Blogs are really awesome, and blogs are also really powerful tools for publishing and communication, and more than anything represent the world wide web "coming into its own." In recognition of this, it seems that everyone whose interested in the internet is out there trying to "crack" blogging and understand what makes for a really great blog, and if you listen to them, they'll tell you about how successful blogging requires a solid niche focus, dynamic content (including videos, audio, and pictures), strong clear headlines with interesting hooks, regular posting, and keyword optimized content.

Or something.

Actually all those suggestions above sound pretty clever, but to be honest, I'm not sure that those suggestions are really particularly likely to lead someone who "wants to be a more successful blogger," to actually, you know, be a more successful blogger. So because I'm one of those folks who's interested in the internet and I'm trying to "crack" blogging, I'll offer a short list of three things that I think make a big difference in "blogging success." Whatever that means.

1. Location matters: I'd wager that the most successful blogs in America are written by people who live in New York City or San Fransisco, with a small but respectable minority of successful blogs being generated out of: Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles. I theorize that real life social networking remains very powerful on the internet. People read blogs of people who they know, and the blogs that they learn about from their friends, and all this happens in "meatspace." If you don't live in one of these cities, either move there, attend events in that city, or be very active in a relevant local community.

2. Relationships, are more important than audience: Remember how in high school composition class the teacher was always going on about how you should "be mindful of your audience." Well you should, but you should be more mindful of your relationship with your audience as a blogger than you're likely to be in any other forum. Blogging is about conversations, about saying "hey friends, what do you think would happen if..." Work on building your relationships with people who read your blog or who might read your blog, and that is likely the greatest single impact on your readership.

3. Volume is more important than brilliance: Fundamentally blogging is an experimental medium. It's more important that you post every day and maybe get a post every week or two that you think is brilliant and clever, than post one brilliant and clever thing every week or two. There are of course exceptions to this, but as long as you're trying to be brilliant it'll work. Every post can't be a home run. The corollary to this is that, if your only effort toward being a more successful blogger is posting regularly, that alone isn't the key to success, but regular posting is part of almost every successful blog.

So that's what I have for you. Thoughts?

Onward and Upward!