Too Many Golf Blogs?
Man I must have around 150 “golf blogs” in my master links section. Just browsing a large percentage of the golf blogs out there and posting a few comments is quite a chore. And I’ve not added several new ones which have popped up lately. Are there too many golf blogs now? How many are there really? 200? 300?
Dead Golf Blogs
I’m sad to say that some of my pals and original golf blogs out there don’t seem to be posting anymore. Life gets in the way I suppose. Bogey Man seems to have just disappeared and for good reason. He’s got his first offspring to worry about. My all time best golf blog pal EatGolf has had a long history of hosting and hack-attack problems. He’s back up now, but posts are very old (use the Way Back Machine my friend!). I was sad to see MJ go, but he’s back.
Soon I’ll do my golf blog spring cleaning, and delete golf blogs which have been inactive for six months. I recommend doing the same, so search engine results are not filled with useless, inactive golf blogs!
I think the golf “blogosphere” is a bit diluted right now. There are still some great ones I stop by and check out regularly though, like Golfblogger, Grouchy, Golf Chick, Golf Girl, Shackelford, The Golf Blog, my really good friend Jay Flemma and a few others.
Deep Rough is doing a great job reviewing gear and I’m still voting for The Green Blazer as the best new (and certainly the most entertaining) golf blog.
Corporate Golf Blogs Usually Suck
Many golf companies and other “corporate” entities have entered the golf blogosphere trying to take advantage of the blog wave. It seems that in some board meeting, they decided they could boost sales by having a blog. But these blogs usually suck, bad. These corporate types have no clue what they’re doing. They think if they just call it a blog it will be cool. NO! Simply posting copied text from a corporate press release isn’t blogging. Posting straight up advertising material in blog posts, in hopes of selling your fitness program or golf widget isn’t blogging. Come on!
To be a true golf blog you first should link to other golf blogs and sites, via blogrolls and by linking to their sites in your posts. Most the big corporate types can’t or won’t do this. Either their lawyers won’t let them, or they won’t because they’re too worried about exclusivity and linking to sites which may promote their competition.
You also need to allow comments to be a true blog in my opinion. There are dozens of “sports blogs” out there which are simply that in name. They have no comments, links or anything of the sort. Memo to golf magazines, newspapers and golf companies: Just having the word “blog” on a page which is clearly the same stuff you’ve been posting “articles” in is not blogging. It’s just a freaking article, like the same stuff you’ve been doing for years.
Starting A Golf Blog?
I get emails almost weekly now about new golf bloggers asking me to check out their awesome new golf blogs. Here’s a checklist of what to do and what NOT to do:
What NOT to do when golf blogging:
1. Don’t use blogger. Get your own damn URL, please. If your site is http://myreallycoolgolfblog.blogspot.com then I’ve lost interest.
2. If you have to use blogger, then PLEASE try to customize or find a “unique” template. If your blog looks exactly like half a zillion other blogger sites, I’m not interested.
3. If you use WordPress (which I recommend), don’t use the default wordpress Kubrick template or once again, your site will look like 50 gazillion other ones.
4. Don’t go telling everyone to check out your “best golf blog” if you have one post and it is about Tiger Woods.
5. 99% advertising, 1% content. Look I get it. My blog is so popular now it takes a lot of work, bandwidth, web space and expense to keep it up and running. So I have ads and I’m glad to have the thing pay for itself. But if your site has 493 google ads and one actual blog post on it, forget it.
What TO do when golf blogging:
1. CONTENT. This is the one word you need to remember. Good content is key. Try to be unique, entertaining and original.
2. Spell check. If “your” using the wrong iterations of words in “you’re” posts, then I lose interest. If you have messpelled werds in your posts, i’m no iterested.
3. Take your own pictures. I like original photos. And please, make sure they’re in focus.
4. Befriend other bloggers and make posts about cool blogs they write. If you link to a fellow blogger about a cool post he writes, he’ll probably do the same for you. Your network will grow.
5. If you have a golf blog, drop me a note and we’ll exchange links. If you’re a spammer or a bot, forget it.
I would add to the ‘to do’ list deciding what you want to do with your blog when you create it – do you want to have ‘the best golf blog out there’ or do you just want to have your own forum to voice your opinions and observations. I knew when I started my blog that I wasn’t going to have a news reporting blog, and I wasn’t going to have a bunch of ads on the blog. I just wanted to have a space to post my thoughts and put a few links in the sidebar to make searching the web for golf content easier for anyone who happened to find their way to my blog. For me, I knew if I started out trying to have a news reporting blog I wouldn’t keep that up and people who followed the blog would lose interest. Blogging can take up a lot of time and a new blogger needs to consider that when starting out.
God comment Miranda. I didn’t specifically say anything about what purpose a person may be golf blogging for.
Miranda always comments like a God Tony 🙂
For me, my favorite golf blogs to read are when they just talk about their personal golf game. Whether it is “hey I figured this swing thought out” or “today on the 13th hole guess what happened” type stuff. I also love reading bloggers opinions on what is going on in the golf world – but like Miranda said, reporting the golf news is not something I want to read – Unless it is Masters week or something big. Every round of golf you play has a potential blog post. Golf is about so much more than what the pros are doing. It’s not a spectator sport – we’re all playing it too.
My least favorite kind of golf blog is one that never updates – one that consistently gets taken down for a months at a time because of all the stupid comment spam bots DOS attacking it -haha I’m looking at you eatgolf.com. I’m humbled and bummed that eat has become my own opinion of the worst kind of golf blog – a dead one! The thing that bugs me about eat’s troubles is having my email account never even receiving anything.. Who knows how many people out there think I snubbed them because I never replied to something. It’s been over a year of intermittent email. Now that it’s moved again – I lost about 20% or so of eat’s content. And I’m still not even sure that I can make a new post yet without it crashing – but I’ll get it that’s just details. I probably won’t be playing golf or posting for 6 more months or so anyway. One of these days I’ll be back though- eat is in it for the long term and will always be there.
As Bunker Mulligan once told me, keeping up and consistently posting to a golf blog can get tough sometimes.
Bunker Mulligan.. Man I had forgotten about him, RIP.
I think blogs who stop posting should do what my pal did who had the biggest political blog ever at one point called The Command Post at http://www.command-post.org/ . Do one final post saying you’re done and that the site will stay up as an weblog landmark.
If you’re done, you definitely should NOT keep the thing up and let it get taken over by spam bots like what’s her name….Oh yeah MUSEY. Remember her?
One piece of advice I would add for these people who want to monetize…keep it slim. Build a base, focus on creating great content…for at least a year before you start worrying about actually making any decent money.
As Tony said…going to a new site, with little content, but tons of ads…total turn off.