To prepare for our Battle of the Blogs, I’ve spent the last few weeks combing the Fire & EMS blogosphere.
And you guys, there are a ton (and I mean a ton) of Fire & EMS blogs out there.
Today, we are so proud to spotlight one of our top blogs: The Fire Critic!
This is Rhett Fleitz, aka ‘The Fire Critic’
Rhett is a bit of a blog veteran. ‘The Fire Critic’ isn’t his first rodeo. He’s been blogging since 2005, has authored multiple blogs, and written 1300 articles for ‘The Fire Critic’ alone! Exploring his blogs, we had to learn more about this blog rockstar. Check it out:
So, Rhett, how would you describe your blog?
My blog is a fire service blog hosted at FireEMSBlogs.com and ranks among the top fire blogs in the World. It is about anything and everything firefighting including fire based EMS occasionally.
What woudl you say is the focus of the Fire Critic?
The focus of my blog is to give my readers interesting articles to read. I do write a good bit myself, but I also feature other links, videos, and content from other blogs around the World. I try to use my network and my reach to help my readers find new blogs and help other blogs get new readers. I try to share the stuff I enjoy reading myself. I write in all different kinds of ways. Everything is an experiment for me. Sometimes I write without offering my opinion on a topic so I don’t sway others opinions. I offer posts that include the good, bad, humorous, sad, and ugly of the fire service.
Why did you start this particular blog?
I saw a void in blogging when it came to the fire service and filled it with the uniqueness of what The Fire Critic is all about. Even though “The Fire Critic” was simply the name of the blog, it has actually become somewhat of an alter ego. So many people know me as The Fire Critic and might not realize what my real name is.
How long have you been writing on this particular blog?
I began The Fire Critic in June 2009. That includes almost 1300 articles which works out to a little over a post a day.
What’s your favorite thing to write about?
I really enjoy writing about great articles by other bloggers and writers and helping share their message. That is probably the most rewarding. It is great hearing from other bloggers thanking me for sharing their stuff.
What about your least favorite?
I dislike writing about Line of Duty Deaths. I still find honor in sharing information about our fallen, I would just rather not have any LODD’s to write about.
What is your blog ‘community’ like
The network surrounding fire service blogs is immense. Every day, more firefighters are finding out about fire bloggers and starting to follow more and more. The content created by fire bloggers rivals that of any original content on the main fire service web sites. I get my inspiration from other bloggers and firefighters. I find my motivation to keep on doing it through the communication between myself and my readers as well as the occasional out of the blue comment of thanks for doing what I do.
What has been your best experience as a blogger?
Probably the relationships I have forged just through blogging, email, twitter, and facebook. It is amazing how I might meet someone in person after knowing them online for years. Typically once we meet in person it is like we have known each other personally for a long time. If you blog, people get to know you…You kind of become a “celebrity” at times. People might have read about you for years and when they meet you they talk to you like you should know them too. I have a terrible memory and hate it when this happens. It makes it tough for me at times.
Have you learned anything through your blogging experiences?
I have learned that it isn’t worth it to try to please everyone…it simply isn’t possible. I have helped so many fire bloggers get started, one thing I always tell them up front is that it takes time to get readership and you have to stick with it if you want to succeed. If they aren’t willing to put the time in, they won’t succeed.
If you win the TOP BLOG competition, to which charity will you donate your $200 winnings?
The National Firefighters Endowment because I believe in what they are doing and I want to see them grow into a huge success that will help fire departments across the United States.
Is there anywhere on the web where people can keep up with you, other than the blog?