by John Hawkins | January 26, 2006 12:52 pm
Please Link To My Lame New Blog: I get emails all the time asking me to take a look at people’s new blogs — and I do. There are plenty of “websites of the day” that have come as a result of those emails. But, you know what I really hate, so much so that it’s practically a pet peeve? Getting an email asking me to look at a piece-of-crap blog that either has 2-3 posts on it a few days apart or one that doesn’t even have all the links working yet. If you want me to link your site, at least you could do me the courtesy of having it finished and putting up a few days worth of posts first. After all, the point isn’t to get people to look at your blog, it’s getting people to look at your blog and decide there’s something worth coming back for.
The Same Old, Same Old: There are already plenty of generic conservative bloggers out there and since they got into the blogosphere first, you’re probably not going to ever top them in traffic. That’s why new bloggers should strive to be unique in some way. If you can’t answer the question, “What do I do differently or better than almost everyone else on my side of the blogosphere,” then you should come up with an answer to that question or just accept that blogging probably isn’t for you.
Thin Skin: I’ve seen more than a few promising bloggers or bloggerettes work themselves up into a tizzy over hate mail or harsh words in their comments sections. I’ve even seen bloggers quit because they couldn’t take the abuse.
That’s too bad, but it’s also what the internet is like. People are partisan, they can remain anonymous, and their noses are well out of distance of your fist. Because of that, they tend to be several orders of magnitude ruder than most people are in real life. If you can’t learn to just let it all roll off your back, you won’t last.
Getting Bogged Down In The Little Things: There’s nothing wrong with answering a lot of email, doing podcasts, spending time in your comments section, etc. But remember, if you only have so many hours a day to write, then you should be writing for the biggest audience possible. That “biggest audience” isn’t the single person you’re responding to in an email or the tiny subsets of your audience that read the comments section or listen to a podcast, it’s the people who read your blog. The more time you spend sweating the small stuff (email, comments, podcasts), the less time you have for what’s really important (your blog posts).
Link Spamming: If you do an exceptional post, there’s nothing wrong with sending out a promo email to other bloggers about it. But see — there were some key words in there — “an exceptional post.” Please don’t send out an email on a blase post that you spent five minutes on. Worse yet, don’t send out an email on a blase post that you spent five minutes on 3 or 4 times a week. Most bloggers get enough junk mail as it is.
You Just Don’t Post Enough: For 90% of the people in the blogosphere, even those with real talent and potential to get big, this is the biggest problem they have. They just don’t pump out enough content. How much content is enough? Well, here’s a word and post count from five successful bloggers (including RWN) for yesterday:
Instapundit: 19 Posts & 1057 words
Right Wing News: 6 Posts & 2496 words
Michelle Malkin: 7 Posts & 2419 words
Captain’s Quarters 4 Posts & 1861 words
Polipundit: 18 Posts & 3698 words
Your fault, your job’s fault, whatever the reason, if you’re not doing this kind of work day in and day out, your blog probably isn’t ever going to take off.
*** Update #1 *** Just to clear something up.
A few bloggers in the comments section seemed to be a bit offended by this piece, mainly because they say their goal really isn’t to get traffic. Well, they shouldn’t be offended, because this is a post aimed at the vast majority of bloggers who want to build an audience. If you’re one of the rare breed of bloggers who couldn’t care less whether 5 or 5000 people read your blog, then don’t sweat it, because this piece isn’t meant for you. If you enjoy blogging for therapeutic reasons, to pass the time, for a close circle of friends, etc, etc, have a good time and feel free to completely ignore this post.
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