Competing For Attention In An Attention Deficit Blogosphere

Blog Traffic Tips Weekly Newsletter

by Yaro Starak – The Blog Traffic King


Blogging has changed since I first started back in 2004. For me, 2005 were the glory days. Blogging was booming but it wasn’t super-popular like it is today. Back then you could start blogging and in a matter of weeks or a few short months establish a solid foundation of traffic and a regular readership.

It is still possible to have quick success in today’s blogosphere but it is a lot harder.

Why was it easier back then? Because blogging was younger, the blogosphere was smaller and competition wasn’t nearly as fierce. As in any marketplace, blogging is maturing and as a result people expect more from a blog and from you as a blogger.

The Blogging Boom

When the blogosphere was young each niche only had a handful of blogs servicing it. Readers were starved for information and blogs were hot.

The combination of a new technology – a cool and effective way to disseminate information and interact online – and the pop-culture-esque status that blogs enjoyed in the mainstream media, meant that supply (blog content) couldn’t meet demand (blog readers). The public were hungry and consumed as much blog content as they could. Even blogs with few pillar articles were rewarded with traffic and loyalty.

That situation has changed and I’ve noticed the signs of a maturing market in the blogosphere. With so many thousands of new blogs launching each week by people eager to start their own little publishing empire, the amount of content produced has exploded. Where previously there were hungry readers and scarce options, we now have too many options and a over-stimulated, attention-poor blog audience.

The market has flipped, supply is abundant and blog readers enjoy a plethora of blogs on every topic imaginable, all at no cost. The long tail is in full effect.

Too Much Information

Blogs are not difficult to set-up. Anyone can do it and as a result it was only a matter of time before the Blogosphere became cluttered. The web is notorious for situations of over-supply of information. That’s essentially why Google is so successful, you need a mechanism to search through the clutter that finds the good stuff for you.

With so many blogs out there chances are what you blog about or what you intend to blog about is covered by quite a few other blogs. Even if you believe your blog is unique there are no doubt hundreds of complimentary blogs out there competing for the attention of the same readers you seek.

The result of all this information being readily available and updated many times per day – even per minute – is a blog readership with next to no attention. They want the best content, they want it quickly and they have no patience for anything below standard. Search engines, RSS and other aggregators and filters do a reasonable job of delivering at least remotely accurate responses to user queries. We should be thankful for this – without the filters the Long Tail wouldn’t work because niche providers could not be found by their marketplace. If that were the case only the very popular blogs could survive and the blogosphere would be like the music industry before the web came along – a small handful hits and a million niche bands who are struggling to get by and garner attention.

You Have To Be Good

The problem for today’s blogger that arises from an attention-deficit readership spoilt for choice but with no patience, is that you don’t have a second chance to impress, nor can you afford many mistakes, if any. One poor quality article, an off topic ramble, a change of direction, will result in lost subscribers. The unsubscribe button has never been clicked like it is today, and if you don’t consistently deliver the goods you don’t grow.

The other major issue bloggers face is how to start up in the first place. Building a blog is challenging enough without having to deal with a readership with the attention span of a gnat. If you don’t inspire, if you don’t grab attention or cause a sensation or make a big bang, you may find yourself lulling at the bottom of the heap with the many thousands of other bloggers who have trouble getting past the 100 readers a day mark.

As a blogger in today’s blogosphere you have to be darn good to rise above the chafe. You need to be a visionary in your industry, a market leader, a revolutionary thinker, a brilliant writer or a controversial protester. You need to carefully refine your niche and be the best answer to the questions asked by your specific target reader. No longer is just “providing value” enough, now you need to provide “exceptional value” if you want to enjoy abnormal success.

In part two of this series – How To Be An Exceptional Blogger – I discuss ways you can become a blogger who builds a larger than average audience and keeps readers coming back for more despite short attention spans and an ever increasingly competitive world wide web.

Yaro Starak
Blog Traffic King


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