Blogger = Writer + Editor

In several of my very early posts I kinda sorta touch on the subject of writers and editors. The gist of my message is that it’s very important to consider not only creating your own content (as writer) but also setting the tone and direction of your blog (as editor).

I notice that many bloggers out there are prolific and can crank out one post after another, up to several times a day. Their ability to create a steady flow of content is certainly impressive, but is it editorially effective? Let’s take a look at the following definitions as it pertains to blogging:

Defintion of a Writer
Writers produce content. Their task is to craft words into clear and understandable syntax in accordance to the subject they’re writing about. Good writers are able to craft content that is convincing and reads smoothly. (Great writers, by the way, are ones born with the natural ability to shape language into art). Most blog writers are savvy enough to edit basic spelling and grammar prior to publishing (this is known as copy editing).

Defintion of an Editor
Editors manage publications. They oversee the writing to make sure it’s timely, well-written and that it serves its readers while also supporting the mission of the publication. Editors are also responsible for what does and what doesn’t get published, and which articles (blog posts) get placement priority. Editors usually also write.

I used to be the Editor-in-Chief for my college newspaper many years ago. It was a tough and gritty job but I loved it. In short, my responsibility was to plan and publish each week’s issue without fail. Every week involved rapid brainstorming and decision making while managing my team of staff writers. I was to assign them the most relevant and interesting stories as well as write my own stories and editorials. You’re right if you guessed it was a lot of meticulous, stressful, deadline-crunching work, but I really liked being in charge every time I saw someone reading our paper.

Why Bloggers Need to Be Both Writer and Editor

To be honest, editorial duties have not changed much since my days at the college paper. What has changed, however, is the way we publish: blogging — at least at the personal level — is a one-person publishing operation. This means we’re not just responsible for good post writing, but also organizing and managing our writing so our blog as a whole becomes a quality, timely and responsive publication.

If you can understand and incorporate the “blogger equals writer plus editor” reasoning, I can promise your blog will come across as eternally smarter, more interesting and more authoritative than others in your niche.

8 Replies

  1. Nate Reply

    I always thought an editor was just someone who corrected the piece(much like a teacher in college). Never thought about the strategic portion would belong to the editor. Good to know.

    So who comes up with article ideas, editor or writer? or combo?

    Nice post.


  2. Charles Reply

    Thanks for your comment, Nate — it’s been getting lonely around here.

    Yes, you’d think the editor is simply one who edits a writer work, but they really do so much more than that. They usually also come up with the article ideas and assign them to the writers.

    Blogging is unique in that most of the time it’s only one person doing it. So when you blog, consider your self both writer and editor. You’ll treat your blog more like a publication than just a linear string of blog posts. I’d say most of the top blogs take this approach.

  3. Brad Reply

    A blogger is a writer, editor, marketer, salesperson, and technologist. Not an easy line of work at all!

  4. Charles Reply

    Nate — I’ve been away from my blog and just recently noticed you left this trackback along with a very nice post mentioning me. Thanks so much! Sorry I took so long to notice it. Hope all is well with your blogging.