When you're a famous library blogger people are always asking for your advice. Sometimes people even ask library bloggers like me for advice. Fledgling bloggers will come up to me in the virtual street and say, "AL, how do you do it? What's your secret?" Because I want all of you fledgling library bloggers to be successful and desirable, I decided it would be sweet of me to let you in on a few secrets. Here are the secrets of successful library blogging, mostly based not upon my own humble effort but upon some of the popular library bloggers in our midst. Follow these rules and you can have a library blog every bit as exciting as some of those you see linked everywhere.
1) Don't have anything to say.
Walt Crawford wrote a book on writing for the library profession entitled First Have Something to Say. (I read the entire thing via the Google Books version, thanks to some creative booksearching.) Perhaps that's the case if you're writing scholarly articles or how-I-done-it-good books, but we're talking blogs here. You don't need anything to say. If you had anything to say, you'd probably write it up in an article and publish it. Instead, you just want to express yourself and let everybody know that you, too, exist, and so it doesn't matter if you have nothing to say. You might think I'm joking, but just take a look at most library blogs. There seem to be hundreds of them, and almost none of them have anything to say. That's the beauty of blogs. Take a look at the popular ones, even. When was the last time you saw anything of substance or any even remotely new idea on any of the really high profile blogs? I rest my case. So if you don't have anything to say, consider writing a library blog.
2) You might have only one thing to say. If so, just say it over and over in different ways.
Take a look at some of the high-profile library blogs. A lot of them have one thing to say, which they said at length on the first post, and they try to figure out how to say it differently twice a week after that. When they go really stale, that becomes once a week. It's natural. How often and in how many different ways can one say, "Hey, I like library blogging! It's neato!" The twopointopian blogs answer that question. Flogging the hell out of a horse that's not only dead but wasn't that interesting when alive has led to many a successful library blog. So if you have only one good post in you, start a library blog and see how many different ways you can rewrite that post.
3) If you have nothing to say, don't worry. You don't even need words.
Even though you don't have anything to say, you at least need words, right? Wrong. You can just post a picture or embed a Youtube video and bob's your uncle, you have a library blog and you haven't written anything. Your library blog can be a colorful spectacle completely devoid of substance and meaning. Posting pictures of library signs with witty sayings like "Turn Off Your Cell Phone" seems to be popular, I suppose because there's no one who doesn't want to see yet another picture of a library sign. That one's a natural, but you can probably think of others. Pictures of yourself at a conference. Pictures of other people at conferences. The list is really endless, and that's a good thing for you, you wordless library blogger.
4) Don't stay on topic if you don't want to.
Some people think library blogs should be about libraries, especially if the title has the word librarian or library in it. Poppycock. If you're writing a library blog, that doesn't mean you can't also give your readers delightful new recipes and tips on how to pack a suitcase and the latest brain-dead marketing jargon and anything else that suits your fancy. Remember, this is your blog. You write about what you want to write about. Don't worry about readers. Most library bloggers aren't interested in readers, obviously; they just want to express themselves. Well, express yourself, baby! Remember: if you build it, and it's boring, they won't come, but to hell with them!
To be completely honest, I can't guarantee that by following these rules you will develop a popular library blog. I'm only saying that glancing around at some of the library blogs with the most subscribers or the highest Technorati rankings, following these rules certainly won't hurt you, and that's more than we can say about most things these days.