Bloggers Are Leaders Because…

Since today is the beginning of Black History Month, and I’m sharing a picture of Frederick Douglass, I’d like to share this with you… but I’ll be coming back to Douglass later on.

Drederick Fouglassssss

chriswatkins via Compfight

One of my biggest commenters on this blog, who I call Uttam, wrote me an email asking me some questions about blogging when he was starting out. Believe it or not, I don’t get a lot of email asking me questions like this, even though I always offer to answer questions, whether it’s on this blog or a question here and there via email. When I sent him my response he asked if he could put it on his blog; this is the link to that post which he titled Most Common Questions Of A Newbie.

Some of you know that my main career is as a health care finance consultant. My secondary career isn’t actually blogging, but the topic of leadership. I’ve written two books on the subject, the first of which is over there to the left, and it’s the main subject of my business blog, Mitch’s Blog. Based on my knowledge and dedication to the subject, as well as how long I’ve been in leadership, I like to think I know a little bit about it.

I started thinking that a majority of bloggers are actually pretty good at leadership… at least in their own way. Some have large followings, some small. Some are niche; some are all over the place. Yet, there are a lot of bloggers who, even if they have an ulterior motive (money, influence, consulting etc), are in the long run trying to help people do whatever it is they’re writing about.

For instance, my friend Adrienne Smith changed the tenor of her blog this year. She’s writing more direct posts with the intention of helping others to be monetarily successful at blogging. Her first post of the year started that trend, How to Improve Your Blog With This 90 Day Plan. That’s taking the lead at the beginning of the year and her writing has continued working towards that theme. Sure, she’s doing it for business, but what leader doesn’t have a secondary goal of financial independence in this world?

Recently I discovered a young lady (yeah, I’ve reached the age where I’m calling people “young lady” and “young man”; sigh… lol) named Kim George who also writes about blogging and has some fascinating articles that are aimed at helping people become better business bloggers. One of her recent posts was titled 15 Ways to Get Serious About Small Business Blogging, which I thought would be a nice compliment to a post I wrote titled First Seven Steps To Small Business Blogging. Take a look at it and tell me you don’t think it’s very helpful; I dare you. πŸ™‚

You may ask “why is Mitch talking about leadership and blogging”? I’m talking about it because last week I came across another article asking Is Blogging Dead where the writer asked two big name bloggers that question. Both said no, but one of them, Mark Schaefer said these two things:

for most people it’s becoming harder to maintain their audience and community

blogging is not dead, although it’s different and is probably less important than it was a few years ago… blogging will continue to evolve with innovations and ways to connect to people with long-form content

That’s kind of scary isn’t it? Well, yes and no. The good part is that blogging isn’t going away any time soon; the bad part might be that it’s harder to connect with others these days, for multiple reasons. These include:

* more bloggers and blogs
* more large blog communities
* fewer people commenting or sharing links
* more places for people to get their information from on social media
* video, podcasts, new communication platforms

Goodness; that’s quite a list of competition isn’t it? It’s one of the reasons I wrote the post telling people to try something different on your blog last week. I caution that there are so many people writing and saying the same thing that we all need something that helps us stand out from the crowd some way. It’s one of the reasons I have two video channels, so I can offer advice on some of these same types of subjects in different ways, like this video I did talking about creating products by talking about cookies (one of my favorite subjects lol):

A quick sidebar. I add the link after the video because some people subscribe to this blog by email and not only can’t they view the videos there but if I don’t add a link they don’t know where to go; see, I’m teaching again. πŸ™‚

Leaders innovate. Leaders educate. Leaders stimulate the minds of others. If you blog you’re probably some type of leader. Embrace that, use that to help stimulate your mind to write more, write better, rinse and repeat. Oh yeah; share others content, either via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, other social media or… lo and behold, your own blogs!

Why? Because leaders also embrace the thoughts and beliefs of others, take in what makes them stronger, and then helps others learn some of those extras they might not have shared before. That’s what Frederick Douglass did with Abraham Lincoln (see #2); that’s what bloggers do for others (I bet you didn’t think I would come back to Douglass did you?).

Be proud of yourselves. You’re bloggers… you’re leaders… you’re the best! πŸ˜€

23 thoughts on “Bloggers Are Leaders Because…”

  1. I don’t necessarily think of myself as a leader per se. That’s for others to determine.

    Having said that, I believe leaders are learners. I seek to learn something new each day.

    When I write I research, become inspired and learn.

    1. Steve, you might not see yourself as a leader but trust me you are. I’m betting that others see you as a leader when you work with them, and a lot of what you write is in essence leader-speak. Just embrace the word, drop the mic and get on with life. πŸ™‚

  2. Hello there Mitch! Wowza I am sooo honored to be featured in this post alongside some additional awesome folks like Adrienne and others.

    I am ao grateful and humbled that my words inspire and serve others in this space.

    Loved your quote from Mark Schafers blog too. That was an excellent read on Marks behalf. The one thing that I would like to add is that I dont believe that blogging is in any way in danger just yet of becoming Just a popularity contest. There are a ton of bloggers like yourself and others that are really offering a lot of value to their readers…these are the folks that I will continue to support.

    Wishing you a grand week! Cheers

    1. Glad to feature your blog Kim, and I think it’s very helpful and a great read for a lot of people. No, blogging’s not going anywhere, but it is a much different field than it used to be. Lead the way! πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you. It is rather difficult to be a leader and among the best when ennui beckons, what with other social media distractions.

    1. Rummuser, it is in those times when true leadership shows up and shows the way. True, there are lots of distractions, but we always comes back to our core.

  4. Dang Mitch, do you ever stop? Do you ever get tired?

    I was just telling my Web guru about how prolific of writer you are. I’ve known you now for almost 12 years and you’ve ALWAYS delivered quality.

    Thanks for your leadership.

  5. Hey Mitch,

    Well thank you for the mention and I also for the longest time didn’t look at myself as a leader either. But what I finally grasped about that term is that anyone who is teaching is a leader. We’re just a take charge kind of person and you can definitely say that about me.

    I have definitely changed directions hoping to connect more with my target audience and it seems to be working pretty well so I’m happy. Although I do still love to help people as much as I can, we’ve all got to eat. πŸ˜‰

    As you know from my post yesterday, I had referenced the post Mark wrote about blogging being dead. I can see his point due to how some people spend all their time on social media and the way that’s changes so they don’t really want those on their sites to leave to come to ours. They’re changing things which will affect us as time goes by but for now we do what we can right!

    I have read Kim’s post too by the way, we recently met as well and had the best Skype chat too. She’s a wonderful person and is going places online too.

    Thanks again for the mention and sharing your thoughts with us. I’m glad you helped Uttam as well and I’m pretty sure he’s pretty grateful too!

    Enjoy your week.


    1. Adrienne, I’m just glad that my post was written before I ever saw yours; one of these days people are going to think we’re plagiarizing off each other. lol

      So many people try to run away from the “leader” tag like they run away from the “expert” tag. Too much emphasis is placed on words like these, and I don’t think it’s something to be scared of if someone else determines that’s what you are in their eyes. It’s kind of like the advice I give women who cringe when someone tells them they’re good looking, or something else like it… just say “thank you” and move on with life. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Mitch Sir, I love your all blog posts and how you are always out there helping peoples. But I’m not running a business or starting a company. I like being an employee. What should I do to become more of a thought leader in my space? Where do I start?”

    1. Uttam, the issue isn’t whether you’re an employee or not; it’s whether you want to “just” be an employee or someone who’s at the top of your game, to the extent that other people come to you and ask you how you did it or learned it or whatever. As far as your becoming a thought leader… you have to start by “thinking”, about what you do, what you’re good at, what you’d like to share with others. That’s where it all begins; after that, your path opens up and you decide whether you’re willing to take it or not.

  7. Hey Mitch, I reckon early in in my blogging career I did a bit of innovating. You may remember when they had the old ‘nofollow movement and I came up with the β€œYou Comment And I Will Comment On Your Blog” movement. Not many people actually joined it on my blog but I did notice that a lot of people actually followed the concept and are still doing it today. πŸ˜‰

    1. I do remember those days Peter. I wouldn’t totally commit to it because I found a lot of blogs had content on them that I just couldn’t figure out what to say, especially poetry. lol I did visit though, and I keep that one up even now.

  8. Hi Mitch

    I observed whenever I visit your blog and read your latest post I get to know more about you as in this post you mentioned your main profession and also the secondary one. Glad to know about it.

    I also appreciate the idea of compiling your replies of the queries which newbies usually asked and it shows your prowess in this field to guide them in such an impressive way.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about blogging and leadership.

    Have a great rest of the week

    1. Thanks Mi. When all is said and done, I believe that when we try to help others we exhibit leadership qualities, and hopefully more people will embrace that concept because I think it centers us and helps guide us through whatever else we do.

  9. Hi Mitch,

    I want a cookie!!! I love the analogy you have given in your video. It is so true. I’ve seen this many years ago in my offline business as well as now with my online business.

    If something is worth almost a thousand bucks, one can get the same or even better information for far less money. Just because something is priced high doesn’t mean it is better. This goes for our computers and phones too.

    I do believe that we all are leaders in our own special way. As long as we have experience in something, it worked well, and we can share it with others yes….we can put a price on it. Well…it all depends. I know for my one to one’s my price is high, but I do have an array of price points for just about anyone.

    Before we get out there and “teach” we do need to know a thing or two lol but also I deem it is important to listen to our clients/customers. Always keep an ear out and give them what they want.

    Now..I’m off to the Dollar Tree to get some of those cookies!


    1. LOL! You’re killing me Donna, but those cookies are fabulous! πŸ™‚

      I like to think that everyone can be a leader, even if not a great one; I’ll shoot for good, which is why I do what I do in that arena. What I really want is for more people to see themselves as a leader instead of a manager, director, “boss” (a term I hate) or follower/employee. When people see themselves in a different light they carry themselves differently, act differently and accept that their words and actions impact others, which means they act better. Most of our politicians need to learn these lessons. And wouldn’t it be nice if more bloggers saw themselves like this?

  10. Hey Mitch, try this on for size.

    Bloggers need to reposition themselves (rebrand, if you will). The term itself polarizes between content mills and “Those people” trying to make money online.

    In my field, I read several articles everyday. I never come away from them feeling like I just spent my time reading another me-too post: these folks are experts in the business; they teach, they sell products and their articles just happen to be published on WordPress.

    It may sound like a petty distinction, but if the focus is on getting readers, followers and clicks, then it won’t be on content. If the focus is on content, it WILL get discovered, shared and elevated.

    Whether you call yourself a blogger is not important: it’s how you put the content out that will distinguish you from the crowded playing field.

    In that regard, you are a true leader. You give us juicy stuff to read, opinions to mull and a platform on which we can respond with our own thoughts.



    1. Thanks Mitch, and I wholeheartedly agree with the rebranding thought. I’ve never called myself a blogger, even though I have multiple blogs. I’m just someone who happens to blog; I’d rather be known as a leader or consultant or writer or that guy who always seems to go against the grain but is still kind of nice. πŸ™‚ Sure, I want lots of readers and visitors, but it’s about the writing first; that’s always been the most important thing to me.

  11. Hello from Thailand Mitch,

    This is my very first visit to your place and I arrived here via our mutual friend, Adrieene Smith.

    Whilst commenting on her latest post I noticed you comment about how much you “value the relationships you can make with other people” and that really grabbed my attention.

    See not only are you a leader but also an inspirational one at that.

    People who deeply value the relationships they generate and develop to me are showing the ultimate aspect of leadership – self belief and commitment.

    As a relatively new blogger I truly value the connections I continue to make online via my blogging and blog commenting.

    This is my way of building my reputation as well as expanding my knowledge, my understanding and my skills.

    Then as a leader of my own little blog tribe (community), I can implement what I am always learning and then share these experiences.

    If that’s a form of leadership then I’ll accept the title!

    Thanks for sharing your expertise and experience Mitch – it was truly appreciated.

    Best wishes from a remote Thai village blog leader


    1. Howdy, and welcome Peter! Glad to be able to thank Adrienne for your visiting.

      I think leadership comes in many forms. Some folks are scared of the mantle because they’re scared of the responsibility. I figure that every single day, if we leave the house, that leadership is seconds away from being something we’ll have to decide whether or not to embrace, especially if we encounter other people. If that’s the case almost all the time, then why not take ownership of it and become the leader?

      I’ve always felt responsible for my blogs and what I put on them. I know that there’s the possibility that I might impact someone’s life either positively or negatively. Initially I write for myself, but when all is said and done I realize that there’s a certain way I want to do it. By thinking of myself as a leader and using what I consider as good leadership principles, I never worry that I’m straying too far from my ethical and moral base.

      Even when I’m talking about cookies! πŸ™‚

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