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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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What's a Celebrity/Popular Blogger? - The Discussion You've All Been Waiting For

In case you missed it (and a good thing you did) last week, the book blogging community has been coiled up with tension in regards to Project #BloggerConfessions, created by Nick and Neredya over at Nick and Neredya's Infinite Book Shelf.

Which, to be honest, I agree with some of their confessions and sympathize with them here and there (in fact, I came up with one or two myself that weren't on the post, but are on Twitter), but there were a few confessions that actually hit a really sore spot. And as some bloggers have mentioned, this project has definitely created tension among us and revealed who some of us are really like in times of bitterness.
But first, before I get into the real intention of this post, I'll admit that while some confessions hit a sore spot, actually posting those confessions takes a LOT of bravery, and Nick and Neredya did make a post to make clarifications on their project. This post is also in no way related to Project #BloggerConfessions, and it should not be viewed as a retaliation or contradiction to their post. This is simply a post showing my perceptions and thoughts on what a celebrity/popular blogger is.

But one thing still resonates.
  • Celebrity bloggers? What the fudge is a celebrity blogger? And I quote Cuddlebuggery, "Where can I find these magical unicorns?" (So I can seek their knowledge and wisdom and have an epiphany. Maybe I'll go kiss their boots, too. -_-)
Which ultimately leads to this whole celebrity bloggers thingamajig. I'm quite aware this might bring drama in and of itself (or it'll have a lot of support by the end).
Anyways....

Obviously I am not popular. Obviously I should not be writing this post. Obviously I should not be speaking my mind on what I think a celebrity blogger is because obviously this might just end up as controversial and will obviously result in some retaliation. And if I'm lucky, maybe I'll become famous out of this. *makes a face and carries on her usual blogging ways* (I'll have you know I'm feeling a little bitter and sarcastic in writing this post.)
But the entire time this whole thing was going down, I got approached by a former teacher earlier this month (is it wrong to keep in contact with former teachers, too?) about blogging, how it works, how to get started, etc. I'm sorry I had to pull in a former teacher in this fashion, but Project #BloggerConfessions kind of pulled this into the light and sort of supports my hopefully insightful little rant going on here, which is apparently the longest discussion post I've ever made in my blogging career.
One of the questions I got was, "What is Professional Blogging?" And after doing some research on the definition of what Professional Blogging is, I came up with virtually nothing and ended up writing a long paragraph about the commonly accepted attributes of what a "professional" blogger is.

And from what I've seen on what others think of "celebrity" bloggers, some of the attributes are actually the same as "professional" bloggers. Here is what I came up with in my research about professional bloggers:
  1. They have expertise, background knowledge, and a passion for what they blog about.
  2. They spend a lot of time dedicated to that topic – on and maybe off the Internet as well.
  3. They interact in the community and they're active. They're seen as influential in their communities.
  4. They come up with creative ideas, or take former ideas and give those ideas a new spin that makes it uniquely theirs.
  5. They have a large fan base or readership and they have a lot of engagement.
  6. They blog consistently and have been doing so for awhile.
And finally... they typically make a living out of it. But let's keep that whole making a living out of blogging out of this book blogging business, eh? (Because most bloggers get money out of advertisements, which typically sponsors giveaways.)

Do those attributes sound like celebrity bloggers? Absolutely.

But let's take a few examples from some of the "big name" bloggers that most of us, if not all of us, have heard appear in some way, shape, or form (there's more than this list). And if you're named, then I apologize for any offense taken.
Those are just some of the people I could name off the top of my head who most of us look up to in the blogging world. Who, in fact, most of us actually follow in some way, shape, or form, and probably regarded as part of the "big league" bloggers in the book blogging community. And if you're friends with them or they follow you, way to go! Progress is finally being made. Am I right or am I right?

All of them match up to "professional" bloggers. But let's look at some of those attributes again and compare "professional" bloggers to us "lowly" bloggers finding our footing in the world.
  • We all have a passion for reading. Reading the book gives us "expertise" and "background knowledge" on the books to write a review for the book.
  • We spend a lot of time blogging and reading and promoting those books. In fact, some of us actually aspire to work with books because of blogging.
  • We interact in the community – with other bloggers, authors, publishers, etc. Going to BEA or ALAMW.
  • We come up with ideas that may or may not already exist.
  • We blog consistently and have been doing so for years, or plan to. No problem if we're not, right? I mean, life is more important, which is why I'm totally okay with Lupe and Ella vanishing off in the abyss of life and posting a few times a month. In fact, Lupe doesn't really post reviews and primarily focuses on Fangirl Friday. Ella focuses more on reviews. I'm everywhere. And that's okay.
  • We don't necessarily have huge pageviews or fanbases or readership or engagement. Yet we find these important to our worth in some way, shape, or form, even just a little bit.
Basically, any of us can consider ourselves professional bloggers simply because professionals dedicate lots and lots of time. But... celebrity seems to be an entirely different level of WOW.
Let's take a look at me here at Bookwyrming Thoughts. I have a passion for reading, spend a lot of time blogging (which my mother doesn't like), aspire to work with books in the future, interact in the community, come up with ideas that may or may not already exist (part of the mastermind behind Novel Newcomers), blog consistently, and have over three years of blogging under my belt with four years this coming November.

I have approximately 7000-10000 pageviews per month, 272000 total pageviews, 4000 followers on Twitter, 670 followers on Facebook, 105 followers on Tumblr, 320 followers on Pinterest, 28 followers on NetworkedBlogs, 40 email and feed subscribers, 270 Bloglovin followers, and 390 followers on GFC.

And yes, I just ratted out my statistics, rounded, because I am obviously too lazy to go check my actual statistics when I'm on a roll here.

Do I have a large fan base or readership? Well... probably, if you count all the people who are silent and engage on here every so often. And if you just want to focus on my Twitter followers, that's almost the same amount of, if not more, followers some of the "big name" bloggers have. Which means, I should be famous, right?

Would I be considered a celebrity blogger? Maybe to some people, but I don't consider myself to be popular enough to be considered a celebrity blogger. I think I just wing blogging and go from there, even if I schedule more posts than Lupe and Ella put together. (Not that we care.)

Am I perfect blogger? Absolutely not. In fact, I talked with Lupe once about creating something called Blogger Bloopers, where I confess my [silly] mistakes I've committed throughout my blogging career just for poops and giggles and hopefully to reassure all bloggers out there that bloggers aren't perfect. We're all human. We make mistakes.

Here's another thing that's in common in our views (from what I've read) on what a celebrity blogger is: All of those bloggers are adults. They're college age and beyond. Which means as soon as I step in the doors of the university I'm going to this fall, that means I'm a celebrity blogger! Oh, joy! Happy dance ensues!
Yeah... no.

But let's bring in some of the ones I consider "celebrities," minus the ones already mentioned (again, no offense if you're named):
Some of these bloggers you might not even have heard of them until now. Some you might have heard or know about. Some are actually teenagers or, like me, started out as teenagers. Some of you might not have heard of me, or maybe you do know about me, or heard about me.

I wasn't aware I was floating from ear to ear.

But I look up to them, even if I just read or skim through their posts because I don't have time to comment on their blogs. Heck, I don't even have time to reply back to comments on my own blog, which commonly grates on Roberta's nerves, but she'll have to suck it up like a proper buttercup. (I'm serious. I take months to get back to bloggers, which makes me feel really bad.)
So... what's in common with the "big league" bloggers, the ones I consider "celebrities," and me?

We all have someone looking up to us. We influence maybe one or two – maybe even hundreds and thousands of other bloggers out there. We don't have verified Twitter accounts. None of us do, honestly, and if you do, hats off to you. Tell me your ways.

Which brings us back to the question: what, precisely, is a celebrity blogger?

My answer, and my perspective, is this: A celebrity blogger is someone you look up to and varies from person to person and blogger to blogger. It is someone who you look up to, inspires you, and encourages you. Basically, they're an idol of sorts.

Not a strong definition or an exact, but a definition nonetheless.

And maybe you just got started in blogging, but does it really matter? Not really. All of us, ones we all look up to, the ones I look up to, and the ones who look up to me, started out somewhere and went from there. We never knew we were going to be "famous" when we started blogging.

In fact, I never really knew I would continue to blog for more than a year, that book blogging would inspire me to work with books in the future, that I would write about book blogging as my college essay, or that I would ultimately bring in other forms of entertainment aside from young adult literature.

But here's the thing: One day, you'll be an inspiration to someone else, and you might not even know about it. Does that make you famous? Perhaps not to the entire community as a whole, but certainly to a few people. And most of all, what's really important is how those people, even if it's a minuscule amount, can make all the difference in the world to you. When you decide to take a step back for awhile to take a breather, they'll still be around to welcome you back with open arms.
So answer me this: Who do you look up to in the blogging world? Who inspires you? What do you perceive as a celebrity blogger?

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Sophia

Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.