What if I’m not the superhero? What if I’m the bad guy?
Aaaah, the Metaphor Post.
If you’ve never had a post go “viral,” try dipping your blogging toe into the world of metaphors for a sneak peak at what it feels like to have your content repeatedly shared within the blogosphere.
Why are they so popular? While they tend to say the same things over and over, a combination of namedropping and SEO juice has made them the most popular kind of blog posts. Well, that and listing “7 Secrets.” Some of my most favoritist metaphor posts for your reading pleasure:
- The Inigo Montoya Guide to 27 Commonly Misused Words ~CopyBlogger
- Lady Gaga’s 8-Point Guide to Larger than Life Blogging ~Pushing Social
- 9 Proven Tips For Creating An Extraordinarily Successful Blog [Lady Gaga Edition] ~ProBlogger
- The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Guide to Freelancing ~FreelanceSwitch
If you don’t feel like trolling through each article, here are my top tips (care of the infamous Edward Cullen of course) and very general advice on how to write your own metaphor post:
Make Sweeping Generalizations
Darkness is predictable, don’t you think?
Here’s the thing with metaphor posts: They usually don’t say anything new. It’s the same advice repackaged in way that’s relatable and exciting for readers. Remember that the century-old Edward has seen it all before, so unless you present the information in a way that no one has read you can kiss your viral post good-bye.
For the most successful metaphor post make sure to mention:
- Hard work
- Being bold/different/crazy (love this one)
- Taking care of your fans
- Banishing your fear
- Fake it ’til you make it
As long as you reference back to your chosen celebrity your readers will feel like they’re getting new information.
Tie Said Generalizations Back to a Quote
And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…
On that note, to ensure readers don’t think you’re just making sweeping generalizations (we don’t want them catching on, do we?), reference a quote from the celebrity/movie to drive the point home. While it’s helpful if the quote sounds like it’s referring to your point, it’s not actually necessary.
Tip: Most good metaphor posts start with a line from the movie or celebrity they’re referencing, so kick off with a famous one.
Reference the Success of Your Chosen Celebrity
Do I dazzle you?
The reason we eat up metaphors is because the subject of the post is usually a classic film or ragingly famous celebrity. So of course we want to be like them. Everyone knows who Lady Gaga is and writing about her superhuman ability to stand out makes us want to transfer those skills to blogging. Or Twitter. Or photography. Whatever.
For example, Edward Cullen has ladies swooning at his feet because he’s really, really ridiculously good-looking and doesn’t actually care about swooning girls. So to make readers swoon it’s important to make the blog the most attractive thing on the web and pretend like your readers don’t matter. Now that’s solid blog advice.
Choose a Celebrity/Film/Character That’s Actually Popular
It will be as if I never existed.
Unless you choose a celebrity people have actually heard of, your post won’t gain the kind of traction you imagined. The Justin Bieber Guide to Blogging will be a much more effective post than The Obscure Band That No One Has Ever Heard Of Guide to Twitter. Remember, metaphor posts are all about “relating” to familiar names, characters and films. If Cullen has taught us anything it’s that vampires are always a good bet. Though I’d stick to Twilight, True Blood or Vampire Diaries over Anne Rice any day.
Tip: To find a good metaphor topic simply Google “cult films” or just head over to Gawker and skim the top stories. Tween celebrities, classic movies and hot guys that turn into some sort of supernatural hero are all safe choices.
So there you have it. Edward Cullen just officially taught you about metaphor posts.
To be fair though, I enjoy reading the occasional metaphor post out of sheer entertainment. What about you guys, do you actually get anything of value from these kinds of articles or are they the equivalent of trashy tabloids? (Like what I did there? That’s called a metaphor.)