A Film Critic's Take on Successful Blogging

by Jan Geronimo on March 8, 2009

Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo by Ll...Image via Wikipedia

I had a blast last night reading comments on my previous post. Adrian of Auditoire, a blog on serious explorations of contemplative and non-formulaic films, left an insightful comment about his progress as a writer and traits that make up a successful blogger. Seeing he put a lot of thought in his comment, I asked him to flesh out some points so I can put it here on the front page. End result? My first guest post.

Here is this blog’s first guest post contributorAdrian:

I suddenly remember my first attempt to create a blog. I said to myself, “This is not a blog but a journal, a piece of writing, a mirror, a window to one’s soul, and a remedy for a broken heart” (from my diary Feb 23, 2008)

I always felt euphoric coming out of my room, plunging into my daily life with a thought that I started something new: a blog. It changed me in many ways. It helped me a lot in battling writer’s block, which plagued me for two years. I had always kept a diary, but I felt it wasn’t enough to cure the blockage, so I started a blog.

I never thought of becoming a great blogger, but I always imagine myself becoming a great writer.

A great blogger is not necessarily a great writer. One has a quality different from the other. I find it surprising to find bloggers such as Bryanboy and Scott earning a lot of money without putting much effort in their writing.

After a year of immersion into the blogosphere I have realized that a great blogger should have the following characteristics:

1. PERSONA: This is the projected character of the author which manifests through his writing style. Although Bryanboy is known for his tongue-in-cheek and funny attitude as reflected in his criticisms on high fashion designers, he may turn out to be different when one meets him in person. If a blogger uses writing as a means to communicate with his audience, he should master his persona.

2. CONSISTENCY: Personally, I find it convenient to write about ONE subject that I know, a subject that i am interested in. I notice that most bloggers who focus on a particular subject (niche) e.g. cinema, art, fashion, self-help, current events, politics, photography survive well in the blogosphere than most who talk mostly of everything. One advantage of being consistent with a single niche is that it is easy! One topic to build, one niche to focus. It increases the stamina of blogging. Another advantage is the ease of finding an audience. Of course, a particular niche has a particular audience. You can never have a zero audience for a particular niche.

3. INFLUENTIAL: The best bloggers, like Scott and Mr. Manolo, have the capacity to influence current trends in both cyberspace and the ‘outside’ world. Scott is known for influencing some fashion designers across the globe because he photographs ordinary people, wearing extraordinary clothes on the street. Mr. Manolo, as we all know, continues to influence the current socio-political paradigms of our society.

Blogging has changed: the way we see it, the way it functions. It is not what we used to think in the past: a personal web log (contracted as ‘blog’) to record events of online techie geeks and college students. It has shaped our personal lives as well as the lives of others. It has carved a solid position in current media, in ethics and in the law. It has become part of the postmodern society where intertextuality (a principle which denies the existence of grand absolute universal truths) rules, and where opinions are much appreciated than the usual conventions.

We are moving into a different age. We are moving into the age of cyberspace. And as we are caught up into this dizzying swirl it’s best to listen to our inner voice. The roles are cut out for us. Will we evolve into topnotch bloggers? Or will we transform into writers of note?

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  • Jan
    @Ismail: Adrian has the makings of a great blogger then. He wrote this piece after all. Hurray to Ad. hehehe.

    That's a definitive distinction you've outlined for us. Can I dream of a happy mix? Something that straddles the fence between great blogger and successful blogger? :)

    @jojigirl: This post is Adrian's brainchild. I'm just the attending wet nurse.

    You did subscribe to Yatot? Well, good for you. We all can learn from him.

    Your my buddy, too, joji. :)

    @Dee: I see you practicing in your blog recently. Lots of wonderful photographs you've posted there. :)

    @Lemuel: Yeah, we're here for each other. We have to take care of each other. Become famous together. Become rich together. Yes! I can see it coming. :)

    You can always allot some of your time to updating. I feel like an anxious parent sometime, wondering where the hell joji has gone to? When would Kelvin show up, or Jesse. Hahaha. That's because I miss your voices. And joji - twits don't count for presence. hehehe.

    Thanks Lemuel for your candid comment. :)
  • lemuel
    for me blogging is a little bit difficult, although it helps me develop my writing skills and add knowledge by reading other blogs. i find it difficult to stay in one niche, i have varied interests and i just write about them when i have time. i have little time for blogging because i spend my free time with my family after work. what keeps me blogging? readers and friends like you. thanks!
  • Dee
    I'm learning a lot from this. I make it a point to read at least one 'tip on blogging' article each week so now I've met that goal for this week with this. Thank you.

    And I've been following Scott's blog for a year now. There was even a time that I was thinking: what if I do that here in Pinas, no, hehe. Would it work kaya? Would people here be as open-minded or accepting or agree to be photographed? But I never thought about it further so there it went.
  • jojigirl
    Well, you've got very interesting posts here Jan while I was out. Is that something to question? Nope, of course. But something to keep me awed. While I was out and thinking about my lot as a novice blogger, you had it all laid up for me (it seems). These are all food for my otherwise famished disposition - as the blogger try out, hehe...and so, your posts have their special relevance to me and this perception that I have is akin to Carl Jung's notion of "synchronicity" - meaningful coincidencies, hmm....

    Keep it up, Buddy. You've got a long way to go, and thanks for being there. Nice to have you as my blog buddy. BTW, I finally subscribed to your fave buddy Yatot. ",)
  • Ismail N
    I thought we should differentiate between great blogger and successful blogger. As you said there are bloggers such as Bryanboy and Scott who are earning a lot of money without putting much effort into their writing. These are successful bloggers. I categorize them as successful because they gain something from their work and time spent on the blogosphere. Whereas there are a lot of great bloggers, whom I admire, but they do not gain anything from the work except admiration from their fans.

    The key aspect of the two is that great bloggers normally are great writers, whereas successful bloggers are not necessarily good in writing. The important thing is that they have the know-how to manipulate the system and work to their advantage.

    I see you as becoming a great blogger one day, my friend, but to be a successful one is something that is very hard to predict. Great Article. Keep it coming.
  • Jan
    @Dede: Gotcha! This post is written by Adrian, Dede. :)

    It's my thing, leaving a long comment when everybody drops one-liners. Of course, I can leave short comments too. To get easily noticed. hahaha.

    But mainly I go on and on and on. :)

    @Adrian: I guess you're in luck. Nobody noticed the slip up. Everybody is busy with the popcorn and other munchies, I guess. :)
    i just want to correct the following ideas that i wrote on my post... sorry for a blundering take on postmodernism. It slipped in to my mind. Sorry!

    I wrote: "...postmodern society where intertexuality (a principle which denies the existence of grand absolute universal truths)..." i never quite said it right mainly because i committed a categorical mistake. When one uses the term "postmodern society", it prompts a discussion on sociological aspects of postmodernism. To identify 'postmodern society' in terms of a philosophical concept of 'intertextuality' is like colliding philosophy with sociology, two different categories, which results to an erroneous reasoning.

    It should be this: ...'postmodern society' where media is the primary driving force for reshaping social experience and subjectivity.

    hehe! sorry! Ciao!
  • dede
    Hi Jan, thanks for putting up a long comment on my recent post! I read you post about "A Film Critic's Take on Successful Blogging", I can take a meaning that a successful blogger is not always a good writer. Plainly, I hate writing, therefore I post short. What you like and write in put in the blog, you indeed have a double chance to be successful blogger than myself!

    Warmest Regards

    dede http://www.eblogtalk.com/
  • Roy
    I am neither a successful nor an influential blogger... I'm just a blogger - period.

    As hypocritical as it may sound, I am happy just being able to put into writing whaterver is in my thoughts... when somebody reads them, it's an added bonus.
  • Jan
    @Angel: Your welcome. It's a pleasure to read up on your posts. Wonder why I didn't come sooner. :)

    i was wondering, what do you exactly mean by 'being clued in'?

    i think what you are trying to say is that being referred to or being cited by other blogs. it's a big factor to successful blogging. Not only featured to other blogs but also featured to other media such as television, print, and advertisements. Good publicity, that is.

    I thank Jan for doing that! haha!
  • kathleenmaher
    Being clued in like you are should be on your list. Paying attention to other people is essential if you want your persona, consistency, and influence to last.
    @Angel Cuala

    I agree with you sir. Purpose should be factored in when it comes to becoming a successful blogger.

    being a successful blogger should not be limited to only the three characteristics that i mentioned. successful money makers online may or may not be good writers but they certainly have to be good SE Optimizers...
  • Angel Cuala
    Well, I think success depends on the reason why you created a blog. If you did it because you want to voice out your ideas and gain friends, then one must love to write.

    But if your main purpose is to make money from blogging, then you must be a business-minded person.

    The three characteristics that you mentioned are valid. However, they may have slight definition when it comes to making money online.

    Thanks for dropping by on my blog.
  • Jan
    @Adrian: It's my pleasure, Ad. :)
    Thank you so much jan! i really appreciate it!
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