Is it the blogger, or the blog that matters most?

May 26, 2011

There’s always an element of risk attached to leaving something successful to go it alone. When I decided to launch this blog, I  really wanted the freedom of writing something that belonged completely to me, but obviously I also wanted people to read it.

Well I’m delighted to say that since launching in April, I’m getting page views that are comparable with what I was getting previously. Engagement is good, people are returning to read what I’ve written. Some days are better than others, but I’m not remotely bothered by that, because I no longer feel under pressure to blog. I blog what I want, when I want, and I’m very happy.

In magazines and newspapers, there’s a saying: ‘no editor is bigger than the publication.’ In other words, if an editor leaves, then sales may dip for a bit but ultimately, if the product, the brand and the USP is strong enough to survive, they’ll regain circulation pretty quickly.

In blogging, I’d say the opposite is true – and that’s because ultimately blogging is such a personal thing. I think that it’s the blogger, not the blog that matters. I can say categorically that if any of my closest blogging friends – they know who they are – or any other bloggers I read regularly were to launch new blogs, or rebrand, change their name, whatever – I would follow them to their new domain.

So what do you think – is it the blogger, or the blog that matters? I’d love to hear your views.


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  • Caroljs May 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    It’s hard to take that leap of faith and start over again I’ve done it! I was so glad regular readers came over esp as my conent is a bit different to before. I also have new readers which is lovely. I would follower a good blogger wherever they went.

    • Liz Jarvis May 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      Yes I’m glad to see regular readers – and like you new ones too. Also all my contacts and more. The leap of faith is hard but once you’ve done it you never look back x

  • Liz May 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm


    What always makes me laugh is those emails you get from companies offering to supply you with guest blog posts, totally missing the point of blogs, and as though you’d be grateful to them for supplying you with words and pix about their ridiculous products.

  • Joanne Mallon May 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I think it really depends on the blog. For 99% of parenting blogs the personality of the writer is threaded through them, and it wouldn’t work without that element. In fact I can’t think of any of the parenting blogs I’ve read that would work with somebody else writing them.

    But for a blog which is more focused on products – say a review blog, or something like British Beauty Blogger – then I think the blogger is less the focus than the blog. I do like BBB, but I read that blog for the lovely beauty products more than anything else.

    I can’t imagine anyone else writing my blog, though if I ever meet someone else who’s called Joanne and is a coach then she’s welcome to have a try!

  • Rosie Scribble May 27, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I think the blogger makes ther blog and when you engage with them personally, as you have done with so many of your readers, then they’ll follow you to wherever you end up. I agree that print media is slightly different although I’ve been following Melanie Reid’s struggles after breaking her back in the Times every Saturday. On the weeks she was away I didn’t by the paper.

    • Liz May 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      I’m the same – if a columnist I follow is away I tend not to read their substitute.

  • Lucy May 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    It’s the blogger. Once I’ve visited a blog a couple of times, it doesn’t matter how pretty or clever the visuals are, I just want to read it and hear the author’s ‘voice’.

    • Liz Jarvis May 26, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      I agree – I like to feel that the blog I’m reading is true to the blogger.

  • Scottish Mum May 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    For me, its usually about the story first to get me to read them, then the blogger opinion takes over, as I get to know their content.

    I return to blogs of people that I have liked, either on their blog, or on twitter.

    • Liz Jarvis May 26, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      Yes – I think if you don’t like someone, you tend to avoid their blogs.

  • HerMelness Speaks May 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I follow the blogger and their voice – which has to be coherent and articulate. That being the case, and as Janis said, I tend to keep with people I enjoy reading because of their writing but might take pause if they started blogging about tractors! HMSx

    • Liz Jarvis May 26, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      *makes note to delete combine harvester post*

  • Janis from May 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    A bit of both, I think. If you’re a great writer with a particular style, you’ll no doubt appeal to a certain audience no matter what you write about, and you’ll build up a relationship that is based more around your personality and style than the content. As long as you don’t stray too far from the initial *type* of blog (i.e. as long as you don’t go from writing about parenting to writing about how to fix motorcycles) you’ll likely have a core audience who will follow you to the ends of the earth. In the same way I buy every book David Sedaris writes regardless of the title.

    That said though, if the initial blog was based around good, solid content then it should be possible to gradually move over to a different voice. I think it has more chance of success, though, if there is a gradual introduction to the new voice(s) and if the blog posts are set around a few core themes rather than musings on the day’s events.

    So what will happen in your case? I think the blogging community knows you and loves you well enough to follow you here, and you’ll also be able to welcome a new audience who may prefer your new, softer look.
    The blog you left will no doubt suffer for a while because the blog was based around your personal thoughts, views and feelings rather than a core theme.

    • Liz Jarvis May 26, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      Well it’s nice to know I’m loved!

  • Melinda Hewitt May 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I feel it is a mixture of both, but initially probably the blog, you read and are interested, you then return and become familiar with the blogger. They are then the reason you return to read more of what they write.

    • Liz Jarvis May 26, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      Yes totally – as you build a relationship with them. That’s what I love about blogging, it’s completely unique and very different from journalism, where of course although you’re writing for readers you don’t have the opportunity to engage with each and every one of them.

  • Tania @ Larger Family Life May 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I think that the blogger makes the blog. People will read and return if they like the blogger’s voice, style and are interested in the subject.

    However, if a blogger decided to rebrand and refashion themselves with a new voice and a completely new blog subject then would their readers still remain loyal.

    A blogger can blog behind any name, any design and any platform and still get the readers as long as they remain true to themselves and their own style. When they try to become something they are not is when they’ll start losing.

    • Liz Jarvis May 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      I think that’s exactly it actually – as long as you’re always true to yourself, and blog in your own voice, then you’ll keep your following.

  • Michelloui | The American Resident May 26, 2011 at 10:03 am

    As Nicky said, it’s a mixture of both. Without a well designed, attractive, easy to navigate blog a writer’s talents and personality are difficult to find. But without talent and interesting personality no blog, no matter how lovely to look at and click through will hold an audience.

    And when I say talent I am not meaning anything out of this world, I simply mean a talent for story telling or writing well, or humorous writing, or whatever. Or photography or craft talent. Whatever it is.

    • Liz Jarvis May 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      Yes – I know personally I sometimes read blogs that aren’t particularly well designed simply because of the quality of the writing.

  • Deb @ Aspergers family life and me May 26, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Hi, found your post via twitter. A great post that has got me thinking. I think I read blogs primarily for a good interesting read but then if I get to know a blogger Im also likely to support their work (time permitting). I think a blogger can come through what they write so if they write with a personal touch then I am more likely to engage and return. So for me it is a bit of both.

    • Liz Jarvis May 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      I’m definitely more interested in blogs that have a personal touch – I tend to ignore the ones that don’t.

  • Nickie May 26, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I do think it’s a mixture of both. If the blog has a niche subject matter then it could be hard to breakaway or branch out but if a writer/author was to move on or try something new, and I like what they’d done in the past, I would (and have) follow them and keep reading.

    I think that’s part of a supportive community, isn’t it? I think we’re lucky that we have people to help us promote our new ventures and reach out into new audiences through their recommendation as well as using our own reputation.

    • Liz Jarvis May 26, 2011 at 8:37 pm

      Yes I do feel very lucky to be part of such a supportive community.

  • Crystal Jigsaw May 26, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Great post and very thought-provoking question. I think it’s a bit of both personally. I read some blogs because I simply like the blogger even though they aren’t particularly exciting or well-written. But I also read many blogs because I love the content they publish. I think I’d be inclined to say the blogger if I was really pushed, but I do read a lot of blogs that I find offer useful information.

    CJ xx

    • Liz Jarvis May 26, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      I agree, I definitely click on some blogs simply because they’ve tweeted a post I find interesting; but I know there are certain blogs that I will click on simply because I know/like the blogger and their writing…