Who are the Real Bloggers?

This icon, known as the "feed icon" ...Image via WikipediaWho are the “real” bloggers?

While reading the blogs in my RSS feed lately and my Twitter feeds I have noticed the following topics dominating what is being written about blogs and bloggers:

  • are all about making money and they are going to show you how you too can make money blogging
  • must have a focus and become an expert in your area
  • are a small business
  • give great information
  • are another marketing tool to help businesses sell their product
  • political opinions (left, right and whatever else there is)
  • provide disinformation or mislead readers
  • provide self help opportunities
  • are a great way to engage Personal Learning Networks
  • how blogs should meet “certain” standards of writing, content, images, styles, etc.
  • great blog design tips
  • religious beliefs
  • flame wars over who is right or who is not doing what
  • “I can tell you what you are doing wrong and you should listen”
  • great ideas to improve your blog
  • new technology or software that can be used
  • simplifying and minimizing your life
  • that if you don’t post regularly you are not a blogger
  • have an edge to increase your readership
  • finally, it’s all about me

Is that what blogging is all about?

Originally blogging started out as a personal web log, where the writer logged what they wanted to write about online and thought others might be interested in. Blogging has evolved far beyond the simple web log’s original premise or expectations. Many have discovered the great customer communication and marketing potential that blogging has for promoting businesses, product and personal images. It has gotten to the point where many can and are earning a living being a blogger.

Has the ability to earn money by blogging changed the definition of who are bloggers? Is there enough room in the blogosphere for multiple definitions of blogging and who are bloggers?

There seems to be a lot of conflicting information, disinformation or definitions out here about blogging and who are bloggers. It almost seems as if you don’t fit that narrow description (someone trying to make money with your blog), that you are not considered a “real” blogger anymore.

It almost seems that some of the so-called “professional bloggers” are attempting to narrow the definition of who should be considered bloggers be and the direction blogging should go by attempting to provide “rules” or “guidance” on how to blog or blogging according to their view of their new “profession” – the blogger.

Is this what others are seeing or is it just the blogs that I are in my feed right now? Or am I completely off base.

To all you “experts” who are trying to narrow who should be considered a blogger, remember that your way is not the only way to blog. If a blogger does not want to ascribe to how others or you see blogging it does not make them any less of a blogger.

Something to think about.  I have been playing basketball since 1964 and while I never became a professional basketball player, I have always enjoyed playing basketball. In fact I played again today for the first time since I was injured last year and loved doing it. Do I play basketball for the same reasons or level as LeBron James or Kobe? No I don’t, I play basketball because I love the game, the competition and how I feel after I am finished.

Will I ever be in the same league as bloggers like: Seth Godin, Danny Brown, Chris Brogan or the other “A” list bloggers probably not.  Have I made a lot of money playing basketball – no, have I made a ton of money blogging – no. Do I consider myself a basketball player and a blogger – I sure do. But I do both for different reasons than those who get paid to do them as professionals.

There are different levels of both basketball players or bloggers and there is enough room in the blogosphere for all the different levels, styles and perspectives on blogging. Don’t put down another blogger, just because they don’t happen to meet your expectations of what you believe or want a blogging to be.

I don’t have any problem with anyone making money from their blog(s), in fact, I would love to supplement my semi-retirement with income from my blog, so I don’t have to go out and find a part-time job. Will it happen at One Foot In Reality – I am not going to hold my breath too long.

Is monetization of a blog becoming the expectation and how others are going to measure the success of a blog?  I have to ask is this what blogging is all about in today’s world? Has creating content expressly so that others will read your blog, then click on ads or buy your merchandise, so that the blog owner can make money what blogging is about?

If it is then I must not be a “real” blogger according to this new definition (attitude) that seems to being floated around by some of the professional blogger crowd.

The reality is that

many of us blog, not because we think we are going to make lots of money being bloggers. We blog because we like to write and some of us like to write about a lot of different things, without having a different blog for each of the things we want to write about – in other words our blogs lack focus. The focus that is necessary to properly monetize your blog.

My blog is a good example, over the next six months, I will probably have about six different focuses: simplicity/minimalism, education and being a former teacher, simple living, getting back into shape (hiking, running, kayaking & playing basketball will be a big part of it), aging and what life is like for a semi-retired former Coastie. Not very focused is it, but these and more are what I will probably be writing about.

Finally

To many bloggers the act of writing is more important to the writer, than the number of readers, what the focus or content of the blog is about or how much money they are making with that blog.

It simply means they have different priorities and have different expectations for their blog than you or I do – that is their choice.

That choice does not make them any less of a blogger than those who are or claim to blog professionally.

If you want to promote your blog and make lots of money doing it – cool beans, go for it and have fun doing it, I am in your corner and might join you someday.

Just be careful where you tread and who you step on. Like they say “Karma is a bitch

My answer to my question

Who are the “real” bloggers?

WE ALL ARE – we just have different expectations and reasons for writing on our blogs.

4 thoughts on “Who are the Real Bloggers?

  1. "To many bloggers the act of writing is more important to the writer, than the number of readers, what the focus or content of the blog is about or how much money they are making with that blog." Amen. For me it's a reflective tool, a place to share learning from my school and from my life, a way to connect with other edubloggers globally. I don't want to make money. I don't care if blogging is 'supposed to be' about something else. I'm a blogger. What are they going to do about it?!

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  2. Thank you for commenting. They can't do a damn thing about it, I think that might be what bothers some of those out there – they are not in control of who can blog or what blogging is outside of a certain circle. I'm a blogger too and plan to do this for a long time.Harold

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  3. Thank you for posting this. It has been the biggest reason my blog is often neglected…it doesn't have "just one" focus, and I read so many things that recommended focusing your blog. I began to get discouraged, and then just stopped writing because I was overwhelmed deciding which choice to make. I actually went back and re-read my whole blog a few days ago after reading this post, and I enjoyed reading my posts and found I liked having my long ago thoughts and ideas written down. Even without a specific focus. I think you inspired me to dust off my blog and try again, and to not listen to all those people that think they know better.

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  4. The people who know better – who are they? How do they know what your blog should be about? Blogging is very individual and if you are attempting to monetize your blog, they might have some good suggestions. However, if you are blogging (journaling) about your life, then don't listen to anyone but yourself – you know what you want to write about and have in your blog.Who knows someday that beautiful little girl of yours might read something you wrote and say "Yeah mom – I remember that day now and thank you for writing about it." Focus on what you think is important and it will be the right thing to write about.Harold

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