On Blogging, Week One

Brent here, borrowed again from Strictly Average in what I hope will be a regular series of articles…

Scratch that.  Let’s chat a moment.

This article is late going to the editor, TastyTaste, and while he hasn’t mentioned it I’m sure he’s a bit irked, ‘cause I promised it to him a week ago.  He’s giving me a chance to write a regular series of articles on Blood of Kittens, but part of that is proving I can meet a deadline.

You see, the reason all those ‘collaborations’ out there don’t work isn’t because people don’t go in to it with the best of intentions, it’s because sitting down and hammering out something you hope people will give a shit about for 5 minutes isn’t easy.  Without deadlines and editors, it breaks down fast.

You simply can’t expect someone to care as much about your blog as you do.  In this series, that’s Rule #1…  We’ll get there in a moment.

Why do I think Blood of Kittens is different?  Because it is, that’s why.  It’s not a traditional blog and hasn’t tried to act like it.  Also, I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan at first.  That said, I began to respect what Tasty was trying to accomplish, and that came out of a conversation where I was being critical of him.

That day, he wasn’t going after Stelek (I know, I know – that doesn’t narrow it down much, does it?) and I basically told him I’d seen some Wolf Blitzer in him and I’d seen some Perez Hilton, and Mrs. Hilton was getting more coverage.  That was my ever-so-sensitive way of calling him a gossip bitch. 

I was right, too.  Still, he shrugged it off and kept doing what he was doing.  In this series, that’s Rule #2…  We’ll get there, soon enough.

I came to realize something about Blood of Kittens, something that was out there the whole time: this place is part news, part gossip, and part douche-baggery.  It can be 100% ‘scratch your eyes out, you whore’ – ‘cause this rag is the online, 40K-oriented version of US Weekly.

That’s right, we report, we decide: like it or not, your option.

Once I figured all that out I embraced the Blood of Kittens calling.  I decided that was a rag I could write for!

Plus, Big Red never returned my emails.  True story.

Okay, now that all that’s out of the way, my regular series will be called On Blogging, so naturally enough that’s what I’ll be focused on.  If you’re interested in starting a blog, I’ll be able to help you.  If you’re having trouble finding your voice, I’ll be able to help you.

I’ll be highlighting the good blogs and bashing the shit out of bad ones, in true trashy-mag tradition.  If you want to stop by and open it up to the centerfold, that’s an option: I promise you pictures, ‘cause I know you love the porn.

Gamer Porn: Painted Miniatures.  It’s true, ya pervert.  You love the porn, you need the porn…

Keep both hands on the keyboard, sicko.

My format will be simple.  I’ll spend some time fleshing out my observations and advice, and each week I’ll highlight my points with real-world examples from the wonderful world of blogs.  If I can get hold of the individual(s) in question I’ll see if they want to participate by filling out my questionnaire.  Hopefully we’ll learn a thing or two along the way, as well as pushing some foot traffic to deserving – and not-so deserving – blogs.

Today though, I’m not going to spend much more time talking myself; the intro wasted enough of your tolerance, I’m sure.  Instead, I went out and grabbed a rising star in the blogging world and begged him for an interview. 

BSMoove began ‘A Gentleman’s Ones’ in February of this year; that’s 5 and a half short months of blogging – less, when you consider he missed June due to his vacation – and by any measure he’s been successful.

Strictly Average is a moderately successful hobby blog and it’s taken me almost a year of hard work to find my voice and hit my stride.  I’ve got 89 folks following my site…

…as of tonight, as I finish writing this article, A Gentleman’s Ones has 89 folks following his site.  What does that mean?

It means I resent the shit of him, that’s what it means.

What, he thinks he can show up with a game plan and talent, two things I lack, and just start a blog? 

Well, yea.

Let’s take a line directly from his questionnaire.  By the way, my questions will be in italics and his answers in bold.  If you hadn’t guessed already, I’ve asked Tasty to intersperse this article with pictures from his blog.

Did you have an idea for what you wanted to do with it (the blog) right off the bat or did it develop naturally?

I had an idea, immediately, that I wanted to create a blog that was ambitious. I wanted it to be consistent and rewarding for readers, and wanted to emphasize both quality and quantity.


See what I mean?  What an asshole.

I thought that I’d need some discipline if it were to be worthwhile, so put myself on a pretty rigorous schedule early on with the goal of posting five times each week. That’s a lot. I know.  But I wanted to put my goal at the upper limits of my ability, not the opposite. In my opinion, the posting plan has worked, as it allows me to develop a single theme across three posts each week. I’ve grown quite fond of this idea over the months because I have time to plumb the depths of any idea that I might stumble upon, and also the time to break those ideas into reasonably-sized ‘digestible chunks’.

So… he’s been successful because he had a plan and stuck to it.  If there’s a lesson here, it’s too subtle.  I can’t see it.

From the outset, I wanted to avoid a situation where I put all my effort into one or two tremendously big posts and then disappeared for a month (or felt obligated to pack a post with filler), which seemed the easiest way either to burn out or to forget the blog entirely. Again, this may seem counterintuitive, but by holding back a bit, I feel that I’m actually able to post both more frequently, and more thoroughly than I would otherwise. Again, digestible chunks.

This is very, very good advice, and it’s something I see you new bloggers doing all the time.  It’s very common to see a blog start out strong then burn out quick.  After all, what do you write about when all your easy ideas are used up in the first few weeks?

A big part of the success of A Gentleman’s Ones has been his consistency.  If you get people excited about something, they’ll want to see more.  If you give them that every few days you’ll build a loyal audience.  If you give them everything up front then quit suddenly entirely, you’ll lose your audience.

So basically, you want to be a girl trying to land a guy… give up the goods slowly, make him want more… what, too much?

I’m going to take BSMoove’s advice here and call this article done.  I’ve barely scratched the surface of my ideas for the ongoing articles much less the great material BSMoove sent me.  Part Two will conclude my interview and review of A Gentleman’s Ones.

Hopefully I can convince TastyTaste to publish it early next week.  In the meantime, I’m very aware blogging circles tend to become closed, inter-linking communities, some of them quite difficult to find.  Feel free to comment, and please drop a line letting me know the blogs I should check out.  You can email me Brent@strictlyaverage.com or simply drop the title in the comments.