Drunken Speculation

How to start a beer blog

GollumLots of people have asked me how to get started in beer writing. And when I say lots of people, I of course mean none. How hard is it supposed to be?

  1. Go to wordpress.com
  2. Sign up
  3. Start writing about beer
  4. Publish
  5. Repeat from step 3
  6. ???
  7. Profit / wait for the State Library to recognise the excellence of your compositions

Boak and Bailey wrote a more in-depth primer a few weeks ago. I thought I’d chip in with my tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the last two years. These will serve the more advanced writer; the ones who’ve written a hundred posts and still not received any free beer in the mail.

Elevate brewers to the status of übermensch

Brewers are simply better humans – stronger, smarter and better looking – than the rest of us. Brewers are right up there with professional athletes, artists and drunk hobos with respect to their rich contributions to the cultural fabric that is society. Or at least those athletes and artists who have never had any media coaching.

lemur4

The brewer’s only weakness is public speaking. Some have rhetorical skills on par with those of a lemur, seen here expounding the rapid growth of the industry.

Scientists researching cures for cancer* aren’t fit to polish their boots. Police, firefighters, paramedics all get paid to do what they do; brewers are in it for the love.

If asked, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that brewers are gods and goddesses who walk amongst us mere mortals and deign to grace us with their presence.

You cannot be too effusive in your praise of beers, breweries and brewers. In particular, aim your praise at those who are active on social media. Those retweets really add to the hit count and increase the chance of freebies down the track.

*Of course, it’ll turn out that isomerized alpha acids cure cancer and I’ll have to shut my goddamn mouth right up, won’t I?

Ignore all negative health and social implications of alcohol

Remember that time beer geeks rioted because they couldn’t get a specific beer?

Remember that time that drunken domestic abuse was a major factor in Prohibition?

Remember that time that drinking, you know, kills people?

Well ignore all of that. No one wants to hear about it, you big party pooper. Most people are looking for an intellectual justification (read: lie to cover-up) the fact that they like getting drunk on beer. Seriously, if it wasn’t that, why don’t we all drink non-alcoholic beer?

Leave the judgemental shit to journalists and the mainstream media.

panda

Here’s a picture of a baby panda to help cleanse your palate of the previous distasteful discussion about your health.

 

Never publish on weekends

The only reason anyone reads your blog is to distract themselves from work they should be doing. Weekends are when your readers aren’t tied to their desk and free to pursue literally anything else that could be more fun.

Make sure your writing doesn’t require anyone has to think too hard

Here’s a great example: don’t use the word übermensch to make a point. Especially don’t use it if everything you know about Nietzsche has come from glancing through the Simple English Wikipedia article. Definitely don’t go out of your way to add a diaeresis.

Here’s another: I’ve now written three posts, totalling 3,100 words, on the “craft beer” “bubble”.

Yes, I have to use two sets of airquotes for the one expression.

Yes, I have to use two sets of airquotes for the one expression.

Total hits for all three? 211. That wank about Dante? 95 and both of those got a leg-up from Beer is Your Friend. Talking about your co-generation? 20. Let’s not even delve into the dozens of posts that were legitimately terrible and have a hit count that can be recorded on one hand.

On the other hand, WTF is a Lupulin Shift?, the most fillerest of column-inch filling posts that was meant to promote a one-off event, is sitting on well over 1,800 hits and is the top result on Google for “lupulin shift” (at least, it is when I search it).

“Stick to beer, keyboard monkey”

Don’t ever, ever write about anything other than beer. Even if the post is only tangentially related to beer, that’s better than using your platform to effect positive social change or push a progressive political agenda. No one cares what you think, just get on with the suds-spokesmanship.

Produce as much clickbait as humanly possible

Clickbait, as defined by the common internet commenter, is something which the reader finds personally offensive and has to absolutely share with you and everyone else how offensive it is.

Do these people even know how to write clickbait?

Do these people even know how to write clickbait?

Clickbait takes other forms:

  • listicles that exclude obvious things that should have been included
  • listicles that include obvious things that should have been excluded
  • posts that are too praiseworthy of things that are bad
  • posts that are too harsh on things that are good (add bonus points when those things are objectively terrible)

The only motive they can ascribe to you writing such an odious piece of literary garbage is getting hits because it totally matters whether a post gets ten, a hundred or a thousand hits. You’re probably in the pay of someone or another anyway. How else do you explain arriving at any opinion that isn’t expressly approved of by your reader?

Got ya with that one didn’t I, Gollum? Get back under the mountain where you belong.

4 comments

  1. Jack

    “This guy shares his secrets about writing about beer on the internet! You won’t believe number 4! Kirkegaards hate him!”

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