Mean Mail Leads Blogger to Success

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In an age of rampant and easy to access information, bold opinions sell. It is simply not any fun to have someone prove something to you anymore -- you want to participate, and tell the writer what you think. Andy Graham has become one of the most successful travel boggers in the world (10,000+ daily visitors) because he knows how to encourage his readers into contributing their opinions and taking the conversations on his website deeper. Though this also means attracting critics, and with a unique style of writing he has been able to corral in hundreds of critics who read his website and send him hate mail daily. If you want to raise blog traffic, encourage criticism!

Want to become a successful blogger? Then you need to engage your audience. Nobody does this better than Andy Graham from the Travel Journal. Andy has now began publishing his deleted comments to demonstrate how critical opinions and reader participation can bring success and money to a blogger.

Andy travels and writes his raw opinions of the world as he sees them -- raw, terse, unedited. 10,000 people visit his website daily. He is one of the most successful travel bloggers in the world, but he also has an entire tribe of critics who read his website each day for the apparent purpose of posting insults, words of disagreement, and criticism. Andy has found success through mastering the art of provoking his readers to share their opinions, and to read his website every day -- whether they love or hate him.

The Travel Journal has now began the publication of deleted comments. It is Andy's critics who lend him his success, as they push the conversations on his blog posts deeper, and take his articles places where they could not have gone otherwise, and give him hundreds of unique visitor ticks each day. Vagabond has studied Andy Graham's blog, and have figured out a formula of how to use critical commenters to make a blog famous, and its author money.

Read the Human Experiment,

For 11 years Andy has traveled through more than 85 countries, and has written about the cultures and places he visited in raw, plain English. He has many fans -- The NY Times, Nation Geographic Explorer,,, and Budget have all written about the merits of Andy's work as a full time, professional traveling blogger. But he also has critics: dozens of people who follow his every step daily for years on end for the purpose of disagreeing with what he writes and to let him know about it through leaving angry messages in the comment section of his blog.

For many years Andy would write these compulsive hate mail senders off as being crazed, for what sane individual would send a blogger hate mail every day for years on end? But now Andy has rethought his strategy and has started an experiment on his blog, doing what no other travel blogger has yet done: he is publishing his hate mail and comments that would otherwise be deleted on a special page of his website.

As Vagabond analyzed Andy Graham's hate mail a pattern began to take place, and a little researched segment of modern humanity began to show its head: the critic. Our initial reaction was to think that these people were simply crazy. We could not come up with a rational as to why someone would spend so much time reading something that they regularly declare that they hate, and then put in the additional effort to continuously criticize it in length. As Vagabond continued reading through this collection of hate mail, a few nagging thoughts arose that could not be put to rest:

Why would a person read something everyday that seemingly makes them angry for years on end? Why wouldn't a reader who disagrees with something a writer publishes just click off of his website and go to another? How have these senders of hate mail been so thoroughly hooked by Andy's writing that they read every day? What was it about the Travel Journal that turned so many readers into very loyal critics?

In an age of rampant and easy to access information, bold opinions sell. It is simply not any fun to have someone prove something to you anymore -- you want to participate, and tell the writer what you, the reader, thinks. If Andy wrote thousands of words with footnoted facts to backup his opinions, it is my impression that his readership would probably fall to nil. What makes Andy Graham fun to read is because he leaves loopholes in his writing for readers to disagree, and he leaves enough space in between his words to provoke and stimulate his readers to share their opinions. Andy Graham's travel journal is not successful because he proves himself correct, but because he provides readers the opportunity to question him, to question themselves, and to push themselves into finding their own opinions on an issue.

In the internet world, good writing accounts for very little. There are tons of very skilled writers ticking out very well written pieces to a very small audience. To earn a large readership on the internet, a writer must encourage their readers to participate, to become a part of the process, and to contribute their own thoughts and opinions to the common pool. This is what Andy Graham does well, and this is why so many people seem to take so much enjoyment from criticizing him. Andy's writing forces the reader to become a part of the conversation; you cannot read the Travel Journal and remain ambivalent.

The Travel Journal essentially baits readers and forces them to think, to discover, and share their opinions. To investigate the roots of this fresh style of writing Vagabond sought to fully analyze where this hate mail comes from, and try to find out how Andy has been able to hook so many critics who have join his most ardent readers. The results of this investigation have lead to how an internet writer can gain success on the shoulders of their critics.

Press release written by Wade Shepard from
You can contact him by phone at (207) 951-0400


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