Sorry! Hacks and Shortcuts Don't Work Anymore.4 min read

When I launched my first blog, in April 2012, if you wanted to rank high on Google, all you had to do was create a ton of backlinks. If you wanted more followers on Instagram, you followed-unfollowed lots of people. If you wanted more Twitter followers, all you had to do was to set up a bot to follow thousands of users a day, while liking and even retweeting all the tweets in a specific hashtag.

Basically, there was a time when growing on the web was employing all kinds of hacks and shortcuts.

But try these techniques today and you will realize they they don’t work anymore.

And you may think that’s unfair. You see all your competitors, with all their followers, ranking on the first page of Google. It’s unfair because you the same hacks they used don’t work anymore.

It’s a brave new world out there, and even though there are some who still cling to the old ways, the truth is that hacks and shortcuts don’t work anymore. You’ve got to do something different.

Hacks and shortcuts don’t work anymore.

All these shortcuts that you’ve heard about don’t work anymore. And they won’t work ever again.

And you can whine and cry about it, think it’s unfair, or just realize that all these platforms care about is providing the best source of information and entertainment to their users, which also means that you taking advantage of some hacks is not the same as delivering great content.

Truth be told, as someone who went through those times, I can tell you that those hacks and shortcuts everyone used back in the day, they were a big waste of time.

And even today, people still use some of these techniques for whatever reason, not realizing that the number of people who follow you has become quite meaningless.

You’ve got to play the game like it’s meant to be played.

You need to change your approach to blogging: stop looking for hacks and start looking at what the rules are — and follow them.

Play the game.

Instagram wants to provide the best content to its users. Google wants to provide the best answers to questions, so provide these answers. If you spend your time following and unfollowing folks like crazy, you’re not going to have an awful lot of time to create the kind of content these platforms like to share.

The web is now quality-oriented. There is so much competition in every niche that quality is the only thing that truly matters.

I you want to rank high on Google, if you want to gain followers on Instagram and Twitter, you need to provide a lot of value.

You need to create so much high quality content that it will be impossible for readers to ignore you.

Here’s the updated list of hacks to use if you want to become a successful blogger:

  • learn skills, not hacks
  • provide as much value to your readers as possible
  • build genuine relationships with others
  • play the game

If you are disappointed by this list, then you still need to work on your mindset. Let me remind you: hacks don’t work, and the bitter truth is that they never truly worked in the first place.

Take care of the readers you have, rather than looking for more readers.

Most bloggers are obsessed with numbers. They want more traffic, more readers, more comments, more followers, more shares…

The truth of the matter: it’s not how many readers you’ve got, but how well you connect with them. How strong your relationships with them are.

Believe me, it’s true.

The way you engage with the readers you have determines your success as a blogger.

Building an actual community is not about numbers, but about providing your readers with engaging content. Something that’s worth talking about.

More exposure doesn’t fix mediocre content, mediocre ability to connect with other individuals over the web. In fact, it enhances it.

I wish everyone could have tens of thousands of followers, only to see that receiving a couple hundred comments and e-mails a day will soon feel like a chore, rather than something that excites them.

If you want to win the game, you’ve got to play it. You’ve got to follow the rules, and you’ve got to be so good they can’t ignore you.

Shortcuts and hacks were never the answer. They just provided something to do, while pretending you were a blogger.

And you see the effects of that all around you: those who don’t have a proper portfolio of work that they can monetize are those who spent all their time employing hacks to get more readers.

Great content and taking care of your readers are, will be, and have always been the true building blocks of a successful blog.

Cristian Mihai

Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.

12 thoughts on “Sorry! Hacks and Shortcuts Don't Work Anymore.4 min read

  1. There’s also ever more complex algorithms working behind most of these systems, which is why hacks/shortcuts are even more obsolete now.

  2. And that’s how it should be.

    Thanks for providing clarity on how someone can improve himself on this blogging adventure on a regular basis, really helps someone like me.

  3. This may be the best post about blogging I’ve ever read! Thanks for saying what we know but can’t always put in words!

  4. I don’t think that google , Youtube , let alone IG “understand” valuable content. They understand “favorable” content …basically what users look , read . How often , how long and if any interaction ( like comments, likes or following clicks ) . If you write something valuable ( as you are skilled in certain area ) this will target only narrow , intelligent audience , then you are not “visible” anyway. In our case ( tea business ) I have found out that people rather read about beautiful lies about tea origin , organic , authentic and whatever special tea it is , rather than truth about vendors , producers cheating, marketing overpricing and how to avoid all that. I agree you have to Play the Game…but unfortunately the game is not about valuable content anymore. These days technology , and so the people (spec.young generation ) are fast. No time to read, watch long informative articles / videos. Look at the IG stories how fast they swipe trough the screen . You have 3s to catch an attention of the users to continue their eye look at your content another 2-4min. It is the same game as before ( at the beginning of blogging ) just is getting faster and faster and less and less valuable content.

    1. One way to look at it is to think that what folks want to consume IS valuable content, whether you agree with it or not. After all, you walk into a store, and expect to be always right as a customer. They are selling something, they want your money. The same principle applies to blogging and social media: you want the reader’s time, they want to know it’s worth it.

  5. I’m glad these hacks and shortcuts don’t work anymore. I wish they never did work. If I’d started blogging back then, I would not have wanted to use them. They seem to me to be cheating. I’d want my blog to rise or fall on its own merits alone. If I built any success on such methods, how would I know whether I succeeded by trickery or quality?

    1. Interesting question.

      You see, even if you were to use those hacks, you’d eventually realize that people don’t truly follow you unless you provide value (they enjoy reading your content, etc.), so…

      It’s like taking steroids as an athlete… yes, it gives you an advantage, but if you were to give the same performance enhancing drugs to someone who’s not an athlete, they still couldn’t compete competitively.

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