On Sunday taking a much needed break from the computer after spending most of my waking hours during the previous days launching Blog Mastermind and then helping new members settle in, I met with an interesting 24 year old from Sacramento, California, who is visiting Brisbane on a random trip to Australia.
His name is Casey Serin and some may know him as the World’s Most Hated Blogger.
Here’s Casey and me after eating breakfast together on Sunday –
Before last week I had never heard of Casey. He contacted me asking to meet up since he was in Brisbane. He mentioned he was known as the world’s most hated blogger and also ran a blog called I am Facing Foreclosure.
I was quite curious to hear Casey’s story. I’m never one to judge, but there has to be a reason why he’s branded as the world’s most hated blogger, so I was slightly apprehensive – just slightly.
It turns out Casey is a young guy who made some bad decisions, which is not that uncommon – I’ve been there myself in my early twenties when I lost nearly $15,000 to credit card fraud, foolishly sending product to what I thought was a real customer in Thailand (but that’s another story…).
What makes Casey different is he decided to blog about everything he did to loose over two million in investment property and as a result he’s become quite famous, or perhaps infamous is a better label.
Casey has received quite a bit of publicity because of his blog, both in the USA and now in Australia since he arrived a few weeks ago. According to Casey, his blog receives over 10,000 visitors a day and if you head over there you will see that indeed, a lot of people seem to “hate” him.
Casey calls his fans “Haterz”, and wow, he sure has a lot of them. Just today Casey posted an article about meeting me and I was blown away by the viciousness of some of the comments made to the article. It’s clear people have decided that’s it’s fun to attack Casey in comments and on other sites because of his actions and what he reveals on his blog, and they are not holding back.
Casey isn’t exactly perfect, he openly admits he fudged numbers to buy the properties he invested in and subsequently lost, but I’ve never seen such barrage of people commenting in such a nasty manner. I think people really enjoy it and as Casey notes, many of his readers come to his blog specifically to watch the “trainwreck” as he calls it – the events of his life over the previous months.
What Can We Learn From This?
Casey’s story will continue and he may rise from the ashes thanks to the success of his blog. He’s already started to bring in four figures from selling direct advertising to sponsors and I provided him with a few more ideas, which he talks about in his post about meeting me. If he does manage to somehow clear his debts it will make for a fantastic story and I know Casey is already working hard on ways to capitalize on his notoriety and fame.
What we can take away from this situation is how powerful a good story is for driving traffic. Much like the “million dollar homepage” website, Casey is receiving plenty of attention on the strength of his story. His time in the limelight might not last too long, but when you are there the traffic and exposure are powerful. Even though Casey receives a lot of “hate” each day (I don’t think I could take the kind of comments he receives, but Casey seems to be at least okay with it), the fact that so many people care enough to comment as much as they do means Casey has the one key ingredient for successful blogging – attention.
As bloggers we can look at Casey’s story as a case study on how to use publicity to build traffic to a blog. Obviously it’s preferable to use a story that doesn’t result in negativity, but often controversy is the best attention grabbing tool available. People tend to gravitate towards negativity in general – that’s why the news is the way it is – and like here with Casey, once again people care an awful lot about something bad happening to someone else.
Casey no doubt is learning a lot from the situation, so really it’s not exactly a “bad” event as anything that helps you grow can be looked on positively, but this certainly is a tough lesson for a young guy and it will be interesting to see what happens to him from here. As you can see, I’m giving this story some attention too and considering I rarely read other blogs anymore, that says a lot.
Imagine if blogging was like real life – how would you feel if every single time you said something, 200 people said straight to your face that you are an idiot. The blogosphere is a strange reality sometimes…
Studying Blog Psychology