Strategic Blogging, part 3: Blogs don’t feed themselves

If you are just tuning in: Part 1 and Part 2 of this series are in the archive.

I organized these blogs the way I did to increase Part Time Monster’s profile from the very beginning. Sam and I can write about whatever we want at PTM, but our long-term plan is to put the filmmaking, the writing, and my personal geekery on their own sites. Doing that allows us to build an independent audience for each of those sites, while at the same time creating opportunities to introduce the people we meet through Universal Half Truths and my two sites to Part Time Monster.

Remember what I said in Part 1 about digital networks functioning as architecture. Now take a look at  Sourcerer and The Writing Catalog. Focus on the details of their structures.

When I was talking about digital networks as architecture, I was talking about global structure. Every individual website has a local structure as well. This is what you will find if you analyze the structures of my blogs:

1. Part Time Monster in their taglines.
2. Links to Part Time Monster on their about pages.
3. The three most recent posts at Part Time Monster at the tops of the sidebars.
4. Only Part Time Monster, friends, and people I have previously linked to in my own posts on the blogrolls.

They are totally different sites, designed to appeal to overlapping, but fundamentally different audiences. Yet they have those 4 things in common.

Every video I post at Sourcerer, and every list of helpful writing tips I post at the Catalog, are an opportunities to introduce someone new to Part Time Monster. I don’t even have to link to Part Time Monster in an actual post. That is what an understanding of structure gets us.

This is why we try to post our best content here, and post it daily. It is why my blogs are built to appeal to their own audiences and  have their own schedules. It is also why, as a general rule, you won’t find links to things I post at my blogs on Part Time Monster — but you will see frequent links to Part Time Monster in my posts.

I built the Writing Catalog for my writer friends. I built Sourcerer because the sort of blogging I do there is fun. But I designed them to feed the Monster. This strategy will not work if Part Time Monster has to start feeding them.

My devious little plan only works better as more blogs join our coalition, and as we are able to find ways to generate more content. As long as we choose one blog to feed and figure out specific themes or audiences for the others, things will keep getting better for us.

Once we reach the point where we can think about full collaboration with a lot of contributors on a single site, it will be easy to change taglines and sidebars so that all our established blogs feed the community blog the same way I am feeding the Monster now.

I will attempt to wrap this series up on Thursday.


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