As a part of my blog tour for the Abnormal Returns book I have been asked how it is that I got started blogging. I have told people that when I started blogging I thought I would be one of those free-wheeling bloggers mixing it up. However early on I realized that there were already a number of bloggers out there writing about finance and investments who were either better or faster. So quite quickly the Abnormal Returns blog evolved into what it is today: a place where you can find those other bloggers.
One of those bloggers who I interacted with early on was Joe Weisenthal who then blogged at The Stalwart. He was one of those bloggers that was both better and faster. I mentioned Joe in an earlier stop on the blog tour as a must-read blogger. Now the rest of the world is coming around to my viewpoint. Binyamin Applebaum writing at the New York Times has a profile up about Joe and his insane work habits over at Business Insider. Applebaum writes:
In Weisenthal, Blodget has found a market-obsessive who embodies his vision. Weisenthal, 31 and still a bit baby-faced, is funny, omnivorous and well versed in the mechanics of the economy. In the intensely competitive world of financial blogging, dominated by young men who work long hours and comment on every new development, Weisenthal stands apart by starting earlier, writing more, publishing faster…
Some of what he writes is air and sugar. Some of it is wrong or incomplete or misleading. But he delivers jolts of sharp, original insight often enough to hold the attention of a high-powered audience that includes economists like The Times columnist Paul Krugman and Wall Street heavies like the hedge-fund manager Douglas Kass and the bond investor Jeff Gundlach.
The point isn’t that every blogger has to work like Weisenthal, because you are in fact unlikely to outwork him. It does drive home the point that becoming an A-list blogger is no easy feat. Finding a blogging strategy (and voice) that works for you is the key to making the effort worthwhile. As a blogger it is highly unlikely you will get profiled in the New York Times, but then again you never know until you try.
Update: Felix Salmon of Reuters weighs in on the piece and notes “A large part of Joe’s genius is that he writes short better than anybody else in the business.”