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Dealing with Blogger Popularity

Caleb relays some of his experience and advice. His experience is different from mine, because I never really concerned myself very much with trying to be popular, and still don’t, really. But I did find there was a certain threshold, once you start to build an audience and people start to take you seriously. When you cross that threshold, things you used to be able to get away with as an up-and-coming blogger you can no longer get away with. The best advice I could offer is that if you’re going to provoke an argument with another blog, always attack up the food chain. Never attack down. If you attack up, you’re just trying to get noticed, and larger blogs generally have developed pretty thick skin when it comes to those kinds of things. Additionally if they think they can use your provoking an argument to generate content, they will. They get content, and you get traffic. It’s a fair trade. But attacking upstart blogs from higher up will be taken badly, and half the battle is realizing you’re not an upstart anymore. It’s not your perception that determines what you are, it’s everyone else’s.

34 Responses to “Dealing with Blogger Popularity”

  1. Erin Palette says:

    I was reading the linked article and it took all my self control not to leave a snarky comment along the lines of:

    “Do it respectfully, with good content? This from a guy who says he wants writers and photographers to generate new articles, and then demands that we all create a video before we can progress to the next stage? Pull the other one.”

    Yes, that really happened.

    • Sebastian says:

      If you want to write for somebody, I’ll keep that in mind if I ever decide to start a group blog (something I think about from time to time). I won’t make you do a video :) Of course, beggars can’t be choosers, and I wouldn’t have the dough to pay anyone. This blog mostly just covers costs with the ads.

      • Erin Palette says:

        Thanks for the offer, but… well… I can write for free on my own blog. :)

        Just link to my articles you like (and maybe put me on your blogroll) and it’s all good.

        • Sebastian says:

          I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t write for me either :) The one reason I haven’t pulled the trigger on my group blog ideas is because I’d feel I should give people a share of the money that comes in, and figuring out and equitable way to do that is difficult.

          • Erin Palette says:

            Don’t get me wrong, I would totally write for you… I’d just want some kind of compensation for it. (Not necessarily money — I’ll take swag, ammo, or other fun and/or fungible goods.)

            If you can get that worked out, I am absolutely on board.

    • McThag says:

      The Gun Blog is taking applications! No requirement for video indicated.

  2. Knitebane says:

    Advice from Caleb? Oh, that will be helpful.

    The guy that posts videos attacking open carriers in order to get hits, then whines and cries that he’s just the messenger when people take exception? And asks for us all to just get along? That Caleb?

    The guy that insists that everyone is wrong but him, including Colonel Jeff Cooper? Because being a tactical insurance salesman packing a Raven .25ACP is just the guy to trash what people carry for self-defense?

    That Caleb?

    The Caleb that drunkblogs his sour grapes whenever another season of Topshot comes on?

    THAT Caleb?

    Maybe I missed a memo, but I’m not sure a douchebag’s advice on how not to be a douchebag will be all that useful.

    • Knitebane says:

      I reviewed the post on my site about Caleb and I must retract some of what I said above.

      Giddings was not, in fact, carrying a Raven in .25ACP when his complete lack of situational awareness let a crackhead get the drop on him.

      He was actually carrying Beretta Jetfire in .25ACP.

      My apologies to owners of Ravens to have mistakenly assigned Caleb to their ranks.

    • McThag says:

      Don’t forget his co-blogger deciding to expand the definition of assault rifle to include semi-autos and his defense of that expanded definition.

      It’s not like we didn’t spend nearly 20 years getting that term separated from our non-NFA guns or anything…

  3. Sebastian says:

    I didn’t know Caleb had become such a controversial figure. I still remember him when he was Ahab and writing at “What Would John Wayne Do?”

  4. Sebastian says:

    Of course another thing, and this is really more a how long you’ve been doing it versus how popular you are…. after a while you stop paying attention to blog drama.

  5. Roberta X says:

    Hey, commenters, way to attack up! Achievement unlocked!

    Life is too damn short.

    –Which reminds me, so is Caleb, who took on an attacker with not a .25 but a hot cup of coffee. Look, I can see where people could have a beef with the guy, he is right up front about commercializing his blogging and there’s folks who dislike that, but dissing a guy over carrying too small a gun seems…silly. Especially when he used a different weapon anyway. He’s something of a supersaleman but I don’t remember him ever stealing content or scumbagging a newspaper columnist who has put in serious work to improve the lot of gun owners. That was some other guy. Gee, I can never remember that name….

    • Knitebane says:

      Caleb was carrying the .25 when he let SumDood get too close to use it. He had to fall back to the coffee cup. Which is fine and all but now he considers himself some kind of expert on self-defense. Next up, Tanya Harding on “How to win at the Olympics.”

      And I’m not dissing him because he was carrying a mouse gun. I’m dissing him because he now trashes what other people carry.

      There’s a bunch of Do What I Say, Not What I Do in him.

      Granted, it’s not up the level of That Other Guy, but Caleb’s going down the same road. He’s just not as far along.

      • Roberta X says:

        And what’s your experience, Knitebane, in keeping “Sumdood” from getting too close, and what to do if he manages it despite? I’m seriously interested; I have been held up at gunpoint twice (back when I was unarmed) and only one of them was completely avoidable. Have you ever seen wrong end of a firearm when it’s for all the marbles?

        Caleb didn’t get robbed; he attained a positive outcome. If his opinion on appropriate calibers for carry has changed since, it may be based on the experience. (I don’t recall him being a mousegun fanboi when he lived in Indy, but the teeny-weeny pocket nines weren’t around back then and the little Berettas are awfully small.)

        Blogging-wise, he had a dream and he went for it; he didn’t start with a car or golf blog and move on based on the prospects for eventual website saleability. And his doing it doesn’t mean there’s less dreaming available for everyone else. It’s not a zero-sum game. If you don’t agree with his notions, why, how easy indeed it is to get your own notions out there on the web! –And way more fun than spittin’ in his cornflakes.

  6. Sebastian says:

    I should clarify.. when I say attack up, I mean pick a fight on the topic of the day. I don’t mean “You suck and I hate you!” because after a while you get used to that, and just ignore it.

  7. Andy B. says:

    I am once again reminded of Nock’s 1937 (?) essay, “Isaiah’s Job,” which opined that once you become what Nock called a “mass-man,” you cease to be a “prophet,” because you are steered by your audience, rather than you steering them.

    • Sebastian says:

      I’m not trying to be either a mass-man or a prophet… so I don’t know where that leaves me :)

      • Andy B. says:

        I’m not making accusations. :-)

        I only have observed, that if you take pundits for one example, you can often tell when they are aware they have a “following” that expects certain things out of them. So at that point they cease expressing genuine opinions, and produce opinions that are a formulaic product tailored to the audience they have already won. They don’t want to have to start over! I’m sure you could name half a dozen syndicated writers for whom all you need to see is what the subject of the day is, and you can predict with fair accuracy what they are going to say. You don’t have to read their column.

        I’m not sure where bloggers fall. I guess it depends on their motivations. If you just like to opine for its own sake, you can be pretty pure, but even then you probably think of friends and acquaintances you don’t want to disappoint with your opinions. Others who are seeking to be picked up by major outlets, or to win more significant paid advertizing for their blog, probably think in terms or producing opinions that will be popular with the greatest number of people.

        I think if you look at our local paper, you can identify columnists who write formulaic stuff, that is not really up to what they are capable of, probably hoping to be picked up for a better gig with an outfit specializing in that formula.

      • Roberta X says:

        Hard at work? –Srsly, you and Bitter do a lot of gun-blog heavy lifting, especially who in politics is doing and saying what with respect to our interests, and you do it so smoothly that as a reader, it is easy to forget that the effort required to assemble and present it; and that’s before mentioning your in-person activism.

        But don’t quote me; it would ruin my image. ;)

  8. Bubblehead Les says:

    Hmm. Time for the Old Fart to say something. You know, no one ever put a Gun to someone’s head and said “Blog or Die!” We all Volunteered, Bloggers, Commentators, et.al.

    Also, one can always “Change the Channel.” We live in America, where the InterWeb is not controlled by the State (yet!). If you don’t like someone’s Blog, stop reading it.

    But “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.” Yes, some of us take a Topic, run with it, and get all Butt Hurt when someone disagrees. And when the Facts reveal that the Bloggers Position is Full of It, same-said Blogger or Commentator or Whatever should Man/Women Up and admit that they were wrong. This John Wayne attitude of “Never Apologize, it’s a sign of Weakness” (from the movie “She Wore a Yellow Women”) is Crap. I’ve apologized many times in the past, and I’ll do so in the Future, I’m sure. It’s not the End of the World to Admit than One made a Mistake and needs to correct it.

    On the other hand, if one is Right, I say Stand Fast and Defend yourself.

    But on the Gripping Hand, if the Facts Change, Don’t Be a Fudd! One could be Right with Old Data, net be wrong when things change.

    And if one wants to “Commercialize” their Blog, so what? Think of it as “Capitalism in Action.” Nothing says one has to Pay to Play, like Facebook is doing.

    But no one should Steal from another Blog, then get all Butt Hurt when they get caught, like a certain AssHat who tells “The Lies about Guns”. Theft is Theft. And that same person might want to consider that certain comments about Females could be constituted to be “Hate Speech,” and this current Admin LOVES to go after “Hate Speech.” So maybe the time will come soon enough that some “Reaping of what was Sewn” will occur. One can Hope.

    Okay, Grandpa needs his nap and his Depends changed, so you kids play nice, okay?

    AND STAY OFF MY LAWN!

  9. Roadkill says:

    I don’t like Caleb personally. Professionally, I utterly despise him. Caleb has long been honest that he’s out for profit. He has worked hard to be popular to line his pockets. Nominally, I have no trouble with such mercenary tendencies. However, I do take exception to when someone is capitalizing on their self defense expertise to sell a self-defense product that they themselves quickly acknowledge is seriously deficient and then tells you that the quality factory product is too expensive and would ruin their overhead. A quick trip to Google and a few reads would reveal such snake oil for what it is, but his popularity is such that I worry about those newbies that are going to take his word on self-defense as gospel.

  10. Roadkill says:

    ProMags.

  11. Caleb says:

    You know, I’ll tolerate a lot of nonsense directed at me, but suggesting I’ve ever shilled for or been associated with ProMag in any way is downright insulting and I won’t stand for it. I searched the Gun Nuts archives all the way back to 2006, and the only times I’ve ever mentioned ProMag in a semi-positive light was when it was one of the few magazines that would reliably work with my Para P16-40.

    I have never been associated with Pro Mag in a professional or under the table nor, have I ever advocated for using their products.

    Look, if people don’t like me that’s fine. I’ve done plenty of unlikable things in my life, but there’s no need to tell lies about me as justification for not liking me. God, ProMag. That’s just low.

  12. Roadkill says:

    http://oi48.tinypic.com/okoil5.jpg

    A little bit from the logs before the screencap.

    [09:08] I have several in stock
    [09:08] low low prices

    [09:09] 20 bucks for 8 rounders
    [09:09] factory new Pro Mags
    [09:09] plus s&h

    • Caleb says:

      I like how from a 3 year old screen cap of me selling some gear I had sitting around for a gun I don’t own anymore automatically means I was recommending shitty gear and then lying to people about it.

      You are actually a crazy person. That’s awesome.

      • Roadkill says:

        [09:13] I doubt he’d buy from me anyway
        [09:13] after all, he’s not my target market. ;-)

        [09:13] although the P6/P225 ones are the best out there

        [09:25] Most of the accessories I’m carrying are for comp/carry anyway
        [09:25] the only reason I even have P225 mags is because I got a deal

        Soooooo, you were making it sound like you were running a store that didn’t exist just to sell some used mags that you claimed were new… Is this correct?

  13. Caleb says:

    You’re asking me to remember what I was thinking 3 years ago? Dude, let it go. Carrying that chip around on your shoulder has got be exhausting as hell.

    Wow dude, just…wow.

  14. Roadkill says:

    No wait, I have another one! SNIPERBABES!

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