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If you're looking for real advice on how to write a successful diary, please check out KelleyRN2's excellent diary. :)

As I go around DailyKos, I run across some truly terrible stuff. I mean, there is some stuff on here that makes me want to weep into a pile of fluffy bunnies. Stuff so terrible that it makes Married With Children seem like an amazing work of art. Stuff so horrifying that you feel compelled to give George Bush an A for effort.

To save you the embarrassment and me the tears, I'm going to give you some advice. You'll need a pencil, paper, Pet Rock, a bag of grapes, and to stop asking questions. Vamanos.

Step 1 -- An Idea

Usually when you click New Diary, you do so because you have a "good" idea. Now, I'm not one to tell you what is or isn't a good idea, but this is not it. Neither is this. Or this. Or this.

Get the picture? Good. Certain elitists will claim that this is a "progressive" site meant to be about "politics," but you know what? Ignore them. If you have premoom hanbags to sell us, do it! We welcome such writing with open arms, all waiting to display your delightful Guchee and Shanel purses.

Step 2 -- A Title

Titling your diary can be the trickiest part of the whole process. You need to pick something that stands out above the rest while remaining true to the content of your writing. Typing your title IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS does a great job at attracting attention. Throwing a few curse words in there to emphasize the importance of your issue is an added bonus.

Step 3 -- Tone

As you write your diary, remember that verbal tone doesn't come across the same way in text. Writing about gay marriage is usually serious and urgent, so you wouldn't practice your Carrot Top routine midway through the call to action. Writing about Obama is usually angry and hostile, so you wouldn't make a random joke about how Laosy your time in Asia was. Also remember that if you want to poke fun at certain people, you have to be annoying within reason. On an annoying scale from 0 to Bieber, you'll want to keep it at about half throttle -- usually around Ke$ha.

Step 4 -- Tags

Before you preview your diary, the server makes you add tags to bring your writing better visibility. You'll want to add a few thousand subjects that are relevant to your writings. I like to go by the Cenk Uygur standard, which is about 50-60 tags per sentence. If someone questions how the tag "Dilbert" is in any way, shape or form related to abortion, play 6 degrees of separation and bullshit your way through the response. It isn't hard.

Step 5 -- Contact Information

At the very end of your diary, you'll want to pimp as many of your social media pages as you can. It should look something like this:

Follow me on Twitter @dmerser91!
Send me an email here!
Read me on DailyKos here!
View my Netflix queue here!
Obtain my social security number here!

The more links, the better. By the time you click post, you won't be able to keep your adoring fans off of you.

Step 6 -- Tip Jar

This is the single most important aspect of writing a diary. To ensure you get the proper recognition you deserve, make sure you make your tip jar attractive as possible. If your diary is a complete turd, make a cute subject for the tip jar and post a picture of a pootie. You'll shoot to the top of the rec list no matter what. It's about time someone recognizes you for hawking Viagra like a boss.

Step 7 -- Criticism

Even if your diary is the best piece of literature ever written in the English language, you're sure to receive a little bit of criticism from time to time. Handling such commentary can be hard at times, and wildly varies from person to person, circumstance to circumstance. I'll give you an example:

If someone posts this:

The correct response is not this:

You'll want to appear as respectful as possible, all while handing the your critic a big old platter of STFU. Become the Marie Barone of DailyKos. You'll gain followers in an instant.

Step 8 -- Cleaning Up

After your diary falls off the rec/recent list into the vast tundra of internet obscurity, you'll want to do a little housecleaning. Sneak a few HRs in there at the last second so nobody can contest them. Tell a few people with recto-cranial inversions where to get off and how to self-fornicate. Hell, even edit the diary to make it look like 700 people recommended a bootleg copy of Gigli. Do whatever you need to do to close your ultra-successful diary, and have a good night's rest.

That's all there is to it! Now go out there and make me proud.

Originally posted to El Blogo de Weatherdudeo on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM PST.

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More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

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