Monday, April 13, 2009

Freaky Sunday and Blogs

Ok, so you think you pretty much have the contingencies covered most of the time. You try to get your research done early in case a home emergency comes up. You keep an extra, crappy computer on hand in case your first one self-destructs, which has happened twice, and an even-crappier computer waiting for when the crappy one blows up. Check. You have steeled yourself to work through household commotion, screaming, the flu, strep throat, two bouts of head lice (What? When you have offspring, it happens!) and slumber parties.

So, I had a nice long list of stuff to do last night, all scheduled out nice and neat on a scrap of paper, and then a FREAK WINDSTORM blew up suddenly and knocked the power out for more than three hours. Seriously. Even a cat 1 hurricane rarely knocks out the power, but this sucker was merciless. I've never seen anything like it out of a hurricane, and it lasted just as long. I figured the gods didn't want me to keep my schedule- they wanted me to pace nervously for an hour and then read a book by candlelight. So, I paced nervously for two hours and didn't read a damn thing.

On the upside, I was able to interview the Fug Girls recently! I got their final responses back today and put it all onto a Suite101 article. I freaking love the Fug Girls. I actually sent them a fan email about a year ago, which they were kind enough to answer. I am also happy to be back doing a few interviews, which I have missed since leaving newspapers. Most Web articles come from Web research and perhaps your own knowledge on a subject.

Q: Why put it in question/answer format? A: Because like I said, most Web articles don't rely on original interviews. Putting a few quotes into a Web article, as is done with newspaper articles, can make it appear that the quotes are lifted from other articles or from press releases.

The article is part of a larger series of articles that I've been working on about bloggers who get book deals. I have a list of some of the blogs that have been turned into books and I have another blogger interview here.

My point with these is to counteract the notion that you have to have serious subject matter or that your blog has to be informational in order to have a blog that is hugely popular. I was inspired by a particular blogger who continually tells her readers that you should never start a blog without carefully researching the subject matter first and then must engage in non-stop promotion of that blog if you want to be successful. The more I delve into the subject of popular blogs, the more I find out that this couldn't be less true. All of these bloggers start with an idea to amuse themselves, they never research it beforehand and they never engage in promotion. If you wonder about the success of your own blog, you may find some inspiration in them.


Russell said...

I'm deeply depressed that I work so hard to get stats up on my site - it is about (yawn) money after all - but that the photo site I put up recently ( had more hits (without trying) in two days than the first two months of the main site ... A rethink methink ...

Must have been fun being a kid when the power cut happened. Such are the magical memories of childhood.


L. Shepherd said...

That seems to be almost universally the case. I tried pretty hard to promote this one when it was a few months old, but eventually gave up. Traffic is much more steady now that I don't worry about it.

I like the photos!

Joanne said...

Interesting take on the blogs. It's funny how you really can't predict just which ones will take off, but it does seem that a passion is necessary in the writing of them. Enjoyed browsing here!

Holly K said...

Interesting post. I found your blog from a link on TheBloggess. Specifically her post about quitting her job recently to write full-time. You had mentioned you get to write full-time and manage to get by. Good for you! I agree that being passionate about what you are writing about makes a huge difference.

L. Shepherd said...

I just discovered the Bloggess recently and can't believe what I was missing. She reminds me of my original drafts before I go through and take all of the personality out of them. After reading her I decided to stop that immediately.