Dividing people into different categories. On one side, formally-educated writers; on the other, dynamic bloggers breaking down the old rules.
So, which one is best?
Writer v Bloggers: Which One Are You?
Let’s flip this around. In reality, neither are ‘best.’ They both offer different types of services.
However, I suspect that writers – who can harness blogging technologies – will do better in the long run financially and career-wise than plain ol’ vanilla bloggers. Why? Let’s take a look.
- Value – there’s an old article on the useit.com site that explains the value long, deep, information-rich articles (not blog posts) have over shorter blog posts. In other words, in the long run, the more value you can demonstrate, the deeper an impression you’re likely to make. This usually translates into business opportunities.
- Domain Expertise – thin blog posts that offer little depth are rarely bookmarked, shared, or revisited. Why? The bloggers don’t understand the subject in sufficient depth. Furthermore, their blog posts are REACTIVE. Instead of taking the lead in an area, they’re simply reacting to another post. While this might be entertaining while you surf, you’re unlikely to revisit the site. It’s just chit-chat and there’s a lot of it out there. You and your potential customers are looking for articles with more depth.
- Credentials – when hiring, people usually want evidence that you’ve been trained as a writer, have some qualifications, awards, or failing this, your site has standing in the industry. Some bloggers have this but not most.
- Training – writers understand the mechanics of writing. We’ll, they should after four years. This may not seem glamorous but if you’re hiring someone to write on your corporate blog, it helps if they understand how peer reviews work, how to prepare and submit drafts, and deliver well-rounded content on time. Some bloggers can do this but most would (and do) struggle to write if given specific very topics and deadlines to write for. At least, that’s my experience hiring bloggers and writers over the years.
- Dealing with Criticism – if you work as a professional writer, you know what it’s like to have your work torn asunder by an editor. Ok, you might be hurt but you know that the editor is doing their job. That’s why they’re there. So, the process of review, submit, review is familiar to you. Accepting criticism comes with the territory. And the end result is almost always better.
When working with bloggers, that idea of reviewing their work, suggesting where they change it, doesn’t always go down well. Far from it. Some get very deeply offended. One pulled his own article after I sent it back with edits. A professional writer would have taken this on the chin and refined the text.
With this in mind, let’s look at where bloggers have an upper hand over ‘old school’ writers.
- Technologies – some writers turn their nose up at blogging tools per se. It seems beneath them. To me, this is like sticking to a typewriter instead of using a computer. It’s a tool, use it!
- Different Strokes – not everyone is writing for corporate blogs. I write a lot about finance and the financial services software. It’s pretty niche. Other friends I know raise awareness for women’s health issues, an entertainment blog, an another for the local Coderdojo branch. All of these are terrific.
- Language – they also write in the type of language readers understand and use. The posts are short, snappy, and entertaining. And, for me, this is the essence of blogging. They use the tools correctly, understand the market, and deliver.
But these sites are mostly for personal development, personal branding, or just fun. What’s wrong with that?
But if you’re thinking of developing a career writing online, you need to consider that others are looking at your material and asking themselves, ‘Should we hire this person?’
That means you need to work backwards.
- Look at who you want to work for.
- Study the best writers/bloggers in the industry.
- Better them.
- Get the message out.
Then it doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger or a writer. But you need to know who you intend to write/blog for before you begin.
Make sense? Let me know what you think. You can get me on twitter @klaritidotcom
PS – This site has been online for fifteen years. The pages that get the most traffic are (with a few exceptions) the longest in word count, have no images, and focus on one specific ‘how-to’ topics. Educational topics that cover a subject in-depth, AND have an evergreen element, bring in a steady stream of traffic.
I never promote them. They are mentioned on other quality sites, which link back to us and raise our profile.