Veteran blogger John Hawkins at Right Wing News predicts the “slow, painful coming death of the independent, Conservative blogosphere” in an article of the same name a few days ago. His strategy for ‘those of the not-so-big time’ was not complicated: “Get big or go home.”
As you can imagine blogs on the blog ensued. The first and best response I’ve seen is from Jimmie Bise at The Sundries Shack. Since Hawkins didn’t offer advice on how to get ‘big,’ Jimmie took that on. But first, here is some more from Hawkins:
Find a way to dramatically increase the size of your blog, expand into multiple websites that together are big, hook up with someone who’s already big, or accept that there isn’t much of a future in a small, niche market for you. Maybe that sounds a little grim, but unless something changes, independent conservative bloggers who haven’t already made it big don’t have a bright future. See Hawkins’ follow up post here.
One of the problems smaller bloggers, even with decent sized blogs, is the willingness of the big guys to link to a smaller blog, even when they have worthy work to link to. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1) Google is believed to downgrade blogs who link to blogs with a lower Google page rank (some say it’s true, others say not so much) and 2) the snob-factor – being too big to notice smaller blogs.
Take a quick scan over Hawkins article and look at the links. Do you see how all of them — every last one — goes to a big right-wing web site? That’s by design. He’s link-whoring. Now, link-whoring is a venerable blogging tradition and often helps bring in a few links here or there, but if you’re going to write about smaller blogs, why not link to a couple of them?
There are sites out there — William Jacobson’s Legal Insurrection, Donald Douglas’ American Power, Stacy McCain’s The Other McCain, Joy McCann’s and Dan Collins’ Conservative Commune, and Duane Lester’s All American Blogger — who would have benefitted from a link and a quick mention as examples of at least some level of success. He could have pulled links from within his own stable of guest-writers (who, by the way, get no special mention anywhere on his site that I can find) for the same purpose – William Teach’s Pirate’s Cove and Lance Burri’s Troglopundit come quickly to mind.
If you blog, and if you want to increase readership, you’ll want to read The Sundries Shack article. He offers reminders of the importance of linking. To that, I left a comment that linking maybe is an “art.” Jimmie responded back that, no it isn’t an art, it’s a “habit,” and a habit that takes “regular reinforcement.”
Blog traffic isn’t a zero-sum game — the pie is plenty big enough for all of us to get a huge piece, even if we spend less time hyping our own projects and a little bit more time helping to lift up the people whose piece isn’t all that big right now.
As Jimmie at Sundries Shack suggests, we need to give each other support as often as possible, because it doesn’t happen often from bigger blogs.
The main thing that bothered me is that he offered nothing but obvious bromides – get bigger, get better, get monetized. Really? Thanks.
Despite my sarcastic turn, this is not a bash Hawkins thread, quite the opposite. Hawkins is a great guy and does great work for the conservative cause. I have to assume that his prediction can come true in order to be compelled to do something about it.
iOTW is not a large blog, we’re not a small blog. We’re somewhere in the middle. And being in the middle means that there are plenty of blogs that we can help. iOTW doesn’t want any conservative blogs going belly up (except maybe some annoying ones – hehe) because that isn’t going to help the overall cause of conservatism.
Fur Hat generously invited bloggers to leave a link to their blogs in comments, and he is diligently working to link to some of them.
Karen at The Lonely Conservative responded with Have You Thanked a Blogger Lately?
We stay up late, get little sleep, and most of us have day jobs. Some of us have families, too. (And naughty little dogs.) We aren’t in this for the money. If we were, John Hawkins would be right about the death of conservative blogging. It’s about the biased media, the way they ignore scandals like Operation Fast and Furious when a Democrat controls the White House. It’s about a corrupt government, and corrupt unions, and corrupt green energy companies.
On this blog, and other blogs where I read, I often see commenters saying something like “you ARE the media.” You ARE the free press.” You ARE the real media.” I love it when that happens:-)
This week, I received this encouraging comment on this article (snippet):
I wish I could remember how I found your blog so I could give them credit (it was probably ***** or *****) but it was about your Agenda 21 piece. You have been added to my blog reader.
I’ve included the link to my blog but don’t waste too much time visiting. I’m working full-time plus (50-60 hours a week) and I’m in school (five classes this semester) so it hasn’t been updated in a month or so. Maggie, I’m in awe. Love your site. You’ve caused me to abandon homework in favor of reading tonight.
Another in an email (snippet):
I have to tell you, I check Drudge, M. Malkin, Maggie, Townhall, and Breitbart.
It seems you always have something I haven’t seen elsewhere.
I like it.
Just in case readers don’t think about it, bloggers cherish comments like these. Most of us are not making a living from our blogs, but readers, their appreciation and their loyalty is our big bonus.
John Hawkins says get big or go home, but I say keep it up because you are the reason Pelosi’s gavel was jerked out of her hands. And YOUR LITTLE BLOG will be the reason Obama is beaten in 2012. If money is what is motivating RWN, I doubt I will visit that site again, and i know I won’t be sending it any traffic.
Stacy McCain at The Other McCain has a policy of always linking back when a blog links him. Karen at The Lonely Conservative does the same, and from her, that is now a habit for me. So link to one of us in your articles, and you will be added to our article. Stacy does that as well as doing a weekly summary of linkers. Read McCain’s End of Blogging? No, It Just Proves That Nothing Succeeds Like Success and and Dear John Hawkins here.
There are conservative bloggers who are extraordinarily generous and faithful about mentioning their friends WHEN they find an article they believe has merit for their readers. A list of some of these bloggers is below, is alphabetical by blog name, and is provided for the content of their work, and appreciation for their commitment to conservative issues. Click any one, and you will find an article worth a read. (The list has nothing to do with the size of the blog – my apologies to any and all that I have left out. It wasn’t intentional.)
AND below this list, are links to other talking about the conservative blog controversy as expressed by John Hawkins.
Adrienne at Adrienne’s Corner – Breaking: Styrofoam cups to stay in WH cafeteria, the First Woman displays arm pits, and uses taxpayer money to have photo ops…
Always on Watch – The Government Borrows to Spend (you want to see this chart)
Opus at American Perspective – Did Obamacare kill the Obama recovery?
Donald Douglas at American Power Blog – Obama Losing Support from Progressives and Socialists
An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings – Yes, It’s Just that Simple, Congressional Reform Act of 2011 (Kate has had some knee surgery and hasn’t been blogging as much as usual, but Chris from Racine has plenty to say, and the site is full of good reading.)
Bob at Be Sure You’re RIGHT, Then Go Ahead – Obama Calls the Statue of Liberty Play
Black Five – Guns or Butter? Saving Food Stamps at Expense of National Defense
Stanford at Blog@MoreWhat – Rights and Responsibilities in America: Civics Literacy (47)
Blog de King Shamus – Democrats Are Not Doomed, But They Can Be Had
Bunkerville – EPA now giving millions to China, & around the world
Bungalow Bill’s Conservative Wisdom – International Baccalaureate Pushes Redistribution of Wealth Theme at IB americas Conference 2011 in Texas.
Conservative Blogs Central – Rasmussen Shock Poll: Barack Obama 41% Ron Paul 37%
Jim at Conservatives on Fire – The Numbers Game on Capital Hill
Conservative Pup – Campus Crusade for Christ Removing Christ
Doug Ross @ Journal – Podhoretz blisters Obama: “Perhaps for the first time in American history, this president is [trying] to create a financial panic”
Faultlineusa – Beware of Democrat Spending Cuts Promises
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – The Next Russian Revolution
Gulag Bound – The United Nations’ Colonization of America fueled by Obama
High Plains Pundit – The Problem with entitlement Programs
Holger Awakens – While Norway Sorts out the Motives of Anders Behring Brevik, Muslims Continue to Kill Across the Globe
Big Fur Hat at I Own The World – Visual Perspective (see what our debt looks like.
Arlen at Investigating Obama – Natural Born Citizen for Dummies’ v. Dummy v. the Unites States of America
Ironic Surrealism – China: Muslims Shouting “allah the only God” Hack Security Guard to Death are Now Dead Islamic Jihadists
JoshuaPundit – Russian Intelligence Agent Linked to US Embassy Bombing
Just a Conservative Girl – 1st Annual Virginia Tea Party Summit on Education – Richmond, VA
Left Coast Rebel – Unexpectedly: The Bitter clingers Let Go
Christopher at Liberty at Stake – Debt Ceiling Tug of War – No Deal is Better Than a Bad Deal
Mind-Numbed Robot – “Shall Not Be Infringed”
Findalis at Monkey in the Middle – 31 Foregone Facts Barack Obama Fans Should Ponder!
Trevor Loudon at New Zeal – The Marxist Plan to Destroy Israel’s Economy: MUST VIEW for all Friends of Freedom
Nice Deb – Rep. Joe Walsh Takes it to Chris Matthews
Obi’s Sister – Mark Steyn: “More space for Islam means less space for everything else, and in the end less space for you.
William at Pirate’s Cove – On Debt and Credit Rating, E.J. Dionee Blames…
Larry at Political Realities – Insurance Companies May Be Required to Offer Contraceptives
The ladies at Potluck – A New War I Support (Regulations)
Proof at Proof Positive – Management Goes “Old School:” Turns Heat Lamps on Strikers on 100 degree Day
Jill at Pundit and Pundette – President Planless preaches and postures
Debbie at Right Truth – Sister Wives: The Concubines of the Cult of Kody Brown
Jack at Shaw’s Blog – White House South Central LA Balck Tea Party Group to Rally Against NAACP
Si Vis Pacem – Worse than Gunwalker? State Department Allegedly Sold Guns to Zetas
Mustang at Social Sense – Hidden Costs of War: Top Health Concerns Faced by Veterans
Steven Givler Online – Freedom, Kim Jong-il style
Norm at Storm’n Norm’n – And so it begins…The government will now rent that home that went to foreclosure
Daniel at Sultan Knish – The End of Afghanistan
Teresamerica – The Breast Milk Baby Doll: An Example of Sexualization of Girls or Appropriate
Texas Fred – Gunman’s background puzzles police in Norway
Mike at That Mr. Guy’s Blog – Take That Norway, Says Al-Qaeda
Bob at The Camp of the Saints – When Johnny comes Fisking Home Again
The Conservative Lady – Senator Marco Rubio on Face the Nation
Matt at The Conservative Hideout 2.0 – Making Tax Increase/Spending Cut Deals with the Democrats: A Historical Perspective
Terresa Monroe Hamilton at The Progressive Hunter – Noisy Room – The Secret Knowledge – A Book Review (David Mamet)
Doug at The Daley Gator – Steven Crowder Rips Bill Maher
The Lonely Conservative – What Could Go Wrong? Federal Government as ‘National Landlord’ – Fannie and Freddie Subsidizing McMansions
Stacy at The Other McCain – The Terrible Legislative Catastrophe No One Will Remember in November 2012
The POH Diaries – Pew Poll: Poor Whites Support Republicans and the Democratic Response
James at The Reaganite Republican
The republican Mother – Breaking Down Planned – Opolis
John at THE SENTRY JOURNAL – Where’s the conviction for conservatism?
Jimmie at The Sundries Shack – Me at Human Events: Murdoch Versus WikiLeaks
Theo Spark – Video: col. Allen West answers a question on muslim terror
Trestin at Trestin Meacham – Darwin’s Fairy Tale: Part 2
Watcher of Weasels Council Results – Winners Announced on Friday, perfect for weekend reading
Western Hero – To Form a More Libertarian Union
Chris at WyBlog – Meet Chuck Meyers, the latest double dipping poster boy for NJ pension reform
Zilla at Zilla of the Resistance – Once Upon a time in Afghanistan…(women were treated like human beings…)
Beyond promoting smaller and medium sized blogs – My Gripe: Bloggers, conservative personalities and politicians on Twitter who will not follow-back a fellow conservative. What sense does that make?
Related and Background – other talking about conservative bloggers (I’ll add others as I find them. If you are a blogger and I’ve missed your article, let me know):
NoOneOfAnyImport – But I’m Already Home, John Hawkins UPDATED
No Runny Eggs – Is Blogging Dying?
The Lid – Weighing In On The Coming Death of The Independent, Conservative Blogosphere.
This Ain’t Hell – Right Wing News to Conservative bloggers: get bigger or die
This article linked by Pirate’s Cove in Sorta Blogless Sunday – thanks William!