John Hawkins of Right Wing News does a bit of navel gazing about blogging in the conservative sphere this morning as he looks at the brief history and the future of blogging for conservatives.
Find a way to dramatically increase the size of your blog, expand into multiple websites that together are big, hook up with someone who’s already big, or accept that there isn’t much of a future in a small, niche market for you. Maybe that sounds a little grim, but unless something changes, independent conservative bloggers who haven’t already made it big don’t have a bright future.
I know there are some bloggers out there reading TAH who aren’t of the milblog genre who can use some advice and I’ve depended on the advice of others since TAH began, since we were late-comers, John Hawkins among them. Not that I think we’re all that big in the traffic area…just well-known – but then I just applied what I knew about marketing from my days in sales. And the blogosphere is a captive audience in most cases.
I also learned that you can’t do the same thing that everyone else is doing – if you’re cutting and pasting from Yahoo News or Drudge, so are a billion others. Most of you come to TAH because we give you unique news and commentary you won’t find anywhere else. And commenters are the most important part of blogging. During our MSGT Soup Sandwich era, hundreds stole our pictures of him and they were all over the ‘net, but what brought the traffic was your comments. That’s why I keep comments unrestricted, despite the spam invasions that crop up. People read blogs because they want to participate in the conversation, otherwise they’d be on the news sites.
I credit a lot of our limited success to our loose partnership with Blackfive – the reason many of you found us. I don’t know why, but Delta Bravo Sierra says that TAH was the main reason for his popularity – actually it’s his art work and sense of humor – he has thousands more readers than we do. I was just one of the first to put his cartoon in the sidebar. It pays to step forward and beg for links sometimes. I always try to link to blogs when they ask – because I used to beg, too. I still beg on important shit that needs dissemination. But, as in the case with Soup Sandwich, it got disseminated by you clicking the Facebook button- almost 7,000 of you. Oddly enough, we added the button that very morning.
Anyway, go read John Hawkins’ piece, there’s good advice there.