Saturday, April 9, 2011

Susannah Breslin on Blog Marketing and Hustle

At Forbes (via Instapundit):
These days, it’s not enough to be a good writer online. You have to be a smart marketer, your own content factory, your own publicist. If you can do it all, you are golden. If you cannot, you are screwed.
Breslin's using her own experience moving from True/Slant to Forbes as a case study, but the quote cited is applicable to anyone who's writing online nowadays. When I was away at the Horowitz West Coast Retreat last weekend I didn't bother with my blog. I think I put up just one post on Saturday, and maybe three on Sunday. And of course there was no promotion, through cross-posting, Facebook, Twitter, etc. My traffic numbers were already down for March but I think I had just over 1300 hits last Saturday, which is way down. I've been writing less frequently all around, in any case. Partly because of burnout, but not entirely. I've been reading, spending time with my wife and sons, going to the movies and bookstores, and out to eat! And then of course there's my work, which has been pretty interesting of late, especially with the panel on Egypt the other day, which had me preparing in advance for most of the week.

Anyway, this reminds me that Doug Ross had my blog ranked 100 out of the top 150 conservative websites --- which was surprising, since I don't do that well on the Alexa rankings. And besides that, my Wikio numbers have been eroding over the last year. I thought I was going to be bumped from the top 100 at Wikio but I've dropped down to 93 for the March rankings. I'd by lying if I said I didn't care. When you blog full-time --- as a second but very low-paying job --- the rankings provide a little recognition. That's why William Jacobson's always joking about how he doesn't pay attention to his top blog ranking for both legal and political blogs, precisely while he's writing another post on his top blog rankings for both legal and political blogs! William cites Technorati's rankings, and checking over there my blog is currently #65 for political blogs and #61 for U.S. political blogs --- so I guess that's not too bad. I'm surprised it's that good, since as noted I've been worrying a lot less about promotion. It's time consuming and takes a helluva lot of work. But I keep plugging away -- at blogging, promotion, and original reporting --- since this seems to be what gives me the most intellectual enrichment right now, and that's to say nothing of my addiction!

More later ...


Zilla said...

What you report as a low number for a day is pretty close to my average weekly number, although it's been slowly and steadily growing. I do spend a lot of time promoting my stuff, but when I begin to feel discouraged I remind myself that I've only been doing this since August and in that time I've come pretty far as to making connections with other bloggers. The most exciting thing to happen to me as a blogger is making friends with bloggers who I have long been a fan of. I'm not making money at it though, aside from the occasional kind (and much needed) donation or ad that I sell, but then I don't get to blog every day due to family obligations.
You have a terrific blog, Donald, so it didn't surprise me at all when I saw you in the top Conservative blog rankings, you totally deserve to be there.
Congratulations on all of your well deserved recognition. People like you blaze the trail and inspire people like me.

Bartender Cabbie said...

Keep on rockin Prof Douglas. You have detractors and some rather vicious. I guess that means you are doing something right.

Kenneth Davenport said...

Donald -- you do a great job, but you are right it is a lot of work keeping your traffic up. It's a full-time job, which is why I have largely abandoned my own blogging. I'm still writing occasionally, but it is tough to keep it up, given the fact that making a living is important (especially to us conservatives!) Anyhow, keep up the good work, but know that building traffic isn't everything, and you will always have a loyal following who will read you no matter how hard you are working the system.

Indigo Red said...

WooHoo! Technorati ranks me at 45,042 this past week, up 1. Not bad considering there are over 150 million blogs today and I do not market or hustle, I just write now and then.

I do appreciate your hard work, Don.