Authorship and the Invisible Blogger: Should you find your audience, or let your audience find you?

bloggingThe web cares about CONTENT, not necessarily authors and in our frenzy to write and distribute content, we may be creating more and more work only to become less andless 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 I thought this topic would make an extraordinary Post … 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?

Truth is, I think a lot of individual bloggers are seeing their traffic go down. I don’t think blogs are dead. Bloggers, on the other hand, might be an endangered species. Frequency is killing it on the web right now, and most of the successful site owners I know are publishing content at least once per day, and often more. To do this, they employ guest posters. I am one, for a couple of these sites, and I certainly do not disparage them. But the identity (and that’s more than just the avatar) of the author is not exactly prominent on these winning sites. It’s the content, content, content–which is, of course, what the audiences for these sites want. And I am not making a quality vs. quantity argument, necessarily. The few sites I do write for do an extraordinary job with both, which is why I contribute.

What I’ve noticed about my writing on these sites, however, is that the number of people who read my “content” is higher than the traffic on my own site, but I do not get comments proportional to that increase in traffic. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s the “velocity” of content today. Maybe it’s the fact that my writing is a touch less personal on these sites. Maybe “community” is inversely proportional to the number of unique visitors. Maybe people just comment less. Maybe my writing sucks more than it used to.

Authorship matters to me, I’ve realized, and the more “my content” is spread, the more diluted that authorship becomes, and I am at least partly to blame for that. Does “authorship” matter to you? Or am I just a “content dinosaur?”

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