Is Power Blogging Really The Holy Grail?

What is a power blogger anyway? We can call “them” professional bloggers, A-listers, or just darn simply popular. I’m not a power blogger, but being the competitive spirit that I am, I’ve often wondered how I could get on that Ad Age Power 150 list –yikes; it’s a lofty goal.

For sure these peeps who are powerful bloggers in my circle devote skads of time to their blog; kinda like one person I know who admitted spending 40 hours a week on hers. They have an IT team standing in the wings to re-design this and tweak that. They have a team of writers helping on an off day when the main squeeze is traveling, and the researchers are combing industry rags for all the breaking news so they can make hay about it before anyone else.

I’m a power walker; does that count? Heh, not really, but it serves as a great analogy. My speed is quicker than most; I have an end goal, usually to move the heart rate up and the time down. I am (trying) to keep a consistent schedule (shall we say daily for all intents and purposes), and I’m competing with (myself) to do it better earn something (loss of calories, great legs, a break from Twitter?).

Alas, power blogging has its pitfalls which makes these blog owners just like we stragglers, followers, newbies, and awe-inspired wow-ers:

  • Mark Schaefer who writes Ad Age Power blog 48 has invited a cadre of guest posters to author articles while he holidays in Eastern Europe for two weeks. In doing so, he lamented his failure to manage social media and blogging while aiming for a desperate unplug from it all.
  • Gini Dietrich, who writes the Ad Age Power Blog 39 called Spin Sucks (and coming soon, the perfected Spin Sucks Pro) admitted her lack of inspiration coming up with ideas to write a blog post and wrote a blog post about nothing. (And, damned if I just went to get the link to that and there’s 251 comments — ABOUT NOTHING!)
  • Marcus Sheridan who owns The Sales Lion blog recently had one of the most civil, contentious, well–commented blog posts I’ve ever had the privilege of being part of (with perhaps 368 comments as of today), and he had to manage each and every one of those all alone.
  • Heck, Jayme Soulati (that’s me if you forgot) even wrote a blog post This is a No Mojo Blog. (Oh, yeah, am not a power blogger.)

I leave you to ponder the treasure or empty bucket of power blogging with these final thoughts I’m seeing from just about everyone who’s been alongside me in the last several years:

1. We’re humans who require sleep, a beverage, hugs from our children, and an unplug during holiday.

2. We have real jobs that pay the bills, unless your real job is as a professional blogger and thus you should not be reading this, so skitter away, mein Freund.

3. Passion and inspiration are fleeting when we’re tuckered. Understand that shift, and your readers will be ever more thankful.

4. No one is telling you to post every day; see bullet three.

5. Numbers are metrics, but remember, the quality of comments mean more than the number of tweets from the blog (in fact, I get more RTs on Twitter for posts than I do from the tweet button app or Share This).

What might you offer about power blogging? Is that your goal, or are you standing in the wings watching and whispering, “thank goodness that’s not me.” ? (P.S. I’m trying to heed my own counsel; it’s tough!)

(image: indexofwallpapers.com)

 

 

26 comments
The JackB
The JackB

I think that power blogger is a bit of a ridiculous and somewhat useless term. I don't think that many bloggers really know why they are blogging or what they hope to achieve from it.

Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day Jayme,
I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm being sucked in to some parallel world vortex full of MSs, DBs , GDs, MHs and BDs where everyone talks to each other incessantly. Bugger it. I'll take the risk.

But don't take me for a fool. I'm absolutely certain that Duke Ellington wrote "Solitude" not "Soulatitude."

Make sure you have fun

Regards 
Leon 

Bill Dorman
Bill Dorman

No, I don't want to be a power blogger and will just stick w/ being a power eater for now.

I've heard Marcus lament more than once he is up at 2 am or later writing or answering comments. NO THANK YOU.

I'm having fun clunking around in my jalopy. I've had a little success and maybe I can figure out how to blend it w/ my daytime gig, but I'm just about maxed out as it is.

Having said that, here I am at 11:20 pm AND at the beach; just shut it down, right?

I am going to be now, but I did want to say hello before the day got away from me. I'll see you later alligator.............have a good one.

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

Agreeing with Mark, smarty smart @ginidietrich:disqus .. it'll depend, mileage will vary per blog, blogger, how each of us define 'success' much the way we rank others on some random alphabet list. On a given day, I feel my blog is a successful if I get at least three comments that don't tell me how bad that post was, how wrong I am (seriously, I expect that sometimes). I feel my social media strategy - something I could probably fit on a cocktail napkin - is rocking when it results in a couple RTs; back-and-forth conversations on Twitter, totally made of win. The real victory, gotta go with Mark, when I get the referrals and sales calls; don't always close the deals, but even the tire kickers... at least I know I've got momentum in the right direction. 

For #4, see bullets #1-5. I'd rather 2 good posts than 5 so-so; I'd probably enjoy 15 kick-butt comments just much as 75 filled with fun and banter. I don't have kids, but I have friends and myself, other things I want to do, much less need to do. IDK... sorta rambling here at the end, but I've also felt some of this 'power' pressure, wondered WTH I'm doing wrong. Still haven't figured it out, but have decided it's a work in progress, and that's the key for me... it IS progressing, however slowly. FWIW.

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

I agree with what Mark said. Even Danny Brown doesn't publish daily and he's definitely among the top-rated bloggers. What works for you may not work for Mark may not work for Marcus may not work for Griddy may not work for me. I think we're all too focused on the right way to do things and the answer really is: It depends. It depends on what you're trying to achieve. For us, our big, big vision is to change the way PR professionals are perceived. In order to do that, we're launching Spin Sucks Pro (which they now tell me will be perfect in "early August" - don't get me started) to help PR and marketing pros keep ahead of technology and implement new things into their programs without doing it unethically or because everyone else does it (hello smear campaigns). And in order to get the largest audience for Spin Sucks Pro, we have to extend the reach beyond me. So we invite guest bloggers four days a week. And it's working. But our goal is to use Spin Sucks to drive revenue to the business. And we're totally focused on that by giving away as much as we can so people want to buy.

T. Shakirah Dawud
T. Shakirah Dawud

Ugh! The competitiveness! It'll get us every time, won't it? When I crashed my blog, I was upset with myself that I'd done it, and that didn't make much blog juice. Finding your natural rhythm rather than trying to meet imaginary expectations is the way to go with everything, not just blogging. I learned it the hard way in the beginning by letting adrenaline take the place of steadiness. Good stuff, but no staying power there. 

You've got your rhythm here, like you've got your power walking rhythm, Ms. Soulati-tude, and you might spice it up--even power it up--but as long as that beat's in the background, you know you've got a good thing. 

Mark Harai
Mark Harai

Hi Saulati!

I would have to say it would be great to be on the Adage 150 - it's a great goal. However, I don't think it's the amount of articles, or posting daily that is the only way to be a power blogger. 

Two bloggers that come to mind off the top of my head is Marcus Sheridan (3 times per week) or Ingrid Abboud (2 or 3 times per week) and think these are two of the very best blogger's in the world.

Everything they do is online is quality, not quantity... OK, they both get buried in comments, but I think you probably get the point. They also run extremely successful business on top of their social media efforts and have managed to become power bloggers with a manageable amount of time invested. 

Balance is key here and taking care of business is vital. Your efforts need to pay the bills, and create long term value for you and your family. 

Just my two cents dear. 

Erica Allison
Erica Allison

So love this post.  You and I have had this discussion before (IRL - thank goodness!) and I'm with you.  If someone wants to aspire to the PowerAdage standard and diligently climb that ladder, then it better be their job and/or they have a job/business that allows for that sort of time and attention.  It requires a tremendous amount of time - like right now, I should be working on a case study! ;)

However, I firmly believe that if I'm not entrenched in blogging and tweeting, then I'm not doing my job for my clients.  How can I advise them on these approaches if I've not tried, failed and succeeded at them?  I can't.  That's one of the reasons they come to me; they see the results that I get and want them as well.

I love your final list - and can totally see you power walking.  I'll bet you walk as fast as you talk! xoxo 

Soulati
Soulati

SPOT. ON. I often wonder myself JackB why and where this journey goes. Being in PR, I must as necessary to walk the talk. It's a tough question to answer, but it doesn't have to be. Power blogging could imply "powerful" -- those who have the influence to change behavior and opinion. Makes for a good blog post, eh? Nice having you in the house. Thanks.

Soulati
Soulati

G'Day Mate! (Heh, always wanted to say that for real, and here you are sharing jazzy flirtations when you should be sleeping, Leon!)

Great to have you in my house and thanks to @thesaleslion for our introduction. So, apparently, you pulled an all nighter tomorrow night? OMgawd; I'm cracking myself up...guys, he's in Australia for real!

And, Leon? How did you know? The sad thing is I know what all those initials are for and to whom they apply. The other thing is, sad but true; nothing but incessant inanity with some seriousness rolled in.

Thank you for coming over.

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

Marcus does that because he's Marcus. He also sleeps until 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning. He wants to be like Gary V...and that dude doesn't sleep. Just because you're a power blogger doesn't mean you have to stay up all night answering comments nor do it mean you have to get up at 5 a.m. to write. You do what works for you.

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

LMAO! No one ever comments on your blog and says it was bad!

Soulati
Soulati

So many PR people have no clue how to monetize as a service business, either. The fact you're doing it with blood, sweat and tears just means you're gonna walk the talk for all your clients bigger and better, Gini. There's a reason for this madness.

As for "helping PR keep ahead of tech," hands down, absolutely necessary. I always hate what I don't know -- call it fear, obstacles, time wasted and time suck, but if I could only master tech 1/4 of the time, I'd be so thrilled.

Bill Dorman
Bill Dorman

I heard you were a blog crasher........

Soulati
Soulati

Little by little, it's coming. Lessons learned and attributed to blog and always a spicier image, like today's sidebar widgets, the video...whatever it takes to keep it exciting and fresh. I can see more video; but not sure I can be serious. Do I have to be?

Bill Dorman
Bill Dorman

Excuse me, I'm sitting right here............you are going to have to quit that or you will hurt my feelings..........

Soulati
Soulati

You're so right; it's about the balance. It sucks you in so much, though. I also think measured growth is something to strive for. I've seen forced, fast growth that does the community no justice; in fact it turns people off. But, it's the blogger driving that striving for something...Holy Grail, perhaps? Thanks, Mark!!

Laura Click
Laura Click

I'd comment, but Erica said it so well that I'll just add an "Amen, sister!" ;)

And Jayme - This is why I'm now doing video also. It's hard to encourage clients to do it, if you haven't done it yourself. I'm glad @EricaAllison:disqus keeps encouraging me on the video front! :)

Soulati
Soulati

That's why I hit the video, really. Had to walk the talk. You know how many clients ask me if I'm making money as a direct result of all this? I have to say no, but then again I am not selling right now. Dang; there's the next blog post...

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

It's funny but I'm semi-serious; some posts are better than others... so when I write something less than stellar or maybe, about NOTHING you feel free to give me a gentle nudge. ;-)

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

I can help you master it 1/2 the time for sure! :)

Mark Harai
Mark Harai

Oh, sorry Bill, I would have used you in the example, but I didn't see you sitting there :P

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

And where is this mythical Balance creature you speak of? @markharai:disqus ? I've looked and haven't quite found it yet. I do what I gotta do to pay bills, to have time to network and blog, reach out to clients, work work... lather, rinse, repeat. Hmmm..

Soulati
Soulati

I'm preparing my next video. Everything but the lighting; I'm gonna do it in the dark in clown face.

Soulati
Soulati

You said it. I know there's something wrong when the blogger takes 15 hours to reply to a commenter, but no sense stopping in for just one comment. I need to have at least five; and when I'm busy hitting everyone else's house...well, I think that explains it.

But, I do appreciate the drive by, even though you're invisible. Where the heck did that name come from anyway?

Bill Dorman
Bill Dorman

I just like being popular; that's worth something right? Especially since I'm such a dork anyway...........