Big Blogger, Little Blogger Conundrum

The Kiplinger Letter inspired this post. Its headline story this week is about two recession tracks — one for big firms and one for little firms.

The little guys are struggling without financing, downsizings, and trying to keep doors open; the big guys are happy as clams with tons ‘o money just waiting for the ripe acquisition to roll into the net, holding baited breath for more tax breaks to create more jobs, and offshoring everything from call centers to profits.

I’ve heard scuttle on the streets about the rich Americans insulated from the recession while the less privileged live check to check and still aren’t making it.

What’s going on? The blurry lines are becoming more crystalline creating a clean categorization of top dogs and bottom feeders. In a way, this conundrum seems to fit big bloggers and little bloggers, too.

I’ve met some big bloggers IRL…in the flesh/in real life. They have amazing communities, fabulous content, bells and whistles on their blogs when you arrive to visit, and analytics knowledge to boot. There are guest authors galore, hundreds of comments pour in on average, and RTs are off the charts. These big bloggers’ celebrity is high on the pedestal along with their influence and Klout scores.

We little bloggers often wanna be like Mike (he was on an old Life cereal commercial). We want that fame, glory, community, and status on the Ad Age Power 150, don’t we?

But, should we? I’m offering food for thought, and I hope you eat.

Anyone who aspires to be a big blogger needs to be ready for that responsibility. Look at Gini…she puts in 40 hours a week on Spin Sucks to drive her Spin Sucks Pro offering. She has 13 people working for her at Arment Dietrich, and she’s listed 38 on the Ad Age Power 150. I met her IRL last week in Chicago; this woman is amazing — off the charts with a serious commitment to her company and staff, her community, her blogs, her family, and her biking. She makes the time, has the drive, the ambition, and the support to enable over-the-top hours to keep herself growing and thriving.

Do I wanna be like Gini? Sure, and in my own way, I am. Every big blogger began as a little blogger; every big company began as a little company. The rate of your growth as a blogger has everything to do with your business goals and your strategy.

If you aspire to be a big blogger, you can and will make it at your pace, on your timeline, and when you’re ready. You will set goals and attain them; you will draft content that resonates, and your community will grow with you.

Here’s dessert — it’s OK not to be a big blogger. More to come from me on this topic; what’s your food?

 

 

 

 

35 comments
Stan Faryna
Stan Faryna

I just want to be me. Connect. Encourage you. Be useful. Serve. Illuminate. Make this a better world, together.

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"  - Mark Twain. I don't read things because they are big, I don't not read b/c they are small and vice versa. If someone's doing something right on their blog, if I enjoy it.. that's what matters. TEHO and we'll all have our measures of success; it doesn't mean I've failed just b/c the Top Lists wouldn't know of my little blog if I sent them an invitation, a GPS and lifetime subscription. I'm ok with being small, hitting most of my blogging goals. Next step, as we've discussed, is getting the blog to better serve the business goals of fame, glory, untold riches stashed in offshore accounts. FWIW.

Adam Toporek
Adam Toporek

I think it's a great question, Jayme. Should you want to be big? And frankly, I really think it comes down to a question of why you are blogging. What are the objectives? The end goal? If it makes you feel good personally, then that is great. I blog for business, so at some point the time invested has to produce tangible business results.

Like I said, it is a great question because running an active, top-tier blog is undoubtedly a huge time suck. I know, because I run an inactive, low-tier blog -- and it is a huge time suck. :)

Billy Delaney
Billy Delaney

Like kids who want to be like a grown up they admire, we know what we want to be like when we get big too!
Loved this post.
Yep! I know what I want to be when I get big, and how it will look like too.
Since I'm only part-time? that means I'm only part-way there?
When I get to be full time I will be full time there and growing.
But I'm full time engaged in doing this.
Jayme just loved this idea and Gini works like a lot of men only wish they could.
Billy

Howie at Sky Pulse Media
Howie at Sky Pulse Media

I love this post. I have a guest post coming soon somewhere that explains why I refuse to read any superstar bloggers blogs, read their books, attend their talks, follow them on Twitter or add them to Circles (Gini is a superstar but not in this category). The fact is the larger your readership the inverse relationship the value you provide. If everyone decided to take your strategy and use it....then no one gets ahead. The key is finding those who have game who can give you an advantage that others haven't found yet. This is how stock market people make bank.

And yes the burden of responding to hundreds of comments...or go Seth Godin or Chris Brogan and don't accept comments and that is why they are in the superstar group I shut out of my world because they bring me zero value Vs Jayme Soulati who has game and insights everyone else hasn't caught onto yet! 8)

So when you are a superstar I have to leave...just saying! LOL

Krista
Krista

Thanks for sharing your perspective on blogging, Jayme! I agree with much of your sentiment--it's good to look up to the "big bloggers" but it's important to be happy in your own pond, no matter what size it is. And you should know, I look up to you just as much as Ms. Gini because you're both smart and sassy ladies who aren't afraid to speak their minds and prolific writers to boot :)  

Marianne Worley
Marianne Worley

I haven't been blogging long enough to even consider goals such as building a big blog. For now, I'm just trying to connect, share, and learn. And I'm trying to figure out if freelance marketing is right for me in the long term. For now, I'll keep learning from blogs of all sizes.

Bill Dorman
Bill Dorman

My food? I am kind of partial to a good hamburger, it doesn't take much to make me happy............

I don't think I want a big blog if I have to become a slave to it. And if it changes who you are to accommodate the traffic, I don't think I would be big on that either. If I could get away w/ a monthly post and still be globally famous, I could probably dig it.

If it were my job I might take a different approach.

So, is it a catch 22? Does everyone yearn for more traffic and influence? Is it one of those things be careful what you wish for? Do you learn to adapt as you grow?

I don't have any answers, I'm still in a just show up mode.

Ken Mueller
Ken Mueller

You summed up a lot of my feelings as well. Not just about blogging and bloggers, but that Dietrich woman. So thank you!

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

He likes it! Hey Mikey! I loved that Life commercial.
Well Jayme, my love, you just made me cry. Thank you. Before I talk about the little blogger philosophy, I want everyone to know what a great time I had meeting you. I really felt like I was hanging out with my bosom sister. It's not often that I like people offline as much as I like them online. I'm far too introverted and cynical - it's me, not them. Seriously.
But you...you are one incredible woman. I just wish I'd had you all to myself even longer.

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn when I started a business was that success was not defined by a huge top-line and lots of employees. It was a very expensive (to the tune of $300K) lesson to learn. I'd only heard people batting around revenue numbers and employee numbers and I had NO idea the really successful business owners were those making PROFIT. And, most of them (at least in my circle), did not have huge top-line numbers, but their profit outweighs any of their competitors.

My point is that not everyone wants to be a top 10 AdAge blogger and not everyone wants to have 300 employees and a billion dollar business. Have the self-confidence to know what it is YOU want and go for it. One correction: I only spend 10 hours a week on the blog. It's a full-time job between all of us. I don't do that alone. 

The JackB
The JackB

I don't think that a lot of people realize just how much time it takes to run a big blog. It is not a bad thing, but it takes significant energy to keep things going. I am happy with the pace and growth of my blog.

Soulati
Soulati

Stan, hi! Thanks for adding yours here; I respect that and encourage it, too. All of these wonderful words describe an insightful goal -- if only everyone had a piece of that in their objectives, too.

Soulati
Soulati

I love peeps who quote -- that's one area I'll never steal from you! There's some comfort knowing we're small enough to fly under radar; bigger is not always better for sure.

Jenn Whinnem
Jenn Whinnem

LAUGHING! don't sell yourself short Adam!

Otherwise - great points. I've been wondering what it means to be a big blogger - seems like the people who have "big" blogs are writing on "how to be a blogger." What I wonder is, can you be a "big" blogger and write about anything else? Does anyone ever put the tips into practice for something different entirely?

Soulati
Soulati

I was nodding all along, and then I was rolling. on. the. floor. laughing. Obscurity is not necessarily a bad thing...ask Gini! ;-)

Soulati
Soulati

Now, let me see, Billy...you're not a big boy yet, you're still growing up, but when you do, you'll be full-time trying to figure out how to work hard and grow and as a man, you'll likely get shown up by the likes of Gini. Did I tap that right? Heh.

Soulati
Soulati

You're just tryin' to get back in my good graces after your G+ rant today, Bud. That's OK, I'm super easy and take all the buttering up I can get...just ask sweet Krista down below! You kill me and a-teasin' we will go. XO

Soulati
Soulati

OK, you just made my day and I so needed to read that, Krista! Bowing to you for that vote of confidence (and I know Gini would agree) and thanks for saying so here in my house.

Soulati
Soulati

What the heck is show up mode? You know exactly what you are doing entertaining the heck outta the blogosphere! Cheeseburger!

Soulati
Soulati

And she is everything and more IRL, Ken!

Soulati
Soulati

Here I am spreading lies about you Gin Blossom! Coulda swore you wrote once you spend 40 hours a week on the blog. Maybe that is a collective effort.

What you said. I often speak about our synergies and I am not wrong. Short of that Mormon leader thing, we are the same person. Heh.

XoXo

Laura Click
Laura Click

Totally agree with this sentiment. This is one of those times where you have to be careful what you wish for. If you want tons of followers and lots of accolades, you have to be prepared for the responsibility and time commitment that goes with it. If that's what you want, then by all means, go for it!

Soulati
Soulati

That's a great point, The Jack. If you're pleased with your blog progress and where it's at today, then that's a plus. If you're struggling to tap voice, design, content, and community, it will come...just keep on.

Stan Faryna
Stan Faryna

Your encouragement means the world to me. Thank you Jayme.

Soulati
Soulati

Uhmm, Hi, Jenn! Hi. Yeah, my next post is on commenting etiquette. I'll let you write it cuz you write better and have better manners.

Billy Delaney
Billy Delaney

I've got no where to hide. Women rule and men should just let it be that way.LOL to you tapped and done

Krista
Krista

So glad I could make your day! I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and perspective on blogging :)

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

And it's A LOT of responsibility and time commitment. But I was tiny three years ago. We had 128 readers. I blogged maybe once a week. You can grow your blog, at the pace you like, as big as you like. Or you can keep it at a size that works for you.

Howie at Sky Pulse Media
Howie at Sky Pulse Media

Because I didn't want you have the reward of hard work stolen from you Gini. Double Type A's take the hard route! Us Type Z's often fail to even get out of bed on time. So we do it.

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

That is SUCH a good idea! Why are you just telling me about it now?!?

Howie at Sky Pulse Media
Howie at Sky Pulse Media

don't the biggest bloggers just cruise the net via Google, find incredible blog posts in Russian, convert to English and you are done? Just hit send?  Well I was told that is what ALL the Ad Age top 50 folks do.

Laura Click
Laura Click

Absolutely, Gini. It definitely takes a Village (if you have one!). Thanks
for sharing. That's interesting to see how Spin Sucks has grown and evolved
in three years. I've only been reading for less than a year, so I haven't
seen how much it's changed.

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

It took me a year to get to three posts a week. But it was very sporadic. Only when I had time. We had about 5,000 visitors a month then. Then, a year ago, our community intern held my feet to the fire and made me publish give times a week by 8 am. Then I added the second Friday post last fall. And we added guest bloggers about the same time. So remember it's not all me.

Laura Click
Laura Click

Your statement and story has lots of lessons, Gini.....1) That blogging (or business) success doesn't come overnight; 2) That everyone starts small; 3) It's possible to become a leader in your niche, but you have to put in the hours. 

BTW - When did you change your blogging pace from once a week to every day? I'm assuming your readership grew much quicker once you made that decision, right?

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