Class Warfare And The Blogging A List
I feel the need to chime in on this, even though it’s a rather odd subject: Whether a blogging “A-List” exists and whether there is some conspiracy to keep lesser bloggers in the doldrums. You might consider the former “blue collar” class bloggers.
It seems the blogging D through Z list uses this mythical A-list as a justification for gaming or singing up for
nefarious, link-destructive schemes programs like PayPerPost or 2000 Bloggers to get ahead.
I commented a bit on Tony Hung’s Deep Jive Interests (I suggest checking out the comments there) but here are some further thoughts, using my own experience as an example.
This Webomatica blog is proof positive that you can start a tech blog from nowhere and get ahead. I’m nowhere near A-list (and never will be) but am somewhere in the B-C list territory. Occasionally, my posts show up on Techmeme and I’m around the 20,000 level at Technorati. You can read about all that here. And this is after less than a year of “serious” blogging.
First, I do think Jason Calacanis has it partly right. A lot of getting ahead in blogging is to put in the hard work. I would add these tips for anybody looking to move forward in the blogosphere:
- Blog often. You have to blog at least once a day if not more, in the beginning. I’m still shooting for three posts a day.
- Figure out a niche and stick to it.
- Learn the technical stuff. Get up to speed on all the means of aggregation to your disposal, Feedburner, Technorati, pinging, trackbacks.
- Read other people’s blogs regularly. Check out Techmeme, Megite, and Tailrank. Find some blogs you like and do what they do. Blogging in a vacuum sucks (no pun intended).
- Comment on other blogs. Follow the golden rule. If you want blogs to link to you, link to blogs. It will seem one-sided at first but we all start somewhere.
- Read up on how to write. Meaning, how to write a good headline, how to make a post interesting, how to hold people’s attention. You can’t just blast poorly structured thoughts out there in rough draft form and expect anybody to take you seriously.
- Write posts that you want to read. A big YouTube link and one line saying “This is cool! Check it out!” pisses me off. So I refrain from doing that as much as possible – write actual content.
- Figure out why you’re blogging. For money? Attention? So you can be seen as the expert on aluminum siding? Don’t waste time on tactics that conflict with your purpose.
- Set some goals for yourself. Right now I’m trying to crack 20,000 in Technorati and get 1,000 uniques a day. That’s what is important to me; and I don’t worry about other blogs “keeping” me from doing it.
But… that said, do I think a blogging A-List exists? You bet I do. Someone famous like say, Robert Scoble, or Leo Laporte, can blog about clipping their toenails and get links and comments up the wazoo. But are they out to “get” all us less connected bloggers? Heck no. Do they have some conspiracy to not link to us? No. But do I care? Not really.
I think about the A-list this way: Will I ever, in my first life, hang with Donald Trump, be a self-made millionaire, or hang out with Parker Posey? I’d lay some safe odds, no. Do I care? Does it ruin my day? No. So why would I expect with blogging would it be any different?
As far as blogging goes, I’m happy where I’m at right now. Everything else is icing on the cake. As I’ve often said, I’m not trying to start a business here and quit my day job. I’m just having fun and every once in a while, someone comments on a post and that’s awesome. For example, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine Mark Andreessen would comment on this blog, and one day: wow.
Additional Reading: Lorelle on WordPress, Jim Kukral, WinExtra, The Last Podcast, afewgoodpens