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Is This Blogging?

I was really interested to read this comment from Pinup Style in response to our series on blog business models.

Woman blogging

Image courtesy stock.xchng user arinas74

Pinup Style comments:

“I was wondering what your position is re: another blog post I found on your site stating “As Michael Stelzner said at Blogworld, “You’re not a blogger, you’re a publisher!”

Call me old fashioned, but if one has a blog, why pretend it is something else? I can understand that ‘marketing’ etc., is a driving factor for that decision…

I have also been reading a few articles around the web with people saying that it is better to ‘not’ call a given site a blog at all (even if it actually is in fact a blog).

This might also be a factor (at the very outset) in a blog’s (aka ‘not’ a blog’s) chosen business model to make money?”

This is a very interesting question, and as Pinup Style suggests, different bloggers will have different opinions on this.

Kevin Cullis, who also participated in the blog business model series, responded to the comment with the words “You’re a blogger, you’re a publisher”, for example.

I think the descriptions of “blogger” and “publisher” and “media outlet” are probably a bit arbitrary within this space. As Pinup Style says, in the self-made world of blogging, any of us can call ourselves whatever we like. But Kevin’s point is that the way you perceive what you’re doing here—as reflected in the way you describe yourself—may have quite an impact on the way you operate.

Blogging has well and truly moved into the mainstream—not only are blogs publications in their own right, but the format is also being co-opted by major news media and other publications that need a format that presents readers with a lasting chronological representation of events.

Now, you might say that next to the BBC, your blog covering events in your local art scene doesn’t look much like a “media outlet.” That’s fine. But what if you lined it up next to a business blog?

I’m talking here about the kind of blog that represents merely one part of a corporate or business website, and serves a certain purpose—perhaps taking prospects or customers inside the business with posts by various staff members. This kind of blog might merge thought leadership with corporate games snaps and videos from an industry convention or meetup.

How’s your local art blog looking now? Is it looking at all like a “publication”? Are you looking like a “blogger”? A “publisher”? A “reporter”? A “writer”? A “hyperlocal journalist”?

You might consider what you publish to your blog to be “blog posts”—a definition encompassing what others might call opinion pieces, editorial, reportage, practical guidance, and features.

There are obvious boundaries that bloggers need to consider as they blog—no matter whether they’re doing it from inside an organization or out on their own. But the fact is that at the end of the day, we’re really just people connecting with others through content that we produce or have produced for us.

Beyond that, you can call it whatever you like!

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.
  1. I am an educator. Unless I’m trying not to be completely pompous, in which case, I’m a blogger.

  2. I’ve started calling myself Editor in Chief and calling my blog an “online magazine.” A marketing coach made the recommendation about a month ago and WOW what a difference it’s made.

    In my industry (pets) I was finding that people didn’t really take me seriously, because I didn’t stand out enough in a sea of pet bloggers. As an “online magazine” people are slowing down and taking a second look. The change gives the impression that I have staying power, that I’m a professional, and that I will make a good partner.

    I’m still a blogger, we all know that, but branding is fun!


  3. Darren,

    First Thank you for your years of exceptional contribution to the blogging world. I often refer new bloggers and those wanting to learn more about improving their website / SEM / SEO to Problogger.

    Our collective desire to discuss what to label things these days is distracting. I see the conversation about blogger v. publisher and so forth as a cousin to the social networking, social media, social business conversation.

    The semantics and labels are far less important that the goals, objectives, uses and outcomes. The time we spend dickering over what to call that which is likely to change (again and again at an ever increasing pace) is nothing more than wasteful distraction.

    But, here I am. Commenting anyway. It is still commenting right?

  4. I personally think the one who publishes his/her post in a blog can be called either as a publisher or a blogger… What ever both means the same…

  5. Great article. I liked the fact that it helped explain the difference between blogger and author. I think if you added a little more detail or evidence to support your theory then it would help. After all its just your oppinion right. I think it also depends on the content that is being published. One might think of just a quick post as a blogger or even just a poster. There are times when I can find enough content to write about that it makes me feel better about posting it on the site but there are those times when there isnt much of a post to make a differenceand it feels like, “Should I even post this?”. I liked your article though. Keep up the great work. I havebeen a reader for a long time.

  6. I was just thinking about this label thing yesterday. I uploaded a compilation of some DIY projects into a Kindle book on Amazon and posted the link on FB and someone got all excited that I was “published on Amazon.” I scratched my head at that thinking, “no, I’m just a blogger.” : )
    I think you’ve got it right in saying we’re all simply connecting with something we want to communicate. We’re Communicators. Let it stand at that.

  7. Hi,

    I agree, call it what you like. I, however like to call mine a blog. Heck – its even in my domain name. I do not think it matters though really. Like you say all we are really doing is connecting with people. I think the term blog makes it a little less formal – sort of turning up at your newsdesk in a pair of trainers and jogging pants.

    The one thing i do know, I prefer reading blogs from bloggers rather than publishers, writers and most of all journalists.


  8. “…we’re really just people connecting with others through content that we produce or have produced for us.” So true! I had a similar issue with the term ‘content marketing’. As a copywriter I have always ‘done’ content marketing in the form of writing and uploading content to a schedule for clients and my own blog. When ‘content marketing’ became a recognised industry term I admit I was annoyed as I felt it was something I (and thousands of others) had always done which had been repackaged. It’s the same with blogging – whatever name people give it, it’s still blogging!

  9. Call ourselves whatever we like. As long as we keep on writing to add more values to readers. Love this kind of post. Thank you Darren and Pinup Style for great insights.

  10. Hells bells..

    Not something I would ever lay awake worrying about!

    Think this is best left to those esoteric types who like to dwell on semantics.

    That’s two big words I’ve always wanted to get into a comment. My work here is done…

  11. Why try to pretend to be something we’re not?

    Bloggers are starting to gain credibility and don’t have to call themselves publishers.

    I am proud to be a humble blogger.

  12. Could it be we are morphed bloglishers from an unknown universe who arrived on this planet via the hyperlocal journalistic highway who simply enjoy giving others something to think about? However, when I looked in the mirror this morning I was just an ordinary guy who enjoys what I do.

  13. To many, the name blogger is synonymous to amateur web publisher…A blog is therefore seen as a non serious platform run by an amateur web publisher, but not a real business…

    The above therefore has made several bloggers who consider themselves as running real business to shy away from their true name and some how, have started calling themselves web publishers…

    I am not saying bloggers are not web publishers, but you are well defined as a blogger, than a web publisher which can mean a whole lot…

    Either real business or a hobby,I still consider myself as a blogger! The name does not matter, it is the satisfaction you are deriving from the work and the impact you are making in the lives of your readers that matters….

  14. I guess most of the bloggers or publishers or writers whoever it may be..the ultimate objective now a days for every on is how to publicize their blog…but anyhow nice information Mr. Darren Rowse…good post…

  15. There is a blogger and there is the Blogger…IMHO
    the first one is publisher, writer or whoever you’d like, but the second one with Cap B – is the Motivator, to follow by example, the mentor, or just Pal to share the time for others

  16. No matter what your title is, anyone who produces content for the Internet is an online content creator committed to educating your audience on the topic(s) on which you are passionate.

  17. My blog started a few years ago as an aside to my main website. I told a friend about it and her nose wrinkled up… “A blog? Isn’t that a personal diary?”

    Nowadays my entire site is a blog but I call it a website when talking about it.

    One thing I’ve noticed recently is that more and more blogs are not listing categories… is there a reason for this? Personally I find it a bit off-putting when I can’t find a category listing to browse for information especially when there is nothing date specific about the entry. Is it a tactic for getting people to subscribe?

  18. What we call ourselves really matters but what we do matter the most. So if one wants to call a spade a big spoon, fine. If a blogger is not comfortable calling him/herself a ‘blogger’, s/he can use any name – publisher, founder etc.

    Founder sounds really good especially if it is followed by your blog’s domain name, don’t you think so?

  19. I think i’m a Blogger because i write many article for popular sites and my site also.

  20. In my opinion it’s sad that many new “so called bloggers” try to become something they are not. You become what you are truly working on. Many “bloggers” care mostly about the make-money-online business model which is an understandble and logical part of their plan , but should not be the primary one.Thus,they forget the true motive of creating a blog: Sharing your beloved topic with other interested readers.
    John from http://www.blog-and-profit.com/

  21. After reading the Pinup Style’s comment and reading this post, I think we can call them Blogging.

  22. From a corporate perspective, blogging (or publishing useful content) has become an invaluable way to connect with those in prime market places without blatantly selling to them. It really is one of the best ways to build not only trust, but a solid relationship with your core audience, while adding value to your website and your company’s authority.

    Completely agree with your last point on “connecting with others through content”. I couldn’t have worded it better myself.

    Very insightful post – thanks for sharing!

  23. Actually, I think it’s a case of what being a blogger represents these days. Blogging started out as an online dairy. Then it moved into the hobby arena. Now it’s business. However, it has stayed in it’s own LITTLE niche. When you’re referred to as a journalist however, it can be interpreted in several ways. Do you see what I’m getting at? Being a blogger has a tendency to put you on the wrong side of the tracks whether you belong there or not.

  24. It’s funny reading this article this morning because some lady asked me what I do and she looked at me like I was crazy when I said I’m a blogger and artist. But it didn’t bother me too much because my blog obviously wasn’t targeted for someone like her.

    I agree that we can call ourselves whatever we want. As you said, at the end of the day, we’re just people creating content to connect with others. I also think another important thing to remember is that you know what you have to offer and who you made it for because your content is probably not made for everybody. And as long as you continue to deliver great content to your audience, then who cares about what everybody else calls you.

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