Friday, September 09, 2005

Becoming a Blogger of Influence

Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost has once again provided great advice and perspective for bloggers everywhere:

Imagine that you've been provided the opportunity to hold a daily public conference. Six days a week between a dozen and a few hundred people gather together for the sole purpose of hearing what you think. Some of them find you insightful, even brilliant while others think you’re a blithering idiot. Each day, though, they come to hear you give an opinion about current events, expound upon an obscure topic of personal interest, or hear you share an amusing anecdote. A few stay thru your entire oration while others leave after only a few words. But every day someone shows up for your briefing.

How would you handle the pressure? How much time and effort would you put into your remarks? How would you use such an incredible opportunity?

While this may sound rather far-fetched, the fact is that millions of people already have a similar opportunity. I’m one such person. I suspect you are too. We’re called bloggers.

Joe goes on to explain that the important thing for bloggers to focus on is not so much developing a huge audience in terms of numbers of hits but rather developing an audience that will come back to read your blog on a regular basis. That audience will be one that you will be able to engage with, converse with, argue with, and even develop a relationship with. You can't realistically develop relationships with a huge number of people. But by building a core audience whom with you will engage in conversation you are truly becoming a blogger of influence.

The trap that many bloggers fall into (myself included) is trying to reach as wide an audience as possible rather than deeping the relationship with the audience. As a result, we become focused on statistics rather than being concerned about the quality of our posts. But if we concentrate on providing better content for those who have been willing to entrust us with their most precious commodity - their time - we will find that we'll have a far greater impact than we could have ever imagined.

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