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Is there a place for me?

Is there a place for me?

Apparently not, according to John Hawkins, The slow, painful death of the independent, conservative blogosphere:

Sure, there were a few outliers that took off: Hot Air, Redstate, and the Breitbart empire for example, but most conservative blogs have either grown insignificantly, stayed the same size, or even shrank. Most bloggers on the right side of the blogosphere haven’t increased their traffic significantly in years. Moreover, the right side of the blogosphere as a whole is definitely shrinking in numbers as bloggers that have had trouble getting traction are quitting and fewer and fewer bloggers are starting up new blogs….

Bloggers have asked me: So what’s the strategy to deal with this?

Really, it’s simple: Get big or go home.

Find a way to dramatically increase the size of your blog, expand into multiple websites that together are big, hook up with someone who’s already big, or accept that there isn’t much of a future in a small, niche market for you. Maybe that sounds a little grim, but unless something changes, independent conservative bloggers who haven’t already made it big don’t have a bright future.

I’m not sure this is strictly a right-blogosphere problem.  A while ago I posted about similar complaints from the left-blogosphere, although I can’t seem to locate my post.

It’s tough out there, folks.  Just one guy (with some help) spitting into the wind of blogospheric reality.


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Get big or go home, professor.

You’re Big!

DINORightMarie | July 18, 2011 at 9:44 am

That is classic Alinsky. “You are insignificant, you are worthless, no one cares…….so just quit.” Total BS. They FEAR you, and other effective Conservative bloggers!

If they use this tactic (discouragement), then the reality must be quite the opposite fo their claims. Too many people must be getting their information from non-traditional, Conservative bloggers. Therefore, they picked you (collective ‘you’) as a target.

Don’t buy into this trash. If anything, it is classic projection. HuffPo was bought out and has taken AOL down the tubes. Why sell HuffPo, Arianna, if ads and traffic are high? More money……but there must not have been much there, after all, or the markets would not have rejected the sale and AOL would not have taken a nose dive.

You are just blogging too well. Especially well, before the election of 2012. Panic! WWAD (What Would Alinsky Do)?!

Silencing the opposition is their goal. Transparent. As. Glass.

DINORightMarie | July 18, 2011 at 9:46 am

Oops. *of not *fo

Years ago when blogging was just getting started, Hugh Hewitt pointed out correctly in his book “Blog” that it’s now so much how many people read your blog but who they are and how interconnected they are.

If you are getting 100,000 hits per day but they are all convicts in the NY penal system, you are not as successful as the blogger who gets only one hit each day from the POTUS. You need to connect to people who matter in an important way and so content becomes critical.

Fortunately, there is a shortage of lawyers in this country so you don’t have to fear your competition exploding.


“…it’s NOT so much how many people…

Yes, you’ve found a place in our home, right along with Rush. You’re one of our regular morning checks. Thank you for your work and for giving us hope with facts, information and humor.

Doing my part by reading your blog every day. Amazed that you even exist at Cornell. Two sons, daughter and son-in-law attended Cornell. All except my daughter are conservative despite the best efforts of the CU faculty. Daughter received her indoctrination in the Peace Corps before grad school at Cornell, so CU not a factor. If you want to grow your blog, you might want to take a look at the Althouse blog strategy. She has apparently been quite successful. Hope you “keep spitting into the wind” Professor; if for no other reason than the heartburn you must give your colleagues!

DINORightMarie | July 18, 2011 at 10:25 am

Dittos what @StacyS said!! Wouldn’t start my day without your blog.

Stacy, when was he ever funny?

Top 150 conservative blogs & websites

Top 100 progressive liberal websites

The first twelve progressive liberal website are MSM. More MSM are scattered throughout. If you remove them it doesn’t look too bad just eyeballing it.

In any case you are one of the bulwarks between us and liberal fascism. It is hard to overestimate what’s at stake.

Laws of creative destruction govern blogs as well as economics.

He needs to follow his own advice I guess. I never heard of him until YOU linked HIM.

There are several actions at play. First, things are so bad that people don’t want to hear of them any more. At social events, I have noticed that people are intentionally avoiding any reference to politics, the economy or even the weather.
Then there is the issue of hot buttons like abortion. Many of the so called right blogs are definitely anti-abortiong and will throw you off the site if you disagree with their agenda. They don’t seem to recognize that the religions crowd is what got us here to begin with when they fundamentally changed the nature of our govenment in the 1880’s. They since have moved to imposed just as many rules and regs as the communist.
And finally, people are getting geared for 2012 and know that nothing will help for at least 6 months.

    syn in reply to david7134. | July 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    “Many of the so called right blogs are definitely anti-abortiong and will throw you off the site if you disagree with their agenda. They don’t seem to recognize that the religions crowd is what got us here to begin with when they fundamentally changed the nature of our govenment in the 1880′s. They since have moved to imposed just as many rules and regs as the communist.”

    Perhaps your history is a bit off, this Nation was built upon the ‘religions crowd’ as President Calvin Coolidge so eloquently expressed in his speech celebrating the 150th year of the Declaration of Independence:

    Interessting your historical beigns 1800’s. This when Charles Darwin published his On the Origin of the Species in 1859. Also when the belief in Government began to grow greater than the faith in God; Commies must rid the earth of God otherwise they cannot rule.

    Everyone today who is reasonable and sane know for a fact that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution both from a molecular biology perspective and through the lack of fossil records is demolished in its credibility.

    I will admit though that like those who continue to believe the myth of Global Climate Change theory, Darwinian Evolutionists will never admit their theory has been disproven; Communist must do this though for to admit that there is a God (a divine Provindence) means Commies cannot rule.

      syn in reply to syn. | July 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm

      please pardon my spelling errors-preview is my friend I sometimes ignore.

      It is ‘Interesting your historical *stance begins*


This sounds like a normal process of consolidation after an initial boom. I guess Hawkins advice is more for those who want to make a living from blogging? My little blog gets hardly any traffic (with the occasional exception when a big site links), but I write more as a way to talk about the things that interest me, rather than as a money-maker. I suspect that’s true of most Right-side bloggers.

Figures don’t lie, but liars figure. My personal theory is that there may be fewer hits per blog, because it is so easy to start a blog that there are so many many blogs diluting the traffic numbers. For people who have serious comments on issues with actual analysis, rather than snarky one-liners, one’s own blog presents a better opportunity.

Just a theory, of course. I did it.

Your site is on my must-read daily list. I think the biggest measure of success is how much pleasure your blog gives you — that’s the one that counts. BTW – Thanks for recently listing my humble little punditry site your “Blog of the Day”. It was a great birthday present. 🙂

Dittos to everyone who said in various ways that there IS a place for you…don’t you dare go away!

Your blog is awesome and also give me great pleasure when I share the ones you don’t post on facebook if for nothing more than to not just get some of my friends to read your blog, but also to annoy the hell out of a few who are Kool-Aid drinkers 🙂

There can’t be many more new blog-readers out there in the world; almost everyone who would read blogs already does. With a limited amount of time in our days, we are not going to read more blogs. It’s a bit like cell phone market saturation, is it not?

Moreover, we also have the comment sections of blogs, and many people who otherwise would blog on their own just spend their time commenting away, which concentrates the brainpower of conservatives in one place. Much more efficient, IMHO, than having a bunch of people respond to someone’s thoughts on blogs of their own.

There may be more efficient ways to blog, such as by having several people band together to write one blog that is updated regularly, rather than, as individuals, struggling to keep several blogs active. But such tactics hardly means that there’s anything wrong with the conservative blogosphere.

DINORightMarie | July 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Another thought on your statement/quote about “big” sites. Since Michelle Malkin sold Hot Air, it has gone down dramatically. Since Ed Morrissey has become a CNN contributor, I’ve notices a less Conservative tone (Allapundit was always sold out to his athiest unapologetically anti-Palin view – and his NEED for blog traffic guaranteed postings).

Red State is also having some interesting twists. They had a major blog war, where Erick had to pull out the “Thor ban hammer” I believe he called it. They are still solidly Conservative, but the ads and constant requests for support have come with that “getting big” syndrome.

Stay just as you are. You are climbing the “blog charts” consistently, and dueling with Volock as the best legal blog online!

Your voice NEEDS to be heard. You speak for many who have not taken the plunge, and have the levity, the credentials, and the consistency.

There IS a place for you. Right here. 😉

DINORightMarie | July 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Typo corrections: *noticed *Volokh

I need to check these over better. 😉 I miss the “preview” option. :/

There are some parallels between bloggers and webcomics. Just about anybody can draw a stick figure, but very few can make a popular website like XKCD, or Order of the Stick. Some of us can draw people fairly well, but it takes real skill to do it day in and day out with something thoughtful and funny in each page, like Schlock Mercenary, Girl Genius, Nodwick/PS238 and Kevin and Kell.

And we should get better over time, more thoughtful and accurate. (Example: go to the Schlock Mercenary archive, and compare current comics with his first ones)

LukeHandCool | July 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Professor, as I’ve said before, your blog’s growth makes Apple’s earnings growth look flatlined.

I’m busy with my kids, school (lifelong professional student now intent on taking and passing the CPA exam in a year or two as well as slowly working toward a master’s in math so I can teach community college in the future) a full-time job (to which I return today after three weeks off … feeling very grumpy) so … I need to get my news and views fast and to the point and with a sense of humor (which your blog provides like no other) so I can stay informed and change the minds of people I come into contact with (mostly at work. My specialty is influencing the political views of college-age and twentysomething lefties who seem hopeless in their misinformed, trendy progressivism).

Keep up the great work. I hope your readership continues to grow at gangbusters pace and I will continue to promote your blog as best I can (was just showing it to our daughter’s boyfriend yesterday … and suggested (more like I demanded) he show it to all his fraternity brothers (they are almost all Republicans according to our daughter).

I gave up on blogging myself, I just don’t have the time or the drive, and I’m now using my blog more as an online journal/diary to keep a record of our childrens’ funny exploits.

So, as unofficial co-president (along with Pasadena Phil) of the L.A. chapter of the L.I. Booster Club … I say, to the toppermost of the bloggerposts!

LukeHandCool (who, like the time he was promoting the Bangles as a young man when they were unknown outside the L.A. club scene, gave their records as presents on almost every weekend date he went on for months when he was living in Hawaii … and, when he would run into some of those girls later on, when the Bangles had become fairly big, loved to say, “What did I tell you, girl?” … and who, shameless name dropper that he is, was wearing a Bangles t-shirt they’d sold at a gig while working in his dad’s store one day when a middle-aged woman customer asked, “You like the Bangles?” … and as LHC simply stated, “Yes, I do,” while thinking, “What could this woman possibly know about the Bangles?” she added, “I’m Susana Hoffs’ mom.” Small entertainment-world world … when you live on L.A.’s Westside).

I have always valued quality over quantity. I have only so much time and, unlike the progressive left, I have learned to prioritize. There are about a half-dozen blogs that I visit every day – two of them are consolidators, so I get the best of what’s out there from one or two stops. LI is a MUST VISIT site – several times a day.

My own blog has been up and running for almost 5 years and while it’s not setting any records anywhere, I have a loyal following that includes the highest levels of the Democrat movers and shakers in this state, including the governor. (Who would personally love to fire my butt – but not only can’t he do that, but in September, he will have to present me with the annual Award for Excellence from the agency I work for. Some moments are so worth the irony!!!)

Anyway, the conservative blogosphere is alive and well, and the messages are being heard loud and clear. Trust me.

Unless your goal is to become the next Tom Clancy, don’t worry about it. Blog about what interests YOU. You’re doing just fine.

Your blog is one of the few “independent” blogs that I read daily. Keep up the great work. Don’t go a-changin’

…and when you are right you are not afraid of spiking the football. 🙂 Just the right amount of professionalism:

1. It’s tough out there, folks. Just one guy (with some help) spitting into the wind of blogospheric reality.

It may be tough out there, but today it’s pretty thick in here. 😉

2. I don’t know what your longer-term goals, if any, are for this blog; I don’t know if you’re meeting your expectations regarding those goals. I do know that I appreciate your efforts. Please carry on.

It really depends on your motivation for blogging. If it’s to make money, be a big shot in determining policy or become famous, then maybe Hawkins is right. I say BS. Little bloggers blog because for the first time, we have a voice and something to say and we don’t care how many people read our blog. This is the human need to make a difference, if only for one person. Personally I think Hawkins’ success has gone to his head. Meanwhile, I blog on, with a faithful reader:>

jeannebodine | July 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm

There is big, flashy & loud and then there is LI – funny, warm, true, thought-provoking. I’d hope LI will be around for a long, long time.

[…] Power, Pajamas Media, Ben Smith’s Blog, Betsy’s Page, Riehl World View, Althouse and Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion // Share:DiggRedditStumbleUponPrintFacebookEmail Posted by Patrick on July 18, 2011 at 8:29 […]

[…] Bise (and his unintentional prequel, which should have had my name on the subject instead of his), William Jacobson (who shouldn’t have to worry about his place in the pecking order), Ann Althouse, John […]

If one wishes to earn a living as a writer, one must be prepared to starve to death. Twas ever thus, and the internet does nothing to change the dynamic that causes that phenomenon.

As to general blogging, though, Tea Party at Perrysburg put it well (@4:34 pm). We only have to make a difference in the place where we are. Each of us who stands up gives that much more courage to someone else to do so.

Freedom of speech is not relegated only to those with the biggest audience, and the odds are the guy with the golden microphone is not the one making the most important speech of the day.

[…] Linked by Steve at No Runny Eggs (thanks!) who found a number of others commenting on this. Professor Jacobson noted he’s addressed this issue before, and Jimmie Bise had quite a bit to say that’s […]

I like your blog a lot. It’s crisp with clear opinion, intelligent,relevant, and with a good sense of humor.

I read YOU way more than anything from John Hawkins, so in my eyes, YOU are the big important blogger, not him.
I linked to your post here:
Keep up the great work, Professor, you are mighty!

As far as I am concerned, your work is a must read. The idea that conservative blogs will perish is nonsense. Those who produce quality work will continue to flourish, while those that don’t will fail.

I blame Charles Johnson.

Late, since I’ve got reality in the way of setting down and reading….

“Oh! No! Someone I don’t read says that, because it’s harder for new people to make a living at blogging, all the little guys should quit and get out of his way! Quickly, let us all lose faith!”

IIRC, the whole “blogging is dying” thing has been going on since the last election. Just new permutations. I think Facebook was going to kill it first, then Twitter, then newspapers going digital….

Frankly, unless you prove the claim by definition (at one point, nobody made money at blogging because nobody blogged) then I’d love to know where he gets real data for this….

Probably just a nice big hunk of link-whoring.