On blogging, part 1
We really need to give "blogging" it's own tag.
There are all sorts of blogging communities out there. Sometimes I think they are very incestuous in that the audience is shared and each audience often is comprised of other blog writers. Other times I think that each blog - even those that cover the same topic - tend to carve a niche and do not necessarily share readers with other blogs.
I'm writing this on the assumption that the vast majority of our readers do not have blogs but may one day feel inspired to create one. A few tips:
- Come up with a clever name. Let's be honest, I'm not exactly the champion blogger when it comes to my writing style. I mean, I think I'm a half decent writer, but I don't think that writing about sports is really my specialty. But Goat Riders of the Apocalypse? Brilliant!
- Actually design something, even if it's just a logo. We've all seen the Cubs blogs that are made at blogger and are built from one of the pre-set designs that have three posts before the writer gives up and goes back to reading. If you make the blog look like it's not a clone of every other blog, just maybe you'll stick with it.
- Write even when you don't feel like it just to get into the rhythym of it.
There are plenty of do's and don't's. Don't visit other blogs and message boards in order to promote your blog. Those people don't appreciate that, they will see through your transparency, and they'll rip you to shreds. Once you've got a couple of weeks or a month under your belt, do EMail other bloggers and ask them to link to you on their websites.
Anyway, I think blogging is kind of a weird thing to be honest. We obviously don't do it for the money, although there are some bloggers that would love to do it for a living (we shall call those ones "failed journalists"). We hopefully don't do it for the fame because there is none. Those who do it with the intent of getting a following will never have one if only because of how pretentious and whiney they sound while bitching about how nobody cares about their opinions.
Ultimately, I can say that I started blogging because I came to really enjoy reading them during the 2003 season - from Yarbage to the Cub Reporter and even Yellon.org - and, heart-broken by what happened in October of that year, I wanted a place to vent. And so I started my first blog, Blog from a Cub Fan Nation. I'm pretty sure that my original target audience was mostly just myself and I was honestly shocked to learn that I had readers.
I'd have to say then that if you ever want to have a blog of your own, you should be your target audience. Write about the things you like; do not worry about the wants of an imagined audience. Write about your opinions, no matter how childesh or stupid they may sometimes be in the eyes of witty and cruel people. But most importantly write, because not enough people do it and I believe everybody is better when they do.
Tomorrow morning we'll talk about ... advertising.