A Baker’s Dozen Tips on How to Be a Very, Very Popular Blogger

12.11.2006 | 2:37 pm

A Note from Fatty: Hey, be sure to take a moment and check out the latest partner in my Ads-for-Schwag program: Matisse & Jack’s Bake-at-Home Energy Bars! As you may recall, when they sent me a couple boxes to try out, my friends and I loved these bars. I asked them (the makers of the energy bars, that is) to join the Ads-for-Schwag program, and they’re in! Be sure to watch for tomorrow’s contest; it will be your chance to win five boxes of what I would have until now considered an oxymoron: delicious energy bars.

As one of the world’s most popular bloggers (currently ranked 133,370 according to Technorati, and rising fast!) I often get email from people who wish that they, too, could be an awesome, popular blogger that everyone loves and wants to emulate. “How do you do it, Mr. Fat Cyclist?” they ask. “How can I, too, be an an awesome, popular blogger that everyone loves and wants to emulate?”

It’s a worthy question.

Most world-class, A-list bloggers would never reveal the “secret sauce” that makes their blog stand apart from the rest. That is because most popular bloggers–unlike me–are mean people who hate you very much.

I, on the other hand, am happy to share my wisdom with the little people (When I call you, my readers, “little people,” by the way, I am not referring to your size, but rather to your importance, relative to me).

Here, then, is everything you need to become a very, very popular blogger. Just like me.

  1. Find a niche with a large potential audience. No matter how excellent of a writer you are (I am an excellent writer, by the way), no matter how engaging your topics (extremely engaging, in my case), your audience is limited to the universe of people with the same interests you have. With that in mind, I chose “cycling” — the most popular sport in the United States — as my topic. I then carefully avoided unnecessary topical restrictions by cross pollinating “cycling”–an extremely intense physical activity–with “fatness,” the result of being a couch potato. With all my bases covered, how could I lose?
  2. Come up with a name that you’ll be proud to tell people about. Once you are a famous and very, very popular blogger, you will — no doubt — want to tell your friends and family (along with complete strangers, if you can find a convenient way of bringing it up) about your blog. So be sure your blog isn’t named something that sounds foolish and embarrassing. Astutely, I named my blog “Fat Cyclist,” and am happy to report that telling people my blog name never ever ever results in awkward silence, confusion, or expressions of sympathy.
  3. Base the name of your blog on a clever pop culture reference that’s certain to be around for a very long time. I’m certain that you, like most everybody, realizes that I launched “Fat Cyclist” right about the time that the very popular Showtime television series “Fat Actress” came out. As you no doubt know, I was leveraging the massive popularity of the television show as a catalyst toward my own success. (I’m sure season 2 will be coming out any time now.)
  4. Keep your posts nice and short. Get right to the point. Your audience doesn’t have a lot of time to read, and won’t put up with long, rambling introductions that amount to nothing more than extended throat clearing. Note, for example, how I wrote a mere six paragraphs before getting to this list.
  5. At some point, get really offended at some trivial thing someone does and have a prima-donna-ish fit. Make veiled references to ending the blog altogether. Sulk for a week or so, then come back to the blog and act as if nothing ever happened.
  6. Monetize. As you become popular, you’ll have a chance to advertise. This is what I have done, and now I am rich! I don’t want to brag or anything, but I am pretty close to the point where my Google Ads will pay for my hosting costs next year. I haven’t quit my day job yet, but hey. I figure it’s only a matter of time before I can become a truly full-time blogger.
  7. Be really funny. People love jokes! Especially puns!
  8. Talk a lot about your friends, acting as if they really existed. As a blogger, you very likely don’t have any actual friends. And since you spend all your time blogging, you probably aren’t going to make any, either. What’s the solution? Make up names for pretend people, and then talk about them as if you’re the best friends ever. I, for example, have made up Dug, Bob, Brad, Kenny, Rick, Dan, and another Rick (If these people were real, don’t you think at least one of them would have a less whitebread name?).
  9. Don’t blog about blogging. Nobody’s interested in hearing your advice about blogging. Luckily, this rule doesn’t apply to me.
  10. At some point, completely lose the original point of the blog. If, for example, you create your blog to shame yourself into losing weight but then find that people are willing to stick around even when you’re not talking about losing weight, it’s perfectly OK to stop talking about losing weight at all. Even, hypothetically, if it’s winter and you are currently packing on the pounds at an unprecedented rate.
  11. From time to time, blog about topics that use terms that will bring inadvertent search result traffic. I, for example, get considerable traffic from people who are interested in concocting their own ephedrine stacks. And from people who are interested in Levi Leipheimer (just think how pleased Levi must be that my fake press release is currently both the fourth- and eight-most popular result on a Google search of his name).
  12. Never embarrass yourself. Your dignity is your most important asset. If you start writing about things that expose your flaws–even if those flaws tend to be startlingly common–your readership won’t respect you. Instead, write about your successes and conquests. People love to here about other peoples’ triumphs, and won’t roll their eyes and think you’re an especially vain blowhard at all.
  13. If you get desperate, do a list. Once in a while, you won’t have anything useful to say. When this happens, put together a loose collection of barely related thoughts and post that, calling it a “Top 10″ or “Baker’s Dozen” or something like that. Nobody will call you out on your sloppy, lazy post.


  1. Comment by dug | 12.11.2006 | 3:11 pm

    technorati is a cool word. so is glitterati.

  2. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 12.11.2006 | 3:56 pm

    Speaking of whitebread, have you ever considered our last names. It’s like you pre-screened all your friends for their anscestor’s likelihood of being from the UK.

    I caught that Fat Actress tie-in right of the bat, because I’m very hip.

  3. Comment by MTB W | 12.11.2006 | 4:05 pm

    Now I understand about the “FC v. Dug” challenge with each other’s bikes part of the bet! Since Dug is made up, FC can’t lose. In fact, he can write an incredible story about how he beat Dug and nobody will be the wiser. FC does a good job of even creating comments from Dug, just as if Dug existed.

  4. Comment by regina | 12.11.2006 | 5:39 pm

    it is nice for us because your really committed to your make beleive friends, like how you get actors to portray them in your moab video. I really appreciate that kind of effort.

  5. Comment by Terri | 12.11.2006 | 5:41 pm

    Now I am starting to doubt if you ever were really fat.

  6. Comment by Al Maviva | 12.11.2006 | 8:02 pm

    If these people were real, don’t you think at least one of them would have a less whitebread name?

    I just figured you and all your friends were Mormon with those names. Then again, a lot of Mormons have really funky names, especially the girls, to the extent you could have a game show, “Mormon, or Black?” based on first names and patterned along the lines of “To Tell the Truth.” They’d have to hide the contestants behind screens though, otherwise we could probably tell the difference, most of the time. Not that the demographics are sort of pale out there, but Orrin Hatch has more rhythm than anybody else in the state, and the guy driving the Wonderbread truck has to feel a little nervous and unsure whether his product measures up. Not that I’m throwing stones here, I’m just observing based on my experiences when I lived out in your general neighborhood. And if you must know, my religion has funny aspects too. For instance, did you know that for us Catholics, if you get meat near us during lent, we lose all our strength, just like Superman in the presence of kryptonite? It’s true. Mehmet Ali Agca never actually shot the Pope, he merely threw beef jerky in his general direction on a Friday when the Pope was out riding his fully enclosed recumbent. It was tragic. Dozens of devout Catholics who were cheering him up the hill were wounded in the blast, and some of those who smelled it (“Teriyaki” flavored, apparently) displayed symptoms akin to those WWI vets who were gassed at Ypres. Plus we have to kneel in church every time we improperly think about sex, which explains a lot about our religious services.

    But at least we aren’t named LeGrand or Chastitea.

    What were you talking about again?

  7. Comment by Al Maviva | 12.11.2006 | 8:06 pm

    BTW: You forgot #14.

    14. Rely on your dingy commenters to write something stupid, which starts a back and forth in comments, and if it is a good one, it relieves you of the duty to come up with fresh material for a day or two.

  8. Comment by Jill | 12.12.2006 | 1:01 am


    I just about snorted Lucky Charms out my nose on your “Mormon or Black” comment. I have an old friend named LaVaugn. Guess which once she is.

  9. Comment by tayfuryagci | 12.12.2006 | 2:32 am

    you talked about #9 like 3 time before, getting redundundundant?
    and wasn’t the blog ALL about embarrassing yourself at the start?

    Al did you know Agca claimed to be the Messiah when he was handed back to Turkey?

  10. Comment by Tim D | 12.12.2006 | 3:41 am

    I missed the Fat Actress tie in because I’ve never heard of it. In fact many of the cultural references are lost on me. I too appreciate the effort that goes into the made up friends. Especially after you ditched the made up sisters. By the way, Brad is a pretty unusual name over here. A quick run through our address book (15,000 names) shows 2 Brads, compared to 72 Tims for example.


  11. Comment by Al Maviva | 12.12.2006 | 3:54 am

    Jill, I wouldn’t even want to hazard a guess. I’m going to have to ask my friend LaDonna. Tayfuryagci, I had no idea about Agca, just figured he was a mentally screwed up individual. Knowing that he had delusions of messianity sort of resolves any questions I may have had on that point.

  12. Comment by sans auto | 12.12.2006 | 5:35 am

    Speaking of imaginary friends… I think Fatty is occasionally one of my son’s imaginary friends. Fatty, Mickey Mouse and Pooh. The kid may get us in trouble some day as we’re walking around town and he turns around and says, “hurry up Fatty”.

  13. Comment by JEB | 12.12.2006 | 6:52 am

    I offer up #15:

    15. Don’t ever use sarcasm. No one understands it or appreciates it. The threat of a response from a German doctor should be a sufficient deterrant.

  14. Comment by regina | 12.12.2006 | 7:25 am

    Al Maviva, if thats your real name, and your a real person, and not some odd computer generated thing that fatty dreamed up, you may be onto something. hehehe, this is fun. Fatty your probably not real in the photos are you, your probably some 12 year old in his moms basement making things up, a 90 pound weakling. Or maybe you are fat, and facing forty, in your moms basement making things up. Ok this may be getting out of hand…

  15. Comment by Rocky | 12.12.2006 | 7:28 am

    Jill and Al–LaVaugn is likely both. That’s my vote.

    Fatty, you need a Billy. Billy would be a good addition to the group. And a Bucky. And maybe a Ted. More whitebread, please.

  16. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 12.12.2006 | 7:38 am

    Here’s how you make a Utah Mormon name. Take a regular two-cyllable name put an “La” in front of it and replace any “i” with a “y”. If there is no “i”, just sprinkle a “y” or two into the name.

    Example: Elden becomes Laeldyn.

  17. Comment by dug | 12.12.2006 | 8:30 am

    and yet, with all the crazy names and spellings around here through the magic of mormon ebonics, er, morbonics, and yet, elden’s name continues to be the most morbonic. brad, rick, rick, dan, kenny, bob, and doug? we might as well be from minnesota. wait a minute.

  18. Comment by fatty | 12.12.2006 | 9:37 am

    rocky – so, why did your parents name you rocky? is it because they really liked rocks?

    dug: i’m under no illusion as to the unusualness of my first name, and especially the spelling. evidently, “elden” is the 1215th most popular name in the US, out of 1129 total names catalogued. no, i don’t understand how that’s possible either (http://www.namestatistics.com/search.php?name=elden). for what it’s worth, doug is the 323d most common name. dan is the 179th most common. tayfur doesn’t show up in the database at all.

    and not that anyone cares, but joe is the 51st most common name in america. so common it’s almost trite, really.

  19. Comment by tayfuryagci | 12.12.2006 | 9:53 am

    well if there was a Turkish name catalogue tayfur would be AT THE BOTTOM. seriously. in 20 years I have seen only one other Tayfur. How many Elden’s have you seen?

    Laeldyn sounds very Celtic.

  20. Comment by Jsun | 12.12.2006 | 11:38 am

    I have never actually seen a baker’s dozen at a bakery. If anyone has, its got to be the fat guy with imaginary friends. So again, I wonder why I haven’t ever seen a real baker’s dozen.

    Now that you have given us addicts the recipe to make the shtuff. We’ll all be cooking up blogs in our kitchens and won’t need your high-priced, sorry-assed pedalling.

  21. Comment by fatty | 12.12.2006 | 12:02 pm

    jsun – the bakery section in the grocery store where i grew up always gave you a baker’s dozen. perhaps that’s why i’m at least 1/13 fatter than everyone i know.

  22. Comment by Al Maviva | 12.12.2006 | 12:25 pm

    1/13th fatter than everybody you know? Does that include LaVaugn and Legrand?

    I don’t know about you sometimes, Laeldyn.

  23. Comment by bikemike | 12.12.2006 | 12:27 pm

    my name’s mike. i got nothing, really. i’ll just sit this one out.

  24. Comment by Lemyke | 12.12.2006 | 12:41 pm

    My name’s Mike too. Short for Michael, the number 4 name in the country. Let’s hear it for Mike! We’re number 4! We’re number 4! Lemyke wasn’t in the names directory.

  25. Comment by Theodore William Buckmeister | 12.12.2006 | 12:49 pm

    Looks like I can fill all of Rocky’s requests for new members of the Wonderbread Gang. Some call me Ted, some call me Bill(y) and a few even call me me Buck. So, whaddya say, can I be your new found friend?

  26. Comment by fatty | 12.12.2006 | 12:53 pm

    today’s comments have spun wildly, weirdly out of control. i couldn’t be happier. well, actually i could be happier. but i am happy; that’s my point.

  27. Comment by Bryan | 12.12.2006 | 1:07 pm

    Hey there, are you guys making fun of my name?

  28. Comment by Boz | 12.12.2006 | 1:28 pm

    dug – the current minnesota trend in child names is to go back to the scanda-hoovian names, such as Lars, Inga, Sven, Karl, Oden, ect… Ufda, baby boomers have too much time on their hands.

  29. Comment by Lemyke | 12.12.2006 | 2:54 pm

    I noticed that this blog entry was filed under the category of Pointless Rambling and that the Pointless Rambling category has more than double the number of entries than any other category listed. Maybe that is another key attribute of an extremely popular blog, pick a theme and write all around it.

  30. Comment by dug | 12.12.2006 | 3:41 pm

    oden? oh to be named oden. that would rock. if i ever get a dog again, i’m naming him oden.

  31. Comment by DelMar Eccles KeepYerBag | 12.12.2006 | 4:55 pm

    And then there are the well-heeled Utahns. . .

  32. Comment by fatty | 12.12.2006 | 6:53 pm

    dug – you are not allowed to have any more dogs.

  33. Comment by sans auto | 12.12.2006 | 9:45 pm

    I like the Mormon name systems, like naming your kids Justin, Jessica, Julie, Jared, Jason, Jennifer, Joseph and Jed. Or even better: McKay, McKenzey, etc.

    I also like the alphabetical system, you name the first one Andrew, then Brittney, then Cathy, Debbi, etc. THen I wonder when I hear someone yell, “Eh, you, get back here” was that Eh you, or were they refering to kids A and U? Really it would be sort of convenient.

  34. Comment by Il Falco | 12.12.2006 | 10:11 pm

    I miss Bigmike in Oz. Where has he been lately?

  35. Comment by Dad2BJM | 12.12.2006 | 10:25 pm

    My wife lived in LaVernal LaUtyh, and she knew a family last named Smuin(sp?), and they named the kids so that the first letter of there names in age order spells Smuin – so they have a Ulene.

    You know that other crazy LaUtah Morman name thing is the first name is an initial as in N. Eldon – which is my guess for the origins of Fatty’s “Pen Name” ’cause surely his parents are not that mean. That would be almost as bad as naming your kid Nephi or Abinadi. But wait I have seen those names – shakes head and sits down with head in hands.

    Have a good one,


  36. Comment by Caloi-Rider | 12.12.2006 | 10:52 pm

    Hey now, let’s not forget the influence certain car-racing circuits have had on new child names recently. My friend was in a doctor’s office when she overheard a woman refer to her two children as “Race” and “Nascara” (ahem, Nascar-uh, if you didn’t get it the first time).

  37. Comment by Theresa | 12.13.2006 | 12:07 am

    When I was little, I was the only ‘Theresa’ in school. I liked it that way. Now that I’m 40years from public school, all of sudden there’s all kinds of Teresa, Theresa, Teressa, Therese…..I don’t like the trend! I got used to having a nice name no one else had!!

  38. Comment by fatty | 12.13.2006 | 6:30 am

    dad2bjm – nope, elden is my real name. 3rd generation even. you can learn all kinds of stuff about me by googling “elden nelson.” i think there are only two of us in the world. the other one is a lutheran priest.

  39. Comment by regina | 12.13.2006 | 7:10 am

    I will ask, why is dug not allowed to have any more dogs, what does he do to them?

  40. Comment by Rocky | 12.13.2006 | 7:31 am

    Fatty – Rocky = not whitebread. And no one has ever asked if my parents liked rocks. That was very clever.

  41. Comment by Tim D | 12.13.2006 | 7:56 am

    Regina, Dug isn’t allowed dogs because he shaves them, paints them pink and releases them into Hog’s Hollow.

  42. Comment by Matt | 12.14.2006 | 10:03 am

    Dude, you’re turning into Scoble…we tune in to learn about your bodily functions. Please return to your normally scheduled programming.

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