4 Blogging Tips from The Dark Knight

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The Dark Knight is easily my favorite movie that came out during 2008.

By almost any standards it was a stellar success. It topped charts in terms of how much money it grossed each week at the box office. In total this action packed movie brought in about a billion dollars.

Apparently the people that put this film together knew what they were doing. The writers, the producers, the directors and the marketers made decisions that propelled this movie to the top.

Let’s jump in together and take a few lessons from this movie and put these lessons to work on our blogs and websites so that we can try to achieve a small portion of that same success. Here’s four reasons that I believe this movie did so well.

Blogging Tip #1: Create a sensational buzz.


When Heath Ledger died, it seemed like that was all we heard about in the news for several days. National talk shows and news programs were buzzing with it. Everyone was talking about it.

Now I understand if you’re a little apprehensive about building some buzz for your site by having someone on your staff die…especially if your blog is a one man or one woman show. That could put a crimp in some other areas of your success like writing articles and stuff like that.

Here’s the deal though. You can still create a buzz about your site. You can still take action to get other bloggers to start talking about you. Here’s how:

  1. Create phenomenal content.
  2. Provide amazing resources.
  3. Run a contest with great prizes.
  4. Blog outside the box.
  5. Give readers a unique experience.

Notice the strong words in those points: phenomenal, amazing, unique and great. Those are the real keys. If you want to create a buzz then you’ve got to step up a notch above those around you. You really have to think of something that will set you apart and give people something to talk about.

Blogging Tip #2: Have an amazing sense of ethics.


One of my favorite quotes from the Joker at the end of the movie really sums this up.

This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren’t you? Huh? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.

~ The Joker

All through the movie the Batman was adamant about making sure that those who did wrong were turned over to the proper authorities. He strove to ensure that he never served justice on his own accord but that he turned those who did wrong over to the police.

So what kind of morals and ethics are you demonstrating at your website? There are some things that I see bloggers and webmasters doing that are downright misguiding in their practices. When I see that, I seldom return to their websites.

Here’s some pointers to building trust with your readers by being honest and demonstrating integrity.

  1. Be honest about affiliate links.
  2. Don’t cloak links that make you money.
  3. Don’t write paid reviews for things you don’t really believe in or that aren’t really about your blogs topic.

I want to make money on this site as much as anyone but I’m not willing to sell my integrity to accomplish that. I only promote affiliate links that I believe in and I make a conscious effort to disclose most of the links that generate profits for the site.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to make money on your site. In fact, I want to coach you to make as much money on your site as possible. But don’t be a sellout. Don’t dip into dirty tactics to increase clicks or to trick people into generating revenue for you.

Be open and honest. Respect and trust will make you a lot more in the long run.

Blogging Tip #3: Provide non-stop action.


The movie opened with a Joker led bank heist and it never slowed down. The movie was jam-packed with explosions, fight scenes, drama and great dialogue.

Many people noted that The Dark Knight was a very long movie…about 3 hours. Yet no one that watched it seemed to mind.

In fact, I would have been disappointed if it wasn’t that long. There were no lulls in action. There weren’t any gaps in the movie’s tempo and that kept us sitting on the edge of our seats without any thought of the movie’s length.

Take this lesson back to your website and your readers will feel the same way. Give them something exciting every day and you can keep them on the edge of their seats coming back to see your new articles and content. Here’s a few tips to make this a reality:

  1. Update your site often.
  2. Respond to as many comments as you can.
  3. Provide creative and exciting content.

If you want your readers to visit your site every day then you’ve got to consistently provide outstanding content. Don’t leave long gaps of time in between posts. Find a posting schedule and drive yourself to stick to it no matter what.

Blogging Tip #4: Build an all-star cast of villains.


Critics began to hail Heath Ledger’s performance in the movie. They praised him as the best Joker ever.

It’s probably because I was too young to really appreciate the Jokers of the past but I agree with the critics. I think that Heath Ledger’s Joker was an outstanding antagonist. Everything about him was amazing. He looked cool. He sounded cool. His behavior was totally psychotic in a way that was absolutely captivating.

In reaction, people responded by creating amazing Joker desktop wallpapers, screensavers, bumper stickers, T-shirts and much more.

So here’s the question: who is your arch nemesis at your website or blog? Who is your villain?

At Site Sketch 101, my arch nemesis is ugly, poorly designed, mediocre, worthless websites and blogs. And if you happen to have one of those — then it is my goal to equip you with everything that you need to combat it effectively. This blog is 100% about working to eliminate those types of websites. Feel free to join in on my caped crusade.

Pick something that you can be passionate about and work to combat it at your website. Provide information about it. Provide tutorials. Do whatever you have to in order to help people eliminate whatever it is that serves as your villain.

Group Discussion:

Today’s post has a lot of information in it but it’s really going to come to life when you provide your thoughts and input.

I’ve provided you with four concepts to enhance your site but each of these points are useless if you don’t take them, learn from them, adapt them to your personal style and apply them according to your own needs. How do you plan to do that?

Share your Opinion

and be a part of the discussion

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44 Vibrant Comments

We would love to hear yours!

  1. August 27, 2009

    Stefan said:

    I agree with you on all the except the part about cloaking affiliate links. Even though you should be open about your affiliate links I think the advantages are more important than the disadvantages.

    I can not emphasise enough how important trust is and if you continue to write paid reviews you will most certainly lose your visitors trust.

    • August 27, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Stefan –> What is the benefit of cloaking your links?

      • August 27, 2009

        Stefan said:

        1) You can get statistics.
        2) It looks more serious than a long link with different numbers
        3) It is easier to update a link since you do not have to change every one of them.
        4) Sometimes an affiliate program need you to send the visitor from your site. By creating your own link you are able to share it through mail, etc.

        • August 27, 2009

          Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

          Stefan –> Okay. Thanks for the information. I’ll concede then that there are some positive points to cloaking links, but I still am apprehensive about anything that may appear to deceive the user.

    • August 30, 2009

      gautam hans said:

      I think cloaking links is not good and i prefer using original referral links. I think trust factor is important. That is how you gain readership and followers

      • August 30, 2009

        Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

        gautam hans –> I agree with you. I don’t re-visit a website if I feel like they are shady at all. There are so many scams on the internet that I don’t start out trusting people who want me to buy products. I always assume that people don’t trust me either and that I must go out of my way to prove to them that they can trust me.

      • September 17, 2009

        Ron Boracay said:

        But sometimes, those affiliate referral are so “ugly” that it seems to bring out some bad impression to the users or visitors.

        There are many link cloakers or url shortener available online that gives you full control on how do you want your link to look like.

        It can be a win win for the user and the url owner.

        • September 18, 2009

          Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

          Ron Boracay –> Why does it matter what the url looks like? The user doesn’t even see the url. And if they do then they are smart enough to know that you are cloaking it and may feel deceived. I don’t like link cloakers because as convenient as they may be they provide a sense of deception. As if they are clicking an average link and not a referral link. It’s as if you don’t want them to know that they are supporting you. At Site Sketch 101, we’re just going to be honest about anything that is for profit on here. If people want to support it, they can. If not then they will have that option.

      • November 20, 2009

        Renz said:

        Cloaking links? That’s a new word for me. How do I do that, for curiosity sake only. I’m not going to do this in practice.
        .-= My Latest Blog Post: My Adventure at Zoobic Safari (Subic) =-.

  2. August 27, 2009

    Eric said:

    Great movie. Also really enjoyed the dialogue in the movie as well.

    So, what do you think about comparing entertaining and intelligent dialogue in the movie with informative and interesting comments with your [blog] readers. I.e. Good comments = Good dialogue?

    My favorite from the Joker: “I’m like a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do if I caught one…I just do things.”

    • August 27, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Eric –> I think that it’s a good comparison. Why not put a little extra effort into our articles to create phrases, sentences and paragraphs that are so compelling that others want to quote us? I know that’s a little different than the avenue you were approaching it, but it’s just another thought building on that concept.

  3. August 27, 2009

    Arisu said:

    I also think Heath Ledger was the best Joker ever!
    Mostly cause he was a Joker that we didn´t expect, he was surprising, twisted but you could relate to him.

    And those are 2 things I learned about blogging from the Joker 😀 To be something surprising and be real!

    Mmm, weird how I tend to like the bad guy more than the good guy… I like the sidekicks better too XD

  4. August 27, 2009

    Reza Winandar said:

    Is your comments original? Cause the comments are spelled with a great grammar and same dialect.

    • August 27, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Reza Winandar –> Ha ha. Every one is original. Nothing on this site is generated in any way.

  5. August 27, 2009

    Walter said:

    You’re very honest in this post. It’s more of a successful blogging tips because it states all the qualifications of a successful blog.

    I hope you’ll get easy on me. 🙂

    • August 27, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Walter –> Thanks, Walter. I hope that you are able to develop a highly successful blog because of some of the things you learned here.

  6. August 27, 2009

    Props Blog Ideas said:

    I laughed. I cried. I loved this post! I totally think a death is the perfect way to jumpstart my one man show 😉
    I really enjoyed your writing style. I totally agree with you about everything, although i am curious, do you think it’s wrong to make a note that the link is a sponsor/affliate, but cloak it so it “looks pretty”? Not so much for deception, but for cleanliness?
    Blake Waddill

    • August 27, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Props Blog Ideas –> Thanks for the major props here. I appreciate it. You’re really too kind.

      As long as your honest about it, it doesn’t matter what the link looks like. And really, it’s as much about intention as anything. If someone is intentionally trying to deceive their readers into generating more clicks for paid content then I believe that is as flat out dishonest. By being open and honest with your readers, you gain their trust, you earn their respect and you further establish yourself as an authority in your niche. If you note on your site that some links may contain affiliate or pay-per-click incentives then I see nothing wrong with cloaking them.

  7. August 27, 2009

    Evan Kline said:

    Nice post! (I dug that movie too). The underlying theme seems to be to make sure your blog is a living, breathing, vibrant thing. I’ve got a ways to go on some of these (still only post 4 days a week, for example), but I’m slowly getting there. I think this is another one for me to bookmark, to remind me of the different things that go into making the blog come alive.

    • August 28, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Evan Kline –> Thanks, Evan. That’s the most important thing that you can do for a blog. Make it a living, breathing, vibrant thing and you’ll find your way to success. Interact with your readers. Provide amazing content. Set yourself apart from other blogs. Give people a reason to come back. These are the elements of an amazing blog!

  8. August 28, 2009

    Mark said:

    Good advice and I like the way you incorparted the movie “Dark Knight” to emphasize your point. That was very creative. My blog is not a month old yet and I am always trying to think of ways to increase it’s value to my readers.

    • August 28, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Mark –> I believe the wise men and women can draw inspiration from everywhere. We can learn from successful movies, books, TV shows, websites, and everywhere else. If a movie is highly successful, then why not sit back and spend a few minutes trying to figure out why?

  9. August 30, 2009

    Imran said:

    Thanks for these wonderful tips 🙂

    • August 30, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Imran –> You’re welcome, Imran. I hope they help you to take your blog to the next level.

  10. September 2, 2009

    Mukund said:

    Those are some wonderful tips that every blogger may adopt too! More over, I like the way you have clubbed it as a post using the movie “Dark Knight”.

    • September 2, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Mukund –> I really think that you can learn from every source around you…including successful movies.

      • September 17, 2009

        akira07 said:

        Actually this article title is choosen because this blog also implement the strategy hehe…am i right? Because i feel unique experience when you compare between blogging activity and the dark knight movie 😛

  11. September 8, 2009

    ZXT said:

    Wow you really made a great comparison with your article and the Batman movie. I’m still trying to soak up everything I learn from reading blogs like this so my learning curve is right there already…and I’m actually spending less time with myself and my family and friends.

    I didn’t know that blogging is this time consuming.

    • September 8, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      ZXT –> It can be very time consuming, but it can also be very rewarding. I love meeting new people on here. I love making spare change with Google adsense. I love the feeling of helping people. It’s fun stuff.

  12. September 9, 2009

    Ron Boracay said:

    Great integration between the Dark Night with blogging tips. I love this one,.

    • September 9, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Ron Boracay –> Good. I hope that it helps you go back and be a superhero at your blog!

  13. September 13, 2009

    Pinaybackpacker said:

    Excellent parallelism Nick! This is the type of writing that really excites me, and this is the writing style I aspire for in my own blog as well.

    Among the 4 sets of tips, the 4th one made me pause. I haven’t thought of that at all! I have not sat down and identified my all-star cast of villains yet when it comes to travel, travel blogging and what it means to be a backpacker especially in my country because I am, after all, promoting it as a backpack destination.

    I agree with you though on the ethics issue. I think there are far too many people on the Internet who try to take advantage of others who are less in the know.

    I have a link cloaker (software) but I haven’t used it because I didn’t know what it was for until now that Stefan listed it for all of us.

    Besides, my affiliate products are all posted on my sidebar. With regards to paid reviews, I haven’t done any of that yet but if I decide to do it in the future I will definitely be honest about it to my readers.

    As for the other 2 tips – creating a buzz and providing non-stop action – well, it’s definitely a work in progress.

    • September 15, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Pinaybackpacker –> It’s good to see that you are taking the time to think about these tips and to put them to work on your site.

  14. September 15, 2009

    akira07 said:

    Ok after reading, there is 1 point which make my hand stop scrolling. It’s about making contest. I’m agree 1000% with this way to attract visitor.
    I ever partcipate in many contest and i find there is many benefit of making a contest.
    For example, there is a forum called STZ which reach PR2 after running contest 1 month.

    I’m also planning to make contest, but my concentration now is to increase my english skill.

    • September 19, 2009

      Ron Boracay said:

      Akira, seems like we have different opinion in many different topics here huh?

      For me, its not just the contest that drives traffic and visitors.

      Its the quality and high activity on a blog/website that drives targeted and interested visitors.

  15. October 2, 2009

    Paulo Miranda said:

    I love the fact that great movies like The Dark Night can enable us to learn many things and set great examples too.

    It is true that many people live inside bubbles like in the Matrix movie. It is very sad that they don’t have a sense of ethics.

    Great post! I will try to write a similar post with the Matrix movie. Thanks!

    • October 2, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Paulo Miranda –> If you do write one on the Matrix movies then please let me know so that I can come by and check it out. That sounds really interesting.

  16. October 14, 2009

    Robomaster said:

    I applaud! This is such a true post having watched the Dark Knight – I couldn’t have put it better. Great work!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: CCleaner: The Complete Review =-.

    • October 15, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Robomaster –> Thanks. Inspiration can come from any where. I’m learning that more and more every day.

  17. November 25, 2009

    Robomaster said:

    I don’t get all this hallaboo about affiliate links.

    Why would a reader on your blog NOT want an affiliate link? They usually take a nice discount off they price they would have to pay otherwise!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: CoolAppSite is now Officially DoFollow! =-.

    • November 26, 2009

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Robomaster –> Some people may feel like your opinion is based on the fact that you’re getting paid rather than the fact that you actually like the product. Since the author gets paid to recommend something, they can become biased. The best way to combat that feeling in your readers is to simply be straightforward and completely honest with them.

  18. May 15, 2010

    Acid Jazz CD said:

    This is the actual marvelous publish that i have come more right after huge queries. I am really thankful to a person for providing this unique information.

  19. December 26, 2011

    Sagar said:

    I’m new to blogging and I’ve learned and got a lot of tips from other bloggers. I’ve got to manage time effectively as I’m a part time blogger and have to focus both on studies as well as blogging. Thank you for the great tips Nicholas.