There’s no question that blogging can present you as an expert. Blogging can raise your profile significantly. And it’s not hard to do.
The common belief is that blogging makes people far more accessible than they were before; bloggers are out there, promoting themselves and their ideas, and hopefully giving their audience plenty of opportunity to get in touch.
But I also know that many people do feel apprehensive about contacting bloggers, particularly very popular ones. They see a person who speaks their mind, is an uber-expert and has a big audience. They see a star. They see an A-lister. They see someone who is obviously very successful and wouldn’t want to communicate with little ole me, right?
Bloggers need to be aware of this. Some definitely are. Liz Strauss does an insanely good job of being open and available. Anyone visiting her blog can tell it’s very popular. Scour the blogosphere for even a few minutes and you’re bound to find Liz Strauss somewhere. But she’s the farthest thing from unreachable that you can imagine.
I can’t speak for Liz directly, but I bet she’d tell you she’s very aware of people’s apprehension when it comes to contacting popular bloggers.
Some popular bloggers play up their popularity by acting or coming across like movie stars. They’re not. They’re not untouchable. And that attitude of superiority will come to haunt them later. I’d say this is rare, but it’s out there. Clique-mentality exists in the blogosphere, but it sucks. It’s bad business.
Popular bloggers look more successful than they really might be.
I’m not insulting anyone, but just because someone has a popular blog doesn’t mean they’re incredibly successful. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to talk to you. It doesn’t mean they don’t NEED your business.
Used properly, blog popularity can be a great thing! Those who work hard to grow their blogs will look like authorities and have an eager audience. If they’re accessible too, it’s a winning combination!
A quick anecdote – some people consider my blog successful (thank you!) When I was running Blog About 5 Things Week, I checked out a participant’s blog and saw that he had Google AdSense ads in the middle of his posts. I emailed him and asked him if he found those ads successful. He replied (paraphrasing), “I’m surprised you would be asking me! Your blog is great, and I just started. I was just copying another popular blog I saw.” Flattering as that was, it made me realize that some people might be hesitant to get in touch with me; and I’m no A-lister. Imagine how people feel about communicating with the most popular bloggers!