As our blog is new, and Eric and I are completely new to blogging, I recently asked an old friend and active and successful blogger for advice about blogging. Specifically, I was interested in how to grow our blogging readership. His thoughtful reply can be found as a blog post on his site, the baseline scenario. His post, and those in the comments, contain useful links to other bloggers’ advice about how to start blogging, such as this post by Felix Salmon, and this post by problogger on how to optimize search engine hits.
Take home points for me about our site are as follows:
1. We need to post more often, not worry about quality as much.
2. We need to link to other bloggers, comment on other bloggers sites.
3. Felix Salmon says it takes about a year for your blog to gain momentum, so we have time.
4. We should eventually post about every new and exciting policy or newsworthy article in the literature.
5. We need to be less journalistic/perfectionist and less afraid of putting ourselves out there and saying something wrong.
6. If no one is commenting, be Zen, keep posting.
This is new to us. As academics, we’re used to writing in the somewhat staid and highly defensible format of the journal article or letter to the editor. Blogging, however, is more like a written conversation, and we need to be more willing to put our opinions out there. Even if they’re a little rough around the edges. We need to find our own voice.
What do you think? How can we appeal to you, our readership? Do you value quantity over quality, or the other way around?