Saturday, August 16, 2008

A great optimist: "Blogging Success Takes A Few Months"

A Webpronews article tells us: Blogging Success Takes A Few MonthsOh, really? Is that all it takes? True, the article has some fine print. But the headline is whopper.
If you think you are going to put out a Web log that gets thousands, OK, hundreds of readers a week for every article after a month or or two or even three, you are probably in for a big shock unless your name is something like Paris Hilton or Barack Obama.
From looking at Alexa ratings and Technorati ratings of Web sites and Web logs, and from experience, I would say that the above headline is like someone writing "Becoming a best selling author takes a few months" or "becoming a successful nuclear physicist takes a few months."
Sometimes it will take years, and sometimes you will never be a "success."
Most Web logs and Web sites are not what anyone would consider a success measured by number of visitors. Some of those sites and blogs are pretty good too. Many hours are spent in wonderful, important  writing that might be read by half a dozen people in a week. The average article at a large Web site might get as few as 200 visitors in a year, discounting Web spiders.
I didn't find that a Web log could be successful with less than a few hundred posts. Unless you write fast and furiously, every day, that is going to take more than a few months.
Of course, blogging success can take only a few months (or less)  IF you are publishing at a large platform and if you are already widely known from other publicity. A blog by a famous politician or media personality is usually a  success pretty quickly, even if they write rubbish there.
Good content is not going to buy your ticket to blogger heaven or Web site heaven either.
Leonard Woolf, (the guy who married Virginia) pointed out in his autobiography that in their publishing business, they found that the long term success of a book was in inverse proportion to the quantity of books sold in the first few years. In the first few years, publishing (anywhere) is like a toilet bowl - the big pieces float to the top.
Solid content, which all the wise men tell you is a "must"  -- turns out to be a waste in Web logs from my experience. In informational.  Web sites, solid content is king. Those pages are meant to be read and reread and relied on for reference. In Web Logs, schlock often rules. I confess that some of my biggest blogging successes - relatively - were exploitation posts. A single article that must've gotten a few hundred thousand pagveviews by now was about "Sex, Google and Arabs" - mostly nonsense based on some Google trends data. The articles that I sweated over to provide deep analysis or great graphics are usually ignored. Oh Verily, Why do the Wicked Prosper? Who knows? Junkorama is not excluded in technical  Web logs either. Popular SEO 'experts' often  got to be experts by inventing technical nonsense - myths about optimal page length, disastrous advise to delete pages from the Web, articles that claim you can be a successful blogger in a few months,  etc.
The things that your liable to read in the SEO bible, it ain't necessarily so.
Ami Isseroff

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