Want to be a great blogger?

If you thought the blogosphere was dull and appealed only to those affiliated with GeekCentral, think again. I am finding that the blog-universe has all the elements of a good soap opera – death threats, deadly competition, scandals, romance, sideshows, sleaze, and best of all, good ol’ fashioned slug-fest going on since early March at Deep Jive Interests.

The question that’s causing this free-for-all mania is this: Does an "A-list" of bloggers exist? Jason Calcanis says No, it’s all hard work and heart.

Spend 3-4 years blogging every day for 3-8 hours a day and then tell me you didn’t make it to the A-list and people held you back… I *might* believe it after that.

What a bunch of cry babies you "B-lister" and "C listers" are…. no one is holding you back but yourselves! I never considered myself A, B, or C list.

I’ve spent my life creating my own frackin’ list… and you losers should too!

Tony of Deep Jive Interests says yes, there is a A-list and it’s not easy to break into.

I’ve come a long way in blogging, but I’m not blind to the fact that the vast majority of bloggers — even those who bring something new, refreshing, and regular to the table — may find barriers to blogging success in spite of hard work or their talent. I’d like to believe in the democracy of blogging, but the fact is that there are certain advantages that some bloggers have that others don’t. Not having them doesn’t mean you can’t be an A-lister, but I have yet to find one that didn’t have any.

The “A-list” exists, and it exists naturally. Do I think some of them “call it in”? Sure. But some of them also continue to blog just as hard as they do when they first started. But to think that a natural stratification doesn’t exist — or if it does, is easy to penetrate if you “are good and work hard” — is quite frankly, blind and a little arrogant.

He further clarifies,

I don’t begrudge a-listers for being a-listers, because its not an issue of blogging success. Many bloggers took that to be the substance of my beef. Its not. And that’s because being part of the a-list isn’t a function of how “good” you are at a blogger, how “well” you market your blog, or even how “interested” you are at creating blog rolls and interacting with your community.

Rather, all of those things are necessary but insufficient to be “a-list” as part of the way I was using the term. Folks, its about their ability to be so close to The News, that they’re either creating it, reporting it, or delivering it. These guys, through their connections, their businesses, or their activities are real influences in the real industry of choice.

You cannot BUT help but pay attention to them because they are a genuine source of News in any way that you want to define it.

Wow! Now, that’s an interesting debate even if you have been blogging for a while. It is especially interesting if you are a newbie blogger struggling with the same question, which is at the heart of this debate – how do I make my blog more successful, what does it really take?

My takeaway from this discussion is that as Tony defines it, you can be an A-lister if you have the connections, clout, notoriety or some natural advantage that others don’t have. That being said, you don’t need to be an A-lister to get noticed and drive massive amounts of traffic to your blog. Tony has written a brilliant article on how to market your blog, which has some real gems to help new bloggers and he also includes ways to make social media work for you.

The "natural stratification" that Tony refers to in his post is about how some folks have natural advantages that they can use to their advantage, while others have to work smart to get to the same place. The reason, I say smarter and not harder is because no one here is knocking the value of hard work and blogging consistently. Hard work is a given, even if you have all the advantages.

I’ll leave you with Jason’s words of wisdom,

Blogging is the most open medium ever created. Anyone can join the discussion, post comments, and get in the link pool. All you have to do is:

a) show up
b) have something intelligent to say
c) join the discussion and contribute something meaningful.

Now, if you have nothing to contribute, you suck as a writer, and you don’t want to show up every day for a couple of years to establish yourself, well, I can’t help you.

Blunt but true. If you don’t want to do the work, don’t whine when you don’t see results.This is the best discussion I’ve read in ages, two sharp people with two very interesting povs. I am loving it!


4 responses to “Want to be a great blogger?

  1. I’m on the A+ list >:)

  2. Hmm…does that mean my blog’s going to take off now? 😉

  3. Mia D.,

    I intended to post on your blog last night and fell asleep. Thanks for stopping by to my blog and commenting.

    I’ve always thought my blog was pretty good. Yours is pretty good too, (more useful in daily life too). It’s funny because I titled my blogroll as “Other Great Blogs.”

    As for getting on an A-List, it requires pandering to popular or controversial topics. I prefer writing about all kinds of unique topics and letting Google searchwords lead people to me.

    The tips from the blog you linked too are very helpful. I’ll keep visiting.



  4. Hi Atul,

    “Other Great Blogs”? LOL. I always thought modesty was way overrated 🙂

    There’s lot to be said about writing good content and letting people find you, rather than as you so well put it – “pandering to them”.

    Your perspective is very interesting. Thanks for visiting and keep up the good work!


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