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How to have a fabulously famous blog instantly–if only for a day

May 7, 2007

It’s easy: Write competently. Post something that turns out, quite unexpectedly, to be in incredibly high demand. Provide all the necessary facts ordinary journalists used to use: what, who, why, where, when–including what time. Assume you are the only reliable source in the world and be a reliable source.

No one wants to sit around all day waiting for a debate to appear on TV or online. Time is important, and it can be hard to find. The initial press release for the California GOP debate did not include the air time, and the release was cloned all over the Internet without citing the time. When I wrote my post announcing details of the debate, I resorted to emailing the Reagan Library’s publicist in order to get the air time so that I could provide complete information.

I have been an invisible Christian housewife blogger for a few months. 70 views is a big day on my blog, though I’d broken 100 once before. Because my blog is eclectic and I have launched more than 200 posts, I receive a lot of referrals from search engines: people seeking everything from “ron paul” to “y-dan” to “christian liberty” alight on my modest blogturf. 

I have followed Ron Paul’s political career for 15 years, and I have actively followed Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential bid, regularly posting news of his campaign, particularly his participation in the debates, on my blog. When the South Carolina GOP debate was first announced, it appeared that Ron Paul might be shut out by the Fox News decision to impose certain poll criteria in order to control which candidates would be invited to appear. The ensuing uproar threatened to scandalize Fox News, and the network relented; Fox is now inviting all 10 announced candidates.

People are interested in Ron Paul. Whatever the substance of CNN’s hallucinations, it was not Giuliani who broke from the pack in the California debate. Ron Paul was the clear stand-out in two departments: the outspoken maverick, and the candidate with the principled answers. Everyone was suddenly interested in Ron Paul and whether or not he was going to be in the South Carolina debate.

I waited for the dust to settle and for Fox and the SCGOP to issue clarification of their debate policy. Then I launched an all-clear update: Ron Paul was in for South Carolina. I included the air time of the debate, consolidating all the details in my brief post. I documented and linked my sources. I launched the post just before I went to bed Saturday night.

Early Sunday morning I checked my email, hoping for word from a friend who expected to be moving over the weekend. Three comments were in queue for moderation on my blog. Not too unusual, but they looked strange: the urls were links to my own post.

I’d been Digged! I checked my stats, which had suddenly soared into the mid-triple digits. At first I thought WordPress had confused my stats with someone else’s. But almost all the search engine referrals were for things like “ron paul debate.”

My post appeared on digg, reddit, popurls, dogpile, and googlenews, in addition to the technorati, aol, yahoo, and google searches that routinely deposit hopeful seekers onto my blog. (I always shudder to think how disappointed they must be.) I made WordPress’s Top Blogs, Top Posts, and Growing Blogs that day. It was a little heady.

I wrote a simple post, but I went to several sources in order to provide all the necessary facts everyone on the planet was searching. I can only think this is because everyone on the planet wishes to see Ron Paul blow all the other candidates out of the water in the next GOP debate.

The post took me about 10 minutes to research and write. Others have taken a few hours and received maybe 20-70 views. I’ll probably never live up to those heady stats again, but it was cool to see them. I didn’t have time to check out all the digg and other links to my post. We had a road trip and visit to a sister church planned, and we enjoyed a wonderful day of worship and fellowship there. I never mentioned or thought about my blog all day. Meanwhile, out in space, I was a reliable national news source.

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3 Comments
  1. May 7, 2007 3:23 pm

    You were an ace reporter from the time you could first type.

    Brenda Starr of the Blogosphere! Well done.

  2. May 15, 2007 8:18 pm

    Speaking of getting it out there fast – I actually blogged my reactions to the debate, throughout the debate, all the while taking advantage of WordPress’ “Save and continue editing” button for this very reason. Thank you WordPress for making such an act so streamlined…

  3. May 16, 2007 7:42 am

    Jake, you did a good job. I enjoyed your account. I was all set to do the same thing but got discouraged when Ron Paul hadn’t been pitched a single question in the first quarter hour. I knew we were Foxed from the get-go when Gules was introduced as the forerunner. It’s ok: Ron Paul is as resilient as history. If we had principled voters, he’d be president. But we’re a pragmatic nation of fearful voters, so we’re more likely to go home from the polls with a new emperor and an ID card.

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