My Bad Advice, For Free, Just For You

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SO THE OTHER DAY, just for fun, I Googled “google autofill is not working.” Then I got thinking, what would you do if Google autofill was not working and you wanted to find out why, but you couldn’t remember the term “Google autofill” and needed Google to auto-fill it in for you so you could get your answer?

That’s when I stumbled on the greatest idea of all time.

Nowadays pretty much everyone writes a blog, and pretty much everyone who writes one is wondering how to get more traffic. So my idea is to raise blog traffic by writing a blog about how to get more traffic to your blog. Pretty soon everyone will be writing a blog about how to get more traffic to your blog, and we’ll all be getting more traffic to our blog, just by writing about it.

What I need to figure out is how all the cheques for this amazing idea can come to me, and not the other people writing about the same idea.

Here’s something I found on Seth Godin’s blog that’s totally relevant:

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I found this post by Googling “most advice is bad,” which is something I’ve also been thinking a lot about lately. That’s because I’ve read a ton of blog posts about blogging. Much of the advice boils down to this: dig deep and write stuff that is mind-blowingly profound and passionate, that grabs people by the ears and changes their lives. Um, okay. Except for the ear grabbing part, which I’ve already implemented in my day-to-day life, I don’t know how practical this advice is. But I admit it does sound like great advice. Until you think about what the Internet actually is.

I mean, it’s nice and all that you’ve just posted your ear-grabbing story of perseverance and triumph. And we’d all love to read it, but we’re busy over here, at the fart remix of Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda. Which by the way is really funny, so come on over!

It’s not that I’m against giving and taking advice: it’s that there are so few areas of life where I feel I really could give 100% solid guidance. And no one ever asks for advice in these areas. Like, for example: “Wayne, do you have any advice for a young person nowadays who is starting out as a writer and wants to lose her house keys at the Rite Aid?”

Boy, do I.

I’d take that young person aside and tell her about shallow coat pockets and how, when you’re at the mall, your inclination is to take off your jacket and fold it over your arm—so that the pocket is now upside-down, where gravity can do its work.

Then, once I’d earned her trust, I’d give her extra advice on how a young writer nowadays can lose the keys to the rental moving van and accidentally put her house keys in the rental car late-night deposit box. Now that I think about it, my blog should really be advice on things I myself have done with keys: advice on how to throw them into the building’s trash chute, advice on how to leave them on the subway, advice on recycling them, or advice on how to give them to your five-year-old so he can amuse himself while you talk to a friend—by tossing them from the Alexandra Bridge into the Ottawa River. (This comes with extra-bonus advice on how to find a locksmith.)

All of these have been tested, by me. Trust me, they work.

I guess the good thing about making a lot of mistakes is that one day you really do know the difference between good ideas and bad. That’s because you’ve done the eight gazillion stupid things, and there’s only so much left to do, so at least some of it has to be smart stuff.

But then I go to the mall and I think, maybe it’s all bad advice, but some of it is so bad it’s good, like how hipsters see Hall & Oates. Next thing I know Bob Fossil is in my head singing “I Can’t Go For That,” and I’m all confused, and when I reach for my keys they aren’t there anymore.

I’m sure to have more bad advice on Twitter | Also, here’s a book of mine

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