Welcome to another superb interview in my new series, as mentioned before each week I will be interviewing a fellow blogger who has kindly answered my blogging questions, so let’s get on with it…
Q: Please tell my readers a little something about yourself?
A: My name is Tyson Chaney. I live near Los Angeles. I am a writer,
mostly about politics and sports. I am also a fledgling poker player. I enjoy traveling. I’ve been to 40 American states. I look forward to visiting the other 10, as well as traveling outside North America next year for the first time.
Q: Hi Tyson, so tell me about your blog, when and why you started it and how you came up with the name for it?
A: “Tyson Chaney’s Life 2000″ makes more sense with a bit of context. I
saw an ad in August 2008 about Today.com, a blogging network that offered money for writers regardless of the subject. I chose to write about politics and I wanted a memorable name that would describe the angle I wanted to take. “Politics 2000: How to Understand Politics in the Third Millennium” fit the bill although I tend to use just Politics 2000.
Today.com let me start a second blog. I decided sports would be the subject and I wanted people to know I was doing both blogs. Therefore, “Sports 2000″ was an easy choice. I think building the “2000″ brand is a good way for people to remember me.
Several months later, there were some changes at Today.com. Web searches can be done for more details. I decided to keep my two blogs there but also to create a new blog elsewhere. Just in case I wasn’t able to continue them, I wanted people to know the new blog was mine. I guess my ego was working in overdrive.
Tyson Chaney’s Life 2000 started March 28, 2009. There’s been exactly one post per day each day since then. I plan to post more frequently next year and see if traffic increases as a result. I picked the name because “2000″ was included and because I didn’t know a more general subject than “life.”
Politics and sports are included in Life 2000 but I also write about observations and personal events. Most notably, I like to include work from my novel-in-progress. The blog’s tagline is “How to understand the world, as I see it.”
Q: Do you find blogging takes up a lot of your time?
A: Yes. I often think about what I’m going to write for hours or days.
Once I start, I don’t usually need much time to type. Occasionally, that’s a problem when I forget to include a word in a sentence or hit the “save as draft” key instead of the “publish post” key.
Even more so, marketing takes time. Left to my own devices, I’d be a hermit most of the time. Having to attract people to my writing means visiting sites I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. I’d certainly be the lesser for it.
Q: Where would you say most of your traffic comes from for your blog?
A: A lot of the traffic comes from “builder” sites such as EntreCard,
Adgitize and Blog Explosion. There’s some search engine traffic but I will need to do better next year in drawing more. Doing so likely means I’ll have to write more toward hot topics that are already attracting attention.
I’ve been using Quantcast the last two months to measure traffic. I can see which “syndicator” sites are sending me viewers. I made sure to thank those sites not long ago. About two-thirds of Life 2000′s audience comes from outside the U.S.
In recent days, I’ve been posting pages of my novel-in-progress, The Game Will Not Be Made Up, which is about a baseball player. This week’s traffic has been more than 50 percent American. That’s mostly because the international readership declined quite a bit. The U.S. audience held constant. I’ll have to keep that in mind next year but
I think running extra posts on days I publish book pages will help maintain international interest.
Q: Do you use social networks to promote your blog and if so which ones would you recommend to other bloggers?
A: Blog Catalog brings me some traffic. I like Link Referral too. The
new “spikes” at CMF Ads are a good feature. I just bought my second set of spikes this morning. I’d love to know how to harness Facebook and Twitter. I mostly see spam at both places though.
Q: If you could give some useful advice to new bloggers, what would it be?
A: You need to find a balance between writing for yourself and writing
for others. If you write only in hopes others will read your posts, you’ll lose the unique viewpoint that makes you worth reading in the first place.
If you write mostly for yourself, then why bother to post anything? Just keep your thoughts in a journal or keep your blog entries private. I tend to lean this way a lot because I want to be true to myself.
There is a middle ground though; you and I just have to find it. When we do, we’ll become more successful bloggers. Thank you for your time and for the opportunity provided. May 2010 bring you what you are seeking.
You can check out Tyson at Life 2000.
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