The “accidental blogger”: one blogger’s experience with the blogosphere

I felt that it was interesting to hear from William Jacobson, a conservative political blogger and law professor at Cornell University, about his experiences as a blogger and founder of “Legal Insurrection.”

Jacobson described his experience with blogging as an accidental encounter; for, he began blogging on Google blogger as a hobby without thinking about the idea of entering a larger blogosphere.

What really caught my attention was his comment on how he transitioned from Google blogger to a larger, purchased domain. Within one year, he had smoothly transitioned from an amateur blogging website to a professional blog that received over one million visits. As a blogger myself, I found this statistic particularly astonishing and interesting, especially to hear about the work that he has done to create a strong presence in the online blogosphere.

One fact that made me think about my own blog, The Carousel of Opportunities, is the idea that bloggers should focus on improving the number of page views rather than page visits simply because page views are more accurate in counting who reads your blog. Jacobson said the influence of a blog is greater with page views than with page visits. I think that it was worthwhile to hear from Jacobson because his blog is pro-am, meaning he hires full-time contributing writers as well as works with part-time volunteer writers. Currently, his writers work with him to provide content for the blog and helps him manage the website. With a small staff and little revenue generating, “Legal Insurrections” has 45,000 page views per day.

Jacobson’s status as an “accidental blogger” helped me realize that blogging isn’t just for journalists, it is for everyone and anyone. One way Jacobson said he garners 45,000 page views is through the use of Facebook for his blog. He said Facebook is a prime driver of his website visits and contributes greatly to the daily traffic he receives. This fact emphasizes the importance of social media for advertising and promotions. Without social media like Facebook and Twitter, who knows how successful it would be to drive traffic to a website? With that, Jacobson could easily generate around $60,000 in revenue for his blog and make blogging into a full time career. On average, Jacobson said he tries to blog about two to three times per day, which he could easily turn into a career if he wanted to.

I really enjoyed listening to the experiences of Jacobson because I think blogging is a tool that is up and coming in the field of communications. Although it is clear that some bloggers have turned their hobby into a career, such as Glenn Greenwald, it is also important to note that blogs can serve as a space to share one’s ideas and thoughts on a topic of interest. For Jacobson, his conservative, political thoughts translated to his blog, “Legal Insurrections,” and I think with 45,000 page views per day, that is quite an impressive result of showing how a hobby can have a larger value.

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