If you’ve come to this post looking for tips on how to become a super-successful blogger without having to put much effort into this whole writing-words business, then you’re about to be pretty disappointed.
And if you appreciated the title’s reference to the 1950s Broadway musical about a window washer who becomes a successful businessman, hello, fellow nerd! We should hang out.
The BIBs (Brilliance in Blogging Awards) recently opened for nominations, which always causes a great deal of frenzy and excitement in the blogging community. But something is different this year.
There’s no ‘Writer’ award.
That’s odd, I thought. Writing is the most important thing about blogging, isn’t it?
I’m not so sure.
My favourite bloggers are, without a doubt, the writers. Yes, all blogs involve writing to some extent, but there’s a difference between just writing and being a writer. Good writing is hard to define, but, like hardcore pornography, I know it when I see it. The writers are the ones who make me laugh with a clever phrase, or think about something in a totally new way, or perfectly express something I’ve felt all along but never had the right words for.
Often, these bloggers I love so much aren’t the ‘big’ bloggers.
The bloggers with the biggest following and the most influence aren’t necessarily the best writers. They’re the ones who are good at all the other stuff that goes along with blogging – social media, networking, branding and self-promotion.
I recently read the book “Hit Makers: How Things Become Popular,” where the author Derek Thompson said, “Content is king, but distribution is your kingdom”. And he’s right. Having good content is important, but it’s not enough if no one sees it. A lot of blogging success is about making the right connections and promoting yourself in the right way. Most of it, maybe.
Which is why there’s a social media award for the 2017 BIBS but not one for writing.
Part of me feels a bit sad that writing doesn’t seem that critical to blog success. I think of all those talented writers out there, drafting brilliant posts that hardly anyone reads, while some mega blogger’s review of designer socks or whatever gets 10,000 likes on Facebook. It’s kind of shit.
Personally, I’d love to see good writers get their fair share of the internet’s attention, but that probably won’t happen when everyone is competing for it. An expertly crafted but underpromoted post has no chance when there are 2.75 million blog posts written a day, and many of those 2.75 million posts are being actively splattered all over the internet via Facebook groups, linkys and auto-tweets.
If you love the writing aspect of blogging but aren’t good at/can’t be arsed with/don’t have time for all the shouty-shouty stuff, your writing – no matter how good it is – will probably disappear into the chaotic mess of the internet. Them’s the breaks, my writerly friends.
What do you think? How important is writing to blogging success?