Matt Forney
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The Blog is Dead, Long Live the Blog

blogIt’s official: blogging is dead. Because of this, I’m shutting down this site immediately and deleting everything I’ve ever written. I’m also taking my books off of Amazon. Instead of self-publishing like some loser, I will spend years trying to get one of the big New York publishers to accept one of my manuscripts. The New Republic, the same paragon of journalistic credibility that foisted Stephen Glass on the world, has caused me to see the light:

There is little sense in shouting against the wind, but the blog—the blog as a thematically or personally coherent space containing an individual’s or a subject’s specific interests, commitments, attitudes—was a great thing, and its decline is saddening. One never felt one knew talented writers or complicated subjects as well as the ones that maintained excellent blogs. Every day, even every hour, you could predict, argue with, be surprised by, get enraged at, and be persuaded by them. Unlike the pre-blog newspaper or magazine column (which still persists, of course, if anachronistically and often embarrassingly), the blog provided the unmediated space for the writer or theme to wrestle with itself in full view of the reader. And unlike the post-blog and its endless stream of isolated dollops of news, which seems to be the world we’re heading towards, the blog offered a crucial context for understanding what it was reporting or opining on in each instance. The blog was the right form for the right time, but it was also just plain right, and remains so. Sometimes the pace of technology leads us to do something that is substantially superior, and sometimes the pace of technology leads us to do something that is substantially inferior. It would be nice if we could step in when the mutation selected is a good one, and identify it as something worth saving. But I’m guessing there isn’t as much money in that.

TNR’s examples of how the blog is dying—pointing to the New York Times shuttering many of its blogs and to Andrew Sullivan placing a paywall on his blog—display the usual tone deafness of the MSM, but there is a greater point here: the day of the easy blogging money is gone, gone, gone. Ten years ago, you could develop a nice side income running ads on your shitty ra-ra Republican blog or posting affiliate link-embedded free samples from porn sites. Then the bottom fell out of the online advertising market, tube sites and file-sharing killed the porn industry, and the demand for bland, snide commentary on the Liberal Outrage of the Day shrank.

But the blog isn’t dead; the landscape of the Internet is just changing, as it always has and will.

Nearly a decade doing this and I’ve seen the online landscape devolve, deform and reform countless times. Four years ago, having a Twitter account was optional; in fact, Twitter back then was a piece of shit, clogged up with spammers and crashing all the time. Nowadays, having a Twitter account is all but mandatory, because a significant part of your readership uses it exclusively to find and discover new bloggers. Up until last autumn, Facebook pages were a great way to promote your site; around that time, Zuckerberg changed the layout so that page posts no longer showed up on followers’ home pages, then instituted a bullshit “Promote” option in which you have to pay to reach your own fanbase.

The biggest fundamental shift in the online world has been away from individually visiting sites to aggregators and social media. Four years ago, most of my blog views came from people physically typing “inmalafide.com” (or the URL of the site in question) into their browsers and visiting the homepage. Even in the heyday of RSS, it was a niche technology that only a handful of fanatics really utilized. Nowadays, a disproportionate share of my traffic comes from aggregator sites like Viva La Manosphere and Delusion Damage that specialize in linking to other sites, as well as Blogger blogs with interactive blogrolls like Hawaiian LibertarianCaptain Capitalism and The Elusive Wapiti.

In fact, Viva La Manosphere is responsible for a solid 15 percent of my traffic, a situation that would have been unheard of as recently as a year ago.

Eons ago, I recall reading a guide to blogging on one of those now-defunct Republican blogs that roughly separated bloggers into two categories: “linkers” and “thinkers.” Linkers linked to other peoples’ posts and provided brief commentary (think Instapundit), while thinkers wrote longer, more thought-out articles (Dr. Helen). It was a crude distinction, but the point is made: the linkers are seeing their market share collapse as social media and professional aggregators like Viva La Manosphere take a big bite out of their traffic.

The way to succeed in the blogging world nowadays is to provide long-term value with your content. You need to write articles that will be worth reading six months, a year, two years into the future. You can’t simply link to a story about some politician saying something stupid, make a snarky comment and expect people to care anymore; you need to write something that will enrich peoples’ lives even after the news cycle has moved on.

Let’s take Gucci Little Piggy as an example. I mean no disrespect to Chuck, as I love his blog and his reporting, but the majority of his posts are these kinds of quick off-the-cuff observations and/or links to breaking news stories. How many people are going to be Googling and trawling through his archives in the future? How many of his readers will re-read a post like “A New Book on Race, Genetics and Sports” weeks or months later? The answer: few, if any at all.

Chuck’s blogging is easy for him to create but has a short shelf life, meaning he can’t simply coast on his archives in the way that, say, Danger & Play, Roosh or even myself do.

Now consider that Gucci Little Piggy is one of the most popular blogs in this part of the Internet. If you’re blogging merely to snark about feminists or whatever, you have to at least be as good as Chuck or equivalent bloggers. You like those odds?

If you’re going to join the blogging world, you’re far better off trying to develop a niche and create content within that niche that has lasting value. I try to do this with my blogging; most, if not all of my posts are written to be enjoyed well after they’re published. Even when I riff on people like Lindy West, I try to do more than write the equivalent of “she’s a big doody-head” by highlighting the greater context in which they exist. For example, the reason why I didn’t rush out with a post on Hugo Schwyzer when he melted down a month ago was because I’ve been working on an explanation of how his narcissism is a defining feature of not only feminism, but leftism in general.

I try not to half-ass these things anymore.

No, the blog isn’t dead. The disposa-blog is dead. If you have something substantive to say, you can still succeed; you just need to get yourself in gear.

Read Next: An Easy Way to Get More Hits on Your Blog

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  • docillusion

    I’m glad there is little to no money in blogging anymore. This means less bloggers are writing drivel and clickbait to cater to readers and generate revenue.

    This opens the field to bloggers like Bill Powell and myself who have no need of money and actually write what we want, when we want and how we want.

    Lack of easy blogging income will, in short, drive the trash from the blogosphere. If you want to make money, wrote books. A blog is a great platform from which to promote books and have a ready made customer base, but it’s a means to an end as opposed to an end in itself.

    Good post, Matt. Really wish you could make it to Vegas. When you stay in one place for a while, let me know and Uncle Mitch and I will fly out to kick it. You are one of the few bloggers I admire who I haven’t met yet.

  • I used to feel like I was supposed to write about breaking topics like judgy bitch and so forth, but it felt contrived. You’ve provided a firm reason to leave it to them.

  • I agree with you man. The way to make it in this blogging world is by having long-term content. That’s the philosophy I had coming in when I started my site. I wanted my writing to relevant a year or maybe ten years from now. That’s why I also take a long time create, hopefully, long term material.
    Every once awhile I’ll get a couple of visitors who devour my whole entire archives, which is still small, but nonetheless, its making me think I am doing something right. I’m here for the long term on this.

  • Actually its faggot mangina’s, like the demented Doc Illusion & asperger’s boy Raul Felix killing the blogging scene with their homoerotic mangina blogs …

    Raul felix gets the award for writing the most retarded autistic, aspergers article ever written on ROK …

    Raul Felix failed attempt at pussy begging on ROK … http://www.returnofkings.com/15667/three-crappy-mistakes-ive-made-as-a-boyfriend

    No women threw their panties at him …

    Oh yes, Doc illusion stalks christian womens blogs, pussy begging women to take his mangina bulllshit diatribes seriously … fails miserably at getting any attention from the hordes of desperate christian women, he stalks on a daily basis …

    Raul & doc illusion, pussy begging mangina extremists, & manjaw lovers … probably masturbate to fatties & futrelle, in their spare time …

    If anyones killing the blogging scene its limp dick, atrophied weiner bloggers like those two …

    Here’s hoping they meet hugo schwyzer in a dark alley with a raging strap on, aimed at their clenched buttcheeks of manginaism…

  • Rmax: I seriously thought about siccing the patented MattForney.com CensorBot on you, but seriously, what would be the point? How could CensorBot possibly make you look even stupider than you do already?

    Are you even real? I hate that phrase, because sheltered leftists have turned it into a minor meme (used whenever they encounter someone/something they disagree with), but in your case I have to wonder. How could someone as deranged, illiterate and incomphrensible as you exist? How can you stay upright at a computer long enough—fuck, how can you even hold a job long enough to be able to afford a computer and Internet access when everything you’ve ever posted is unreadable babbling?

    Actually, don’t bother answering, because I’ve banned you. You’re the manosphere’s equivalent of the homeless guy down at the bus stop ranting about government agents reading his mind in between panhandling for smack money. Go take your drivel somewhere else.

  • docillusion

    When I’m not stalking Sunshine Mary, I stalk Danny and Matt because I have a hard-on for bald men. I just cannot help myself.

  • Johnycomelately

    Interactive blog rolls are a godsend, once Google Reader went down (haven’t found an appropriate substitute) they have became a substitute feeder.

  • Eric

    It’s simple. Red pill blogs change men’s lives. It’s important to keep the variety of red pill blogs available and accessible, because we converts from the blue pill don’t normally find all our answers in one place. We take a piece from here and a piece from there.

    What I’d like to see, especially for the blogs whose authors have retired but have a lot of good material buried and hidden in the archives, is more index pages like Rollo’s Best of Year One and Year Two. Then have the various highlight indexes aggregated somewhere that’s easily accessible. That way a few clicks can open up the value of a dormant red pill blog where otherwise we wouldn’t know where to begin to look.

  • “The way to succeed in the blogging world nowadays is to provide long-term value with your content. You need to write articles that will be worth reading six months, a year, two years into the future. You can’t simply link to a story about some politician saying something stupid, make a snarky comment and expect people to care anymore; you need to write something that will enrich peoples’ lives even after the news cycle has moved on.”

    This.

    My most popular posts are almost all stuff that barely, if at all, referenced a current event, and more just went off on a rant / discussion of a particular subject.

    Doesn’t mean I won’t still blog about current events, or Tweet about stuff; I will. But I am working on doing more of the types of posts that will stand the test of time.

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