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Do You Call Yourself a Blogger?

Posted By Darren Rowse 7th of February 2008 Video Posts 0 Comments


This might sound like a strange question for someone behind a site called ProBlogger to be asking – but do use the word ‘blogger’ to describe what you do? In this post I want to explore some reasons why I’m using the term less.

In short there are three reasons why I’m using the term ‘blogger’ less and less to describe (and think about) what I do:

1. Your Competitors Don’t Limit Themselves – Why Should You? – to think that you’re competing just with other blogs can actually limit the potential that your web publishing might have. I spoke to one blogger recently who told me that he had one of the biggest blogs going around in his niche – he spoke as though he’d ‘made it’. I congratulated him but then pointed out three other sites in his niche (a review site, a forum and a news site) which had significantly bigger traffic than him (according to Alexa).

2. Your Readers Don’t Really Care What Format Your Site is – I’ve lost count of the conversations that I’ve had with friends who tell me that they’ve never read a blog before – but whom when I question them about the sites that they read find that they read blogs everyday week without knowing it. As bloggers and web savvy people we are often very tuned in to what type of site a site is – however most web users couldn’t care less and read sites not because of their format but because it meets a need for them in some other way.

3. Positioning Yourself for the Future – blogs have had a ‘cool’ factor about them for a year or three now – but there are constantly new types of websites constantly being developed. More and more we’re seeing bloggers morph with other types of websites. While they continue to have a blogging component – they’ve been adding forums, social networks, bookmarking, newsletters and other mediums to them.

Let me say before ending that there’s nothing wrong with calling yourself a blogger or even marketing your blog as a ‘blog’ – however there are good reasons to explore stepping out of this mindset also.

What do you think? Do you call yourself a blogger? Why? Why not?

I’m looking forward to some good discussion.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. @Mary – I feel the same way; reading problogger inspires me to get to work!

    I’m learning the ropes myself. I love the idea of developing themes and stuff when I get more knowledgeable just for fun. I find that I usually tell folks I’m a “web developer / designer” because I like the idea of “act like where you’re going instead of where you are”. :-) I’m still learning though. I’m not even “monetized” yet. I want to write more content.

    But first I am a writer. I say this because I’ve done other writing besides blogs. I am, thus, a writer.

    I hope Darren doesn’t start working to phase out the word “blogger” because “blogger” sounds neat.

  2. I, personally, look at myself as a blogger. I haven’t really put much thought into the word itself, or how it describes someone, but ever since I’ve started blogging, I have in fact looked at myself as a ‘blogger’.

    Albeit, my blog does also have a forum attached along with it, and I do try and make more out of it than just blogging, calling myself a ‘blogger’ is just what stuck out the most, since it is in fact the main focus of the website entirely.

  3. I don’t use the words “blog”, “blogger”, or “posts” I don’t think I refer to myself as anything in particular and call my blog a “site” or “website” because my users are mostly behind the times in computers. I call my posts “articles” in keeping with a newspaper as most people relate my site as a source of news.

  4. I’m a marketer, communicator, designer. A blog is a medium that I use for those ends. So no, I do not call myself a blogger. However, I do enjoy talking about the rewards/satsifaction of blogging. :)

  5. Well, to be honest, it’s better to call yourself what you really do. If that is blogging then so be it. But you, Darren, do more than just blog, from what I can tell. You don’t simply blog about an item as in make a web log of it. You write informative articles or make videos posts, or run other websites whereby you also interact with your audience.

    So in a way you are a publisher. Many others may still be just web loggers logging about their daily news.

    Maybe the term blogging has also changed to mean a whole lot more. Either way, it’s better to say you are:
    – What you really are because of what you do.
    – What you really strive to be.
    – And what you envision yourself to be.

    In other worlds, if publishing is where you want to be identified as an authority that’s what you should do and tell. :)

    Good article.

  6. I like this way of thinking, Darren.

    As a new blogger, I was beginning to think of myself as a blogger, even though I am about to market my book online and am enrolled in the Teaching Sells program in order to develop distance learning/teaching modules.

    I like the idea of “Web Publisher”, but I’m also considering doing motivational speaking, as some people tell me I should, so I’m not exactly sure what to say that I do, but your post motivates me to think more deeply about it.

    I’m also a marketing professor, and one of the things we teach is to ask yourself, “What business are we (you) in?” Most great businesses and organizations do this.
    I think this applies here as well.

  7. Great Video indeed! You make a very good point about the way Blogger sounds compared to Web Publisher. I do refer to myself as a Blogger but then again, I am new in this online world. I do however, write comments and do other things online like writing reviews and such that would make me reconsider calling myself a Web Publisher. Thank you so much for opening my eyes. I think it sounds more professional also, so for now on, I am a Web Publisher… LOL. Thanks Darren.

  8. For the first four years or so of ElectricVenom.com I told people I was a blogger, but I got tired of everyone thinking that meant I was on MySpace and/or running an online diary complete with naughty pictures.

    So then I started calling myself a “problogger” in the hope of convincing people that I’m far more attractive and accessible than you, my Aussie friend.

    But that failed.

    I think I’m going to go with “Web Publisher”. It has a nice ring and implies that I sometimes change out of my pajamas. (Which is seldom the case, but no one really needs to know that, do they?)

  9. I tend to call my site a “website” as opposed to a blog, so you bring up an interesting point. Most of the people that I know offline don’t really get what a blog is but if I say “website” then it seems to add more credibility.

  10. Sadly yes I call myself a blogger. I have 10 or 15 blogs and sometime late last year as I tried to keep up some kind of posting schedule I realized that I wanted to be in on the conversation with my readers. So I stopped writing so much and started just concentrating on one blog in particular.

    Now I think of expanding, why just be a blogger. You are right Darren pigeonholing is bad after a while.

    I feel that expanding and becoming the instigator of communication is a much better role now.

  11. Even though the term blog has been around, many people I come across still do not know what it means. Web publisher means nothing to them either.

    Rather than explaining, I say I just tell them I have a website with resources for parents. The more specific I am, the more it can lead to conversation about my site’s topic.

    Why be lumped with the other zillion bloggers in the world?

  12. I’ll have to find another name as well. Blogger is not really what I do anyway so this is perfect timing!

  13. I consider myself part blogger and part educator. Honestly, I identify with the educator part a bit more.

    RHM

  14. well..i consider myself as a entrepreneur not a blogger..fact is, this blog platform is my business. and basically all blogs are considered business since we sell something. its just these so called bloggers don’t realized it.. why bother placing some ads in your blogs/sites if your just plainly writing something who have no interest for earning? better get your traditional diary and do it there.

    others would also brag that they’re just having fun? oh really? are they? the way i see it? those people who’ve been having fun while blogging are the ones basically earning a huge chunk. why not check on those so called hobby bloggers and get their traffic stats and how often they update their blogs. you’ll see the big difference…

    in short, business bloggers or businessman who use blog platforms, better start considering ur blogs as ur business for you to love and take good care of it thereby reaping the benefits afterwards..

    my two cents..

  15. I like to think of myself somewhat as a blogger, but what I am, is an instructional media designer.

    Think of it this way: Blogs are only one way I publish to the Internet.

    Internet forums are another. Camtasia-generated videos are another. Static landing pages are still another; I use those for running surveys. Another form of instructional media that I use is a hybrid of the above which utilizes several different types of media: The Interactive Learning Environment (ILE). You’ll be hearing more about them soon.

    So, I happen to be an instructional media designer who uses blogs as part of his instructional media toolset.

  16. I call myself an web entrepreneur :) and one of the things I do is blogging.

    Blogging and SEO, marketing, design, coding 0_o

    All with the goal of one day calling myself a successful web entrepreneur :)

  17. Abhijeet mukherjee, your answer is a slap to this guy who is hesitating to call himself a blogger NOW, I really liked your idea and look at these other sheeps bleating the same song lol.. Darren, I came to know about you, when I first searched about the ‘most search keyword’ i.e Blogging and you were there somewhere on third or fourth search result. Just because, people don’t understand what does it mean, is not an enough answer to tell them or say.. lie them your profession with some different sophisticated looking name as ‘ web publishing’. huh ?? are you dreamweaver, frontpage,namo webeditor?lol.. web publisher may be the new term you are about to define.. or what? enlighten us.. don’t try to change things please when people are just about to get knowing what blogging is :)

  18. YES! Someone said it! I’ve felt this way since I got into blogging, um, Internet publishing. A blog is just one format for web publishing…and the lines get more and more blurred each day. Traditional websites are learning that regularly updated content is critical to repeat visitors. Well, isn’t that blogging? We just put a date on our content updates.

    Great post, Darren. You hit a home run with this one.

  19. It is great to find out that other people had similar experiences. A friend to which I gave my site’s address asked me the following day “what the hell is that?” LOL
    Thanks Darren for the article :-)
    Your videos are quite good and self-explanatory. So maybe it is a good idea to say what you have to say in that form and not include the same stuff in text.
    I am young in the web field but I felt like saying my thoughts. Great site!
    http://electronrun.wordpress.com/

  20. This topic got me thinking so I cam around for another round. It occurs to me: maybe the thing to consider is what you hope to accomplish with your answer?

    For example, in my case, saying “web publisher” creates a following conversation about what exactly a web publisher is. “Blogger” leads to a conversation about whether that’s a profitable venture or not. In contrast, “writer” generally leads to a conversation about what I’m working on. In my particular case, that last one is the best fit for my objectives: marketing my site. For someone else, it might be completely different.

  21. That is a great point! I call myself a blogger because I have never been challenged otherwise! I guess you could call yourself a business person ‘providing a service that is wanted by others?’

  22. Me! I am a mountaineer, I just happen to use WordPress to run my site – as it is easy peasy. There a re loads of cool themes and it took me about 5 mins to load with fantastico, no more pouring over dreamweaver late into the night.

  23. Haron says: 02/07/2008 at 9:25 pm

    I call myself a writer, because that’s the way I want to be seen. A person who writes: blogs, magazines, books, whatever tickles my fancy at the time. My blogs are doing well, and I love them, but over the last couple of years I got several other writing gigs off the back of my blogging, and it felt sweet.

    The fact that I also do all the design and SEO and web-related stuff for my sites is neither here nor there – I treat it like building a printing press and a little shop downstairs so that I can create and sell my writing.

  24. Yes, I consciously started using the term “site” rather than “blog” a while back for the very reasons Darren mentions.

    What with loads of static pages and plenty of other stuff going on, I think the term “blog” detracts from the site.

  25. Hi Darren – I don’t call myself a blogger, partly because I only do it part-time. I just call myself a business owner. Even if I blogged full-time like you, I would still call myself a business owner, because I don’t want to limit myself.

    Before my last wedding – the registrar insisted that I put on my marriage certificate – the service my last business offered as my occupation. I found it offensive because it sounded very limiting and also although I owned the business, I also did other things; and I didn’t actually physically provide the service myself.

    Point number 2 you made is important. Before I found your blog, I didn’t have a clue what a blog was. And I should imagine that many other people don’t either – they’re just browsing the web for information and a blog is just another medium which provides that information.

  26. Web Publisher for me as well, thanks!

  27. I should emphasize again that I have nothing against the term blogger. I think it’s a good term to describe what many bloggers do – however…. I guess the main point of this video was to challenge ‘bloggers’ to widen their perspective a little and to consider a change in mindset with a bigger picture mentality.

    Alex Thompson – I tried not too be too harsh on the blogger and I certainly didn’t confront him in an aggressive way. All I tried to do was to lift his eyes a little to what else was going on in the niche. He seemed to have mindset that all he was ‘competing’ (wrong word) with was other blogs – yet the real competition was outside the blog niche in terms of where the real traffic is. I agree with you that forums have a lot more resources to draw on – to an extent – however so can a blog when their readership comes together around a topic.

    Abhijeet Mukherjee – I’m not sure I made the term ‘blogger’ popular by any means – it was pretty widely used before I even knew what it meant. I’m not suggesting it’s a term to view with suspicion either – but rather I’m encouraging bloggers to take a step back from the term and look at things a little differently. By all means use the term if you feel it fits for you – I guess all I’m saying is that many bloggers are now discovering that their ‘blogs’ are becoming bigger than just being blogs. But that’s not everyone and I guess it’s up to each blogger to make a call on that for themselves.

    Tn – again, I don’t have anything against the term – except that in some cases I think it limits people in their thinking. I’m not abandoning blogging or the word – just want to encourage bloggers to consider that there are other mediums out there and that thinking of your blog as a website which can be expanded in lots of directions can be a really freeing thing for a blogger.

  28. It’s funny that you posted this now, Darren, as I just wrote yesterday about how much I dislike being categorised and pigeon-holed. I find it limiting when others do it, but even more so when I do it to myself. I watched a clip of Salvador Dali on Whose Line Is It Anyway? on YouTube the other day there, in which Dali refuses to allow himself to be reduced to the category of Artist. It’s really hilarious, and I thoroughly recommend watching it, not just because it’s funny, but because I think it has something interesting to say about why we should be questioning the ways in which people are defining themselves and their websites.

  29. This is a really good point. I have limited myself as a blogger and not looked at the bigger picture, which isn;t a surprise as I seem to have fallen into every trap there can be for bloggers.

    When people ask me what I do, and I say a blogger they never know what one is which can be a bit disheartening. And until now I have been unable to explain it any better.

    I look to the future though and I do want to expand on what I am now doing with my blogs. But not having a clear label in a sense that people can understand limits that as well.

    So I have to thank you again Darren for helping me to see my situation from another angle. Web publisher is a much more up to date term and also easily recognisable, even if people don’t understand how you publish they still understand what you do.

    And with it being a much broader term it isn’t limiting or hard to understand, I will definitely be moving away from labelling myself a blogger and take up the web publisher route!

  30. I got into blogging long before it was called blogging, so it’s been interesting to watch. before blogs, there were websites, and some personal ones that were frequently updated (by hand-coded HTML even) were called “online journals”. Now, in terms of scope, these were more personal and longer daily (or less) entires.

    Blogging, as you know, came about with new automated software to post content, and the original blogs were seen as sort bits of information. Cool links, small thoughts, until the lines between online journaling and blogging were indeed crossed. toss in using it as a business model and, in my mind , we’ve got a very rich definition for blogger these days.

  31. I say that I write for a couple of blogs, one for technical reviews, and another for healthy lifestyle tips. Saying what I write about tends to interest folks more than saying “I’m a writer”. I also prefer not to peg myself with one word descriptions, i.e. writer, teacher, sysadmin. For some, I realize that this is a great shorthand, or that the word does indeed describe what they do. For myself, it simply feels limiting.

  32. I had always thought of myself as a webmaster/small business owner/internet marketer. Then a little over a year ago, I noticed that people were making livings from their blogs alone, so I focused more in that area. And that is when I found ‘paid blogging’….and everything else went by the wayside. I was a blogger, and I was having a blast. Was all my content great? No. As the year went on, my reviews got better and better, though, and not so much like some crappy infomercial.

    Then the bottom fell out of that arena – for me. I got G-slapped and everything changed. And I was forced to return to looking at all of my old ways of generating an income – and developing web properties – and developing my brand. And in a way, I am grateful. I would like to eventually return to doing some paid blogging, just some. But I think I was really limiting myself when I was ‘just a blogger’.

    The education I’m getting from studying some of the big online marketing geeks is absolutely priceless. So even though I miss paid blogging, I am so glad to be back in the ‘Warrior Forum frame of mind’.

  33. I call myself a Career Transition Coach because that’s what I am. I’m a blogger in the same way that I’m a Dad; it’s one of many roles we all get to play but I don’t introduce myself as a Dad.

    I think we ought to call ourselves according to the main value we offer the world. For me it’s defintely in guiding folks to find and engage in their true calling. I am what I am a coach all they way.

  34. Let’s see more of your HQ 2.0. :)

  35. “Artist” works.

    … it’s not like “Webcomicer” is any more prestigious…

  36. Am I a Pro-Blogger, Sure am, I made a total of 78 cents (.78)
    yesterday.

    http://www.campingsierra.com

  37. I write for my blog, for PunchlineMagazine.com, as well as screenplays and comedy material. So I consider myself a writer above and beyond anything else.

  38. In the offline world, I don’t call myself a blogger even though I do own several blogs. There are several reasons for this. I’ve found most people don’t know what a blogger is. (That leads me into a 15 minute crash course of blogging 101. Which confuses them even more.) I also dabble in affiliate marketing and online businesses which don’t fall under that category.

    So, what do I say when I’m asked about what I do?
    I earn money online in several ways. I write articles and run online businesses. I don’t even talk about affiliate marketing because that takes another 20 mintues of explaining!

    Besides, blogging is not as well known as we think (in the offline world). Imagine my surprise, when two of my children’s teachers asked me, “What’s a blogger?” (My kids mentioned it.)
    :)

  39. I refer to myself as a DotComPreneur

    Jill

  40. I post on my website which my kids call a blog. It’s a website and the blog software that powers allowed me to update it easily that I could not have done myself. I just post with anything.

  41. I would welcome LESS use of the word “blog” or “blogging” or “blogger”, especially when a lot of the sites are more than that (they have other aspects to them). I would call those a “website”. Plus, I just don’t like the sound of the word “blog”, I guess……

  42. I never think about what I call myself in relation to my web presence. I provide health tips on my site. I like the blogging format because it makes it easy to add content when I feel like it, and it makes it easy for me to interact with my readers.

  43. Rowse,

    Word, thanks for the response! I figured it was gentler than I interpreted it to be (is that a non sequitur?) When a blog’s comment section functions so much like a forum then certainly competition is becomes feasible, and maybe even if that’s not the case.

    AT

  44. Rowse,

    Word, thanks for the response! I figured it was gentler than I interpreted it to be (is that a non sequitur?) When a blog’s comment section functions so much like a forum then certainly competition becomes feasible, and maybe even if that’s not the case.

    AT

  45. I’m a Writer. I finally felt comfortable with this new path in life after picking up some freelance gigs that sent out regular paychecks. I’m discovering this new label has a nice sound to it at parties. When people prob further and ask, “What do you write?” I explain that I produce web content for several different companies.

  46. I consider myself a writer and that is what is on my business cards and what I tell people I do when they ask. My blog is more a series of essays/articles rather than centered around links or current events. I also try to stay away from having it be a journal of what I did that day. I don’t make money from my writing (yet) but my day job is just that – a day job- and I don’t even like talking about it. My writing and blogging on the other hand is something I am happy to discuss and promote.

    I, too find that many people don’t know what blogs are or think they are just a series of links. I try to avoid that. Interesting topic, though!

  47. My thought was always: I have a blog, therefore, I am a blogger. It was interesting looking at it from a differant point of view.

    Paul @ http://www.ptlblog.com

  48. Darren, thank you man, I thought you’d disapprove my comment but glad you responded with your words(you’ve ability to turn bad into good, thanks again), I’m glad to see you as a great human being and thanks for clearing things up.

    I take back those words which I posted as my comment here before.

  49. Something I think should be touched upon is the limited box that the term ‘blogger’ connotes. Especially in the political and entertainment arenas, bloggers like Perez Hilton trivialize the field, in my opinion.

  50. My site highlights artists and their web sites. I like to think of it as a sort of online art gallery. When people ask me, I say I’m a curator. If you saw my blog you’d notice I really write short posts but try to keep the content unique and thought provoking. Although the site by definition IS a BLOG I usually just refer to it as a Web site or online gallery.

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