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How to Succeed in Political Blogging


There seems to be a new book out about how to succeed as a political blogger. Kevin Drum provides somewhat less than insightful guidance:

You have to enjoy writing. You really have to enjoy sitting down at a keyboard and typing words. If you don’t, then you might as well forget about it.

Of course, he realizes this isn’t so profound. But the broadness of his advice gets to the big problem here–such a book is absurd. Publishing a guide to political blogging in 2011 is akin to publishing a guide to succeeding in the oil business in 1897 and asking John D. Rockefeller to write a chapter. The game is up. As I’ve stated before, there’s virtually no way for new voices to rise out of the blogosphere in 2011. Without a very specific skill, good luck trying to find a readership outside of your friends. No one uses blogrolls anymore, everyone reads the same sites, and it’s quite rare for established bloggers to really push new bloggers. Maybe there is a rare exception that proves the rule.

I’m not really blaming anyone for this–it’s probably just the natural consolidation of a new media form. It’s the book that purports to be useful that irritates me.

If one really wanted to be successful and didn’t have the wherewithal (and probably the connections, including the undergraduate degree at an Ivy) to get an internship at one of the top progressive sites, your options are limited. I think you’d have to link the hell out of other people, probably try to pick some fights, be very active on Twitter, try to establish e-mail or twitter relationships with major bloggers, and hope to eventually be picked up by a bigger site. In other words, it’s really hard and probably not worth your time since you aren’t ever going to make money off it.

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