I Blog vs I am a Blogger

I Blog vs I Am A Blogger

Last week, Betsy posted a thought provoking questionnaire on blogging. The first question asked whether or not you identified as a blogger and what it meant to you. Right off the bat, I wanted to say yes, I am a blogger. But then I gave it some thought. Am I really a blogger or do I just blog? To some this is one and the same, but I’m going to make a case that they’re different (and that you really aren’t just a blogger).

I am not a blogger. I am a web designer who blogs. There is a difference. My blog is a vehicle for me to connect with others and share my knowledge. Just like how I use Twitter. Do I call myself a Twitter-er? No, of course not.

So while I am simply a web designer who blogs, what if you really do blog for a living? Would you then call yourself a blogger? Maybe you would, but in my opinion, you still aren’t.

“What?! Allyssa, you’re crazy. I am a blogger and that’s that!”

Okay, well hear me out. If you consider yourself a blogger, what do you blog about?

Do you share recipes with the world?

Teach people how to decorate a home?

Do you blog about social media and how to leverage it to grow a business?

Are these people bloggers or are they a chef? An interior designer? A social media consultant?

I personally would consider them the latter. Even if they blog daily, they’re still using their blog as a method for sharing their knowledge and thoughts. The term blogger isn’t an identity in and of itself. You’re something more than the tool you use to connect with the world.

Now if you identify as a blogger, don’t think I hate you and think you’re wrong. I can definitely see how one might identify as one. In fact, up until I did Betsy’s questionnaire I would have called myself one too.

The change came when I realized that blogging wasn’t exclusive. I believe you’re always going to be something more than a blogger. To say you’re a blogger is doing yourself a disservice. You are so much more than that! Your blog is a tool that you use to connect with others. Odds are you’re not going to say your passion is blogging (and if it is, then you my friend are probably a blogging expert). Instead your passion is more likely the topic you blog about. Think about it. Would you blog daily on a topic you couldn’t care less about?

And that’s why I don’t identify as a blogger. I am a web designer who happens to blog.

So the next time you’re about to get business cards printed with the job description of blogger, think again. Give yourself credit. You have talents that deserve the proper recognition. You are not a blogger. You use blogging to share your passion with the world. There’s a difference.

Question time! Do you identify as a blogger? Why or why not?

PS: Check out Betsy’s latest blog post where she sums up the info she received from the questionnaire.

Comments

  1. says

    Absolutely agree with you! But in a world that loves a label, I find it hard to pinpoint how exactly to succinctly describe what I am…my go to is ‘ mama bear, designer/maker, blogger’…I’m the first two & more for sure, and my writing is more to me than the tool by which I share my loves and my work, but am I then a ‘writer’?…any suggestions would be appreciated :0)

    • Allyssa says

      See, that’s where it gets tricky. The world loves its labels! I would say you’re a writer. You’re sharing your words with the world, that has to count as something, right?

      • says

        Hmmm it does get so tricky (& sparked in interesting convo. with hubbie last night), in theory, yes, I guess. But I’d possibly suggest this applies more so if you focus solely on one topic (which I don’t). I know writers who are doing it as their work as well as their blog and I’m pretty sure they’d be hacked off if that’s what I called myself. There’s a gap in between I think…It’s in a similar way that on fb, there’s nothing in between artist. I’m don’t classify myself as an artist, but neither am I a hobbyist crafter. I think for me, I try to go for something that those that are NOT in the creative arena at all can identify with…I kind of hope that those that are, can see past and understand that, as with most of us, there’s alot more going on than just what you can fit in 150 character descriptions or a limited tick box.
        Thanks for the thought points & thanks to Betsy, I’ve found all this really interesting x

  2. says

    “To say you’re a blogger is doing yourself a disservice.”

    THIS THIS THIS! A few months ago, I totally (accidentally) offended a big BIG blogger who was featured in People magazine as a “lifestyle expert” because I said I thought the title didn’t give her credit. I think she liked it because it’s all-encompassing and can mean anything to anyone which means she has more potential clients, but what does it actually MEAN? Like, I could say I’m a lifestyle expert. I live. I have style. I haven’t lost either my life or my style yet… so that makes me an expert and who is going to say otherwise? But this blogger does SO MUCH MORE and I feel like the title of “Lifestyle Expert” doesn’t actually recognize what she does or how she does it or how she came to make a good living from it. You know?

    hehe sorry that got a bit tangental :)

    • Allyssa says

      Labels are so confusing! Yes, I guess you could consider yourself a lifestyle expert, but I agree with you that an actual lifestyle expert does so much more. When I think of a lifestyle expert, I think of Martha Stewart, so I feel like it’s definitely a more appropriate title. I mean, not everyone’s an expert, right? But I see what you mean. Blogging is a big part of how some lifestyle experts make it, so I guess it’s only fair to acknowledge it.

    • says

      Betsy, I think bloggers are so uncomfortable with titles and they sort of go where there heart goes. The word expert is totally never a good idea. I’m sure she is fantastic and can do much more! So sad that she was offended by your comment.

      • says

        I definitely think the title of “expert” has sort of lost its meaning over the past couple of years when in the context of blogs and bloggers because ANYONE can proclaim themselves and/or brand themselves as one, which is why I think she was selling her business short by using that specific title… but it’s an uncomfortable topic regardless and one I think Alyssa is tackling excellently here :)

  3. Karen says

    Prior to Betsy’s post yesterday, I hadn’t thought of “blogger” as too limiting a label; I’ve always considered it too grandiose. But you make a really good observation for those who use their blogs as a way to discuss, peddle, pursue, etc. a particular topic or talent.

    But what about people who just write about whatever they feel like… maybe what they cooked for dinner, their thoughts on a current event, or a story from their past? They really aren’t using blogging as a tool to practice some other skill or hobby. They really aren’t a [something] who blogs.

    They often label themselves lifestyle blogs, and I’ve never liked that (despite liking some of their blogs). As Betsy struggles with “lifestyle expert”, I just struggle with “lifestyle” period. It seems to be the new term for personal blog, and I feel like it has something to do with the push toward monetization / purposely driving up metrics.

    Bottom line (and sorry for such a long first-time comment!): we could all be so much more relaxed about blogging, which to me is fundamental to what blogging is supposed to be, if we would scrap the labels and just write what we feel like writing and read what we feel like reading.

    [Thoughts after blogging since 2001, doing it publicly 2009-2012, and forever debating taking it back up again]

    • Allyssa says

      I understand what you mean. I think the problem lies with the fact that everything has to have a label. If you blog about your life, etc, then that’s just it. You blog. I’d compare it to writing in a journal. Sure you could call yourself a writer, but would you call yourself a journaler? I mean, maybe you would if you were talking about your hobbies, but I’m going to say you probably wouldn’t. It’s just something you do. And of course there are other activities we partake in that get labels, so why is blogging different? I honestly have no idea, haha. Labels are tricky! And I 100% agree with you on the lifestyle label. Most of the blogs that label themselves as such, aren’t. They’re just personal blogs/public journals. When I think of lifestyle, I think about tips and tricks related to living. So style, cooking, decorating a home, throwing parties, and just general living. The majority of “lifestyle” blogs don’t really do that. They’re just showing us how they live. They’re not necessarily teaching us anything. And thank you for taking the time to comment! You brought up some really good points. I love your bottom line. It’s so true!

    • Sarah says

      I totally agree with the lifestyle/personal blog thing – I’ve been struggling with this when trying to brand my own blog. What I consider a lifestyle blog is certainly what would have been called simply a personal blog when I first got into blogging (~2006). The issue I have is that my ‘lifestyle’ is certainly not typical like every other blogger so I feel like I’d be disappointing people with a ‘lifestyle’ tag when they then saw the posts. Alternatively I don’t want to outright label myself as someone with a chronic illness because that just feels too negative, but it’s also definitely not a health blog. I really don’t like the ‘lifestyle’ – or even ‘personal’ labels but what’s the alternative, especially when people are outright seeking lifestyle blogs?

      • Karen says

        Well this the thing isn’t it? Readers look for labels, so bloggers provide labels. This is what I meant by just reading blogs we like and writing blogs we like. If I do pick it back up, I think I’m going to label myself an interesting things blogger. ;)

        It feels good to engage with you guys on this subject – and important reminder that we are not alone in our gripes with current blogging practices and trends. :)

  4. says

    I love this post! I went to a blogger meetup a little while back where there were a bunch of lifestyle bloggers and I felt really out of place! I blog to support my business (it’s my #1 referral!) and my experiences were not like theirs. I use my blog to share my knowledge, establish myself as an expert, and reach people who would be interested in my services. My blog is a marketing tool. I maybe spend 15% of my time blogging and the rest is spent on my business- designing, consulting, creating new offerings, etc. I decided then that I’m going to set myself apart as a designer/brand consultant- not a blogger. Because that’s not at all who I am at all and by calling myself a blogger I will never be able to reach the people that I want to. Plus, I want people to think of me when they host a “creative entrepreneur” meetup, not a blogger meetup. Then maybe I won’t feel so out of place :)

    • Allyssa says

      Yes. Yes. Yes. I started out blogging with the mindset that blogging was what I was going to do. That’s it. I had no direction. But then I started my business and slowly I realized my purpose. Suddenly I wasn’t just blogging just to blog. I was blogging to share what I knew. My blog is part of my business, just like how my Twitter account is a part of my business. They both help me get the word out. That’s it. Nothing more.

    • says

      I feel like I’m all over the place but in this post but blogger meetups are such a hit or miss for me because of the same reason. I enjoy the relationships and often find some great clients but I can never attend as an educational experience. Definitely try to see if you can find some clients if you do attend another blogger meetup!

  5. says

    Betsy sent me over here, and I have to say you’re so right! I am much more than my blog… my blog is just a way to share what I really am. Love this!

  6. says

    I never thought much about the difference but any time someone else described me as a blogger (e.g. my husband), my immediate response was always to say, “I’m not a blogger, I’m a photographer who also writes a blog.” Nevermind the fact that I’ve been writing 4-5 posts a week for the last four years, which basically equates to “full time” blogging. I never fully understood exactly why that term didn’t sit well with me but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Blogging is a means of getting me and my work out there, it’s not who I am. Just as I would never say “I”m a Facebooker” even though Facebook is also a means of getting me and my work out there. So basically this rambling comment is just to say, you are so right on the money with this one. :)

  7. says

    LOVE this! I don’t have anything against the term blogger but when you’re doing much more, you should definitely give your self credit. I have lots of titles (and hopefully some day I can find one simplified title to explain all that I do) so it’d be really difficult to me to identify with blogger as a title, especially since it’s not my business. Great article Allyssa!

    • says

      Angel, I agree with the too many titles. I also own multiple businesses so when people asked me the dreaded question “what do you do?” I did not know how to answer. Now I say that I am a blogger but hmm is that right? I dunno now.

      -Renee’
      @iteachblogging

    • Allyssa says

      Thanks Angel! Your official title should be “title holder extraordinaire” or “all around awesome!” :)

  8. says

    Aw crap. And I just got new business cards! Haha oh well. I did put web designer / blogger ;)

    Great distinctions though, I really never have thought about the whole label thing.

    • says

      me too!!! haha!

      I did use graphic designer | blogger

      Great post, something to think about, I can totally relate to this… I think we do so many things that “labeling” makes it hard and we are doing ourself a disservice by labeling it this way.

  9. says

    This is a great blog post. I am actually trying to transition myself into a full time blogger who happens to build websites and blogs instead of the reverse. Very thought provoking, thanks for that.

    -Renee’
    @iteachblogging

  10. says

    I loved this article Alyssa, I’ve always said “I am a blogger”, but you are right. In Sweden there are many women and girls who blog for a living, and that’s what everyone else wants as well – live the fancy life just photographing their outfit and write something about H&M’s latest collection. But when I read this and when I think about it; you are right, that’s just a tool. When I started studying to become a web developer people said I should stop identifying myself as a blogger, since it’s both something people in Sweden look down on, and since you get the label “superficial fashion blogger”, which is not what I blog about. I thought maybe I had to just accept that that’s what I am now, but this changed me, and I think I will like blogging a lot more now that you’ve sorted out my feelings and thoughts on the subject. I’ve never been able to put it into words, but now that you did… Yeah, well Thank you!

    Also thank you so much for this well written article, you changed my way of thinking! Hugs from Sweden xx ?

    • Allyssa says

      I’m so happy I could help out! I don’t think many people give it much thought, so it’s always interesting to think about and discuss.

  11. says

    This is such an interesting point of view. I’ve never really gave it a thought and after reading your post I 100% agree with you! I’m a graphic designer who blogs. I really like it better put in this way! I should probably go change my social media bios that say “blogger & graphic designer” haha

  12. says

    Great post. never really thought about theres a difference and after reading your blog i totally agree with you! i guess im also a web designer who blogs.

  13. says

    Thanks for this post… good read I quess I don`t feel so bad at not feeling like a blogger afterall as I haven`t quite gotten the hang of it..

  14. says

    Great post, this is exactly what I’ve been asking myself.

    But…

    If I’m not a blogger, just what the hell am I? I don’t cover a single topic. I don’t have a specific expertise. I just research and write about things that interest me, and people seem to like that.

    You could call this a virtual identity crisis.

  15. says

    I absolutely see the point you’re making – I’d never heard it put that way before. I think personally, I’d identify as a blogger & a writer &, I guess, a feminist? What I blog about tends to be creative writing, blogging, feminism, and anything else I have a strong opinion on that I want to start a conversation about. So yes, I’m a blogger, it’s just that that isn’t ALL I am.

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