Off The Record With Byron Crawford
These days everyone and their stepmom has a blog. How would you suggest making one successful?
My advice to somebody that wanted to get their blog big is just to try to find out what people are interested in and write about that. People aren't necessarily interested in what you had for lunch. If you notice, a lot of the biggest blogs are about celebrities, popular musicians, actors, actresses or what have you. But I wouldn't necessarily sweat just writing about famous people. It's really writing about things that people find relevant to them.
Like that new Sex In The City flick? Think we'll pass.
You're going to benefit from writing about something that you know about. And one way to really find out a lot about something is to read about it constantly. If it's something you're interested in it's going to be that much easier. If I was going to write a blog about something that didn't interest me, like the Lifetime cable network for old ladies, that would be a lot harder for me than writing about rap musicâ€”something I've been interested in for as long as I can remember.
You've got a distinct blogger voice. How can someone develop that?
I'm sure a lot of that's just God given. But I think that's definitely something that you can work at just by being able to channel your own attitude and your writing. It doesn't necessarily come through always because a lot of people haven't practiced writing as much and might not be as good at it.
Does controversy sell?
I think controversy sells, but that's the case with all media, whether it's The New York Times or TV news. Whatever. People are drawn to a car wreck, basically. But at the same time, I think people get turned off if it's all car wrecks all the time. I would say don't shy away from controversy. Don't be afraid to embrace it.
How can someone build a Barack Obama-like following?
Consistency over a period of time. Just stake out your point of view, and eventually you're going to find people who agree with your point of view; or the opposite, people who disagree with your point of view vehemently. Some people like to disagree with you as much as somebody else might enjoy agreeing with you.
How consistent should blog posts be, to keep people regularly checking?
I don't think it matters what the frequency is--if you want to blog ten times a day or one time a day or three times a week--but find something that works for you, your audience, and whatever topic you choose to discuss. In some cases, I think you're better off blogging ten times a day, but it's okay since you can get away with blogging a lot less. You don't want to surprise people, like disappear for two weeks at a time and then pop up. People get pissed off when you just cut and disappear, especially if you do it often.