Slow Down, Care, and Be Honest With Your Readers
By: Lorelle VanFossen
Tags: blogging, check in, checkup, citizen journalism, community building, discipline, expectations, fan blogging, fan-based blogs, fans, honestly, interactivity, maintenance, motivation, news, passion, reporting, self-diagnostic, share, sharing, writing
In “The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Continuing to Fight the Good Fight,” guest blogger DB Ferguson of the popular No Fact Zone fan blog for Stephen Colbert wrote about the same challenges facing all bloggers, trying to do too much.
PROBLEM: Too Much News
The massive amount of news and stories at times can feel overwhelming, and trying to keep up with it all during an exceptionally busy cycle can suck all the fun out of blogging.
SOLUTION: Take a deep breath, and remember that you don’t have to blog everything.
PROBLEM: Overburdening yourself or creating expectation from your readers that you cannot fulfill.
Sometimes you may set up a feature on the site, an archive for example, that you find out after a period of time that you just cannot maintain. Or you may start getting e-mails from your readers asking for features that you simply do not have the time, energy, or skill to create or maintain. The stress you put on yourself can be discouraging and guilt-inducing to the point where you put off doing things on the blog until it is simply unmanageable.
SOLUTION: Be honest with your readers. If you can only post updates twice a week, then let your readers know that. If you get a request from a particular reader for something, e-mail them back privately and explain that unfortunately, that is simply not something you can do right now. On your site, feature the things you do have time to do prominently, and make sure that you are fulfilling the mission statement that you wrote when you first started your blog.
DB Ferguson has much to teach us in her series on The Art of the Fan-Based Blog, to help us understand how to build a community and rely upon that community for support and understanding as you build your blog.
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