Why I Don’t Like Calling Myself a Blogger
By: Julia DiNardo

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I have hesitated to address this for some time now, but it has increasingly been weighing on my mind and become more and more obvious: I don’t like calling myself a blogger. Why does being defined as such irk me so? It’s not that I’m ashamed that I am a blogger — but rather quite the opposite!  I am so proud of the work that I’ve done and success that I’ve achieved that it is frustrating to know that the term that describes what I do doesn’t necessarily express that and appears to take on more of an amateur association.

I think it is mostly related to the misconceptions projected by those who aren’t bloggers or involved in a fashion or a writing-related industry of what I do on a daily basis that causes me to revolt against the term.

I feel that the word “blogger” refers to an earlier period in time when it truly was more of a online personal journal with a simple platform-hosted layout and doesn’t come close to representing  the amazing range of creativity, knowledge, and skills that it encompasses today.

Besides all of this, blogging is now a full-time career for many, who make viable incomes and rival the traffic of major magazines’ online entities. I’ve met so many amazingly talented people that have such incredible talent and just happen to channel it through a blog-outlet, that the word just does not do them justice.

Oftentimes I grapple with how to get family members and friends to rethink what it means to be a blogger, since the general consensus seems to be that what I do is  “cute” and just take in all the elements at at a surface value, like taking photos of myself, getting freebies, and attending cool events. I sometimes want to scream, “I AM SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!” Sure there is some fun in the mix, but it is also a TON of work, and what I do when it comes to being a blogger should be taken as seriously as any other career, because guess what? I am serious about it!

I love being a part of the blogging community, as it is a unique group of professionals who tend to be more outgoing, assertive, encouraging and supportive than other fields I have worked in, and I love what I do, but I just can’t help but perceive a novice, and perhaps even negative connotation.

I really just have beef with the word “blogger” itself. I cringe whenever I receive a mass PR email that is addressed to “Dear Blogger,” and  I prefer to consider (and call) myself  anything but, as I have told people that I’m an “online publisher,” “writer,”  “freelancer who also has her own fashion site,”  and “journalist working in the digital space,” amongst others. I wish I could create a noun that truly expressed what it means to be a blogger today , but for now, for lack of a better term, and until we as a community come up with one and use it enough to make it commonplace, I  certainly am a blogger.

 

Do you feel that the general perception of the term “blogger” doesn’t properly represent all that you do…as a blogger?

 

Julia DiNardo writes Fashion Pulse Daily

Comments

  1. Avatar of Nadya Helena
    Nadya Helena says:

    I have to say it’s kind of a dualism for me. On one side, people who understand (and who have visited my blog) praise me for what I do because they think my work requires a full force of creativity and hard work. But on the other side, people who don’t understand and don’t want to, they think I simply write journals about feelings and stuff like some whimsy teenage girls. Oh and talking about whimsy teenage girls who complain on their blogs, they’re also part of the reason I hesitate stating that I’m a blogger. Plus in my country, bloggers are not highly respected, and nope, not many fun, cute blogger activities and gathering here, either…

    Nadya
    http://thedillychic.com

  2. Avatar of matthew wong
    matthew wong says:

    Could not agree more. I don’t like using the word “blogger” for all the same reasons.

    Matthew

  3. Jason says:

    I totally agree, although the word ‘blogger’ is exactly what we are I feel it somewhat devalues our expression of writing & arts etc. For example, I’m sure someone who ‘blogged’ poems would rather be called a ‘poet’ than a ‘blogger’. It seems to put us all in one social category rather than acknowledging us individually & how we’re representing ourselves rather than representing a part of the internet!
    I loved the post!
    http://jaey-jaey.blogspot.co.uk/

  4. Avatar of Jason
    Jason says:

    I totally agree, although the word ‘blogger’ is exactly what we are I feel it somewhat devalues our expression of writing & arts etc. For example, I’m sure someone who ‘blogged’ poems would rather be called a ‘poet’ than a ‘blogger’. It seems to put us all in one social category rather than acknowledging us individually & how we’re representing ourselves rather than representing a part of the internet!

    http://jaey-jaey.blogspot.co.uk/

  5. I completely 100% agree with everything you said in this post. While blogging is not my primary source of income and is not my full-time profession, I consider myself a blogger and think of what I do as more than simply “taking pictures of myself and getting free stuff.” It is my creative outlet, my work release, my piece of the world. Telling family and friends that I am a blogger almost always elicits a “aww, that’s cute” response, which, I agree, is beyond frustrating.

    If you come up with a noun please let me know! The creativity, hard work, and true love that we put into our corners of the internet deserved to be recognized in a real way, and with positive association.

  6. Avatar of Incognito
    Incognito says:

    Well I never asked myself the question before of if I liked or not being called a blogger.
    I think I actually don’t care but my interest was piqued when you said that we should have a proper name, and on this point, eventhough it must sounds strange because of what I said before, I can’t agree more with you. There are such diverse type of blogs and even in the category of fashion blogs they are so many different kinds that you should have a name for each of them.
    I think we won’t find any consensus until blogging really becomes considered because it does differ according to the place you live. In the USA, bloggers are considered real entrepreneurs whereas in the rest of the world it is somehow a very blurred category. Bloggers who can do it full-time are less common in other areas of the world.
    Being French and living in Italy allowed me to find about that, that is also why I decided to ALSO blog in english, to give me more opportunities, since in my country and in Italy we are not yet considered “serious” enough.

    The article was very interesting, thank you for writing it.

    Shug Avery of Incognito

    http://www.thinkincognito-eng.blogspot.com

  7. I agree. When people ask what I do I tell them about my day job and then say that I run a small fashion/DIY website on the side.

  8. Absolutely agree! I literally had this conversation with some fellow ‘bloggers’ a few days ago! A friend told me she would consider me ‘more than a blogger’ if I published an e-book at least. It’s always interesting I suppose to see other people’s perceptions and perspectives.

  9. Avatar of CynthiaCM
    Cynthia says:

    I use the names interchangeably. DelectablyChic! is more of a lifestyle publication, while The DelectablyChic! Closet is more of a personal style blog. Officially, I’m a writer and I run an online publication.

    http://www.delectablychic.com
    http://thecloset.delectablychic.com

  10. Yes in short! I do squirm a bit about the term ‘blogger’ because I am in a similar situation, call me a ‘professional blogger’ if you will because my blog is now a fashion website as opposed to the blogspot hobby it began with. I think there is a real calling now for some new sub-blogger categories so people can understand there are different types of bloggers and that they are all valuable in their own right.

  11. I agree that many people, (including myself!), just don’t understand what the term ‘blogger’ means. When I say ‘I’m a blogger’, I almost feel like I’m belittling myself and what I do because there is a sense for many that blogging is just a cute hobby or something that’s easy to do. I mostly just say ‘freelance writer’ now, which in a way does suit what I do better.

    Rachel x

  12. Avatar of Bisous Natasha

    She makes a valid point. Blogging has become quite competitive and serious, that unless you are doing something people can make use of ( DIYs, travel advice, etc) then you are regarded as some narcissistic being who likes taking photos of herself and wearing nice clothes, whilst being invited to free events.

    http://www.bisousnatasha.com

  13. Totally agree. There are tons of so-called “bloggers that reposting and reposting again pics from the web, and that’s the only thing they do, so in time the word “blogger” has lost it’s original meaning..
    By creating my own content, another and showing a personal point of view, calling myself a “blogger” is simply not enough..

  14. Criseida says:

    Here’s a word for everyone “Blogtrepreneur,” it certainly came to me when I was writing my bio for criseida.com as the word “blogger” wasn’t sufficient to describe what I do. (Especially after launching two blogs under my belt now, other: http://www.malandcriss.com) It’s just in the way you word things. ‘Blogtreprenuer’ is a more sophisticated way of saying, “hey guys, I’m an online blogtrepreneur and it’s ok if you don’t understand what that means, it just means I’m more fully capable of grasping the online world than you.”

  15. I agree. I’m not comfortable using that word, let alone describing myself as being one. In fact, I’ve only recently (and rather reluctantly) started to refer to my small website as a blog.

  16. Rachel says:

    I don’t mind calling myself a blogger around other bloggers, but in real life I introduce myself as a writer. I don’t see this as something because of what I feel, I just want to make my life easier based on others misconceptions. If you run an eye down my CV you’ll see I’ve written my blog, and I’ve written for a major national newspaper. So much more work, time, effort and most importantly skill has gone into my blog, but people will weigh my other work more, so that is what I present.

  17. Avatar of Lexi
    Lexi says:

    I completely understand. I just started a new job and I overheard one of my new co-workers say to my manager “I think blogs are basically just online diaries.” I was a little embarrassed, but I cut in and explained that it certainly can be used that way, but most bloggers kind of run a one-person online magazine and provide useful information, not just what they ate for lunch that day.

    Unless you use Instagram. Then it’s pictures of what you ate for lunch that day.

  18. I think the title ‘blogger’ is as vague as ‘writer.’ Anyone who writes is a writer, after all. If you get more specific, you can use your title to describe what you truly want to accomplish by blogging.

    Do you connect people with new ideas in fashion? Are you a change agent? Are you a marketer? Are you a trend forecaster?

    What is your goal for your blog? Pageviews? Converts to your style? Affiliate sales?

    I agree about your reservations about being called a blogger. A blog is just the tool that we use. 10 years from now, there will be something different.

    Kathleen
    http://thatsaprettyhat.blogspot.com

  19. Avatar of Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    I totally get her, it’s difficult to say you’re a blogger, even professional blogger, to “normal” people because to them that means it’s either a hobby or you make maybe $20 off of it. No, I make in the mid 5 figures per year off my blogs on advertising alone (excluding consulting gigs I get through my blogs, and freelance writing I do for other blogs) — and even if you tell people this, they won’t believe you, so I don’t bother lol. But there’s also a thread of jealousy there…which tbh is why I actually like calling myself a blogger LOL.

    Interestingly enough, I feel similarly about calling myself a stylist. I’ve removed that from my profile as well, because every single blogger is a “stylist” these days, and a lot of SA’s are being called them too. And I doubt they have any significant tears, haven’t had any paying gigs, and most of them don’t even have portfolios. It’s become a meaningless title these days.
    http://oohlaluxe.net

  20. I completely agree that the term has lost its meaning. And I personally see a distinction between “writer” and “blogger.” Writers can have blogs, of course, but I see a difference. I think that things like photography, photo editing, web design, styling, running a business, having a degree in your field, and all the other skills that lead to you creating this original content that just happens to exist online — as opposed to just reposting others’ content on your blog — create a huge distinction and it would be great to have a title that really encompassed that. Unfortunately, to those outside of blogging, “blogger” doesn’t include all those other skills. So I go with “writer” first and if people ask where, I say “Mostly on the web. I have a day job, I freelance, and I have a blog.” Sadly “blog” and “blogger” don’t always get the respect they deserve.

  21. Avatar of Julia Dinardo

    I am reveling in all of these comments, and so thrilled, and honestly relieved, that so many of you have felt/feel the same way. I was nervous to write this and am glad to hear that you have been grappling with some of the same issues. Thank you for your two cents and suggestions – reinforcing how great and powerful the blogging truly is!! I guess the next step would be figuring out how to create more knowledge to the general public about blogs and bloggers, and possibly, someday, creating some new terms and definitions. Thank you IFB community!

  22. Frances O says:

    I am also thrilled that I am not alone in feeling this way. Great article!

  23. We should all just call ourselves independent fashion bloggers; it sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

    Ifbees <3

  24. Avatar of Dj Wilkins
    Dj Wilkins says:

    I totally agree with these article. It takes a lot of time to do what we do and (I love how you coined the term online publisher) a lot of hard work as well.

  25. Avatar of jadoreDIOR22
    jadoreDIOR22 says:

    I completely agree too. However what’s been bothering me is where we all draw the line at what makes a person a legitimate blogger.
    Sure everyone with a blog with 2 followers can say that they’re a ‘blogger’ but what REALLY defines it?
    The bottom line is, I’m scared of calling myself a blogger because on one hand someone might underrate it and think it’s some tumblr where mostly everyone just repost pictures. On the other hand, it’s disheartening to be told by a superior that your blog isn’t good enough to deserve the title of blogger.

    So, what makes a person a ‘blogger’? Is it quantitative like number of followers or amount of money the writer makes or qualitative?
    IFB please answer!
    http://primpedandprimed.blogspot.com.au/

  26. Couldn’t agree more! It’s definitely sets you apart from more of the “citizen journalists” who don’t know how to craft a good story; don’t do appropriate grammar & spell checks and realize that crediting other sources and resources is essential. I do a lot of SMM and given that I have very diverse content on my blog/site and calling myself a “content publisher & creator” allows me to include the podcasts, videos and cover a lot more territory. After 5 years of doing “12 drinks of Christmas” this was the first year that I didn’t have to query for brands or venues to participate. They all came to me.
    I know that given that I go far beyond fashion & beauty– but pop culture and the tech, financial and biz sectors.. it’s important to establish some serious credibility to get larger stories. I just scored one with a major biz that will run before the print magazines who are being pitched the same story. MY posts about this company are going to be part of the pitches to print.. and it’s not just beauty either. So it extends my brand & reach

  27. I am proud to say I’m a blogger and I’m proud to say it’s a hobby.
    I love the shocked reaction when I say “I write a fashion blog” to those that don’t know me. Perhaps the bemused expressions manifest because
    1) I’m 50+ (“too old”)
    2) my style leans towards crazy cat lady/”Advanced Style” crone.

    I have 2 paying day jobs (surface designer for underwear + digital design instructor).
    My passion project is my fine art which is REALLY the thing that needs monitizing in my life.
    There is something about putting stuff up online that I find compelling and addictive. SpyGirl, my fashion blog, currently gets most of my attention — I think it’s the fantastic community that I’ve found within the Fashion/ Style genre.
    I’m “writing” (some are mostly images) FIVE other blogs which is probably insane.

  28. J says:

    It’s a balance for me – I have friends who think I’m famous because I have 50k Facebook fans and I have to talk them off a ledge and tell them it’s really not that cool. And then I have friends who think it’s just a hobby, which is always a weird moment because I make five times what they do for a living, and even though I don’t see income as the determining factor of “success,” it’s still way more than a hobby for sure.

    I generally introduce myself as an entrepreneur or freelancer and try to change the subject if the person wants details (otherwise it takes 5 minutes to explain, and then they always ask “so how do you make money from that?” which takes another 5 minutes). I hope that either the word “blogger” is better understood by the general population soon – which is something we can all work on collectively by spreading the news to our family and friends – or that we can come up with some new vocab words to describe different kinds of bloggers and intent. I don’t like not liking the word “blogger” because I’m proud of this industry.!

  29. Kristen says:

    I agree, I feel that blogger has a negative connotation and like whoever hears it will roll their eyes at you and say “but what’s your real job?”

    Well, it’s not exactly my real job yet, but it’d be nice. I went to school for journalism and it’s a dwindling field, so I am now a freelance copywriter with Aesthete News as my baby. It’s a mix of fashion/industry news and with a little bit of my personality – I figured if I can’t find a job as a fashion writer in my city, then why not do it myself? I don’t consider it a hobby, I consider it an extension of my copywriting and treat it just as professionally.

    Blogging, to most people, is someone sitting behind they’re computer telling you all about their days and overshare Facebook-style. Unless they are in an online-based industry as well, they’re simply not going to get it.

  30. Katie says:

    I completely understand what you mean. There are so many people who don’t even understand the point of a blog.

    That being said, there are amazing bloggers that I look up to as role models and inspiration. I have respect and admiration for them and strive to be at their level. I have a few blogs and write for them because I love it. I make no money at all and balance them with my 9-5 job, among other things.

    When I tell people that I am a blogger and that I hope to become a more-than-hobby blogger, I say it with pride. You should too! Own it. Because are talented and good at what you do. Perhaps you will open a few eyes about the world of blogging in the process.

  31. Avatar of Manuela
    Manuela says:

    I’m talking about fashion now, & I think that everyone knows that the fashion bloggers have a really big impact on the fashion trends, so I am not ashamed at all to say that I am a fashion blogger as well.

    I think is all about your perception of the idea of a blogger that you project as an opinion of others about you. Is more like a self fulfilling prophecy!

  32. Lynda says:

    Funny i was having this discussion recently so thanks for starting the debate here! The word itself began in geek speak so doesn’t really roll off the tongue does it! does having a blog make you a blogger? Journalists have blogs, corporations have blogs, celebrities have blogs. Are they bloggers?
    Should blogging just be a verb rather than noun? So many questions…..

  33. Dawn says:

    I definitely feel the negative connotations that seem to be associated with the term blogger on occasion. But I don’t care. I like what I do. If anyone else doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. :)

    Dawn

  34. Sadie says:

    I am a blogger as well as a Social Media Manager, and Virtual Assistant. If I was “just” blogger still, as I was last year, I would probably come up with some fancy term to use because no matter who I spoke to, they didn’t take the term “blogger” seriously.

    I do think we’ve redefined the blogosphere and I hope people catch on to that soon! Great article.

  35. Avatar of PJ Gach
    PJ Gach says:

    As someone who was an editor for a national website and someone who’s blogging now, I feel the word “blogger” has been misused and made dirty by PR people.

    When I was working on sites, invariably I’d come into contact with PR people who used the word “blog” and “blogger” to mean someone who wasn’t serious about what they do and that their site was “cute.” Having met and worked with some amazing bloggers like Julia, who wrote this article, I know that’s not the truth.

    Bloggers work as hard if not harder than editors on sites because EVERYTHING-social media outreach, tech, contests etc. is on their shoulders. They don’t have a support team. It’s just that one person.

    I say take the word Blogger back!

    PJ
    http://www.thequeenofstyle.com/

  36. Avatar of Lapazimageing Fashion Forward

    Wow! This is so ironic because in my office today we really had a major discussion regarding this very subject. I really hate the term “Blogger” due to the fact we’re true Journalist. Many of us really take the time to research and develope each article that we publish.
    I happen to be the Editor-in-Chief at Lapazimageing Fashion Forward and I have a team that works extremely hard at making sure our content is original and right on the fashion pulse.
    With this being stated; I personally feel we all run amazing Ezines and we definitely need to be renamed.

  37. Avatar of Sofie - Little Makeup Face

    I don’t mind being called a blogger. I guess an Online Publisher since is more of a career for some people. The best description I could give to people if they ask is that I do maintain a small makeup/fashion blog on the side… for now :)

  38. Sarah says:

    I don’t usually tell people about my blog and when I do I call it a website and say its like an online magazine, because, like you said, people don’t take it seriously!! I have been wondering why I don’t like calling myself a blogger. You explained exactly why! I completely agree!

  39. The inexplicable uneasy feeling that even I get when I tell people I am a blogger, well you just put it into words. Yes Blogging is a lot of hard work and all of us here agree with it, you generate content , do your PR , marketing, manage codes and other technical stuff, you research, you check facts, you compile things, dress up for pictures, even edit them…. Yes we do a lot ! And I am sure even in this I must have missed out points.

    So yes, I hope we are treated with more respect.

    The Creative Bent

  40. Loving all of these comments — thanks so much IFB community!

  41. This is definitely an interesting topic. The name ‘blogger’ can be condescending especially when you know how hard you work and the long hours spent on each post or article. On the other hand, you can’t blame some people for not giving much respect to bloggers if all they come across are blogs filled with copying and pasting. I think there should be different subcategories to bloggers. I also like the idea of an ‘online publisher.’

  42. Julia says:

    I totally agree! We should come up with a better term and start using it throughout our community of beauty/fashion/makeup writers.

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