On blogging, part 3
So, you've created a blog - cleverly titled Bleacher Preacher or perhaps Continue to Employ Lou Piniella (celp.com) - and have sold advertising. But what next?
Bloggin' ain't easy, my friends. You gotta keep your bloggin' hand strong or you will quickly lose your readers. First of all, you need to have opinions on all the mundane things that happen on a daily basis. The Cubs demoted Angel Guzman again? That's a 200 word post right there even if you care as much for Guzman as you do a pimple on your ass. The Cubs have lost 6 straight? You should be ranting, and raving, and going nuts over this gut-wrenching losing streak. Make sure to declare loudly that there's no way this team could possibly win a World Series. Be sure to ignore that it's happening in April.
Actually the losing streaks are the worst. The Cubs blog graveyard is littered by websites that petered out during losing streaks or the 2006 baseball season. Do you know how hard it is to blog daily about a 95-loss team? Believe you me, that $500 you pocketed for selling advertising won't be worth the agony.
But if you can get past the depressing times, or the times when you have a girlfriend and can think of about twelve better things to do, or the times when you've started a new job - or graduate work at university - and you want to write regularly about your topic of choice, then you will come reach a crossroads.
You'll ask yourself this question: do I want this to be a simple blog/journal/whatever, or is this a credible source of media? (Well, maybe you won't ask that question but if you have ever ranted about how the Man is trying to keep your blog down, then you probably know what I'm referring to.) There have been a handful of occasions - usually whenever I talk to Will Carroll - where simply making my opinion known on a topic isn't enough and I actually feel the urge to call up sources and confirm the things I've been hearing! Usually these urges come in the wake of incidents of credibility like if we break a story or are the story (which has happened about twice ever).
And then there are times when, rather than become credible, I just really want to be behind a really good hoax. However, realistically speaking, a blog is a blog is a blog. I might call up somebody in the Cubs organization tomorrow, but I'm still a blogger who works a regular job for a living. I might talk to a journalist - or even a player - but I remain a guy who is simply working to become a teacher.
Anyway, the point is this: if you start asking yourself those questions - ie: am I credible - then you are taking yourself waaaay too seriously. If you choose to blog, then I hope you enjoy what you're doing but don't make it unnecessarily complicated. Pretentiousness will chase readers away faster than bad gas will clear an elevator. Instead, if you like writing and debating and making your opinion known, then just stick to that simple tip about blogging: write every single day, on any mundane topic you come across, and leave it at that. All things good - and bad - will follow if you're just consistent - including credibility.