December 18, 2009

Be Useful and Entertaining

I avoided blogging for such a long time partly because I was too busy actually working. But also, I was completely turned off because of the Echo Chamber.

All those blogs about how to write blogs, how to drive traffic to your blog, how to make money off your blog. It seemed like a closed circle of people reading each others blogs—and probably not even really reading the posts, but just cross-linking each other to prove that it works. A Self-Fulfilling Blogphacy.

Blogging about blogging. It was like those insufferable rock songs about being rock stars. (That said, I do like Life’s Been Good by Joe Walsh.) Or a book about how to get rich playing the lottery—hey, if you can write that book, why don’t you just get rich playing the damn lottery instead?

And too much of the blogosphere smelled like the movie industry, which is always congratulating itself with its own award ceremonies. “Hey, hey. Look at us. Aren’t we all so great looking and such great Actors! See us laugh and clap for each other! Life is good. You want to be us.”

So when I saw John Chow’s blog described on IgorHelpsYouSucceed as
“Another famous blogger. John Chow makes $40,000 a month of [sic] his blog by showing other people how to make $40,000 a month of [sic] a blog.”
I thought, “Ugh.” But I followed the link anyhow. (Hey, $40,000 a month! You have to at least see it!) And low and behold, it turns out it’s a very useful and entertaining site.

And in the end, that’s the real filter for a good publication of any kind. Be useful or entertaining. And when it’s both—it’s a hit! Even a blog about blogging.

Here’s a sample from John Chow dot Com (by a guest blogger), titled Why Your Blog Is Not Getting Attention And How To Fix It

Now, where did I see that poll for the Bestest Blogging Blogger award … ?

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