Monthly Archives: June 2011

Bloggers Worst Enemy?

I was going to say that carpal tunnel was the worst enemy to bloggers, but Jeff already chose that for his post, and so I will select John Chow (not linking him, go search him out) as the worst enemy to bloggers. Sure, it has been done many times before, and picking on John, who I’ve met and is a great person, seems kind of silly, but let me explain why.

John Sells the Dream

One of the biggest misconceptions still out there regarding blogging is that you can make a bunch of money overnight. John earns $1000 per day from his blog, and he built that little empire in a year, so anyone can do it, right?

Well, not quite. Even if you took all of the same steps towards building and monetizing your site as he did, you would still fall quite short in terms of traffic, fame and revenue. Things have changed online and I highly doubt anyone could copy his steps to get to the same point in the same amount of time.

John, also rarely adds valuable content to his site, with a strong mix of paid reviews, affiliate program posts, and a variety of content on his own life. These posts really only help to earn him more money without providing much content worth remembering and serves to only persuade people further that what he does is easy to replicate.

I hear, “I could blog about food and weird products all day too” and shake my head. If only it was that simple, then everyone would be doing it.

People have long since forgotten that “if it is too good to be true, then it probably is” and this rule holds even more true online than any other medium or communication space before it.

John Chow is a blogger’s worst enemy. He shows the world a slanted picture of what it means to be a blogger, and is probably solely responsible for many horrible blogging trends online.

What do you write?

We are all familiar with the different types of fiction: The different genres has and has been talked about but what about non-fiction. What do we publishers write when we write non-fiction. What are different forms of non-fiction writing? Well it would help to briefly describe them –

Reporting

The reportage: The report: The News. Just simply saying what has happened. This could range from Aunt Mildred’s wedding to George or the Marriage of the Queen of Buggyland to the Prince of Salami. It could be anything as long as it happened. This usually falls under the five wise men of Rudyard Kipling’s five wise men name: (i) who, (ii) what, (iii) when, (iv) where, and (v) how?

How-To-Do-It

These articles range from how to prepare an omelet to how make your own nuclear bomb – a writer actually did several years ago and he was immediately hired by a government agency upon discovery of his thesis. Articles/posts such as these gives the reader step-by-step instructions on how to prepare and assemble/or cook a specific dish or object. Note that there will also be articles/posts that will fall under sub-form of How-To-Do-It – the advise piece or the question & answer piece.

The Narrative

A more detailed and personal account of an event in past and the present. A tad bit longer and more meandering a narrative not only gives you the facts of what has happened but it also gives you an inkling of the emotion of the moment as things happened – although more often it is a very personal account of what has happened.

The Confession

This type of article/post deals with revelations. Most oftem personal revelation of what one did or what one felt like doing during a given time. It could also be an article or post that leads one to the writer or blogger’s realization usually after something has happened our occurred.

Interviews

This type of post/article is a question and answer piece – usually but not limited to one person. It may focus on one aspect of a person’s life; a person’s career or only subject of interest.

Reviews

A critical discussion or commentary of a book, play, film, gadget, and service. As such you should have a book review; a review of a play; a film review; a review of a gadget and even a restaurant review. Does the reviewer think this bad or good? A good review will often tell why they think something is good or bad.

Argumentative:Opinion: the lead: the editorial

This type of article/post argues for or against an issue or a cause. This type of article is used to dissuade or encourage the reader. In some instances, ir can also be used to challenge the reader to action.

Analysis

An analysis, whether post or article, aims to provide the reader a thorough discussion of a subject. It starts with an introduction, a brief description of the topic, the issues involved; the pros and cons of an issue; A summary and a conclusion or a non-conclusion.

You will probably find that a number of non-fiction writing you have done will fall into one or two or three or even four of the types. There maybe even more.

And so my friend what do you write?

Why do you write?

George Orwell once wrote an essay on the reasons for writing. It is probably one of my favorite essays on writing that I have read. Another one would be Edgar Allan Poes’ composition.

Reading it now and also looking at the large expanse of the writers unniverse on the web I can say that Orwell did not touch on everything. Most if not all reasons he mentioned centered on non-monetary reasons for writing.

People write for a living. I do. I try to. I aspire to.

But there are other reasons for writing and Orwell, who was also a prolific writer and wrote as a means to earn income wrote that these were:

First, To record and to report things that happen.

Second, To point out to the reader an d to the world an object, animal, person, event, and phenomena of (i) beauty; (ii) interest; (iii) uniqueness.

Third, To move the reader to act to a certain way. Mark Anthony’s speech before the Romans who were looking at the body of the assassinated Caesar along with his assasins is a classic example of moving people. Even the use of honorable men was used so effectively that at the end of the speech. These honorable men were then veiewed as anything else but that.

Fourth, To satisfy an aesthetic sense of proportion. To see beauty in the written word. People who read aloud poems and stories would know this. The play and use of words to paint and give voice to our worlds is such an example.

Fifth, To satisy the ego: To satisfy us: A sense of pride and fulfillment when one finishes a work is a reward. Applause or acclaim for one’s work is a form of reward and a reason to write.

To sum it all up in a neat list George Orwell or Eric Blair wrote that he wrote because of the following reasons:

  • To record
  • To point out
  • To move people
  • To satisfy an aesthetic need
  • And to satisfy the ego
  • These reasons have been mentioned is what Orwell said were the reasons he wrote. Of course there are more reasons for writing.

      What is yours?

    Add That “ReTweet This” Button on Your Blogs Now

    This post is to remind you that if you haven’t added  the Facebook sharing and Retweet This buttons in your blog, you might want to do so now. It’s a proven tactic for increasing page views and traffic to your blogs. If you have accumulated “unwanted followings/followers” in your Twitter account, now is the time to make use of them. Continue reading