We are currently in Chicago for the blogging conference known as “BlogHer”. That’s kind of a misnomer since 10% of the conference attendees are men, but there are a lot of screams and giggles in the lobby. The post below is one that Carla wrote to answer a question we get a lot: Why a beer blog?
I’m starting to become a believer in the theory of “third time is the charm.” My first attempt at blogging (“RadioCarla – Media… and Life Observer” ) actually only exists in its second iteration. I have some fun posts there, but it never really had an grand purpose and I tended to go long periods of time without posting.
The second blog (“Diminishing Returns: It’s a Losing Proposition… But in a Good Way“) was created to document my husband’s and my journey as we went on a liquid diet for the second time. It was much more active than RadioCarla, but when we eventually went off the diet, the blog stagnated.
This time is different. We launched Hoperatives.com (“Believers in Better Beer… In Cincinnati and Beyond”) on January 1st of this year. Since then, a day hardly goes by that we don’t have at least one post up. We’re creating a community of better beer lovers in the greater Cincinnati area and we’re meeting some wonderful people as we do it. I love learning about beer and the people who make it and the people who enjoy it.
At this year’s SXSW, Merlin Mann and Jon Gruber gave a talk called “149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog with Credibility!” You can find more information about it at http://www.43folders.com/2009/03/25/blogs-turbocharged
The thing that really resonated with me from that talk was that a successful blog must have three things: “obsession + topic + voice”. If you have those three things, you can “become the go-to person for whatever your topic is.” Consider this: “How do you know it’s time to start a blog? Because people keep telling you to shut up.” And finally: “When CPM becomes more important than making readers happy, you’ve lost it.”
For me, this talk was an “A-ha!” moment. It crystalizes exactly why my first two blogs never really took off and why Hoperatives did. You have to have the obsession, the topic and the voice. If you are missing any one of those three, you’re doomed.
So here’s to finding and nourishing your obsession, topic and voice!