My friend John Hawkins has a smart post today with suggestions for how to succeed in blogging. Here are his first 3 tips:
#1) Network: Blogging IS NOT just a good old boys club, but that doesn’t mean networking doesn’t help. If someone is deciding whether to link your article or a similar article, liking you may mean you get the nod. Is someone more likely to link you because they met you at CPAC? Absolutely. If someone remembers you from Facebook or Twitter, does that improve your chances of getting a link? Yep. Yep. Yep. So reach out to some people. Best case scenario, it’ll mean more traffic and opportunities. Worst case scenario, you’ll make some new friends.
#2) How to write a headline: If people are reading through a RSS reader or looking at their emails, the headlines are what will jump out at them. Make sure yours are eye catching enough to make someone want to look twice.
#3) How & when to pitch an article: It’s okay to email other bloggers and let them know about something you’ve written. However, the bigger bloggers get email in the triple digits every day. So, make sure what you’re sending them is worthwhile. Nobody wants to see your conventional take on the latest story on Drudge. A lot of blogs are happy to toss a link to a new blog — but not one that’s been updated twice in the last three days. So, if you’re going to pitch an article or your website, make sure the people you’re pitching will like what they see if you get their attention.
Let me add three other tips to make for a complete top 10:
8. Be Stylistic. Understand that blog writing is different from newspaper or magazine writing. With blog prose the style is supposed to be more personal, informal, and stylized. Your writing needs to be fun and interesting to read. Further, with all the bloggers out there how are you going to stand out? One answer: in the style that you write. Pay attention to your actual writing and don’t have a tunnel vision focus on the arguments.
9. Avoid general op/eds. Instead react to what’s happening in the world. No one’s interested in your boilerplate position on gun control or Islamofascism or how taxes are too high. We’ve heard all that before. Instead, blog about things that are hot in the political/intellectual culture. Inject a new position into the debate and don’t just repeat what other people have said.