Good Day Class.
Today we have the honor of having Matthew Dryden as our substitute teacher (guest writer).
When I received this post from him, I had to chuckle at the title, as writing without a blog is something we’ve all done in the past.
Now, we call ourselves bloggers.
Without further ado, let’s take our seats and hear what Matthew has to say.
Matthew, the floor is yours.
Now, sorry I’m running late today, OK?
Let’s just say that I hit the draft button one too many times. Today is going to be a kind of quiet as I have a bit of a writing burnout. Does anyone know what this means? No, it doesn’t mean that I’m writing – it means that I was writing last night and now I’m suffering from the consequences. I guess that’s what happens when you sharpen the pencil on both ends.
Now, what does your regular teacher normally do at this time?
She introduces today’s lesson?
Ryan, get your head off the desk, OK?
To be a successful writer in today’s world means that you also need to be a successful salesperson.
Novelists don’t just write books, they also have to sell their work as well as themselves. A perfect example of how an author successfully “sold himself” is John Green, author of Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns.
Now, before I go on, let’s just talk about blogging for a moment.
If we, the writers, are society in general, then blogging is the man. And blogging is trying to keep us down – just bear with me, OK?
We, as writers, often get bogged down with all the aspects of blogging.
It’s romantic to believe that we can just write and if we write “good enough”, then our words will be spread like a wildfire. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It has never been the case.
That being said, marketing yourself doesn’t have to be a bad thing. John Green and his brother created a YouTube channel called the Vlogbrothers and made daily videos to each other for the entirety of 2007. They continue to make video logs, or vlogs, to each other and to their large amount of viewers – which they refer to as “Nerdfighters”.
Why am I bringing this up?
When they were making vlogs to each other, they hardly ever talked about the art of vlogging, or the technical side of making videos – and so on and so forth.
This is a lesson that I think all bloggers could benefit from.
Don’t write about blogging.
The only people who really care about blogging are bloggers themselves.
If you want to go big, you have to find your own take on life or your niche (if you have one). Blogging is something that can destroy most all writers – especially those who have a nicheless blog.
Remember, if you feel weary from blogging – it’s just the man trying to bring you down.
While many bloggers and marketers worry about trying to create a brand, gather and audience, and go somewhere with their business – it’s quite often the people who don’t try the standard methods that get the audiences.
The Vlog brothers are considered the first collaboration video channel on YouTube – and they only blew up after nine months of making videos addressed to each other.
In the end, whether it’s blogging or vlogging or even tweeting…having a community is the most important thing. Having a group of peers, readers, and supporters will make all the difference in the world.
As a final example: When John Green went to release Paper Towns, he used the Vlogbrothers channel to reveal the book and offered promotional copies to prominent nerdfighters. His book debuted at #5 on the New York Times best sellers list.
John Green doesn’t talk about the art of vlogging, and the Vlogbrothers channel is the equivalent of a nicheless blog. Through quality content, perseverance, community building, and a good-humoured nature – the Vlogbrothers have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
It just goes to show that success isn’t always found in a niche.
Do you think there is a difference between blogging and writing? If so, which one do you prefer?
Are you comfortable in revealing personal details about yourself?
What do you think you need to do to “blow up” in the blogging world?
Feel free to raise your hand and share your thoughts.
Matthew Dryden is not only a blogger, a spoken word poet, but also a fabulous writer. Check out his blog (journal), dig through his archives, hire him, and/or follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: StarbuckGuy