I was reading a blog a couple of days ago that linked to “Blogging Expert” Shel Israel. The blogger waxed lyrical about how much experience he has and how you should add him to your feed reader.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of the guy.
But that doesn’t question is authority – hell if I ever need neurosurgery I’m not going to shoo away some doctor because I’ve never heard of him, it just made me think about “experts”.
And with good reason, as I’ve been called a blogging expert. I get called it probably once a week.
Not by any bloggers though, oh no. Through my job I install, manage and upgrade countless WordPress blogs. A couple of times the phone gets thrusted into my hand as “you’re the bloggy expert”. But that’s because I am ratehr knowledgeable at WordPress.
Though, have I made a fortune or been famous? Not really. So in a lot of bloggers eyes I’m not an expert. I’ve looked at a few bloggers to see if they are experts or not.
Han could be considered an expert blogger because she’s blogged for nearly a decade and has an account on almost every web 2.0 startup under the sun.
Darren Rowse could be considered an expert blogger because he’s made fortune off a number of blogs
Chris Garrett could be considered an expert blogger as he blogs on a number of blogs and has raised his profile sky high.
Belle De Jour could be considered an expert blogger as she got a TV show starring Billie Piper as a result her blog.
Diamond Geezer could be considered an expert blogger for the pure and simple reason that no other blog has as much deep and quality content as this one.
Jem could be considered an expert blogger because she built her own platform from scratch.
Girl With A One Track Mind could be considered an expert blogger as she released a best selling book from her blog
John Cow could be considered an expert blogger as he has turned a blog into a successful saleable blog in under a year
Vic could be considered an expert blogger as he gives tips on blogging and critiques the blogosphere in a way that’s refreshing and well worth reading. And he manages to keep up with 10 times the amount of comments I do.
I could be considered an exper blogger because not only have I installed WordPress more times than I’ve had cheese cake, I’ve been blogging for six years.
And finally the New Owner of One Man’s Goal has…wait…maybe not him.
So which of the above are experts in my eyes? Well all of them and none of them. Truth be told anybody who has ran a blog for six months at least probably knows all they need to do. Sure, some of the above blogs up there are money makers, other have achieved some sembiance of fame, others have just had longevity.
But are they good blogs?
I’m not so sure – it’s tricky to define a good blog. If you go on the fact that a bad blog would be a spammy blog or a blog that repeats itself. Each of the above has none (or very little) of the above. So therefore they are all good blogs.
And yet, each one is lacking in their own way, some are great marketers but not great writers, some are great writers but not great photographers, others are lacking charisma (such as this blog), others can’t web design, or program, or SEO their way out of their wet paper. Not that there’s anything wrong in that, it’s just that in my eyes, to truly call somebody a “blogging expert”, you need to have all of these.
These things in my eyes cannot be taught, or taught to a certain extend, but you don’t need all of them to be a good blogger. I guess that’s why I’ve unsubscribed from a lot of blogs recently, I’ll be honest, I’m more interested in how Fern’s baby developing or Kristoff’s time on his own or how many New Zealanders Guy’s shagging than on how I can make my Twitter 50% more efficient by using less vowels.
However, does that make me any less of a Blogging Expert than somebody who does blog about it? Of course not. Does it make me more of a Blogging Expert? No. So therefore – as long as you know your way around WordPress or Blogger, and don’t regurgitate other blogs but with your affiliate links, then you are a blogging expert, just like me, just like your favourite blogger, just like some schmo on the BBC News who talks about blogs.
So, I’m throwing it out to you: what makes a blogging expert? And what makes a blogging newbie?