Monday, December 19, 2011

Is a Good Blogger Thick-skinned or Well-Read or Both?

Do you think that a book on the technique of blogging can help you be a better blogger? I'm not so sure but I did pick up a copy of Writing for the Web: Creating Compelling Web Content Using Words, Pictures, and Sound to see if maybe I was missing something.

Somehow, I feel that good bloggers are those who have good topics, read a lot of blogs, read and write and practice their craft fairly frequently. But, in order to stick with blogging, I think you need a thick skin. It seems like a number of fairly good bloggers quit because they feel upset, fed up, insulted or demeaned. I once had the head of a medical program write to tell me he was upset because he saw something negative about himself in another blog that I had linked to; I had actually defended his position to some degree but he blamed me for linking to someone who thought he was less than perfect. I don't think he would do well in the web world where negativity is often the name of the game.

Anyway, a book on blogging technique? I suppose it could be useful. Lynda Felder's book makes some good points. She talks about the importance of making a commitment to writing either daily or weekly, pursuing your passions, keeping content fresh, and writing succinctly. The book seems most helpful for those who are new to blogging or who want to add more images, sound and video to their website and need information on style and substance.

What qualities define a good blogger in your opinion?

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16 Comments:

Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:05 PM, December 19, 2011  
Blogger Stormbringer said...

I supplement reading with listening to podcasts, so I am "well listened" in my subjects.

There is a debate about comments. Some feel that they are a distraction and a waste of time, so they shut them off so they can focus on writing. Others encourage discussion, but realize a very small percentage of readers will interact.

6:07 PM, December 19, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

It is a rare day that I read an entire book. I like articles, short pieces and short stories. But this summer I received 2 books on blogging and I decided they might have something worthwhile. My advice, seasoned bloggers shouldn't waste their time reading books on blogging.

People who write books about blogging aren't spending their time blogging, their expertise is in writing books. Even though I read the blogging books carefully I got nothing out of the books. I already knew far more than the authors of the books would ever know about blogging.

Here is my advice to everyone that is thinking about blogging: If you don't have much to say then don't blog. Wait until you have something to say before tapping on your keyboard. It's not about quantity it's all about content.

And grow some skin, some really really thick skin. There are hordes of angry dysfunctional people that have nothing to do with their time than whine on the net about people they don't know. The whiners actually are a good thing because they'll serve to popularize your content and gain viewers.

I started blogging in 2004. I joined a small group of bloggers. In 2008 people started to migrate over to a much more controllable Facebook. Now many more people have gotten their Internet sea legs with FB they think their ready for the rough and tumble world of Blogger and Wordpress. I think the newbies in for a very rough ride, but I'm not going to do anything to dissuade them. Good luck to all.

6:24 PM, December 19, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I think the thick skin is much more important. A sense of detachment from the discussion is a great help. Letting the comments and attacks affect you personally makes blogging and commenting painful. I used to let it get to me but, now, even if I reply to a comment or post, I almost do it in light hearted fun, even when I'm being "serious" or "mean."

Book learnin' is usually important if you're trying to impress pretentious intellectuals. Being knowledgeable on your subject matters, but you can get a lot of that outside of books.

8:29 PM, December 19, 2011  
Blogger SEO analyst said...

as per my view book can help but not make you excellent in content writing and my suggestion to go and hire content writing service instead of a practical............

4:08 AM, December 20, 2011  
Blogger lavin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:12 AM, December 20, 2011  
Blogger lavin said...

I think this is not the right to hire content writer, you can try yourself, if your writing skills are good, you can also get the help from Google.NIFTY Tips

7:13 AM, December 20, 2011  
Blogger caplight45 said...

One of the most important factors is regularity. I know that everyday Ann Althouse and Glenn Reynolds will have a number of new posts. I never miss them. Bloggers who post sporadically become out of sight out, out of mind. If a blogger doesn't think they have enough content to blog everyday maybe they should try co-blogging like Ace does.

1:42 PM, December 20, 2011  
Blogger Doom said...

I'm not sure 'well read' is exactly key. Some people can't read and grasp. I would say well educated and intelligent would be more apropos. Thick skinned is a must. Whether people disagree and attack or no one comes knocking, or commenting that is. I'm not sure a I think a book can help, unless you are a complete "by the book" person. Then again, if you are, blogging probably isn't for you.

Just understand, your life isn't interesting. Can you repackage news? Carry water for the ideas du jour? Can you bring content that is otherwise not on main 'radars' that is very interesting to a large group, unique, cutting edge, or otherwise highly consumable data? Decide if you want to try to be a e-rock star or just an e-grunt, then go from there.

Do it as a hobby or even a diary type thing. You probably don't have the time to do the research, plus the skills to put it all together, to become a e-rock star. Just don't plan to get rich doing it, either.

4:19 PM, December 20, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

Getting back to the well-read idea. If reading isn't your thing then being well-read certainly isn't a blogging. A blogger can easily generate interesting content if they enjoy the library and doing a little research. Also if a blogger knows how to work a spreadsheet and make graphs then they can take data from elsewhere on the net and generate some really interesting content that isn't published elsewhere.

Here is an example of one of my most popular posts that I did last year that involved months of digging through old newspapers. It is the list and stories of 64 people who were killed and dumped in one single park

And here is a more recent post that was created by number crunching Detroit homicide data to come to the conclusion that the number of white women being killed in Detroit is on the increase.

Blog content creation is a flexible concept.

5:51 PM, December 20, 2011  
Blogger Stormbringer said...

It's what you make of it. Some people are not interested in changing the world or impressing others with their scholarly insight. Some do it just to make a kind of newsletter for family and friends. Remember those days?

5:53 PM, December 20, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Writing about your personal experiences and observations can be quite interesting if you do it right. No reading necessary.

I still chuckle when I think of a post I read a few years ago about a woman who got stuck up to her knees or more in the mud on the side of a river or creek somewhere. Her name was Cham.

William Faulkner was once invited to speak to a group of wanna be writers. He took the podium and asked, "Who here wants to be a writer?" They all raised their hands. Then he said, "Go home and write." and left the podium. I got the same advice from the instructor in a creative writing class I took. If you want to write, write.

There's a gun blogger Helen is familiar with, I believe, SayUncle who has this posted on his page: "Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you."

Write for yourself first, then for others.

8:41 PM, December 20, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

Honesty, intellegence, attitude.

Meaning, you have to be curious and want to learn more. Being well read is a subcategory of that.

Blogging is just writing. If you read, it helps you write. Some people can, plenty can't.

I think plenty of the Top Rated bloggers are overrated. That is, they know how to link... who to link to (veddy veddy important) but the nutrition they're dishing up? Crapola. Plus, just because plenty are consuming, they think it's gourmet writing when in fact, it's just tasty crapola.

Glenn is overrated. He doesn't write, and his attitude is a bit immature. (We get it fella. Ya likes you some boobies! And boobies get page hits, so we get ... more boobies.)

Althouse ... she's so far off sometimes, thinking she's clever. The onion rings/carrots crap. The judging candidates by their looks. Granted, with a man in the house, she seems to be more on topic, and not so scattered in his silly observations. But still... she makes me chuckle with her "work". Time will catch up to her -- she's a shapeshifter surely, but times/people change and she's catering to the old crowd.

Honesty, honesty, honesty. If you're plugging a product, or a party, we get that too. Deep thinkers on blogs? Try Volokh. They're the only true specialty legal blogs that go deeper than the MSM. INsty and Alty are just commercialized versions of news crap. Grabbing and printing, and making petty comments. They'll go down as admired for their technical linking skills, but not for their intellligent discourse.

Honest enough an assessment for you?

11:35 PM, December 20, 2011  
Blogger Eric said...

in order to stick with blogging, I think you need a thick skin.

I couldn't agree more, and you'd think that after nearly nine years of daily blogging, I would have learned how to develop a thick skin. But you'd be wrong. Even now, an unfair comment can ruin my entire day. (Sometimes, though, I suspect that I find it convenient to have comments as an excuse. They supply a pretext for me to blame unhappiness on external causes. Almost like blaming a bad mood on that asshole who cut you off in traffic.....)

1:49 PM, December 21, 2011  
Blogger Kim said...

A good blogger is intelligent, curious, well-read, opinionated, amusing, and treats the blog like a day job (i.e. shows up for work every day).

There are about four of them.

4:04 PM, December 21, 2011  
Blogger Profit said...

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4:26 AM, December 24, 2011  

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