There have been a lot of words written about writing, and about the new age thereof. Thanks to formats like the one you're reading now, the erstwhile gatekeeper now guards a passage anyone with the internet can circumvent. Start a blog, write what you want. It's that simple.
Of course, getting anyone to read it is another matter, and quite difficult. That anyone can start a blog means that many people do, and in such a maelstrom, it can be difficult to stand out. There are no shortage of tips on how to accomplish this, many based on the exploitation of new media formats.
With this in mind, we revisit the idea of the gatekeeper, whose demise was perhaps reported prematurely. A blog that already has readers can do an awful lot to help one that does not, either by linking or offering guest posting opportunities.
Mike, at Daily Shot of Coffee, has done all of those things for me.
First, there were these two articles.
Later, Baristing was listed as one of the internet's must-read coffee blogs.
My readership has grown quite a bit since then. I've been linked elsewhere, and contacted by companies both large and small for reviews and promotional opportunities (a discussion of two new Caribou coffees is forthcoming).
But before today, I'd never been featured in an interview.
They call the internet new media, but in some ways, it performs very much like the old. While there are now few regulations and restrictions on content creation, there are still arbiters and promoters, still those to direct the flow of traffic.
There is still the matter of content. Guest posting is a great idea - if the post is a good advertisement for your writing. And while linking generates first time hits, it does nothing for repeat traffic. Ultimately, this is still writing. People have to read it, and not hate the experience.
All of this is not to say that I have any particular insight on how one might create a popular blog, or even a good one. We can debate about whether Baristing is either of those things. What it says, rather, is that I'd like to return a blip of traffic to Mike's site, and that we're still playing by many old rules.