An interesting article on the Valley Advocate website based out of Massachusetts caught my interest today. The article highlights an individual who had reached the peak of their blogging output. This individual got together with another local blogger to discuss the prospects of working together rather than working alone. An informal network developed and after reaching out to even more local bloggers, a collaborative website was created which became a clearinghouse of writing by local bloggers.
The article was interesting for a few reasons. The first is that, it reminded me that if you don’t have a unique voice or the time of day to pour into your niche, you should really think about collaborating with others. I mean, lets take a moment to look at the ever increasingly irrelevant Technorati top 100 and notice how many of those websites are multi-authored blogs. Some of the sites produce 10-30 individual posts per day. Unless you have the assistance of automation, no individual will be able to compete with that kind of output. Now don’t get me wrong, I and many others believe in quality over quantity, but when you have multiple authors who can concentrate on delivering that quality with each post rather than producing 100 short, ill-informed posts, you end up having some of the ingredients needed to have a very successful site. Not to mention a great source of traffic that keeps coming back to check out the latest post.
The last part of the article contains a block of text which ignited a firestorm of thoughts.
The strength of [PVC], I think, is that everybody is a very independent voice,” Dobbs says. “I think what blogging can do is help revitalize interest in local news and local events. Good local blogging can allow people to rediscover stuff.”
What a great perspective. I know that I routinely read the content on Cleveland.com which is a website strictly for those who live in and around the Cleveland, Ohio area. Within their local sections, I usually get a feel for the nooks and crannies of the city thanks to local bloggers. In fact, I discovered an awesome Italian eatery not to far away from me thanks to a local blogger. The point is, going local with your blog has many benefits that can not be matched by going national or international. By going local, you can become an authority of that specific location. You can strike advertising deals with local companies. You can use the blog as a tool to network locally which could have national or international benefits.
Just to see what sort of reaction I would get, I put the call out to those who follow me on Twitter (jeffr0) to describe to me in 140 characters or less a reason why those blogging on local things, places, and events is a good thing. Here is what they had to say:
paulorear @jeffr0 : A local blog about local stuff can be a great resource for people visiting that location, and Goggling for info pre-visit.
sierrakoch @jeffr0 Gets locals information someplace other than the Newspaper or News. It gives a different spin on events.
JoshBudde @jeffr0 Keep you up to date on what’s happening near you and in your community.
zgirlie @jeffr0 I’m in a small town and I totally love to hear about stuff in the local cities, etc. and 2) if you live somewhere and move, you can stay connected to those in your home state.
cravenjade @jeffr0 I have a local blog! Targeted audience + targeted advertisers. Covers the tourist things that other online publications don’t
Special thanks to those of you who sent me replies on Twitter.
We have covered quite a few positive aspects of having a local blog discussing local topics. However, can you tell me if there are any negative aspects of blogging locally? I’d also like for you to chime in and tell me some more benefits of doing things locally versus across a wide spectrum.
It is true that when bloggers get together they can produce more relevant and high-quality content than individual writers do. A lot of blogs who earn upwards of $50,000 a month have multiple authors..
When putting together the post, I thought about some of the negative aspects of blogging locally and you hit the nail on the head. It would suck to say the wrong things about the wrong person and they come knocking on your door and take it out on you literally.
I’m a “local” blogger and love it. The benefits are much as you stated. Another bonus: former residents – people who grew up here but have moved away – love to keep up on what’s going on via my blog.
Also: there ain’t no such thing as “anonymous” in local blogging. That’s largely a positive, but I’ll admit that I’ve bit my tongue, blog-wise, a few times because I know and see so many of my readers.