While social media has provided mainstream writer’s with another means to extend their viewership, it’s given independent blogger’s the ability to share and connect with an audience without the assistance of a commercial brand or label. The internet has given anyone the resources to create a name for themselves online as a writer.
A great example of this is Sean McIndoe, better known as Down Goes Brown. While I’m unfortunately unfamiliar with much of his biographical past, what’s most important to note for this article is the evolution of his work as an independent blogger. Down Goes Brown runs his own self-titled Toronto Maple Leafs blog, which he describes as, “Unapologetically nostalgic for the past. Brutally realisitic about the present. Grudgingly optimistic about the future.” Which basically sums up the perfect requirements for a rational Leafs fan. Down Goes Brown’s blunt humour and intelligence have undoubtedly led to his success and respect of his peers, but what I’m really trying to get to here is how effectively he has incorporated his work into contemporary social media, which in turn has lead to a well-deserved wide spread appeal.
While creating a blog is pretty much the starting point for any independent writer, whether that be through WordPress, Google Blogger, Tumblr, etc, creating interesting content and effectively sharing it through available social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook has become the necessary norm. DGB has perfected this, syncing his comically engaging blogs with hilarious tweets from his Twitter account. The positive reception is abundantly clear, with over 10 000 followers on Twitter, thousands of youtube video views (in collaboration with blogesalming), and employment as a contributor for the National Post, Down Goes Brown represents the epitome of finding success through the internet and social media. It’s undeniable the lengths a perfect combination of intelligence and a natural sense of humour can take you.
While I have already mentioned these two sites in the past, I have to give them a shout out again (and this probably won’t be the last time either) . Maple Leafs Hot Stove and Pension Plan Puppets are two other great examples of independent blogs that put out quality content, and in turn have seen their reputation and communities grow substantially. While Down Goes Brown’s blog is run by just DGB himself, MLHS and PPP have multiple contributors, who specialize in various forms of writing, such as Leafs coverage, statistics, analysis, and discussion. While I don’t have the numbers in front of me, as a member of both blog’s discussion forum/comment section, it’s easy to argue these sites have likely attracted thousands of regular readers and commenters to their sites, and have created respectable communities for Leafs fans to vent and converse in a civilized manner.
The Internet and Social Media have given anyone the tools to make a name for themselves as an independent writer, but in order to be successful it comes down to the right formula. Creating content that interests and engages a wide spread community of readers is an essential to attract viewership, oh, and bit of humour tends to go a long way as well.
As I finish this piece, I’m starting to see the irony in giving advice as a writer who is still very green when it comes to the blogosphere. I’m not an elitist by any means, what I try to offer, to whatever readers I do have, comes from research and what I’ve learned from others with more experience. That said, I hope to continue to grow as a writer and expand my social network as we progress into the future.
Till next time.
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