why I hate the b-word

blogging jokeThere is a funny thing that happens to me when asked by random people about what I do for a living. I lie. I lie because I hate telling people that I’m a blogger.

Depending on my mood (or how many glasses of wine I’ve had) the lies can get rather extravagant. One time I told my airplane seat buddy (who I suspected was hitting on me despite my ring) that I study the hyperfine structure of the molybdenum atom. He didn’t talk to me anymore after that.

When I do tell someone that I blog it generally goes like this:

“I am a blogger.”

“What do you mean ‘you’re a blogger’?”

“Like, I run a website in the form of a blog.”

“What do you blog about?”

“Weddings.”blogger joke

“What about weddings?”

“Inspiration boards.”

“Inspi-whatty-who?”

“Nevermind. I’m actually CIA so I’m going to have to stop this conversation now.”

There’s just something about the words blog and blogger that sound so juvenile and they don’t in any way encompass what blogs are now. We are so much more than that! We are entrepreneurs. We are creatives. We work LONG hours. We are website designers, and marketers, and writers, and purveyors of all things beautiful. We have accountants. We are incorporated!

We definitely don’t fit the original definition of a blog or blogger anymore.

What got me thinking about this (aside from my husband remarking on my inability to admit to my job in social settings) is a story that not one, but many of my ‘blogger’ friends have told me.

blogging humor The story is nearly identical every time: they publish a wedding that a photographer has submitted, that the photographer has signed model release forms for, a wedding that the photographer was clear with the couple about promoting through publishing…and once the post is up the couple demands to have the wedding removed because they don’t want their images splashed ‘all over the internet on some blog.’

Here’s what irks me about that: even though the traffic received by many wedding blogs rivals or exceeds that of print magazines – a lot of people still have a negative view of blogs and I’m pretty sure that these couples wouldn’t make the same request of print magazines.

I’m choosing to blame the terms blog and blogger. The only people who know how professional blogs are run, what sort of dedication, energy, devotion, and time it takes are other bloggers. It’s either time to come up with a new term for what we do or time to educate people on what we do, because we don’t just blog.

To add some sort of research component to this article (ha!), I asked a few of my blogging buddies how they felt about these terms:

Lauren of Every Last Detail: “I gave up on blogger a long time ago- because in reality, that’s not how we make money.  I wish I got paid for pretty photos, but that’s not the case. I usually say that I own a wedding website. If they’re younger, I’ll say it’s a blog, but half the time people don’t even know what a blog is.”

Stephanie of Fab You Bliss: “I tell people I work with ‘words and pictures’…haha! Sometimes I say I’m an online editor. Most people don’t get that blogging is a job, so yeah…I hardly mention that it’s what I do. It’s just too hard to explain.”

Cris of Kiss My Tulle: “I actually hate the word. Literally, it sounds so stupid. Blooog. It always sounds like Blaaaaah to me.”

Alexandra of Heart Love Weddings: “I usually say I’m an editor of an online wedding magazine. I’ve gotten some really weird/odd/bad looks when I say blogger.”

So, what are your feelings on the term blogger? Do you embrace it or hate it? And if you’re a non-blogger – what’s your take on the b-word?

photo credits: one, two, three.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.

Comments

  1. I tell people I’m a wedding planner and a wedding blogger. people know what a planner is so they focus on that when actually the blog is now 2/3 of what I do. I often say writer, that seems to go down better with people, but I still seem to spend half my time explaining my job title and how being a blogger is actually a job!

  2. I tell people that I’m the Editorial Director for a website, because that’s what my business card says. Usually when they ask what that means I explain that I set the editorial direction and do most of the writing for three blogs, and do the social media to bring people to the blogs and the site. By that time they’ve usually stopped listening to me and gone to look for a drink. Sometimes I say “content marketing” or “social media marketing.”

  3. I typically say I’m a blogger and quickly followup with “I run my blog like an online magazine and I’m the editor/publisher” They seem to be able to wrap their head around “magazine.”

  4. Such a great feature! I just posted it on FB. You crack me up lady!!!

  5. I think Stephanie’s response is my favorite. I am currently emailing this post to my friends and family. Thank you for speaking your mind! 🙂

  6. This is so great!!!

  7. Great post! I often get asked how a blog can possibly be a business and am met with nods and blank stares.

  8. Woo hoo… looooove this! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! And um… “I’m really in the CIA, this conversation must end now.” HAHAHAHA.

  9. Amazing post, Sara!!! I’m ROFL, because “bloggers” are supposed to use juvenile acronyms like that! I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to steal your line about studying molybdenum atoms. Also, that Snow White comic is killing me! It’s so true!

    I loathe the terms “blog” and “blogger” as well. (Thanks, Peter Merholz!) They actually make me think of a creepy middle-aged man holed up in his mother’s basement spewing conspiracy theories online. I think that unless a blog is attached to a larger media entity, there’s a perception that it’s not a legit business or form of communication, that it’s just something to occupy the time of bored housewives or crazy cat ladies (moi) or raving lunatics. I never tell anyone that I’m a blogger. I just say that I’m an editor, because that’s my “real” job outside of blogging. Being a “blogger” is actually much harder in many ways than being a traditional editor. Just saying.

  10. Everyone else sounds smarter than me in this post. THIS is why no one takes my blog seriously…. 😉

  11. What I hate more than saying I am a blogger is when someone says “How’s your blogging going?” in this terrible condescending tone making it sound like I play with play dough for a living. Even if I just say – “I’m a writer” they immediately ask “for what?” and when the world “online” comes out they instantly get a look of disappointment on their faces. Jokes on them though – I am happy to “just be a blogger” who works from home and doesn’t have to get dressed if I don’t want to! Great post!

  12. Great post Sara! I tell people I’m a wedding blogger and when they look at me blank faced I say very slowly… I’m the editor of an online magazine. I would never describe myself as a writer as writing is only a by-product of what I do… sometimes I might even just say I inspire people to have the wedding of their dreams. I don’t mind the term blogger but then I was an office manager so it sounds a lot more interesting than that 🙂 XxX

  13. Too bad you can’t speak in “word pictures” ! If people could SEE what you do here, as you explain it . Then they would give you the respect you deserve.
    But, of course , since you are in the CIA , that will be your next assignment .You can develop that right ? After all , you study the hyperfine structure of the molybdenum atom.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. Amazing post! Thanks for the giggles too, the horse loving the post is my fave.

  15. HILARIOUS!!!! “Study the hyperfine structure of the molybdenum atom!” GENIUS (I should know; i’m a chemist by trade). Leaning the ins and out of being a “blogger”, I can understand the dilemma. But I’m STILL laughing about the molybdenum atom! And like the horse, “I love this post!”

    • OMG are you really a chemist?! That’s so cool! I just picked that phrase up because my husband is a scientist. I have NO IDEA what it really means 😉

  16. What a great post! I am a part time blogger and have another full time job. I usually just tell them my other job. People know I have a blog, but many don’t know what it is. I usually just say it’s like an online wedding magazine. My mom must hate the B word too. She keeps telling everyone I have a log. I gave up and had my sister explain it to her……again!

  17. What a brilliant post. I’ve been struggling with what to tell people I do since I started and I didn’t realise other people were thinking the same. I never tell people that I’m a… b-word.. because of all the connotations- it just isn’t conceived as a ‘real’ job! I usually tell them I write for a wedding website. Great to know am not alone in this! (PS still laughing about Deborah having a ”log”!!)

  18. Hilarious post Sara, thank you so much!! I always thought it was a cultural thing and that only in Spain did people not appreciate “blogging” as a profession… but I see it’s a problem everywhere.
    I’ve also been getting condescending looks and comments about the “wedding” part of it, so I might just start to copy your line with the molybdenum atom ;-).

  19. Love this, How did you know I was awake Burnett? lol I hate the term blogger! Never use it never will. We are Professional writers, Editors. We have a very short window deadline, unlike magazines…hint hint like 24hours.

  20. Nice post! – I used to say “I run a wedding blog” but now I just say “I run an online wedding magazine” and that usually gets through. Although I always get asked “but what do you write about?” and “so you want to plan people’s weddings ultimately?”. I think it’s just the case with all new media – it just takes a little time to earn mainstream credibility. Remember when no actor worth their salt would be on TV? I remember seeing Keifer Sutherland interviewed about 24 saying his father would never be on TV, he was way too good and that clearly didn’t remain true. Just one note though, I’ve never had a couple object to a post, simply because I check in with all of them. They may have signed a release, but I think it’s respectful (and most photographers would do this in my experience anyway) to make sure they are on board.

  21. Me thinks you all should come up with your own word that describes what you do. I have a blog, like millions of others, and I blog whenever I feel like it – which is like almost never – so you professionals out there who actually research, work on, promote and earn money from your blogs really need to come up with the perfect word to take the place of ‘blogger’ because you’re really NOT one of us. You’re the elite among us and the world needs to acknowledge that. Think about it.

  22. Well, I guess I never called myself the exact term of “blogger” even though I own a blog. I tell people I run an online wedding directory and a daily wedding blog. They always have lots of questions and are super intrigued to hear more about the blog. It’s fun to tell people about it. I’ve always told people I run a blog, probably because the word “blog” is in the name of mine 🙂 I’ve never been ashamed to be a blogger – I’m very proud of what I have accomplished with it and I know many others that should be too. No matter what people do there will always be those that don’t quite get why – but we have to be proud of our work and what makes us happy.

  23. Great post Sara! I don’t mind the word but can see some people really struggle with the concept. If I did it full time I think I’d switch to online wedding magazine.

  24. I’m not a professional blogger, but I hate the word regardless. You’re right, the public perception of a blogger is some nerd who thinks people wait with bated breathe for his next public rant on the interwebs. I like what someone wrote about being an editor for an online magazine.

  25. Gosh how I love this post! (Bwahahahaha by the way, that picture is HILARIOUS!) I so agree with you- anyone over the age of like…30 has NO clue what you’re talking about when you say you’re a blogger. I do go down that road- but with mine, “I’m a food blogger” they get it a TAD more. I usually get the “Oh cool! so you go an critique restaurants???” Uhhhh….no. No I don’t. How do I follow that one up?

  26. Omg! Your words, my thoughts 100%! I hate the b-word too….I’ve been struggling a bit with what to tell people…sometimes I say writer(I used to be an offlime column writer though) online editor, editorial director, creator of a blog, storyteller with awesome photos LOL. I believe the word blogger has been overused and we should come up with our own terminology since we were many hats to maintain a blog. Love the post ! Will share it. XO Jey