13 January 2011 ~ 1 Comment

What’s up, Loco? #5: content content content!

This question wasn’t submitted directly as  a “What”s up Loco?” question but after reading it I felt it warranted entry.

So, question#5 is from Paul (Blue Shoe)  a fellow Japan blogger over at Just Another Day in Japan, (Twitter handle: Blue Kutsu) and it is as follows:

What’s up Loco,

Happy New Year to you. Hope all is well!

I’ll try not to make this too long and rambling, but recently I’ve
been thinking about my blog a lot and what I can do to improve it. On
a personal level, I may be returning home to the States soon, which
means seeking other employment. Thinking about what I like to do,
blogging stands out foremost at the moment. Wouldn’t it be great to
make a living off of blogging, or at least contribute to one’s living
expenses? Certainly a nice thought. Join the club, I know.

Anyhow, I’m doing my best to develop some solid content and work up a
readership. I’ve certainly made progress, but it’s slow going, as I’m
sure you probably know. That said, I think it’s time for me to begin
reaching out and asking (my blog sempei, as it were) for advice. You
seem to have a pretty successful blog and I really respect your
writing. You also seem a lot more accessible to your readers than some
of the other big J-bloggers out there.

Is there any advice you could offer from your own experience? Anything
would be appreciated.

A little more specifically, I’m thinking of switching to WordPress
from Blogger, as I’ve heard there are more options. I’m a little
intimidated, though – moving my whole blog sounds like a lot of work.
Any experience with that? Also, I wouldn’t know how to improve upon my
template. I suppose I could use a generic one…any thoughts on that?

Anyway, thanks for your time and any reply you can give!


Hey Paul, thanks for getting at me!
I’m not sure what to tell you. I think, though there are some elements to blogging success that can be presented as practical steps, most of it I believe is derived from the strength and timeliness of your material.
Any success my blog has enjoyed has been a direct result of my readers impression of my writing and their efforts to support any promotional efforts I make.
So as far as advice of a general nature, there are a million blogs with the answers to that. And MOST if not all will say in no uncertain terms: Focus on the quality of your content!  And I concur. In real estate it’s “LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!” And, in blogging it’s “CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT!”
My content just happened to arrive at a time when very few Japan blogs were coming at life here from the direction I was coming from nor were they taking it in the direction I was headed, so I picked up a few hitchers. I don’t believe I made any extra effort to keep them on board. I’m just like Forrest Gump running cross country. People join me for their own reasons, inspired as much by whatever their perceptions of me or personal motivations are as by whatever I’m doing or saying, you know?
So, all I can tell you is, in additional to all the general things you should do to build and keep an audience, just DO YOU! Write what makes you happy at a pace you can consistently maintain and the worm will certainly turn my friend.  People respect consistency and perseverance a great deal. I think that some people respect Loco in Yokohama because the vast majority of bloggers can’t sustain but for so long so they figure I must be doing something right or have something significant to say.
I hope that’s true.
As far as technical stuff, you’re really barking up the wrong tree this way. I mean, I started out on WordPress and the only significant change I’ve made is to switch to a self-hosted blog, and that only because I wanted more control over the theme, wanted the ability to use more interesting widgets and figured at some point I might want to advertise (which you can’t do well on a free blog). The transfer and new blog design and logo I actually paid people to do for me. I tried to skim some know-how off the top during the process, and have garnered quite a bit of creamy knowledge, but not enough to advise you either way as far as the merits and demerits of blogger and wordpress are concerned…sorry )-:
Yes, you are part of an ever growing club of people who want to make money doing this thing. I think in two years I’ve made no more than a few hundred bucks off of Loco, through a couple of advertisements and some Paypal donations from some generous readers…not that I’ve really been trying. But, like yourself, doing what I love and making money from it, especially enough to live off of, gets me all hot and bothered and motivated.

Ganbarimasyou ne

PS: If any of you readers have some tips for Paul I’m sure he’d be grateful to hear them. Hell, so would I (-;

And if any of you have any questions…on anything at all…holla at me! Remember, there are no stupid questions, just…well, actually there are stupid questions! I don’t why people say that. But, I’m guilty of asking them too sometimes, so I empathize and I’ll treat your stupid questions with all due respect.


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One Response to “What’s up, Loco? #5: content content content!”

  1. AmandaT 24 January 2011 at 9:59 am Permalink

    "Write what makes you happy at a pace you can consistently maintain" — I like this. Maybe it's just me, but there seems to be a lot of commentary lately in the J-blogoshpere about what you should write and how you should write in order to have a worthwhile blog. I think people forget that a blog is at its core a web-log or diary. You have to find a balance between satisfying your readers and satisfying yourself.

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