because it’s entertaining or well-written, but because Sam and I, in a freak accident involving leeches, some exposed wires, and the color purple, stumbled upon the exact keywords and components that turn a blog from standard catnip into cat cocaine—you know, in a world where all blog readers are cats and internet virality is a physical drug.

And now, without further hilarious introductory paragraphs, we give you the 10 keys to generating massive blog traffic.

1. Write Posts in List Format and Bold Each List Item

People don’t like the idea of reading an endless series of paragraphs, even if the endlessness stops after 4 or 5 paragraphs. The more numbers and bulleting the better!

2. Link Back to Your Old Content!

People often rest their hands on their mice, and if they’re startled by a loud noise, they might accidentally click on one of your links, increasing your page views.

  • Examples: This link right here. Go ahead, click it.

3. Link to Other Content!

But don’t just link to your own content! Link to everything you can possibly imagine! Through the magic of pingbacks, referrals, and actual magic, this will direct people to your site. Maybe a fellow blogger will be too curious to resist investigating why you’d link to them, or maybe your wife will come on here to tell you about the cease and desist order her lawyer filed for always directing people to those risqué photos of her.

  • Examples: I think that was enough examples.

4. Google Trends!

When choosing a topic, it’s important that you not fall into the trap of writing on a subject you’re passionate about. Rather, you should go to http://www.google.com/trends/ and see what the nation is searching. Choose one of the top 10 hottest searches at random (any method will do—ten sided die, random number generator, augury).

Then take an extreme stance and write about the search term in an angry and divisive fashion. This will rile up readers and get you loads of angry comments! Remember, it’s not the type of feedback that matters. It’s the quantity!

  • Examples: Basketball playoffs are happening? I hate the most beloved team; it’s an outrage they’ve made it this far!
  • Dan Harmon fired from Community?! Good riddance. He probably didn’t have any impact on the show anyway!
  • Facebook stock is dropping? But Facebook is the next Google! Instagram is the next Apple!
  • There was a solar eclipse? That’s not science, it’s an act of God! Therefore, it’s impossible to predict when the next one will be.
  • There’s a thing called the Preakness? I thought the triple crown was just a special prize you got for winning the Kentucky Derby really well.

And if you can’t think of anything trendy, just include one of the 5 standbys of the internet: animals being cute, people accidentally hurting themselves, whatever magical/vampiric/arena-death-match book series is popular for teen girls at the time, cats doing weird things, or Star Wars.

5. Revealing Pictures of Female Video Game Characters!

You know what’s always trendy? Guys spending time on the internet for unsavory purposes. Nobody’s at their computer more than nerds, and those same people are the ones without girlfriends (myself included). Tap into this market. Their searches for “naked princess peach,” “star fox slippy sex” and “ecco the dolphin cosplay” will bring in hundreds of sexually frustrated new readers! They may not do any reading, but your new content will definitely make them come repeatedly to see if you’ve updated.

  • Examples:

6. Tag Overload!

Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t get enough of tag? It’s time to bring back that spirit and ignore all those “adults” who tell you to have fewer than 100 tags per post. Tags help you show up in search results no matter what you’ve written about. That’s the beauty of it. They don’t even have to be related!

  • Examples: Barack Obama. Fire-Spitting Dinosaurs. Blake Lively Nude

7. Begging

There’s nothing like begging to emotionally guilt people into doing what you want. And don’t be afraid to toss in a threat or two. Seriously, would you please beg? For the love of god, beg! If you don’t beg right now, I’m going to come over there and break both your two-legged stool’s legs.

  • Examples: Would you please share this post on Facebook? No really. That’d be awesome. If this post went viral it would be so meta!
  • You could share it on Reddit too!
  • Might as well click the stumbleupon button too. Do it! DO IT! Click every single button!

8. Be Freshly Pressed by WordPress

We don’t really have any tips on how to accomplish this, but we sure as hell wouldn’t have any readers at all if it weren’t for the people over at WordPress who thought we were funny. Or maybe they just threw a dart and it landed on us, I don’t know. As much as I hate to admit that others have power over me, it’s the truth. This isn’t very informative. We just thought we’d put it in here on the off chance that this post gets Freshly Pressed. Then we can say things like “Whoa. Meta” and “Boo-yeah!” and have them be applicable. And if it doesn’t, then we can say things like “I never liked WordPress anyway,” and “whatever those sounds are you make when you’re crying.”

  • Examples: This post, hopefully.
  • Making it to the front page of Reddit is also acceptable and equally inscrutable.

9. Lie to Your Audience

It’s important to keep readers on their toes. Nobody wants what they think they want. I mean, I was pretty sure I wanted Bruce Willis to be alive while I was watching the Sixth Sense, but Mr. Shyamalan knew me better than I knew myself. And I wanted The Last Airbender not to suck balls, but once again, he showed me who was boss.

  • Examples: Tell them it’s a 10-step list but run out of ideas after 8 steps, then make the 9th step a joke explaining away your deficiencies. That’s way better than having an 8-part list.

And there you have it! Follow these “10” simple “steps” and you’ll generate thousands of page views in no time. Sure, page views don’t mean anybody’s reading anything, and probably people will just be enraged by the fact that they didn’t find what they were looking for. But in the end, I think we can all agree that we blog not because we want to disseminate useful or entertaining information, but so we can see that little number go up on our stats page.

And if you’re interested, check out our new webcomic: The Joy Cannon!

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The Joy Cannon Erupteth

Greetings, Reasonably Ludicrous reader folk! Man, have we had a wild ride. We’ve sailed through through a lot together: the long nights, the impossible odds, the various other choruses of Styx songs. We’ve learned some important things, like the value of an English Degree, how to duck your relatives, the key to having a happy Valentine’s day, and much much more.

But Sam and I cannot stop at a mere blog. We must take over the entirety of the internet! And for that, we will need…

Bum

BUm

BUM!

A WEBCOMIC!!

That’s right. All the buildup has been leading to this climax. We’re launching a brand-new squeaky clean extra green webcomic!

It’s called The Joy Cannon and it will shoot heavy iron spheres of humor at you once or twice a week. It’s our newest weapon in the continued war on sadness, and we aim to use it to its full potential.

Now, with great cannoning power comes great responsibility or something, and now that Sam and I are moving sideways in the internet world, we may not have as much time for blog posts. But never fear! You’ll actually be getting more updates from us! We’ll still post on Reasonably Ludicrous once or twice a month, and now we’ll also be posting on The Joy Cannon 4 to 8 times a month. That’s like 7.5 things every 4 weeks!

I hope we didn’t hype this up too much. We didn’t mean to have so much buildup, but as an English major, I’m not very good at computer science and tinkering with all the web code took me longer than expected.

Thanks for being so supportive all the time. Sam and I love reading all your comments, and it’s been amazing to watch the positive response this blog has garnered. You guys are the best, and we hope we can attempt to entertain you for a long time to come.

So go ahead! Click on over to The Joy Cannon and see what you think! We’ve got 3 snazzy comics up there right now, and more are on the way!

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A Good Medium is Hard to Find

I’m relatively certain most psychic establishments are actually drug fronts. Like that one closest to my house down by the docks whose neon sign always flashes “Open,” but when I stop by after a 3-in-the-morning burrito run and knock on the door, a man with a frighteningly gruff voice tells me I’d better scurry on home if I know what’s good for me. My whole life, I was pretty sure there were no real Psychics, and by that I mean no people who actually earn their livelihood pretending to be psychic.

If Psychics were real, you’d expect they would be easy to find. They should anticipate exactly where you’ll be when you suddenly have the urge to hear your future told, and they should go to that spot years in advance and spray-paint their phone number on a nearby wall. And yet, like a coconut palm in a cold climate, Brian-the-roommate’s girlfriend’s multi-week search for a Psychic had borne no fruit.

That was all about to change…kind of.

***

One day, Brian, Rachel (the Brian’s girlfriend), and I found ourselves finishing a brunch that Sam-the-artist had failed to attend because he had to “do laundry,” a task so trivial and time-unsensitive that I was sure he either didn’t want to hang out with me or was trying to discreetly tell me he had a girl over. I’m leaning toward the former, because Sam has to “wash his hair,” “de-flea his cat,” and “look I just don’t want to hang out with you” way more than most people.

Anyway, we refused to be thwarted by Sam’s seemingly inexhaustible list of excuse-chores and told him to meet us at some Psychic we located through the very real magic of our iPhones. At first he said he needed to read up on the new clauses in local zoning regulations, but I reminded him he’d done that last week when I’d invited him to dinner, and, finally, he caved.

After some dangerous navigation by the directionally-challenged Brian, we pulled up to the Psychic’s house well in advance of Sam, who probably hoped that if he waited long enough, this endeavor would also bear no fruit and he wouldn’t have to drive anywhere. Wait. House?

Would a Psychic really operate out of a house? Confused, we took stock of our surroundings. The middle of a residential area. We weren’t about to knock on some random citizen’s door. What was this, the ’50s? The resident could be one incorrect door-knocking from totally losing it and destroying all hand-held technology in a luddite-infused rampage.

Then again, “Who were we to predict where a Psychic might live?” asked Rachel.

“If this is it, shouldn’t she know we’re out here and come to get us?” countered Brian. In the end, we decided to give her a call and see if we were in the right place.

Needless to say, we were nowhere near the Psychic.

In fact, she lived right next to Sam’s apartment!

Just then, Sam pulled up.

Frustrated at having been tricked out of his apartment in the first place, he was none too pleased to find that he’d just wasted his time. Luckily, my indomitable cheerfulness can usually cow people into conforming to my will, so within minutes, we were on route to the Psychic…for real.

It wasn’t the way I’d imagined. First, the windows were lined with security cameras (a drug front, perhaps?), and second, instead of the place being dark and mysterious with tapestries and crystal balls, it was bright white, completely clean, and scented, with Zen music wafting through the air. The actual Psychic was dressed in a woman’s suit and was much better groomed than I would have liked. Plus her teeth were all straight and she didn’t have an accent and she seemed pretty friendly. She didn’t seem the type to curse me with a horrible prophecy like I’d been hoping.

This would have been much more satisfying:

While Rachel got her psychic reading done (she repeatedly insisted on being alone so as to avoid any sort of cosmic interference with the mind rays), Sam, Brian, and I moseyed around the waiting area, looking at all the mystical objects that we could purchase. Along the walls were various chakras that could help with anything from intestinal blockage to a lack of sportsmanship. In the center of the room were five globes of oil, each with a different crystal inside, presumably so that the oils could absorb their various energies. Price tags were disguised as artsy placards so as not to ruin your suspension of disbelief.

After declaring Sam to be the Root Chakra, known for its inability to accept change, we decided to do a shared reading to save money. Who knew that Psychics were so expensive?! (Probably they did). After about 15 minutes, Rachel walked out with a demure, knowing look on her face.

Then it was our turn.

***

We enter the future-dispensing room, which contains a table and three chairs. It is not enough chairs. While debating the proper setup of the room and who will be forced to kneel, Sam dispenses off-hand remarks about the chair imbalance causing a disturbance in the reading,  then flashes the Psychic a devious grin. The Psychic, being able to read not only thoughts, but also overt body language and speech, takes an immediate dislike to the curly haired artist.

When it comes time to decide who should have their future told, we ask the Psychic to do all three of us, but she refuses, just like most women have. Chagrined, we ask her to pick one instead: “You’re a psychic,” we say. “Shouldn’t you know which one of our futures will be the most entertaining?”

She tries to avoid the question, but we press her, and finally she says, “Ok. Well, definitely not him,” and points to Sam.

“Why not me?” demands Sam petulantly, reinforcing the same anti-Psychic attitude that got him excluded in the first place. Eventually she explains that it’s because I “have the third eye.” Anything that links me to Bran Stark is pretty cool in my book, so I’m excited.

To perform the reading, she deals out tarot cards in a circle, then points to one or two of them and says something about my impending riches. Sam quickly chimes in. “What about those other cards? What do those ones mean?”

But she’s onto Sam’s tricks and manages to slither out of the grip of his question every time. “Oh, those death-looking cards aren’t important,” she might say, or “they’re facing north, so they’re irrelevant.” She’s not so deft at avoiding Brian’s questions, however, which are tossed in purely to increase the amusement factor. Questions like: “Will Russ have a lot of enemies?”

“Oh yes! A great number of enemies!” the Psychic replies enthusiastically, as if this is exciting news. She then expounds on how people will hate me through all walks of life, and that I will have to crush them to get ahead.

“I’m going to get ahead by crushing people?” I ask, saddened.

“Oh yes! You’ll crush a great many people!”

“Even his friends?” asks Brian.

“His friends especially!” says the Psychic with inexplicable joy. We discern that this Psychic responds positively to every question ending with an upward inflection. After all, you’d only ask a Psychic about things that were weighing on your mind, so confirming your fears gives her a solid chance of being correct. I don’t think she’d ever considered that a bunch of young guys might simply be messing with her, so I’m getting the most inaccurate reading of all time.

“Your constant friend-crushing will lead you to untold success,” she chirps. “In fact, you should start a company. Citrine crystals are particularly good at helping you achieve success. We have some in the shop.” This is particularly amusing since Brian and Sam are both starting a company together, but not me.

Brian takes off with this whole shaping-my-future thing. “Will Russ have problems with gambling?”

“So many problems! He better watch out or he’ll lose all his money!”

“What about alcohol?” I add.

“Definitely alcohol. But he won’t have to worry about that for—” She sizes me up to be in my early twenties— “five or six years. And if you’re really concerned, Amethyst crystals help protect you from basic vices.”

“Where are you getting all this?” asks Sam. “Is this anywhere on the cards?”

“Err…yes. See, it’s here, here, and here.”

“You’re telling me his gambling problems are in the knight of wands? How does that make any sense?”

“Well you see, it’s pointing left, meaning it’s off-balance, and knights balanced on horses, and betting on horse racing is a form of gambling, and Russ has the third eye, so I can sense it in him.” She quickly deals another dozen cards down over the last set and changes the subject.

“Will I have problems with my love life?” I ask.

“Many problems! And many enemies! Your wife will have a great deal of baggage, probably children. She’ll be divorced, and you’ll have to deal with all her ex-boyfriends, and even an ex-girlfriend or two.”

“So I’m Scott Pilgrim? I can dig it.”

“Basically,” says the Psychic. Those last two sentences may have happened only in my head, but that’s pretty much the main thing I took away from my reading.

Sounds like a pretty good future. I’ll be completely friendless, but satisfied by my work as a leader in a company I founded. I will crush everyone I meet to get ahead, and my wife will come preloaded with drama, which I will have to crush.

This goes on until she makes it through the entire deck of Tarot cards, which, if you’re trying to allay suspicion that you’re just flipping through the deck and pointing out cards at random, is a bad way to go about doing a reading. Once she’s out of cards, apparently the reading is over. “While you’re here, I have various crystals for sale that could help you with your future. Remember how I pitched them many times during your reading? You should now give me money for them.” It might have been more subtle than that.

Sam saunters up to the table, a mischievous glimmer in his eye. “So I was wondering, are there any crystals that can be used for evil? To harness like, dark energy or something?”

“Well,” stammers the Psychic, caught off-guard by such a question. “I suppose there are crystals that could do what you ask.”

“Which crystals? Tell me.”

“Um. Obsidian. Black Quartz. A few others.”

“And I could perform evil with these.”

“Well, in a sense.”

“So, where can I find these crystals?”

“If…If you’re going to use them for evil,” she says, mustering courage, “I simply can’t sell them to you. I’m sorry.”

Brian, overcome by uncontrollable laughter, does his best to drag Sam away. The Psychic watches as we exit her shop, all too happy to see us go.

You may think it ends here, but I know better. Sam will not be stopped. Someday, he will find those crystals, and that day will be our last.

 

And remember, if any of you are divorced, bi-curious, and burdened by single motherhood, hit me up!

 

 

Oh, and here’s one last joke for all you psychics out there:

 

 

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