An interesting discussion regarding blogging, compensation, and success is roiling around the blogosphere, or at least those portions of this vast, virtual landscape where strivers and scriveners contemplate the metagame. Call it introspection, solipsism, or simple curiosity, but blogging always has and always will be one of the most blogged-about topics, at least in the mainstream.

This, by which I mean this site, this niche, this boundless branch of the blogging tree, is NOT the mainstream. We’re writing about birds out here. We’re talking about nature and science, not technology or politics. More often than not, we don’t even talk about blogging.

But we should, shouldn’t we?

After all, this unique medium has brought us all together, innumerable writers and readers connected in a continuum of content creation where you can move from lurker to subscriber to commenter to author in the blink of an eye. Nature bloggers are bloggers nonetheless, which means that the tools matter. The tech matters. Even the culture matters for folks that want to explore the potential of the medium more fully.

A blogger by the name of Jason Kaneshiro posted some rather interesting tips for anybody looking to move forward in the blogosphere on his site, Webomatica:

  1. Blog often.
  2. Figure out a niche and stick to it.
  3. Learn the technical stuff.
  4. Read other people’s blogs regularly.
  5. Comment on other blogs.
  6. Read up on how to write.
  7. Write posts that you want to read.
  8. Figure out why you’re blogging.
  9. Set some goals for yourself.

Jason’s full explanation of these items, Class Warfare And The Blogging A List (link now dead), even provides a bit of background on the current dust-up. What struck me about these common sense tips was not just how fundamentally sound they are, but how few people who are truly looking to move forward in the blogosphere might ever be exposed to them. Nature bloggers are as susceptible to stat envy or blog-based narcissism as the next micropublisher, but far less likely than most to actually achieve satisfaction from those sources. The niche simply lacks the audience to vault one of us to the Technorati Top 100. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try, if that’s your interest.

I exhort each and every blogger out there to think about your endgame. What do you want out of your blog? Is it a platform to greater goals or a destination in itself? Also (as if I didn’t know the answer to this one) do you want anyone to read your blog? Content, as it’s been said so many times before, is king. But great content, though necessary, is hardly sufficient in itself to get you noticed. Don’t ignore the medium for the message. Bloggers looking to expand their audiences must be willing to get under the hood of this machine and mess around with the inner mechanisms. Even bird bloggers!

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.