Skip to comments.Some Sage Advice for the Conservative Blogger
Posted on 05/11/2011 10:24:05 PM PDT by TheConservativeCitizen
So you finally decided to take the big step, to wade into the debates of the day, and lend your ever-so-wise voice to the great political public square. Youve decided to become a political blogger. Now what? And what can you learn and expect as you step forth to ideological battle and proclaim the truth as you know it? I have blogged from a conservative point of view for many years, both as an individual as well as in a group blog format, and in that time I like to think that Ive learned a few things about blogging along the way that Id like to share with you. This is by no means an exhaustive list of any sort, but just a few ideas Id like to pass along.
* The secret to blogging is to produce material. A lot of it. And on a regular basis. The quickest way to lose readers is to go long stretches between posts. It never stops and it never ends, and for you to retain readers you better provide your blog and your readers with fresh and new material on a regular basis. You definitely must love to write and share your thoughts on ideology, philosophy, current events and politics in a public venue. And obviously, you want the material you post to be of as good of quality as possible. Do the best you can in each post and dont be lazy or careless in your research. Be funny, be relevant, be provocative, be intellectual, be insightful, be analytical, be sarcastic or flippant, but above all strive to be interesting. Be careful and meticulous in your preparation. Besides your own completely original essays or articles you can post videos as well as excerpts from other articles, news items, or blog posts complete with your own wise spin on the issue and a link back to the original article. There is plenty to write about and the hardest part of blogging is just taking the time to sit down at the keyboard and just start typing. If you are a good writer and blogger to begin with the words and subject matter should come naturally, its the self-discipline and time commitment that is usually the hardest hurdle to overcome. Be yourself. People can pick out a phony in no time at all. Dont just parrot party lines or your favorite columnist, talking head, or radio talk show host. Stake out your own views on the issues of the day without overly worrying about what others might think because no matter what you write a whole lot of people are bound to disagree with it. You are not writing to please people or seek their approval but to stake out your own views on a subject. As a blogger you should be leading, not following, when it comes to the great debates of the day. Never seek validation from your readers, but instead write as if you are persuading them to your views. Write with no apologies, political correctness, or self doubts. If you suffer cripplingly from the above afflictions you really shouldnt be blogging in the first place. A blogger should be self-assured and matter of fact. The whiners will attack you about ego or uncompromising stands. Dont fret. Instead congratulate yourself for having a backbone and not just going along with every silly political fad or blowing around with the winds of popular opinion. Dont be a coward, be a leader. Stake out a piece of ideological ground and defend it for all it is worth.
* Which brings me to the following. You will be attacked. Often, and sometimes viciously. From both sides of the aisle. If you take true principled stands from a conservative or Christian standpoint be prepared for the nastiest of personal assaults, threats, name-calling, and insults you can imagine. From both your enemies and sometimes even some you thought were your friends. Nothing brings out the frothing haters like standing up for simple things like uncompromising principle, moral, values, and failing to be wishy-washy when it comes to standing up the various isms of the Left. They are a hateful, spiteful bunch and roam the net eager to rhetorically crucify all those who havent succumbed to the progressive ideology and fail to heed the doctrines of multiculturalism, diversity, tolerance, and political correctness (as defined by the Left of course). There is not a name I havent been called, a mischaracterization I havent been accused of, and an insult I havent endured. And yet I remain, and my work has been read by hundreds of thousands of people over the years. That is what you strive for in end, to add your small voice to the great debates of the day and reach as many people as you can with your views and beliefs in as intelligent and influential manner as possible. Think of it this way, if you arent being attacked or mocked somewhere along the way you arent really doing your job correctly. You are here to promote true intellectual debate, take a stand on the issues, present your views on a subject, reassure the choir, try to persuade the unenlightened and uninformed, and challenge your ideological enemies. If you follow that path you are bound to upset someone along the way. Take pride in every dolt who takes a shot at you and remember the more your ideological enemies attack you the closer you are to probably having written the truth. My best work provoked some of the most angry backlashes I have ever experienced. And it is a fairly accurate, if crude, measure by which to measure the strength and truth of your message to the audience of your blog and the world wide web in general. Never forget that the blogosphere, and its comments section, is populated by an amazing amount of dolts, know-it-alls, self-proclaimed experts in every imaginable field, saboteurs, trolls, mocking losers, and general troublemakers of all kinds. There are also a few regular good people in there too as well if you look hard enough. Just dont be surprised by what you see and who may drop by to give you a visit.
* You will be richly rewarded in the long run. The number of interesting debates, discussions, and arguments you will experience by putting yourself out there is always a reward in itself. I have received emails from people all over the world thanking me for daring to take a stand on the issues and values that are important to conservatives. You will also get the chance to meet and interact with people from all over the world with viewpoints and perspectives different from your own. Blogging quickly becomes addictive if you are actually cut out for this online profession. You quickly get to hone and sharpen your debating and writing techniques in the online world of blogging and learn to see the logical fallacies in the arguments of many others when you learn to vigorously debate and articulate the issues of the day.
* You will reach a lot of people over time. Not all of us end up as million visitor a day bloggers. For every one who did there are a hundred thousand who did not. But do not despair. Some are called to reach a million visitors at a time, but there is nothing wrong with being the one who reaches few dozen, a few hundred, or even a few thousand people at a time. If you are a good blogger you will reach people with your message and it is not necessarily how many people that you reach with a message but that you are indeed reaching the right people with the right message. Be a crusader for your cause and do to the fact that pretty much everything lives forever on the internet you will be reaching people with your opinion from last December for perhaps years to come. Your words will live on influencing others day and night whether you know it or not. If you are a good blogger it wont be long before you have a decent following and reaching more people than you thought you would.
* Get to know and interact with other bloggers. Comment on their posts, send them a private email, and ask them to add you to their blogroll (after you have added them to yours of course). I met our own Hairy Beast years ago by commenting on his blog and we eventually ended up blogging together here and have done so for many years. I can refer to Dana over at Common Sense Political Thought and certain of you will know who I am referring to or I can drop Eric at Tygrrrr Express an email and hell know who I am. Its nice when a fellow blogger from the Gates of Vienna, 1389, or Patriots Corner drops by and leaves a comment or you see a post of yours linked to form Flopping Aces because someone stopped by to read your blog. You can quickly gather allies in the form of other conservative bloggers as you fight shoulder to shoulder in the great cultural and ideological wars on the political landscape. Cultivate those relationships and those partnerships can lead to a great many things including some pretty close friendships as well as some other opportunities.
* Promote your blog endlessly. Crosspost to other conservative forums and to Free Republic. Keep a large and up to date blogroll. Comment on other blogs. Utilize facebook vigorously to promote your blog and yourself for that matter, and put together an email newsletter to build and update your readership. You are a brand and promote yourself like one. Carry some simple business cards with you and whenever you start talking politics with someone give them one and say hey, I do some blogging on politics that you ought to check out if you are interested. Youd be surprised how often this happens to me. I had a lady linger to talk to me in front of the Habitat for Humanity thrift store last week because she saw my right-wing stickers on my car. We talked for about fifteen minutes and as we parted we shook hands and then I gave her my card and simply said I do some blogging if you are interested in checking it out. Easy, simple, non-intrusive, and yet another way to perhaps help build your blogging base.
* Never, ever give up. You will be run the gauntlet at times and sometimes ask yourself if it is all worth it. But dont despair. Defending liberty extracts a price, but we conservative bloggers are the conscience of a nation, the proud defenders of liberty, the hated enemies of the nanny state, and the foe of liberals everywhere. It is our job to daily expose the hypocrisy of the Left, confront progressivism wherever it rears its ugly head, and generally fight the good fight. Every day that you lend your voice to the great debates is another day that other conservatives realize that they are not alone and that though their beliefs are under daily assault on many fronts they are still worth defending and advocating. There are still things worth fighting for and instead of sitting in a bar somewhere complaining to a couple of your friends or talking over the back fence to a neighbor, you can be advocating your opinions to hundreds and thousands of people all across the nation and the world.
I shall print this out and digest later.
Your loyal public thanks you all for your steadfastness and hard work.
Bump - sage advise indeed. Thanks for posting.
Keep on Bloggin’.
Thanks for not excerpting.
“The secret to blogging is to produce material. A lot of it. And on a regular basis. The quickest way to lose readers is to go long stretches between posts. It never stops and it never ends, and for you to retain readers you better provide your blog and your readers with fresh and new material on a regular basis. You definitely must love to write and share your thoughts on ideology, philosophy, current events and politics in a public venue. And obviously, you want the material you post to be of as good of quality as possible. Do the best you can in each post and dont be lazy or careless in your research. Be funny, be relevant, be provocative, be intellectual, be insightful, be analytical, be sarcastic or flippant, but above all strive to be interesting. Be careful and meticulous in your preparation. Besides your own completely original essays or articles you can post videos as well as excerpts from other articles, news items, or blog posts complete with your own wise spin on the issue and a link back to the original article. There is plenty to write about and the hardest part of blogging is just taking the time to sit down at the keyboard and just start typing. If you are a good writer and blogger to begin with the words and subject matter should come naturally, its the self-discipline and time commitment that is usually the hardest hurdle to overcome. Be yourself. People can pick out a phony in no time at all. “
Worth repeating for ALL blogs, not just politics.
When researching almost anything, one comes across a multitude of blogs. Most are old and out-of-date. Someone was able to write down 1500 words and post one pic and they seem to then run out material. So much material is just recycled, lame or out-of-date.
And I know it isn’t easy. My husband and I have discussed this as a project related to our businesses and before we publish, we are writing, daily, just to get the practice and to have a back-up log of posts on hand for when things get too busy.
However, we are really leery of FB. So many privacy issues, there. I would rather try the linking route, the blogroll, and cross-posting unless we can find a way to make FB both effective and secure. Twitter is just so much mindless repetition, I cannot bring myself to stay involved in it. I would have to live online to do so, I think.
I understand branding, but there is also the concept of the *secret brand* See William Gibson’s “Zero History”. There’s a good interview, here:
A secret brand is something not promoted via the overcrowded media marketplace, but passed along person to person, site to site in niche venues. It takes longer, but avoids the initial onslaught that then quickly dissipates. A really great product will stand out, even if only a select portion of the market knows where to find it. Because it is really great and original and authentic, people will work to find it.
I agree that authenticity is key.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.