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Blogs: Does Audience Size Matter?
Stay True To Your Focus & Passion
By Peter K. O'Connell
Voice Actor

What happens when a leader questions himself?

Mitch Joel is a social media thought leader. I didn’t say "expert" because I think the term “social media expert” has been watered down by schmoes trying to cash in with little in their credibility bank.

Mitch has loads of credibility because of his knowledge and passion for the subject of social media. So it was with some surprise that I and his other blog subscribers read one of his recent posts entitled, “Five Reasons Why This Blog is a Failure.“

If you write a blog, this question is worthy of your consideration. In this case, someone who knows more about blogging and social media than you or me is asking this question of himself.

To summarize, Mitch seems a bit obsessed with the Ad Age Power 150, which is a daily ranking of marketing blogs. Mitch is ranked #22 while his friend Chris Brogan is ranked #1.
So Mitch asked his other friend, Julien Smith, (who has co-authored a book with Chris Brogan) about why Mitch’s blog isn’t as popular as Chris’ blog.

My point to Mitch in my comment to his post - yes, I am one of those people who actually supports blogs by leaving comments … few people do that any more - was that we men have a problem worrying about size and who is bigger in many aspects of our lives, and the answer matters very little to blogs.

To me, it’s not how many people read your blog, but rather are the right people reading your blog?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What do they need to know?
  • How can you help them with your content?
  • What do you want to accomplish by publishing your blog?

There is no Ad Age Power Ranking for voice-over blogs, so I’ll defer to our friend Google and the search term “voice over blog.”
I’m ranked like seventh in a very small, niche category.
Does that mean there are six more popular blogs than mine, or does that mean I am a Top 10 blogger?
Is your glass half full or half empty?

I write what I am passionate about - voice-over, marketing and advertising - and most times I try and put forth stuff that will help or entertain readers.

Sometimes, selfishly, I write just to please myself.

But in either case I stay true to what I know (very well) about, and what content pleases me.
Hopefully, that content will please readers. All the while staying true to the original focus.
Peter K. O’Connell has been a professional voice talent since 1982 and is president of audio'connell voice over talent. His company provides English-speaking professional male and female voice-over and audio production services for national and international clients. The voice-over needs of foreign-language clients are served through another O'Connell-owned company, International Voice Talents. He also operates Voice Over Workshop, which provides professional voice-over training to novice and experienced voice talent worldwide, is author of The Voice Over Entrance Exam, an e-book that examines the business and performance realities of becoming a voice-over talent, and writes a very informative blog on voice-over marketing and advertising, voxmarketising.


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Comments (3)
Marcus Weems
6/1/2010 at 9:09 AM
Thanks for the information. As one who is contemplating dipping a toe into the waters of the blogging pool, anything that demystifies the process is most helpful. I’ve had one “set up” for about a month, but so far life and trepidation have gotten in the way of posting. Maybe this will be the week I cross over.
Paul Strikwerda
6/1/2010 at 8:01 AM
Peter, I loved your article and yet I'm torn. Is it better to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond?

You can run the best specialty store in the world, but if nobody's ever heard of you (or is buying your goods), what's the point?

Relevant content is definitely a key to blogging success, but how does one measure relevance? By the number of hits, links, subscriptions, comments or retweets? Or - dare I say- by an email from John Florian asking for permission to repost your article?

Technorati tracks the influence of blogs. When ranking blogs, they use a criterion called "authority".

Authority is calculated based on a site’s linking behavior, categorization and other associated data over a short, finite period of time. A site’s authority may rapidly rise and fall depending on what the blogosphere is discussing at the moment, and how often a site produces content being referenced by other sites."

In basic terms, the rankings are based on how many links a site has from other blogs and how many of their posts are receiving links.

These days, search engines seem to be ranking blogs and other sites, based on this type of social proof.

Every day, over a million blogs are posted. If we want people to find our precious needle in this haystack, shouldn't we learn how to play the numbers game? Does it have to be an either/or situation: the old quantity versus quality debate?

If you truly believe that your blog is offering something of value, don't you want to share that with as many people as possible? In that respect, I believe size does matter. However, as a blogger, I wouldn’t want my Double Dutch blog to be judged based on numbers alone.

Here are some of the questions I have in the back of my mind, when creating content:

- What's my audience hungry for?
- What pains and problems do they have?
- What issues do they care about?
- What solutions are they hoping to find?
- What am I passionate about?
- What do I have to offer that’s unique and applicable?
- Why should people trust me?

So, is it better to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond? Well, why don't we poll the pond!
6/1/2010 at 2:43 AM
Nice article Peter!

Personally, I don't worry so much how Google ranks my blog. While the keyword phrase "voice over blog" might not rank my blog even in the first few pages of results, other keyword phrases related to voice acting do place it in the top 10 results on the first page.

I look more closely at the number of unique visitors who find my blog (I use Google Analytics to track visitors.) I also check the number of RSS subscribers. As long as these two stats keep increasing, I feel like the blog is growing in readership.

Thanks again!
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