Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blogging 101 ::: THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

The Blogosphere is a virtual community of millions of web logs - websites run by everyday people of all walks of life from around the globe, posting their opinions on a litany of topics online.

And it is a vibrant one: bloggers come with a great variety of backgrounds, educations, and specializations. It is within this community that college professors and soldiers, musicians and engineers, teachers and journalists, and others meet and discuss political news every day.

It takes a long time to get noticed in the blogosphere, and that's often after you've networked and made connections. My sense is that someone who works hard and puts out consistently good content will develop a readership. There's a tiny spark of hope that some of those reading your posts will have connections and will promote your blog. So, perseverance and output have to be first in order of importance to the successful blogging life. ( 1 )

Reciprocal linkage is the essential lubricant that makes the blogosphere purr with contentment. If somebody's throwing you traffic, you should either (a) give them a link-back update, or at a minimum (b) keep them in mind for future linkage. Because you don't want to end up on the wrong end of a kharmic unbalance in the 'sphere, where you're always taking and never giving.( 2 )

So what to write about? The easiest place to find blog fodder is Memeorandum, which has an algorithmic formula that automatically updates to tell you what the hot topics are in the 'sphere. ( 3 ) The technically ignorant among you can use google trends... nothing wron with that!

Above all, remember that S-E-X sells -- I was caught off-guard several years ago when I woke up one day and checked my blog stats and saw THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of hits! Where did these visitors come from? I just happened to have a post up already regarding a local teacher who was having sex with her students! That was an eye-opener for this blogger! The Other McCain (so FULL of info!) types ( 4 ) : "Back when I was blogging to promote Donkey Cons (BUY TWO!), I accidentally discovered something via SiteMeter: Because the subtitle of the book is "Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party," we were getting traffic from people Googling "donkey+sex." You'd be surprised at the keyword combinations that bring traffic to a ... blogger who understands this. Human nature being what it is, the lowest common denominator is always there, even if it's sublimated or reverse-projected."

TAKE PICTURES! Americanpowerblog ::: Bloggers are going to publish stories and pictures that the left-wing media establishment won't touch. Hence, photo-journalism is not only on the wave of the media future, it's a tremendous opportunity for people to get out into the public realm, to interact and find stories that are in demand. ( 5 )

And now for a few "Don'ts" ...
Don't "announce" when you're going out of town or where you will be at X o'clock

Don't post personal information about your family online. I've been stalked by those who can't stand what I write, for example, one blogger found my home address by researching property tax records and used that to threaten me and my family. If you speak truth to power, you'll make some enemies, but be not afraid. The brighter your light of moral clarity, the more vicious will be the pushback from the totalitarians on the left. Be true to yourself and put truth and values first and foremost in what you do. I'm confident those who combine diligence with talent can make it as a successful blogger.

There are blogs that you are likely a fan of. Link them often. Let them know you link them too. Establish relationships with bloggers like yourself with similar interests. Make sure to make comments now and again at those sites, reciprocate links to your blog posts with links to theirs. Don't just link the big blogs, link your buddies. Heck, look for an excuse to do so. Also, keep a robust blogroll. Update it. Someone blogrolls you, you blogroll them and visa versa.

Pimp Your Blog...
And don't be afraid to do it. I write daily emails to a whole bunch of blogs, including the biggies like Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, HotAir, Michelle Malkin, Gateway Pundit, The Other McCain, and many people on my blogroll up, sideways and down. In addition, make sure that the search engines know your blog exists! You can do that here:

Get your SEO tips 'n tricks here ...

Google Webmasters

Technorati Developers

VERY IMPORTANT Add a blogroll to your website - I don't see as many of these as I used to! They are a source of backlinks!

Do your blogging "job" properly - originate, mix and re-work your content! Do some original reporting (ie - make your opinion/analysis the emphasis of the post). If you simply rehash/copy-paste someone else's blog post, forget about it. There are some fair-use issues here, but there's an awful lot of variability in what people think that means. To some, no more than 1/4 of your blog post can be anything you copy/paste. For me, it's the quality, not the quantity. I've exceeded that 25% threshold but not to the detriment of my posts. There have been times, as in the case of breaking news, that most of your post will point to a current event unfolding right now. Just note that the more original reporting you do, the fewer posts you will write, but they will likely be of higher quality.

I emphasize: don't be copycat, but if you must, give a H/T or credit or otherwise recognize your source! And of course be sure to link your blog with your twitter or Facebook or whatever social networking platform(s) you are active in.

OK! Ready to point your blog in a new direction? Good! Last "Don't" --- DON'T ANNOUNCE IT OR TRY TO EXPLAIN IT OR TELL PEOPLE WHAT YOU ARE DOING. Nobody cares! As the Nike folk recommend: "JUST DO IT!"

(1)(5)American Power Blog
(2)(3)(4)The Other McCain

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