A blogger, here in New Zealand, recently had to move his family after receiving death threats. The blog was also subject to a DOS attack. It was all reportedly triggered by comments about a car crash victim, which made a regional newspaper.
Readership’s all about discovery, these days, but for me this highlights a pitfall. Some bloggers make controversy part of their brand. But in general I doubt that building a repute as ‘shock jock’, breakfast radio style, is a way to build a sustained audience.
That also begs questions about image, brand and repute. What brand do you want, as a blogger? It’s a tough one. Blogs are international these days. Content that might attract an audience in one country can also turn an audience straight off in another.
Blogging also doesn’t necessarily mean tell-all stories – a practise that might well be disrespectful of the dignity of others. A blog is a public place, you have to treat anything on it as permanent and public - and not all of us want to splash our family photos, names and every other detail of our lives, finances, medical adventures, home and work lives around the world. Nor is it wise to air our latest gripe about some transient issue that will be forgotten tomorrow - though the fact that you publicly ranted about it won’t.
To me the key word is professionalism.
I wrote feature articles for decades before I got into blogging, including regular columns. For me, the blog is an extension of the skill and subject to the same parameters – including the scrabble for content. It involves the same brand. I blog specifically on a selected range of subjects. Largely because it interests me – and I hope you find what I write interesting too.
How do you approach your blog? What sort of feedback do you get?
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014
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