Getting This Blogging Thing Down Pat!
Motivation: As I am a more and more active blogger, I think it is only productive that I go and explore the ways of success with blogging, in order to improve the quality of my blog.
Problem statement: Unsure how to reach out to the right communities to add value. So time to see what I am doing right/wrong!
Findings: Overall, I score pretty OKish on most of those points. Except that I have not been very involved with the rest of the scientific blogging community, and, likewise, I do not plug my own stuff enough on other blogs.
Conclusion: In order for this blog to have more “success”, I need to mingle some more with my fellow bloggers and shamelessly advertise myself some more. I am unsure whether I feel like doing the latter, but mingling with the rest of the community sounds very productive to me.
Over at Nature’s Blog forum, I found an interesting reference to an article by senior editor of Wired magazine, Paul Boutin, who writes about ‘what a number of successful bloggers with successful nonblogging careers say are the ways to think about getting into the business of blogging’ in “So You Want to Be a Blogging Star?”
So let us sum them up and see how I am doing.
“You mean we, of course!”
Don’t expect to get rich.
Well, I got that one down pat, for sure!
“I am already happy if we don’t lose money over this!”
Write about what you want to write about, in your own voice.
Definitely check this one, too. And I feel I can truly write what I want to write about given that I am somewhat anonymous. And that helps with the unrestricted thing, but perhaps less in the credibility department. In addition, I can do more than express myself in my own voice: I have a special web based alter-ego to assist me with the writing and talking thing! Thus I have in fact two voices! Points for extra effort!
“I certainly deserve credit for the added value! In fact, without me, none of this would have been possible!”
Fit blogging into the holes in your schedule.
“Well, you’re a bum. So this one is pathetically easy. Which is pathetic.”
I cannot argue with that…
Just post it already! The hurdle that stops many would-be bloggers is fear of clicking the “Publish” button.
Hmm, I can say I have experienced this as well. I still got a bunch of drafts I have not posted because I feel they lack something. But it is also true that I regularly go back to published blog posts to modify them without any advanced warning. Hmm, what a dilemma.
“The signs of a low quality blog for sure.”
Keep a regular rhythm.
Check. I try to think up of some new relevant stuff to write and write about them as much as I think I can.
Join the community, such as it is. There’s an unwritten rule — actually, it’s written about a lot on blogs — that you should always link back to bloggers whose ideas you repeat, or from whom you get a cool link to another site.
Checking again. I believe proper crediting others is important. I therefore also reference the “intermediate” sources that lead me to the main source as well. Such as Nature’s blog forum thread in this case. And I have bookmarked a whole bunch of interest blogs that I like to visit and occasionally comment on just to join the fray.
Plug yourself. That’s what all the name-brand bloggers do. It’s not bad form to send a short note to a prominent blogger drawing his or her attention to a really good blog you wrote.
Have not mastered this one yet. I am not into directly advertising my blog posts. I find that somewhat sleazy. On the other hand, plenty of sites that are made exactly for this purpose, and would be happy to allow such self plugging. I just have not made up my mind to join them just yet.
So there we have it. Conclusively, I think I can somewhat score pretty well. And I am of course content with my blog and the posts in it. Even though the amount of visitors may be low. I guess I am not doing it for the success anyhow.
“I should think so, because you’ve never had any. Which would make that goal a little bit odd, to say the least!”