Authorship and the Invisible Blogger: Are you writing yourself out of success?

invisible blogger

By Mark Schaefer

My friend and podcast co-host Tom Webster recently penned a really honest and thought-provoking post called “Authorship.”

In the post, Tom laments that the more he guest posts and syndicates his writing, the less relevant he may become. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but he makes some good points.

The web cares about CONTENT, not necessarily authors, and Tom postulates that in our frenzy to write and distibrute content, we may be creating more and more work only to become less and less visible.

Are you getting lost in the ether of the blogosphere? Are we writing content that benefits others while our own authorship gets buried?

It is a very different conversation from what you usually see on the web and we thought this topic would make an extraordinary podcast … which it did. We cover a lot of ground, including:

  • Should you find your audience, or let your audience find you?
  • What is the benefit of syndicating your content? Statistically, it may not make sense!
  • Is the age of the independent blogger over? Has the paradigm shifted?
  • Where are the new voices in the field? Are there any?
  • Can a solo blogger compete with corporate sites?
  • What is the true ROI of “exposure?” What is the risk of over-exposure?

You’re probably half-crazed by now waiting to hear this podcast so let’s have no further delay:

Or click here for episode 25 of The Marketing Companion

Other Ways to Listen to this Podcast:

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

Gini Dietrich’s post on the end of the independent blogger

70 Rising Social Media Stars

Blogging platform Medium

Twister (analog version)

All posts

  • Hey Mark,
    I think being an independent blogger will become the differentiator and something to be proud of.
    Maybe the key to not getting lost in the mass of content is that you’re NOT a brand blogging, and people will start to look for an independent opinion and non restricted view.

    I also write a blog for employer during the day and the tone of my writing and how ‘free’ I am to express opinion are totally different, and for good reason. It’s incredibly easy for an individual who is writing for a brand to say the wrong thing and damage the brand.
    Independent bloggers don’t have this problem, their personal brand is who they are, opinions and all.

    I’ve fallen into the trap of writing what I thought other people wanted, but that’s not what blogging is about, it should be about the individual writing the article, sharing their opinion and not that of others.

    It costs me every month to keep my site going, I think if I wrote it specifically for an audience, rather than for me, I’de have given up and be spending the cash elsewhere.

    Great talk as always, very thought provoking 🙂

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  • Frederic Gonzalo

    Funny, I was wondering about this recently. I syndicate my blog with Social Media Today, and I get a lot, lot, lot more hits, shares and comments over there in comparison to my own site, for the same article.

    I can see the referral traffic coming from Social Media Today from my Google Analytics, so there are some benefits there, but I don’t think it equates at all. I agree with your statement: people consume content, they don’t really pay attention to who wrote it, in particular on blogs such as SMT, Business2Community, SteemFeed or even Mashable and other bigger outlets.

    Thought-provoking stuff, here. Something to ponder over the summer months… 🙂

  • Guys what a great podcast! Truly valuable and unique content and thoughts on this. For me I truly believe a lot of guest posting is pointless if you can’t get a win win out of it. Looking forward to getting on that social media list for 2015!!

  • I’ll never unsubscribe:) LOVE LOVE LOVE your podcasts: you make my day with your natural, flowing, genuine banter and discussion. The flow is superb, the genuineness of the conversation palpable. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Love this perspective Barry and i agree with you! Thanks for this wonderful commentary!

  • Pondering too Frederic. I get alomst no traffic from those sites so you are doing better than me!

  • Thanks for taking the time to comment Mike, It was fun to be part of this discussion.

  • I’m framing this one Kaarina!! Thank you dear.

  • Thank you Mark, and Tom for your honest valuable fascinaitng educational learning dialogue ~Rae

  • I like being framed:)

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  • Writing is thinking, I can definitely identify with that. Often my better ideas come after writing and publishing a post. Perhaps it is the engagement.

    Also found the notion of “too much variety” very interesting — that research consistently suggests a community simply doesn’t like the content. I suppose that sort of insight is the benefit of a career spent in research.

    All said, I don’t think I buy into the idea that the independent blogger is dead or that publishing on a variety of channels diversifies authorship. I suppose I’m going to write a post so I can think this through.

    Nice work on the podcast — I’ve listened to several shows now and it adds a great variety to the current 20 podcasts to which I subscribe.

  • Claudia Licher

    Love the podcast, and you’re right, sometimes a car is just a car 🙂
    I’ve been going through my own updates lately just to stop the number of unread messages rocketing to over 100 every time. Used to have a folder for updates so I didn’t need to fish around for the urgent stuff, but guess what that meant: I ended up forgetting to read the updates at all.

  • It’s our pleaasure!

  • Really apprecuate you listening and commenting Frank. Means a lot!

  • Wow. I can see how that gets out of hand. Thanks for commenting Claudia!

  • Loved the podcast. Thanks

  • David Weightman

    Great post. Writing is very important in blogging and I agree to this post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    @David Weightman

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