Cup of Copy: Anti-Memes

Throughout the blogging world, I have begun developing feelings about certain posts. There are a variety of writers in the blogosphere, some good, some bad, and some that really grind my gears.

grindsgearsvia

The bloggers that have started to get on my nerves are those who insist on scattering memes, gifs, and YouTube videos throughout their articles.

The Meme

Memes can be put into an article that have nothing to do with the article.

Look at the meme in the paragraphs above.  The only reason that I added it was because I used the phrase “grinds my gears” but it adds no value to anything being said throughout the article.

Bloggers and writers oftentimes put memes in with a stock rather than customizing the meme for this specific use. This not only shows a lack of wit, but also a general laziness that has become common among writers who use excessive links as a crutch in their writing.

One or two memes riddled throughout a couple posts is fine, but overusing them to add humor is a distraction. The writer should add value to their own writing and not depend on the work of others to enhance their work.

Some people love memes. Those people are wrong.

The YouTube Video

One link to a YouTube video isn’t what I am talking about.

I’m talking about the excessive linking to videos throughout the article that distracts from the content to such an extent that the article may not even be fully read by the viewer.

When a popular video is linked to or embedded in an article, you are just one click away from going into a YouTube black hole of cat videos and stupid people getting hurt. Although these videos are adorable and/or entertaining, they take your focus off of what you’re reading. You might not even remember what the article is about when you return to it – IF you ever return to it.

The fact the writer deems it necessary to put a distracting or funny video within their post poses a couple questions. Why does the writer find it necessary to distract you with a video? Is this because they don’t feel like their article will be entertaining or informative enough? Although I enjoy the Seinfeld clip or Alabama Leprechaun video as much as the next person, I would’ve been on YouTube and not on your article if I wanted to see funny videos.

For example, this video has nothing to do with content marketing:

Funny videos are often added when the content is weak, but won’t actually help your article as all of your readers will bounce-off to the YouTube vortex.

The Gif

I get really angry when I see gifs in blog posts.

I’m not a pop culture expert or a Reddit addict, so I don’t understand every single reference to movies or actors that you make.

Gifs alienate me and I am not alone in your audience.

If there are a couple gifs or references to things that the reader does not understand, they’ll pass up the article. Nobody wants to feel lost when reading an article; don’t lose your audience because of poor image choice.

Exception to the rule:

For this Copypresser, there is an exception that may surprise many. If the gif shows puppies doing awesome things, then you can riddle your posts with them constantly and I will continue to read your blog. Most of my day is spent looking at pictures of puppies.

cute-puppies14via

Solution

Naturally, I have a solution to your tragic image problem.

Create content that’s so intriguing, informative, and/or entertaining that your audience doesn’t want to click away. If you write well, you won’t have to use modern media as a crutch.

I don’t endorse eliminating them totally because sometimes a video can help to explain one particular point in your post, but it shouldn’t help explain every point in your post.

Remember: everything in moderation, including moderation. Moderate your memes, videos, and gifs throughout a post — unless they are puppies….then the more the better!

About the author

Tommy Wyher