After reading a few things that unfortunately came across my feeds, I think I have divined the manual for how to craft a viral baby blog post that profits the author directly.
Find a fear, exploit that fear
This is pretty self evident. Pick a fear a parent might have. In ye granola baby blog day you’re probably looking at GMOs and SIDs. For parents who don’t quite grasp the ins and outs of the technical world we live in you’re going to go with apps and technology.
This is as good a starting point as any.
This one is also pretty easy. Make sure to position yourself on the side of the baby. Parents want to side behind anyone who has their baby’s best interests in mind, why wouldn’t they?
If it’s a GMO, we don’t know what that could do to our children (honestly, you never will as we’re not doing human trials on babies). If it’s a doctor, make sure the fact that they make money performing a certain procedure (vaccinations come to mind,) is first and foremost out there.
If it’s the government, rely on their track record in the past to seed doubt about the future.
If it’s technology use potential cancer risks or autism as your wedge.
False comparison combinations
Here’s a tricky one. Find something completely true. It can be research, it can be an unquestionable observation, it can even be a feeling if you need it to be squishy. This thing has to be completely true or at least acceptable without much question.
Say this thing, hammer it in your blog, immediately follow it up with something unrelated to that truth you just hammered in there.
Example: The Sun is hot. The sun contains mercury and neon. Landfills often leak mercury and other heavy metals into the water tables. If your baby’s got a fever it’s probably best to use bottled water as they might have mercury poisoning.
Well no, mercury doesn’t have anything to do with heat, it’s a poison that causes coordination issues and a disturbed feeling, no fevers. It’s a metal that expands volume when warm, and shrinks when cold. Also consuming something that’s related to something that’s hot doesn’t make you hot. Yadda yadda yadda
Rely on your reader being lazy
Most readers are going to sit there and go “huh,” accept, forward, and move on. Most of the stupid rumors out there have sites devoted to debunking them. For every 20 warnings from a concerned parent I’ve seen 21 of them were fake. Most could be disproven by a simple visit to Snopes.
Use APIs to hide your product tagging
Ever see a blog that directs you to an Amazon page that doesn’t appear to have a tracking code behind it? APIs like Viglink pass along the info and make sure that a link in from Baby Website X gets them paid regardless of whether there’s a tracking link on the URL. Haha.
Show a link to the product you’re bashing, show a link to the product you’re promoting, doesn’t matter, you’ll get paid for either that gets purchased and anything beyond that was added to the cart at the same time.
Doesn’t appear that you’re making any money from the link to the casual observer.
Cite sources you create
In an upcoming post we will have examined in detail how this is done we proved that sourcing your own material carries the same weight as sourcing another person’s material if you can’t find someone backing up your position.
If you need to, pay $9 and buy another domain name to source the information to a site that isn’t yours.
Cite thousands of years, then throw this out when inconvenient
For thousands of years parents have….. without the aid of….. and they did just fine.
What, we’ve never used essential oils for most of the purposes they’re being used for in baby craft until the past 20 years? Well chuck that quote, cite one village in the Ukraine that used something similar, drop that pesky 40 year life expectancy and an infant mortality rate of 30%
Your target audience is exhausted
They managed to reach Baby Blog X because they didn’t know the answer, or they’re surfing at 3am with a passed out infant in hand just begging for sleep. They don’t have the mental faculties they had even a year ago to see through some of the BS that your blog is spreading.
Derail facts with “opposing views”
If you were to say “humans need oxygen, but you can breathe underwater if you adopt a vegan diet and rub furniture polish on your neck” you’d have a nearly complete bullshit statement that nobody can get behind.
So make that statement, when your BS is called out say “some people hold opposing views”. Encourage your media team to use the terms “it’s nice to see a different side” and things that make it seem you’ve uncovered something fresh.
Use vague uneasiness as your backer
Most parents find that there’s a vague uneasiness as they’re tasked with finding all the problems and dangers to their child and protecting against it. Much like all the Matrix-esque movies out there people can’t believe everything is as it appears on the surface. There’s got to be a conspiracy. There’s got to be some reason this isn’t easy.
Ever think that perhaps they’re making it difficult just to drive profits by selling you the solution? Got the feeling that your communications are being monitored? Did you leave the stove on?
Ever think that perhaps there’s a reason some websites seem to find problems with other websites and authors?
Oh, I thought you loved your child?
Not following your warning, advice, blog post will lead to irrefutable long term damages, or at least leaves the impression that might happen if THEY have their way.
When attacked, change faces to draw support
“In the end, there’s nothing I can say more on this one as I’m just an overworked parent trying my best to do the best for my child.” Bam, from fear monger spewing trash to relatable parent in a sentence who might be misguided but isn’t doing this to make money.
Testimonials weigh more than research
Three people supporting a product or method works better than a number that says it works for 92% of people. Nobody checks who these people are, but they might check who the research team was that did this.
Haul out meaningless statistics
There are more Autistic children diagnosed today than ever before.
Er yes, the population is larger, the number of diagnosticians is larger, and the autism spectrum has expanded.
Your goal here is to spout them off in quick succession or overload the reader so they don’t question what the deal is.
Families with Microwaves were much more likely to have a child diagnosed with an Autism spectrum disorder.
What you mean families in developed countries might be able to afford to take their child to get a diagnostic over people cooking something they killed by what essentially is a camp fire?
You’ll need about three or four for your false comparisons section.
You’re the expert, unless confronted
You’ve got a blogging platform that costs about $50 a year obviously you know what you’re talking about. You spent the first year of your child’s life taking 400 pictures a day in various sets? Sure you know what you’re doing with all that in-between-photoshop time you spent with baby.
That’s about it. Feel free to add your own in the comments, and of course share this article with your friends if you value them.