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...

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

I look at it this way -- everyone who produces quality content provides value to someone. It might not be to as many people as the biggest bloggers -- but every blogger matters to someone. And that's enough to keep most of us going.

 

The numbers come eventually, as long as you provide value and never stop.

kimmolinkama
kimmolinkama

And it takes particular perseverance to keep the thing going despite nothing happening. Shouting in the wind. But there's always someone, somewhere, maybe... Plus, of course, the search engines.

lauraclick
lauraclick

Bravo! Well said, Jayme. Blogging is hard work - whether your blog is little or big. And, plenty of little blogs are plenty successful because they are doing what works for THEM. Too often, we look around and envy those around us instead of taking a look back to see what we've accomplished ourselves. 

 

Keep on, keepin' on, my friend!

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

Wonderful post JS, especially liked bullet #4 that it takes a person with an open mind to engage with people from different races, cultures, etc. I write a blog for work for an international audience and it can at times be tough to understand cultural differences and barriers but honestly, it has taught me to respect the nuances, use comments and reactions as fodder for future posts, and catapulted our blog to one of the top in the industry.

 

Love how you tie in the human factor for a blog, which can sometimes be forgotten by cynics who live to jump on other people's ideas and criticize. Forgive me for saying, but blogging (regardless if you are micro, small, medium, or jumbo) takes cajones so in my mind, ALL bloggers are big.

 

Also, I'm rewriting bullet #6 to:

 

It takes confidence to bare a @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing now and again with more fervent emotion and show another side of the person behind the masthead.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

I recently wrote about the past six years of blogging and I pulled all of the stats for readers to see where we started and how far we've come. It took us six years - SIX - to get Spin Sucks where it is today. You have to start at the beginning. Everyone is a micro-blogger before they become a little blogger before they become a medium blogger before they become a big blogger. And not everyone wants the same things out of their blogs. You have to know what *you* want to achieve.

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