Are You a Blogger or Just Blogging?

Here’s a harsh truth for you: blogging is a bit like sports. Anyone can do it, but few can do it at a professional level.

And while hardly anybody with an ounce of sanity who takes up tennis or golf thinks they’ll eventually turn pro at it, just about everyone who starts a blog, or is secretly writing a novel, all of them are dreaming of hitting it big somehow.

This is a brave new world: anyone can do it, just push a button and you’re out there. Suddenly everybody is blogging, and they all wish this was what they’d be doing as a job.

But there’s a big difference between blogging and being a blogger.

Everyone who blogs and has even a single e-book for sale on their site is out to conquer the world. Just like the thousands of people who have self-published a novel, the name of the game is promotion. Networking. Linking. Joining a community. Branding yourself. One of the best strategies for all of it is blogging. It’s why we’re here today.

But pretty soon you may find yourself distanced from the writing itself.

Quality First, then Promotion

The best and most effective blogs are about the reader. About delivering value, however you want to define the word. A blogger who forgets about delivering value merely promotes… until the promotion itself becomes the blog. It becomes just about selling something (which ironically tends to sell less).

This is a mistake that I am guilty of. It’s easy to get sidetracked, so to speak, when there are bills to pay, services and technology to buy, add-ons, domains, software, and all that jazz…

It’s easy to forget that if you write the best blog posts that you can, if you work on over-delivering, then all else will somehow take care of itself.

In other words, if you write a fantastic blog that is read by hundreds of thousands of people, even a lousy donate button will do the trick. If your content sucks, then even the most amazing e-course accompanied by great copywriting won’t sell.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

At the end of the day, at least if you do it right, it’s just about quality content. About delivering a gift to your reader. About throwing it out there and seeing what comes back to you.

That’s the difference between a blogger and someone who just blogs. A blogger is someone who thinks of their blog as their gift to the world.

High-quality blogs live this ethic day in and day out. Read them carefully and you’ll see that the common element is a selfless focus on the reader, an enthusiastic delivery of real value, with a foundation of credibility.

It’s why lots of folks subscribe, it’s why they have the chance to earn a living by doing only that.

Bottom line – value is the one business model that never fails. Even for bloggers.

116 thoughts on “Are You a Blogger or Just Blogging?

    1. I appreciate the timeliness of your post! I have been an on and off blogger, but now want to be professional at it. I have been doing some research, and your advice is way concise and consistent to what I have been reading elsewhere. I especially like how you highlight how blogging is for your reader’s benefit, not my own, as you say, “it’s just about quality content. About delivering a gift to your reader. About throwing it out there and seeing what comes back to you.” I will definitely keep these words in mind as I move forward! Thank you!

      Liked by 5 people

  1. I love this. I love the line ‘a blogger is a person who thinks of her blog as her gift to the world’.

    Yes, pronouns do matter. Please don’t exclude 50% of your potential readership. At least mix them up!

    Liked by 7 people

      1. “…hardly anybody with an ounce of sanity who takes up tennis or golf thinks they’ll eventually turn pro at it, just about everyone who starts a blog, or is secretly writing a novel, all of them are dreaming of hitting it big somehow.”

        This is an excellent point. Nice read.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Write the best posts that you can.
      Read all that you can on blogging, writing, social media.
      Take advantage of all the social media outlets that you feel comfortable using on a daily basis.
      Connect with your fellow bloggers: read their blogs, comment on their posts, ask them to guest post, interview them, whatever it takes.

      Liked by 9 people

  2. Thank you so much for this post! 🙂 I just started blogging and I saw this article about earning a 6-digit figure from blogging. It says that if you want to earn that much, you have to focus on promotion and the actual writing is something that you probably have to outsource. I hated reading that article – that line especially. Your post somehow restores my faith in writing and in REAL bloggers. ❤

    Liked by 15 people

    1. I’ve heard something similar, and to me that seems like an awful idea…I would hate to make my readers think they’re hearing from me when it’s really a hired writer. And if you’re really serious, couldn’t it go the other way: you keep writing and hire a freelance marketer for promotion?

      Liked by 10 people

      1. Exactly! Well maybe if they care more about the ‘6 digit figure,’ they’ll choose to do the promotion than the writing itself. I started blogging to build a habit of writing and to find my voice as a writer. It’s kind of obvious if the website is just a hodgepodge of articles from different ghostwriters.

        Liked by 9 people

    2. Likewise, I like blogs/bloggers when they’re real people sharing real stuff (maybe not daily minutiae…) and are authentic. To me, blogs are a form of self-expression. If you hire a writer, you are not expressing your thoughts. That’s not blogging to me. But that may be why there are categories: “Personal Blog” and “Professional Blog”. But the last one to me is more like a website.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. So useful to me, started blogging in june after i thought to my self and saw i couldn’t wait any long, passion was blogging and i am doing it as a blogger not just blogging
    This post makes me feel encouraged and as a REAL BLOGGER

    Liked by 8 people

  4. It’s true. The most effective and convincing blog is the one that is self-less, informative, unique, and not overselling. Readers can tell if the writing comes from the heart. Thanks for the tip. 😊

    Liked by 12 people

  5. Thanks- loved reading this! I like your “throwing a gift,” idea best. I feel like I’ve been through something so horrible that I can turn it into a gift of goodness I can use to help others going through it, their loved ones supporting them, and society’s awareness of it.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Great article! I’ve blogged for three years without any form of monetisation, just because I wanted to hone my writing and support other piano teachers. I’ve got work from it, boosted my reputation, etc … secondary benefits. Finally I’ve just added a donation button, so it will be interesting to see what comes back … but it won’t effect my enjoyment of blogging!

    Liked by 10 people

  7. Great and interesting article! Started a collaborative blog with a friend who lives thousands of miles away. Our main aim is to share our thoughts and we have no plans to earn from it. Learned a lot from this post. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 11 people

  8. Interesting, I started out my blog as a way to share my perception of life with my readers. Though I still feel a bit stuck on what kind of topics I should pick out for my audience.

    Liked by 10 people

  9. Great stuff! Totally with you brother! here is what I noticed and really helped me…
    1. Quality content over quantity content to deliver people something of value.
    2. Give 95% away for free
    3. Never expect anything from anybody in return

    For for this article.

    Liked by 11 people

  10. I completely agree with you. It is important to write something valuable to the world, something of help for others… only then it will turn out to be of some value (in terms of money or satisfaction) for us.

    Liked by 10 people

  11. I only blog for catharsis, to express myself. I find that I can best express myself through writing than having a conversation. I also hope to share the wisdom that I learned in life. These are basically for my friends and family, (probably foes, too). But if this will be flooded with followers and likes, then great!

    Liked by 10 people

  12. Since I am soon to be 78 years old and retired I write because I must. I hope that my years of living can help others in some way. I am naive enough to be surprised that people have others write their blog. Disappointing but what else is new? I have seen many aspects of mankind in my life and am still occasionally surprised. Blogging is new for me but I love the chance to share.

    Liked by 11 people

  13. Great points. Writing is absolutely a business, not a strike-it-rich-quick-scheme! Actually, I don’t know very many rich people in this business. But, I’ve never met a boring one, either. Hmmmm. Blessings, Blog Whisperers!

    Liked by 9 people

  14. I feel like everyone who has a blog needs to ask themselves this question at some point. And the conversation that ensues needs to be a totally honest one. Sure, everyone wants the extra coin cause we all need it but not at the expense of doing something that your heart isn’t really into. Because no matter what your blog is about, people are searching for answers. It is only fair that we give them good ones. So, if the conversation goes not in favor of you blogging, you should listen to that. Good read!

    Liked by 9 people

  15. Such a thought provoking essay. The conversations and comments following as equally engaging. Have had my website for several years and the ‘why’ of it has changed several times. All my best to you and all the bloggers with WordPress. Thank you.

    Liked by 7 people

  16. I loved reading this, thank you. So true, I think all of us blogging away would admit to having a little dream lurking somewhere!
    I am pretty new to blogging and not sure if what I have to offer is useful to anyone else to be honest!
    But I have decided to get out there and share what helps me as a parent. At the very least I’ll have a collection of memories and recipes in one happy place 🙂
    Thanks again 😀

    Liked by 5 people

  17. I have written so many erotic stories but I finally realized that it had become totally boring to me. Which is why I stopped writing. Instead I decided to concentrate on sharing movies that I love and have actually watched. Being a serious music lover I just had to include a playlist of some of my favorite music videos and songs. Hopefully people who share my taste in music and movies will enjoy my blog. Keep your blogging simple but interesting and entertaining.

    Liked by 6 people

  18. This is such a helpful tip!! I always try to create valuable content, but I admit I don’t constantly think about what’s the most useful or beneficial to the reader. I will definitely keep this in mind moving forward. Thank you!

    Miles of smiles,

    Liked by 7 people

  19. Hmm, yes like most of the others commenting I have to realise much of what you say here and add that Stephen King talks about the constant reader too. After all, if no1’s reading, why bother…? Nice words Jordan…

    Liked by 3 people

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