I once wrote a post about my pets and titled it something like, “LIVE–ALL NUDE–XXX!!!.” It wasn’t dishonest–my pets do tend to run around naked most of the time (although Oscar the little dog does rock his pink t-shirt)–but it was a deliberately crass ploy to increase my readership. I wanted to see if more people would click on a post that promised a little prurience. Of course, I probably should have thought that one through a little more more: I mean, anyone who came to that particular post through a search engine was likely to be more annoyed than engaged upon discovering that he’d landed on the prissy semi-literary ramblings of a middle-aged woman who doesn’t even take her clothes off to sleep. (My son last night: “Haven’t you ever slept in the nude?” Me: “Not really–and definitely not since the 1994 earthquake.”)
What was I saying? Oh, yeah: so back when I did the nude pets thing, I was seeing if I could improve my readership with a little nudge, nudge, wink, wink. It didn’t work. But you know what actually DID bring people here in droves? My friend Claudia.
That’s right. One little mention of Claudia in the previous post and my readership tripled for several days. Apparently people like reading about Claudia. Because they like Claudia. Which might make you wonder why they don’t enjoy reading the posts that are just about me. Clearly they don’t like . . . not reading about Claudia.
I prefer to have people read my blog than not to. For one thing, it’s kind of a waste of time to keep writing posts if no one’s reading them. For another, some day I might actually have a new book to promote, and if people are paying attention to what I’m saying, I might actually have a way to promote it, something that’s so far proven elusive to me.
So here’s my plan and I really think it could work:
I kidnap Claudia and keep her in my attic. Every couple of days, I take a photo of her and make her tell me a funny anecdote, which I then post on my blog. I could call it . . . I don’t know, “Claudia Talks, But Only to Me.” Something like that. People will be so eager to hear what Claudia has to say, they’ll be running over to my blog.
Sure, Claudia will be a little limited, up there in the crawlspace with just some owls and squirrels and spiders for company but as I pointed out in my previous post, Claudia can take the slightest material and make gold out of it. Remember her posts about the squirrel she friended? She can write about anything. So she’ll make gold out of the attic rodents and bugs–and guess who’ll benefit from all that gold? ME, that’s who.
I really think this could work. I just have to figure out how to lure her here to LA when she never seems to leave her family in Ohio. But she has this compassionate heart–I could make up some story about how someone needs her help blah blah blah. Then, the second she arrives, I whisk her off to the attic, toss some wine and avocado and sugar up there (don’t ask) and a laptop, and the next thing you know, I’ll be racking up hundreds of new visitors to my blog.
What could possibly go wrong?