Wednesday, April 04, 2007

498, 499, and 500

It's SwanBlog's 500th post! This blog is still too obscure to look back with nostalgia to my humble beginnings. The major spikes in readership have come when I received a link from Powerline or other prominent blog.

In writing a blog, one must decide the purpose. One legitimate purpose of a weblog is to function almost as a comment thread for another well-known blog. To illustrate, let's say that you have occasional good ideas or good links to share. You can e-mail other bloggers in hopes that they take your ideas and add them in their own posting. Or you can write a piece on your own blog and then send a link to the more prominent site. The advantage of the latter method is that the other blogger doesn't have to compose an entire post. If you make it easier for the person to disseminate your ideas, they are more likely to play ball. In this way, it is almost like an open comment thread on the other person's blog. You are not interested in promoting your site or your name per se, just getting someone and their readership to take notice of your idea(s).

For a long time, SwanBlog was just that. No regular readership to speak of, unless I got a link from Powerline, SCSU Scholars, or another top site. As a member of the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers, where there is a large "blogroll" of people linking to each other, I received random traffic from surfing (I know, I am delinquent in posting the blogroll - shhhhh). The next step was to post more regularly so that people would read the blog for its own sake.

Two years ago, I vowed to post every day in May. In his instructions for new bloggers, Marty Andrade says that one needs to post every weekday to gain readership. This is how I entered phase 2 of my blogging life. It is possible to become someone's morning read if there is a good likelihood that something new will be there each morning.

Phase 3 is when you have 100 readers per day. I am not there yet, by a long shot. Phase 3 is where you really can have an influence. Instead of e-mailing what you think is a particularly good post to the prominent blogs, you will generate buzz and links from other blogs merely through your own posting. That is when the Internet really becomes a meritocracy. The better you write, the more influence you will have. Let's hope for Phase 3 in the next 500 posts.

Also, stay tuned for a look back on some things that worked, and things that did not. Thanks for reading!



Blogger Derek Jensen said...


I would like to hear your perspective on why the British sailors appeared to be so cheerfully willing to cooperate with their Iranian captors.


April 05, 2007 3:50 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

Congrats on #500

Hopefully the blog continues to be fruitful

April 10, 2007 12:26 PM  

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