BY ALEX RUSSELL
Love stinks, right?
That’s one way to go with your Valentine’s Day post, for sure. No matter if you write for a personal blog or a national column, this week if you’re in the business of talking you have to talk about Valentine’s Day. What else are you going to talk about, the Olympics? Name six people in the Olympics. Do it. Name any that aren’t Shaun White.
Trick question! No one’s at the Olympics. Those are just an obvious ploy to give lonely hearts something to talk about this week rather than think about the greatest, loveliest day of the year!
Or it sucks and love is a myth. Haven’t decided yet. Might not be a thing. Something something divorce rate.
Maybe you’re going on a “Screw Cupid” bar crawl or maybe you’ve got a lovely evening somewhere in the heat mines deep beneath your city planned with a special someone. Maybe you’re single and damned proud you don’t need a man/woman/person dressed as a dragon to have a good night. Maybe you’re with someone and secretly waiting for Valentine’s Day to break up with them in dramatic fashion.
(If you’re doing that last one, and you shouldn’t, send me a Vine of the worst part. But don’t do it. But Vine it if you do.)
Your personal situation doesn’t matter, intrepid columnist! You have to be able to read the masses and determine what they want to read and click on! You have to read America’s mind and tell this damn country how to feel about this. Is it awesome? Is it the worst? Can you support your claim with a pithy tweet or sixteen .gifs? You’re gonna need help.
Decide if love is cool right now or not. A good way to do this is to judge recent events. No one wants to read your Tiger Woods joke in a piece about how LOVE STINKS. You need an up-to-date celebrity. No one is hotter right now than Shia LaBeouf, who just ripped off an entire work of art nearly word-for-word and then threw a public tantrum about having to apologize. What does he have to do with love? I can’t write it for you. You need to unlock those secrets. If you’re stuck, remember, just throw some .gifs in!
You’re also going to want a great headline. People love “sucks” and “worst” and “best” and “awesome.” You should use all four. “VALENTINE’S DAY SUCKS WORST BEST AWESOME!” returns zero hits in quotes on Google. You’ll be first. Being first is key for SEO, so go get them hits, friend. Blaze a trail into Web 2.0!
People love sharing content relevant to them. That’s why you should use exact names of people you know will read your thing. Let’s try one out: Brad Williams, you know what you did. Do I know someone named Jimmy Williams? Is he the greatest evil known to this once-great nation? Maybe I do and maybe I don’t, but there’s the next lesson: love is mysterious. You should be mysterious, and possibly invent a person named Jimmy Williams.
It might seem to be obvious, but it’s really important to just talk about love like it is either the most important or least important thing in human existence. People love extremes. If they think it’s a Hallmark holiday, they’ll want you to say that. If they love spending one day every year reminding the 80 people who haven’t blocked them from Facebook updates that their significant other could kill them in some sort of street fight where love was a weapon, they’ll want you to say that, too. Put words in people’s mouths and they will share you to all of their followers on Twitter and Tinder and Minecraft and whatever.
Propose for your friends. Everyone knows that couple that just should shut up and do it already, so nudge them in the right direction. It’s Valentine’s Day! Paris! Champagne! You can tie this to the previous tip about relevant content. Now you’re thinking with synergy! Your friends will thank you for this, just wait for the wedding invitations to roll in and you’ll make bank. Wedding invites come with cash, right?
Above all else, of course, you want to come off as disaffected. Valentine’s Day is beneath you. Your love is pure, special, different, and just plain better than the love that other people have. Your ultra-specific gestures are amazing while theirs are stupid. All you need is for everyone to know how above the whole thing you are. Might I suggest writing some sort of guide to Valentine’s Day? Oh wait, too late, this one’s perfect.