Do you blog or do you create content? This was one of the main themes of today's BlogWorld keynote speech, delivered by Mitch Joel, Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner, Lisa Stone of BlogHer.com, and Deanna Brown, the CEO of Federated Media. While discussing the concept of building new media empires -- to which, Mitch Joel offers, "media empire? WTF?" -- the concept of not limiting yourself with the blogger label is an important aspect of success.
That is, don't let the label define what you do, because more than a blogger, you are a content creator, and its this content that will separate you from the crowd. While the panel discussed their various successes, which is supposed to inspire the attendees, the idea of being more than a blogger, that is, escaping the limitations the label suggests is the goal.
Yes, the idea of creating great content for you blog still applies, as well as all that goes along with that. Engage your audience, be an authority, be thoughtful, talk about what you're thinking, and, as Stelzner points out, figure out what your customer wants by asking them, and then, give them what they want.
If you take this approach, Stelzner believes you'll never run out of ideas for content.
There's even a caveat to consider when blogging for a living, which was discussed by Mitch Joel. From Joel's perspective, it's hard to get ahead because of the sheer number of people who blog. Yes, the cream rises to the top, but with so much quality content out there, it's that much harder to accomplish the desired ascent.
All of that in mind, perhaps the most important piece of information concerns perception. If you perceive yourself as just a blogger, complete with all the "everybody's doing it" limitations that may apply, you're already starting at a disadvantage. However, Deanna Brown has another idea: Instead of blogger, think of yourself as a content creator. In fact, Brown avoids the term because of the limitations that come with the label. From her perspective, "I would avoid blog and anything that puts you in a box."
Stelzner furthers the goodwill be referring to bloggers as publishers. In fact, he defines blogging as being publishers, so again, don't let the title limit your outlook or your goals. Consider this, from Lisa Stone's perspective, while TV is still king in terms of overall content, but bloggers/content creators have more pull than magazines or celebrities when it comes to recommending products.
Unfortunately, she doesn't offer any metrics to quantify her statement, but if you have strong audience that respects your work, it's easy to conceive this audience taking your advice in relation to product recommendations. Of course, to get this point, you'll need to create the kind of content that will attract the audience, and this is where the idea of being something more than a blogger -- a publisher and a content creator -- comes into play.