Black Belt Blogger: 2HT

What exactly is a “black belt blogger”?  A black belt blogger is one who has built a community around their blog.  Their writing is engaging and interesting.  They share their lives with their readers in such a way that makes their readers really care about them.

There is no finer example of that than Secondhand Tryptophan.  Karl, of 2HT, has mastered the art of involving his community of readers.  From his birthday dares where he solicited ideas from his readers and followed through on a great many of them to his “political campaign” for President, Karl does not disappoint.

His music videos are popular amongst his readers and his writing is always honest.  Readers have a very good sense of who Karl is and what he’s all about.  He can easily become a reading addiction.  Karl is so addicting in fact, that he’s even allowed to attend BlogHer’s annual conference.  He gets status as an honorary girl for that one weekend because he’s just that entertaining.  This past year, a bunch of bloggers even started a campaign to raise money for Karl to attend.

It takes a very special blogger to make readers literally throw money at him.  Hey Karl, I’m trying to buy a house and could use some extra cash.  Any advice?

Congratulations to Karl for being our very first honorary Black Belt Blogger.

Black Belt Blogger

One Person and their Story

Every day, random google searches come in to various blogs across the Internet.  Most people are searching for information, whether it be finding the perfect Elmo cupcake, figuring out how to deal with an upcoming surgery, or seeking information about exactly how long it actually does take to obtain a black belt.  Most surfers will google their way on in to a website and then leave once they’ve found the answer to their question.

There are blogs that are purely informative in nature, and plenty of people visit those as well.  They may be seeking political commentary or searching for the perfect new camera.  Nothing, however, builds community quite like an interesting personal blog.

Over time, readers come to care about a particular blogger.  They follow their story with great interest, maybe because the story is so close to their own, or perhaps because the story is so completely foreign to their own thinking.  Regardless, it’s the voice of the blogger and the relationship they build with their readers that keep readers coming back for more.

We relate to these bloggers and feel as if we know them.  Chances are we might know more about a particular blogger than their own mother knows about them.  It’s the nature of blogging.  It’s the nature of community building and it’s an exciting and growing piece of the Internet.

With thousands (and perhaps many more) bloggers starting a new blog daily, how does one compete and gain traffic?  They key is writing an interesting blog that oozes personality.  Writers who allow their readers to become part of their lives are especially endearing.

It’s the art of creative nonfiction storytelling and it begins with one person and their story. . .