June 24

How To Be The Most Successful Blogger. Ever.

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While the words successful blogger and Punk Rock Papa are not exactly synonymous, I decided to give it a go anyways and write a definitive guide to being a successful blogger. Sure, my ‘stats’ aren’t exactly gaudy, but who cares? I pay hundreds of dollars a year on internet writing so I must know what I am doing. Also, I am sort of published in an anthology, so you know I am the real deal.

There are many things that go into becoming a successful blogger. Do you feel like you don’t have the writing talent to be a successful blogger? Who cares?! Being successful isn’t about being good at anything. I like to call my approach to blogging the  Kardashiyesican Approach.

First and foremost, you have to find yourself an audience. Your audience, at first, can be family and those ride or die friends who always told you how good of a singer you were and how you should totally try out for American Idol. The ones who uploaded the grainy video of you singing to YouTube and then submitted it to America’s Funniest Home Videos. Show those friends your dreams and aspirations.

There are many different kinds of bloggers. Some write lists and some write recipes. Others like to take all their sessions of therapy and condense them into 500 to 1,000 word bursts to spew across the internet in between shares of funny memes and a disgust for the word ‘moist’. These are the successful bloggers, the real MVPs of the blogging world. You want to be one of them.

The Kardashiyesican Approach involves you being completely bare and pretending to be embarrassed about being ‘naked’ in front of strangers. When posting you should use phrases such as;

“This is really important to me.”

“I never thought I would find the courage to share this.”

“This has trigger warnings.”

It is really important to sell to your audience. Sure, the incident required a hundred hours of therapy and happened five years ago but you want to sell it like you are “Not over it but getting there.”

This is how the REAL bloggers do it.

Another good way to build an audience is to accidentally leak your blog at work. Tell Karen, who never keeps her mouth shut, about it. The key is to act super embarrassed.

“Oh, that reminds me of this thing I wrote. I am super embarrassed, I probably shouldn’t show you this. I trust you, Karen. I trust you. Well, I guess since it is on the internet it is there for everyone to see. No, Karen, scroll down. There. Yes, I blog. Don’t tell anyone. I trust you Karen, did you hit subscribe and share?”

A lot of bloggers will advise you to like and share other people’s work as well. That sounds like it requires a whole lot of reading and sharing that you could spend asking people to read your stuff. The best way to get around this is to just drop links to your blog on other people’s blogs. This will show them that not only did you “read” *wink* their work, but related to it so much it reminded you that everyone should be reading your words instead.

Feeling overwhelmed? Building an audience is important, there are many ways to do it. Sure, there may be ways that are more etiquette centric but let’s be honest here, you’re blogging because it is about you. The Kardashiyesican Approach isn’t about doing what is right or wrong, it is about being the most successful blogger you can be.

If you are really having a hard time building an audience, you can always just straight forward attack your peers. This method might even land you TV spots! I like this method, because it cuts out a lot of the social media aspect of successful blogging. Just write some vitriol, write an I’m not sorry post, write an I’m sorry post and then write a post about how you are seeking mental wellness.

Watch the stats stack up.

If you want to go the social media route, there are a variety of social media platforms to play on. I am what is known as a level 3 Facebook Guru. I have a ‘tribe’, a page with thousands of followers and an ability to say I was on Scary Mommy. Having a tribe is really awesome for exposure. You can use your tribe to build this really tight bond with your peers, in case you need to straight forward attack them and call them shit later. Tribes are also filled with really nice people, too.

We aren’t here for friends, we are here to be successful bloggers. This is a really competitive field and if, like me, you aren’t as talented as the rest, you can’t spare time to have friends or anything in your tribe. These are your competition for the trending topic. It is a constant battle of who had a worst childhood and if you want good sites to pick you up, you better start dipping into those repressed memories.

Social media provides a good platform to talk about yourself. I find it really important, in order to be successful, to always be talking about yourself or your family. Sometimes, my kids will want to do something and while it may seem like fun, I know Christine from whatever page has already done that this week so we have to do something else for the precious Facebook likes. Facebook likes equal more people reading your blog, something my children have a hard time comprehending.

Facebook is wildly important if you want to be successful. If you can be personable online, take other people’s statuses and reshape them so it sounds like an original thought, and get people to think you spend as much time with your family as you say you do online then you will be golden. It’s called balance. While I don’t advocate Munchausen Syndrome, I do advocate using makeup to put fun ‘boo-boos’ on your children. Sympathy likes are super in right now.

Lastly, and this is how you truly reach the pinnacle of success, you have to be angry. Not angry about your life, no, you have to be happy with your life. You need to be angry about something that doesn’t affect you. It could affect a sister’s best friend’s cousin, but not you directly. You have to be really upset though, as if your day-to-day routine of pretending to play with your kids at the park was truly affected by something that happened a million miles away from you. Lose sleep over something.

I like to say, “I know I was upset about that thing last week and can’t remember what cause I was fighting- but this, this truly traumatized me because of the magnitude at how everyone else is upset by it. I mean it, this has awakened my inner activist and I want to do somethi- Oh, wait, nevermind. I am really angry about THIS thing now.”

It is important to remember, the internet is a tough place to gain popularity if you aren’t a cat. I hope you can take the Kardashiyesican Approach and use it to turn childhood woe into viral posts. Because, at the end of the day, might as well do it for the likes.

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June 22

Dear Congress, You’ve Failed US

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I moved between sadness and a deepening sense of outrage. Unsure of what I wanted to say, just knowing I felt compelled to say something, I fought the urge to go on Twitter and tweet the words ‘fuck you’ to every single member of Congress.

I hold them all accountable. If 49 families never got to see their loved ones alive again, the least Congress can do is sit in a room until they come up with something. Anything. As I explained my frustration to a coworker, he said this,

“Dude, if they did nothing after a little white child was shot, why would they do anything now? They didn’t care when an all black church was shot up. They don’t care a gay club was shot up. They didn’t even care a little white child was shot.”

I wanted to argue with him but what could I say? Nothing has been done. As I was dwelling on 49 faces flying through my newsfeed, he put it in perspective to me. There are many more than just 49 families out there missing someone.

The sickening reality is this country has a problem. Our newsfeed reads how I imagine a third world country’s would.

Murder.

Violence.

Death.

Brutality.

Nothing from the government.

This is how I imagine unrest to be. This is how I imagine any good dystopian novel begins.

I will try to be as measured and open-minded as possible when writing this. I want a conversation. This country doesn’t need more fighting, it needs people talking. It needs proactive movement towards resolution.

Four gun measures were put forward. Two from the republicans and two from the democrats. All four failed to pass. It reeks of bullshit. Two parties, serving the interest of their party, driving the value of human life down.

This is serving self-interest, not the people. Thoughts, prayers and condolences, culminating into one big message of ‘fuck you, you’re on your own.’

Wall Street received a bail out. When will Congress bail the people out from the growing threat of being riddled with bullet holes?

I am sorry if my language is obscene, senator. To me, it is more obscene to do nothing in the face of catastrophic loss.

I didn’t agree with every measure put forward Monday. The idea of a list the government can add people to lackadaisically without my comprehension scared me. I have seen enough movies, read enough books and caught enough History Channel to know some things have the best intentions and fall into the worst hands.

But strengthening background checks? This doesn’t sound like disarmament to me. This doesn’t sound like the government coming to take anybodies guns. If a stringent background check finds you unfit to carry, maybe that problem is you, not the law. Who is hurt by background checks at gun shows?

I don’t understand and maybe that is my problem. Maybe my issue is I look at my children and know taking them out in public runs the risk of them being shot. And maybe the issue I have is knowing their senseless death wouldn’t matter to anyone but me and my family. This isn’t me trying to appeal to some sort of human emotion, The Senate has made it quite clear, again and again, they do not care.

Four measures and nothing. At my job, when we fail to reach a solution to a problem, people get fired. There isn’t much they can do in terms of lobbying for their job. If you are failing to fulfill your duties, you are removed and someone else is moved in to your place. Someone who will get the job done.

Something. Anything. Your well wishes aren’t keeping us alive.

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June 14

Death is Trending

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I want to be funny. I scan through the trending topics on social media, looking for a red cup fiasco or, at the very least, a child falling into an animal pit.

Instead I find photographs and stories of senseless murder. I see a country reeling on so many different levels.

I want to write a tell-all of the conference I went to. Be you at BlogU! The people I secretly didn’t like and the people I couldn’t believe I ever thought were anything short of wonderful.

Instead, I find myself reading article after article. Putting faces to forty-nine people who impacted someone’s life and are now impacting my life with their tragic and terrible fate.

I don’t want to be sad or make others sad. I don’t want to get into the never-ending fight.

Over guns.

And politics.

And Islam.

And homosexuality.

And religion.

And and and and and.

There is always another and. Another nasty fight. Faulty wording there for someone to pick apart, because diving into the depth of content is too much work. There are some who might read this and they will take from it I fight about gay political guns that practice Islam, because they are trying to pick something apart to deflect from the saddening sense of defeat we are all feeling.

Where can my children and I go today? Obviously we weren’t planning on going to a gay nightclub, although my wife and friends will go once in a blue moon to the local gay bar, where the woman my kids affectionately call Auntie Morgan helps those dressing in drag do their make up.

I can’t take my kids to school. That became clear on December 14th, 2012. An hour and a half away from where I live, to children only a few years older than my children are now.

I can’t take my kids to the movies. That became clear July 20th, 2012. At a movie I saw in theaters as well, with my wife on a late night.

But, all that happened in 2012, right? It has been four years, surely taking my kids out in public is safer now and I am grasping at straws to paint a history of gun violence.

April 15, 2013, the city of Boston, which happens to be my favorite city on the east coast, became the victim of an attack. The bomb detonating at a spot I have stood at on multiple occasions. I stood there as the Boston Bruins marched the Stanley Cup proudly through the city. I stood there cheering, with a sense of security and safety.

December 2, 2015, The city of San Bernardino, which happens to be where I was born and lived as a small child, became victim to a senseless and violent attack. Guns being drawn blocks away from where I sometimes envision revisiting as an adult.

November 29, 2015, the city of Colorado Springs, where I stayed as we laid my mom to rest. Senseless violence, in the city I told my wife I would like to move to. Where my brother lives the next town over with his wife and son.

These dates are all over the place and I apologize. I only name them as they come to mind and hurt the heart.

I don’t mention color. I don’t mention creed. And why would it matter? If it matters to you, it’s a pretty even spread of angry ranging white to brown. Off the top of my head its White American, White American, White Russian (not the drink, although I am starting to need one), Muslim American, White American. When we add Orlando, June 12th, 2015, the day before my birthday, it adds another Muslim American.

I believe even the Russian was a naturalized citizen. I can’t be sure, my head is beginning to spin at the thought of taking my children out into a world where there are so many different people angry and ready to kill others who are strangers to them and guilty of nothing more than wrong place, wrong time.

I don’t feel safe at the grocery store. Or the mall. I am sure I can find dates for those places being shot up. I am sure there are people out there, still reeling from loss who can remember those days from the moment they woke up to the moment they lost a child.

I don’t claim to know the answer. I don’t want to get into the never-ending fights, with all their ands attached.

I want to be funny. To make fun of trending content.

I want to feel safe when I take my family in public, not just scanning the surrounding area for places to shield my family in case of senseless violence. I want to say hello to a passerby without scanning them for the possibility of a hidden weapon.

I don’t know the answer and maybe that means I should shut up.

I do know I am afraid. The general consensus is so are many others. Because this trend of senseless murder isn’t going away, it’s getting worse.

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