It was scary.
Most of the high-ranking blogs seem to be platforms for advice. Everybody apparently insists on giving me hints how to improve my life in any conceivable aspect. Who needs that? Who believes that? Who wants to know? And who makes THEM the experts to tell ME "How to Negotiate in Three Easy Lessons"?
There is this humunguous number of 'how-to'-advices combined with the 'n steps to become...(a successful rocket-scientist/a top-rated womanizer/jobless)' workings that obviously catches on. If the advice is packed into catchy phrases, numbered, spiced up, then it will inevitably make your blog one of the more clicked ones out there.
Did anybody ask for this flood of advice? Don't I stand a chance to die dumb?
James Altucher will not like it when I say that his site is on the shortlist of those I return to whenever I want my Adrenalin-level to go up. And up it goes - again and again.
Because *he wants it so*. Believe me, it is handycraft. Read (if you care to) the "33 unusual tips to being a better writer" . It is actually quite entertaining (and very good advice in parts!).
But what drives a person to increase the click-rate on his site - at any price. It must be a marketing-thing; something from the flesh and bones of those sales-persons who initially designed and (ab-)used the ill-labeled 'social media'. Only a few years ago it was imperative to collect as many followers or friends as possible within all of those networking-tools. You could actually buy followers by the thousands from companies skilled in that trade. And then you were told that those numbers show your impact - and impact meant importance, of course! Ten thousand followers make you a thought-leader. 50 followers only - you are a dweeb.
At the core it is about 'social branding'. People want to be known for something. They want to be experts on something. Which is ok. But it ends up as a fight for high ranking in google searches. And this is recognition substituted by SEO-skills. It is reminiscent of the misperception of the word 'respect' in the dark and iffy side-streets of american big cities. Those scary folks out there demand 'respect' and substitute it by 'fear'.
The seo-optimizing blog-scene hopes for recognition and substitutes it by page-rank.
This is a smoke-screen. Reality works the other way around: reputation, respect, skill, trust prove themselves again and again to be among the most valuable currency in human interaction, no matter by which medium. This currency buys you an audience, followers - even friends. There is no substitute for the real thing.
And the "3 things you should never forget"? Only you know.