Writing a Blog: An Expert's View
James is a long-time blogger and website owner. In this exclusive interview he explains how he got into blogging and what keeps him interested.
What kind of online work do you currently do?
I'm currently the owner, as well as executive editor of BingeGamer.net, as well as a freelance writer and political blogger.
I got into blogging back in 1999, before most people even knew what a "blog" was. I was a co-owner of a website called "The Swab Company," a website that was more or less focused on pissing people off. We ripped on everything, from Britney Spears (back in her heyday, before she went nuts) to religion to video games.
Besides writing, what other tasks do you do on a daily basis to keep your blogs running?
I actually don't do too much writing on the website anymore. I've been trying to stay behind the scenes, contacting industry insiders about interviews, game reviews, etc. I also am working hard on improving our community building aspect, which has taken up a lot of my time.
What are the biggest challenges of writing for a blog?
Motivation during the down times. When traffic is up and you're making money, it's easy to keep writing and keep the people interested, but when you have little or no traffic coming your way it can be hard sometimes.
Sure, some people say they run their personal blogs solely for them, but I never bought that line of trash. If you're writing on the Internet, there is at least some small part of you who wants others to read what you have to say. After all - that's why you're writing it!
What are some of the best aspects of blogging?
The interesting people you come across. When you are blogging about things people agree with, you have people who leave supportive comments, or people who want to talk in depth about a particular game or news item. When you write something that angers people, though, you get some truly entertaining comments.
Do you prefer network blogging or owning your own blog? What have you found to be some of the pros and cons of each?
I love building my own blogs. Everything from the aesthetic look and feel to the content, I try to build it from the ground up. Of course, when you have a network blog you almost always have an installed traffic base, and probably better pay.
What advice would you give to someone interested in blogging?
Make sure it's what you want to do. A lot. And make sure you have something to say, too, because I see far too many of these Blogspot blogs that are boring beyond words. Nobody cares about what you had for lunch. Hell, by this time tomorrow YOU won't care about what you had for lunch. So, yeah. Make sure you have a message, make sure you are willing to put in the time and effort to make it something people will want to come back to. But mostly, have fun.