Are Only The Biggest Bloggers Worthy?

Credit: Jayme Soulati, Millennium Park, Chicago

Once again, big versus small is a platform for a discussion on blogging. You may recall Mark’s Schaefer’s blog post about the future of blogging (and the for the life of me, I combed his blog for the link to that and cannot find it, sorry!) which took the ‘sphere by storm. Last week, as was shared in a post on Feedblitz, I was called a little blogger.

Most peeps who know me also know there’s nothing little about me…both physically and personality.  My community supported me; yet I took no offense. Barrett Rossie, who writes at The All Inbound Blog and was recently featured on Follow Friday at Spin Sucks (his background is highly impressive) was more aghast and said, “what does that make me a micro-blogger?”

Every blogger who writes a blog should feel big…really big.

Characteristics of Bloggers 

  • It takes courage and inspiration to launch a blog and keep it going day after day.
  • It takes engagement, community- and-relationship building to create something Kevin Costner-esque that people want to come to and feel welcome in.
  • It takes a special kind of deference to let the criticisms rub off shoulders and the teasing not become uncomfortable.
  • It takes a person with an open mind to engage with all types of personalities, ages, genders, religions, ethnicities, nationalities, topics, tones, voices, and so much more.
  • It takes a special someone who courageously braves the critics and publishes opinions and thoughts that may rub instead of soothe
  • It takes confidence to bare a soul now and again with more fervent emotion and show another side of the person behind the masthead.
  • It takes attitude to stick out the neck in support of peers and the community who may be getting bashed in comments.
  • It takes a mature blogger to NOT put up the dukes with a commenter who goes off on a tangent when the instinct is to fight back and engage.
  • It takes confidence to ignore the posts from the A-listers who share their vision for the future of blogging that doesn’t bode well for those of us looking on.
  • Most of all it takes YOU knowing that in your contribution is special and no one can tell you any differently.

These characteristics make a successful blogger regardless of the number of subscribers. If you’re really into big data, that’s fine, but once in awhile look  at the human side because behind every good blog is a person.

What do you think?

 

73 comments
New England Multimedia
New England Multimedia

Jayme, what a great post! Small blogger, big blogger, medium blogger -- by what measure? Traffic? If we're talking about traffic to a blog, sure, we can measure that way. But I'll tell you what matters to me when we're talking about size of a blogger: Influence. 

 

And I don't mean the kind of influence Klout measures. I'm talking about the kind of influence that can change the course of a conversation by asking the right questions. The kind of influence that changes the way people think about a topic. The kind of influence that gets people off the sidelines and into the game. The kind of influence that can rally defenders to the side of someone who's being mistreated or disparaged. The kind of influence that brings people together for a common cause or goal. The kind of influence that can calm a heated thread and bring it back around. 

 

And you have influence in spades. 

susansilver
susansilver

Sorry I am so late to this party. I still struggle even in my little tiny part of the internet. I really feel that I have yet to connect the way I want to with others. Worrying that my style just doesn't work for community building.

 

But then again, it is me every day that I put out there. When I do get comments it teaches me what works or doesn't. Everyday is a chance to try again. I get to apply all these lessons for clients and that makes me happy. That they do not have to struggle the same way I did to find my little patch. They get to have success right out of the gate!

Latest blog post: Keywords Now What?

Mark_Harai
Mark_Harai

Hi Jayme, Everybody has a voice. Everbody should exersize that voice. Therefore, everybody should blog. It will help you grow as a person in ways nothing else can. It will make you more intelligent.  It will make you more capable to contribute value to other people's lives. It will help you learn to share your ideas and experiences with others. It will unlock things about you that are kept in a tight vault right in the center of your being that you won't even notice until you start writing and hitting publish. There's no success or failure in blogging - only the unlocking of voice that people need to hear, whether that's one set of ears, or one million of them. And sometimes it may just be for your ears only. Big data, small data, either way, you have a voice, use it.  It only counts if you make it count and nobody can tell you otherwise. It's liberating.  It's so much more than a profession or business; its a way to a more fulifilling life. Cheers miss Daisy!

rdopping
rdopping

Ok. Very late to this party. Great post and because it has all been said I will simply say that the value of a blog is subjective. If you find one that is small (i.e. numbers) but it gives you what you need then there is value to YOU. That's all I've got. I hope it's enough.

janemckaycomms
janemckaycomms

Everybody starts the same way... By writing and clicking the "Publish" button for the first time. 

 

I started my blog so I would have a portfolio of writing to direct potential clients to. It's certainly a "micro" at this stage and as long as it's original content we all have something to contribute. Just because some bloggers have been around longer doesn't make their work any more or less valuable. It takes guts to put creative work out there. Keep up the good work!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

Did @thejoshuawilner just really do that in my house? Completely ignored my post and answered @ginidietrich and didn't even say hi to me? Hmmm...I think, Twin, I'm gonna take that as a huge compliment and not an oversight because maybe he thought he was at Spin Sucks with all the cool comments and awesome content? 

wonderoftech
wonderoftech

So true, Jayme! I remember how scared I was to hit that "Publish" button the first time. I had to call a friend who talked me through it. I know how very difficult it is to publish a blog and I have seen quite a few drop by the wayside through the years.

 

Congratulations to you for your success. You're big and awesome!!!

jonbuscall
jonbuscall

Utterly awesome Jayme. This is such a powerful post. It's super difficult maintaining a blog, keeping going, entering into the blogosphere. And I've found it quite difficult stepping up to the next level myself until I started doing something different. Podcasting. And then it's my pal @berniejmitchell who has helped me get connected with some of the big guns. 

 

You're an inspiration Jayme! 

geoffliving
geoffliving

I love how people claim big blogs don't matter than they tout their blog rank and lists mentioned in everywhere.  I don't think it matters. I've studied quite a bit on influence, and its likely that 5 Soulatis are far more important than one Copyblogger for a variety of reasons which I care not to explain for fear of dropping a 2000 word comment.  Rest assured, you are quite influential, perhaps more so with your peers.

bdorman264
bdorman264

I'm big.........really big...........in my own mind. When I first hit the publish button it was with trepidation; I thought 'what if people find out I'm a blogger?' I know most of my IRL friends don't get it. I love the interaction and the new people I have met.

 

Big or little, who cares; one foot in front of the other I suppose for now. 

KDillabough
KDillabough

Look at all the cool answers you're getting here @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing . I was struck with "chopped liver mentality" last week (to coin a phrase from Bill Dorman), so your second last bullet point is the best advice for me. The human side's the only side, and although I have broad shoulders, I definitely don't have a thick skin. But I'm putting that chapter behind, and forging ahead. All of your points are well taken, and I'll be keeping them front of mind. Cheers! Kaarina

BrothersCat
BrothersCat

Well said! I'm fairly new tot he blogging scene, having posted my first entry back in February, . At first I was numbers-obsessed, feeling I was nothing without a large following. But over time I've come to appreciate my tiny band of followers, 29, and knowing they anticipate my weekly blogs. I still publicize as much as I can through Twitter, Facebook, and Linked in and welcome all my "one read stands." Maybe one day they'll convert to believer status. But until then, it's me and my homeys meeting once a week at "my place."

yourstylistkar
yourstylistkar

This article is right on time for me. I launched my blog last week and really don't expect to have many followers for several months. I know that my blog has a greater purpose (even greater than me promoting myself, LOL) and I plan to stick to what I know and GROW from there.

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem

Interesting that their case studies are all bloggers who blog for bloggers. Where is the example of someone who blogs about fly-fishing and has an enormous following?

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

Quality has nothing to do with the amount of traffic you generate. Or even the number of comments. As we know from our business and marketing basics, we're looking for value when we spend our money, and our time. Your blog delivers a lot of value. I'm sure you know that. I still think the "little" blogger comment was insensitive. (I didn't see the original context, but still... ) But in the end, it doesn't matter what that guy thinks. I could tell you what I think of his email marketing, but I'll just say I unsubscribed from him. And keep following you.

prettygirlsrockdresses
prettygirlsrockdresses

Great article. So many people focus on numbers instead of quality, consistency, and great content. There's nobody small in this sphere. But there are alot of big egos...

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @New England Multimedia  Girlie...I love YOU in spades. Thank you for that always acknowledgment and always other views when it strikes you. So glad what's been developed here allows for everyone to feel comfortable being themselves. And, influence (however you describe it) can't happen without others contributing. So there!!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @timbo1973 No tardies given here, Tim! That's why I love Triberr; I never would've known about you had we not been invited to the same tribe. I often do a test and add a link from an A-lister (who vehemently deny they are) in my posts to see who will come visit and acknowledge the link love. They don't, but @ginidietrich ALWAYS does. She's the only one, and that quality is 100% a sign of her influence and 'raderie and support of all bloggers. 

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @Mark_Harai Look at you...the voice  you've developed just in a comment. If that doesn't show people the confidence you've developed after a hiatus to know you do have something special to contribute then nothing will. I mean it. Cherish and value the you in you.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @rdopping Please never question whether your comment is enough...goodness, you're engaging while on vacation...did you check in with your Triberrs to let us know you would be AWOL awhile? You know how I get when my fave peeps are MIA a day.

 

Enjoy yourself; send pictures and francs. Eat lots of baguette and cheese with red wine. Ooolala!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @janemckaycomms Thanks for coming by, Jane! It's so great to meet you; I believe we're in a new tribe together, right? I love how Triberr connects previously  unacquainted bloggers. That's the best part for me. 

 

Sometimes the inspiration comes and sometimes it doesn't...either way, we need to keep it going. Thanks!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @wonderoftech With friends like you, who needs subscribers! Are subscribers over rated? Hmm, that's a title of a future post somewhere, right?

 

I tweeted a full year before I blogged because I was so afraid of the back end. Then I spent $99 for a webinar on blogging only to get my question asked at the tail end; turns out I knew everything they were sharing already, but I had one question about self hosting versus Wordpress.com and I had to pay $99 for it! 

 

That was a long time ago, but it is still fresh! P.S. And when I tried to install Headway theme first before I even had launched WordPress.org! The Headway dudes thought I was ridiculous and they weren't too happy to help me, either! LOL

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @jonbuscall  @berniejmitchell So cool you're begun to see the fruits of your labor/love with podcasting, Jon! I aspire to be like  you when I grow up in that regard! So, about the Bernie J. Mitchell...I'd like to know how to tap that man myself! 

 

What does that mean any way...get connected with some of the big guns?

 

BTW, are the big guns in the U.S.? Or are there big guns in the EU/Sweden? Am thinking you're a big gun there for sure! Thank you, Jon!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @bdorman264 You're so right. When I read you, I think you're still trying to figure out who you want to be as a blogger...but, that's my take. And, I may be wrong; don't take it wrong, please...

 

I know there's more, much more to you than you allow others to see.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @KDillabough I'm so sorry you had a bad experience. Who was it? I'm gonna get on my gloves and come and spar; I'll put them in a corner and show them who's boss!

 

OK, so I'm only half kidding...what you contribute is so amazing and genuine; let no one tell you differently. When critics come calling, it's often from a place of envy, Kaarina. You're such a professional who cares with heart on sleeve. Bully on them for being a bully.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @BrothersCat May I challenge you to publish 2x/week? Then see what happens! 

 

Also, you might try Get Clicky; it's a wonderful analytics tool and very simple. It'll show which blogs are the most popular topics. How about getting into a tribe on Triberr? 

 

So glad you stopped in! Don't ever lose the mojo because it takes 12 months of straight blogging before something really cool happens to you and your blog!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @yourstylistkar SPOT ON! RIGHT ON!  Had to share what came to my mind first and foremost...so glad you've started your journey; it's gonna be a good one with ups/downs and highs/lows (is that the same?). 

 

Your 'TUDE shows me right away that you have the right approach -- "stick to what you know and grow from there." Indeed.

 

Come over for any 'raderie you need; this community is #RockHot and we always welcome newbies!!  Thanks for sharing here, too!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @jennwhinnem That's a fascinating statement. I have often wondered about others at the head of the pack in niches and verticals and specialties that are not social media marketing. 

 

Is there a general assumption that those verticals don't lead marketing en masse/at large? 

 

I bet it's true; now, how to overcome that? Or, maybe the low-hanging fruit is our niche; and when that's exhausted they go after the fly fisher people.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @barrettrossie I'm hung up on your first statement -- quality has nothing to do with the amount of traffic you generate...how does that work, please? If your blog sucks, then wouldn't the traffic be lower? And, if you put out high-quality work/content, then it stands to reason that traffic would increase in proportion.

 

Actually, I didn't' really know this blog delivered "lots of value." Truthfully, I just write what inspires, but yes, I'm tuned in to the community -- who they are and what they write about. I am not even sure what "value" means, Barrett?

 

I think you need to write about Feedblitz and get that stuff off your chest! You're kinda unhappy about it, and when I'm peeved about something, I write on it and boom; it's gone! Your take could be "How Not to Write Email Marketing."

 

?

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @prettygirlsrockdresses That was funny...I think you have to have some sort of an ego to do this all the time, right? But, when it starts to become offensive, that's when it needs to be shelved. 

 

I'm tickled to have you here, Pretty Girl! Especially since you use my fave "rock" in your ID; considering I always use the #RockHot when exclaiming about something so cool. 

KDillabough
KDillabough

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing No need for the gloves, but thanks for the support in my corner:) No bullying was done: just disappointment. I'm over it (well almost:) Thanks for those very kind words: to quote a line from a song, they are the wind beneath my wings. Thanks friend:) Cheers! Kaarina

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing I don't really know, but you're definitely asking the right questions. When I push back on bloggers who blog for bloggers, they come up with examples of B2C marketing that does well. Sigh.

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing It's funny. I saw several posts from people I adore -- you, Jason Konopinkski -- talking about how great Feedblitz is. So I go their site and sign up for a PDF which I hoped would answer some questions. It didn't, but that's OK, it just meant I wasn't to the point where I needed that particular information. 

 

Then the emails began. 

 

See? Just talking about it makes me feel better. :-) 

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Lol, I shouldn't comment using the iPad before I've rolled out of bed and had some coffee. It should be more like: Traffic isn't what determines quality. As for value, that's specific to each reader. I find your thinking and your way of engaging of value. I think I'm not the only one.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @bdorman264 Absolutely...no one is judging you; your laughter and poking fun and daggers is exactly what we all need when we get too serious about ourselves.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @jennwhinnem I have thought on this topic in the past; just not as deeply as now. Gonna think more; there's a germ/seed you planted.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @barrettrossie Thanks for the "value" sharing comments, too. Forgot to appreciate that b/c I was talking about catsup. How do YOU spell that?   Yeah, I'd like to see that post from you; I see too much negative emotion on that topic! Don't let it rule you!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @barrettrossie  @Soulati Ah-hah! And, haha! Thanks for the clarity! That's what I like about the EST time zone; we get started 3 hours sooner than you guys and you're probably feeling like catch up (catsup/ketchup) all day?

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