Blogging 101 Part II--It's All About You!
Remember that in blogging, you are not supposed to be unbiased. You're not a straight reporter of the days events. Readers want you to deliver information to them, but they also want to know what you think about it. Feel free to get snarky; snark definitely succeeds in blogging.
There's a sports talk radio show called The Jungle with Jim Rome, and although I can only listen to it in small doses, he has excellent advice for bloggers: Have a take, and don't suck. Rome doesn't want callers who call in and ask him "What do you think about Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady?" He wants people who tell him what they think of Tom Terrific and Peyton the Choker (Or Tom The Lucky and Peyton the Unfortunate).
Your posts will generally be better the more there is of you in them. If you have a creative spark, this is where you can let it shine. Are you funny? Sharp and caustic? Good with Photoshop? Erudite in your subject matter? Be a show-off!
Note that putting the "you" in your blog is not limited to opinion. You can also add work to your posts. For example, last year I took on a claim
by the American Prospect which was repeated by NY Times columnist Paul Krugman, that Jack Abramoff's clients had sharply reduced their contributions to Democrats after Abramoff began representing them. I proved that in fact Abramoff's clients increased their donations to both Republicans and Democrats sharply after he took over. Result? Both the Prospect and Krugman were forced to issue corrections to their articles. This took a lot of work with a spreadsheet and analysis of various sources. But it paid off in spades as my blog got cited in the National Review Online
among other places.
Yes, we all link to stories that we find interesting, but if you add something of yourself to your posts, you'll be far more likely to attract attention.
And attracting attention will be the focus of my next post.