This is a much different question than what you think it is. I was thinking about it last night as I was reviewing some information on goal setting and dreams and the like, and it hit me; what would really make me love my blogs.
Yes, for me it’s blogs obviously, since I have 5 of them. I write in this one the most, and I love that I can pretty much write about anything I want to, breaking down the norms of those who say that it takes a specific niche blog to actually generate traffic and get people to stop by on a consistent basis. Of course, it helps to write about something that people are looking for on the internet because it helps drive traffic, but the love of writing a blog and sharing thoughts… is that what I really love about my blog?
The question isn’t what you love about your blog, or about the process of blogging. The question is what would make you really love it. I can easily answer that one; if they made money.
Yes, money is the big deal for me, even if I don’t necessarily go out of my way to do it. As I’ve said before, I make money off only one blog, and it’s not outstanding money. My finance blog makes the most money out of all my blogs. I get that money from multiple sources; people paying me to write for them, people paying me to post an article they’ve written, and people paying me to advertise on it. The advertising part has dried up as companies have gotten scared because of Penguin and Panda and misunderstanding how proper linking and advertising works, but so be it.
Now, I wouldn’t even have to make the money directly, as I do on that blog. Whereas I love writing about the topic of leadership on my business blog, I would love if it generated speaking engagements or requests for training of some type. It has in the past, but not lately. I still love writing it, but if it only made money I’d really love it.
Thus, I put the same question out to you; what would it take to make you really, and I mean REALLY, love your blog? And for those of you who complain about long posts, this short one’s for you; don’t get used to it. lol
Almost 2 1/2 years ago I had a series of posts on Sundays called the Sunday Question. In April 2010 one of the posts I wrote was titled Why Do You Blog. On that post, I described my reasons for blogging, and as I looked back on it I realized that my reasoning hasn’t really changed all that much since then; obviously, since I’ve added two more blogs. 🙂
Yet, since last Sunday I’ve been thinking about something that one of my co-hosts on our Sunday’s Hot Blog Tips Hangout crew, Sheryl Loch, said during one of our topic discussions. She said that blogging, blogging rank, comments and the like don’t mean anything if your intention is to make money and you’re not making any. During the conversation I wanted to debate with her, but later on as I was thinking about it I knew that she was right in that regard.
I’ve never really ever said that my purpose in blogging was to make money. I have said that I hoped to spread my influence because that would give me a better opportunity to make money but that’s not quite the same thing. I have 5 blogs and I have one that makes money, and that’s really the only blog I have where I had hopes that the blog would make money. That it makes money in a way I never anticipated is a nice bonus, and yet I know it could be much better.
In November 2011 I wrote a post telling people the reality about making money by blogging. Almost no one really does it. Those that do look at it in two different ways. One, they see it as only a business and nothing else. Two, they don’t care how much traffic they get or whether they get comments; they care only about targeted traffic that wants what they have to sell.
I know this because over and over you see these posts by people you know are making money and then you look at their rankings and they’re often worse than yours or mine. In the other direction are people with great rankings and traffic that are making very little money, or at least aren’t making enough money to live on. A good example of that, and I appreciate her honesty, is Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe; take a look at this link and see how much she made in October, then compare her traffic to yours.
So then, how are people making money if blogging won’t get it done? They’re finding ways of doing other things outside of blogging to help them along. I’ve always said that if you’re hoping to make money blogging that you have to look at it in a much different way. If you have a monetary consideration, blogs are there to highlight what you do, show your potential customers you know what you’re talking about, and responding to their queries and comments because that’s what customer service is all about. You can even advertise your wares.
After that, depending on what you do, you have to get out there and find your customers. You can use your blog to drive your customers if you’re going to promote yourself online. You can do traditional marketing but use your blog and blog posts to help you along the way. If you’re a writer you can use your blog to show off your skills. Of course blogging is great for SEO and that might help drive people to your website.
In other words, if you’re looking to make money and it includes blogging, think outside the box and figure out a symbiotic relationship between the two. Don’t be held back by convention, and don’t be scared to take chances. By the way, I’m going to be working on that myself with my main business blog. I figure after more than 7 years it’s probably time to push things a bit. What am I going to do? Not sure yet.
This blog’s focus probably won’t change much. After all, I still have too much I want to share. 😉
As y’all know, I’ve been talking a lot about marketing lately. I’ve also been talking about the myth, of sorts, of making money by blogging. Well, I’m here to add some things to previous conversations.
via PATV Channel via Flickr
First, I’ve always believed that if one has a highly ranked blog that they should be making pretty good money, enough so that they won’t have to work for anyone else ever again. That doesn’t turn out to be true at all, but not for the reasons you might believe.
There are two reasons a person won’t make a lot of money if their blog is highly ranked.
One is because their audience isn’t quite niched properly. By that I mean like my blog. I talk a lot about social media and technology stuff but at a moment’s notice I’ll change up and talk about marketing, diabetes, whatever. I have a nice group of people that subscribe to this blog and some other folks that stop by on a regular basis, but overall I’ve never niched this blog so that it continually attracts a specific group of people that might be interested in buying any of the stuff I have on the left or right sidebars of this blog.
Two, the other is that some of those people aren’t trying to make money blogging, even if the rest of us think they are. One of my friends who stops by here often pretty much told me that’s not her focus right now; it’s on content, plain and simple, and one day she might give it a real try. I’m not going to mention her name, but I am going to mention someone else’s name, and by extension mention a host of other folks.
I once talked about Steve Pavlina, who has stopped taking comments on his blog, and how much he writes. Truth be told, I have way more posts than he has, but he writes these really long posts, sometimes as much as 7,500 words. He puts a lot of time into researching his posts, sometimes experimenting before writing the posts, and I have to say that until he went on one 30 day challenge for himself that frankly freaked me out a bit, I used to stop in and read his blog a lot.
Now, here’s two things. One, he’s not making any money blogging. He’s got a highly ranked website, and he talks about writing lots of content that’s timeless and valuable to everyone that stops by. Two, he doesn’t have to try to make money from blogging because he’s already got money. The guy makes money in a totally different way that has nothing to do with blogging or writing. In other words, he’s got the money to do whatever he wants, including writing long blog posts, going on vacations whenever he likes, etc. How do I know? Because a few nights ago I read one of his books titled How to Build a High-Traffic Web Site (or Blog) where he talked about it.
It reminded me that there are many other bloggers with high volume websites that either do or don’t make a lot of money actually blogging because they already make money in other ways. Some that do were making money or already had money when they started, and thus really can’t relate to the rest of us.
The only one I can think of that’s somewhat like us is Darren Rowse, and you know how he did it? By having a niche blog as well as his regular blog, and the niche blog generated the big bucks. He also started off writing 9 or 10 posts a day, which fits the criteria about content. A lot of content will drive visitors and traffic, even if it’s not one long article. As a matter of fact, the highest ranked sites have multiple bloggers or use a lot of guest posts to help populate things. Copyblogger is an example, along with Huffington Post, of blog sites with lots of posts per day.
So, we come back to the two ways; niche blog and lots of content. For the record, a 7,500 word post works out to 10 – 15 posts for most people, and Pavlina does that 2 or 3 times a week. How many of you think you could do that? If I didn’t have 5 blogs I think I could do it, if I knew that’s what was going to make me money. But that’s still the issue isn’t it? You drive traffic but who’s to say that you’d have the right niche topic that brought buyers as well as readers?
I don’t really believe that any of the blogs I have right now would bring buyers, even if I was writing that much content daily. That means I’d have to figure out a way to modify things somewhere so that one blog could be within a broad niche so I could have enough to write about, but also make it a niche where there are buyers. It’s certainly not going to be leadership, it’s not going to be a local blog, and it’s not going to be a blog on SEO. I’m not sure a blog on social media would get it done.
But a blog on technology; yeah, that might get it done. A blog on working out might get it done. A cooking blog, absolutely. Man, too bad that’s stuff I can’t write enough on. If I were in my 20’s I could probably tackle technology but that’s it. I actually do have a friend that was making pretty good money writing on horses and horse equipment, but she found it hard to sustain at a certain level after awhile and turned it into a magazine, where she has a main sponsor that helps her out some. That proves that with the right niche you can do it, but also proves that it takes content, continuous and lots of it, to get it done.
Do you have what it takes inside of you to get it done? Are you at least thinking about things in a different way? Let me know.
A few days ago I introduced a guy to you named Brendon Burchard, who wrote a book I recommended called the Millionaire Messenger.
Over the course of signing up for some of his free videos, I have had a chance to check out some of the comments after the videos. Most have thanked him for the information he’s given and have written that they felt inspired to look at things in a different way. But what has surprised me is how many people are put off because he talks about how much money he’s made in such a short period of time, saying it’s distasteful.
I often wonder if some of us are kept from success because of our beliefs about money. In another book I’ve talked about here, T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, he talks about how he would make a million, then lose a million, and how this pattern was perpetuated a few times before he realized that, because of how he was brought up, he was equating wealth with being evil, and since no one wants to be seen as evil he’d then lose it all each time. Once he came to grips with the inaccuracy of the belief he started holding onto his money and life improved dramatically.
Let’s get this one out of the way; there is no such phrase in anyone’s Bible that says “Money is the root of all evil.” No matter which Bible you believe (if you do), every time the statement is used in 1st Timothy, it begins “The love of money…”, and then goes on to explain what it means. Basically, it’s not the idea of having money or being wealthy it believes is evil, it’s how one gets that wealth that might be evil.
I don’t think anyone can gripe with that one. We’re allowed to applaud titans of industry who saw a lack of something, created what was missing, and made millions of dollars. Anyone who faults these people for filling a void, no matter what it is, and making lots of money from it is a hypocrite because all of us probably wish we could do the same thing. How many of us see something and say “man, I had that as a thought years ago; I wish I’d followed through on it”? I certainly do, and often; ugh.
The fact is that most of us don’t have a love affair with money; we can’t because we never seem to have enough of it If we did most people wouldn’t fall for the scams I talked about. We’d already have the money we needed and wouldn’t give these things a second look.
Think about it another way; why are there so many “make money now” blogs? Or so many posts, including many of my earlier ones, about making money in some fashion? Because we don’t have enough, and we want more.
Some of you have seen my buddy Sire and I debate the merits of those people who promote themselves and talk about themselves because they’ve made money, and they want you to know it. He sees it as bragging; I see it as telling it like it is. If I’ve succeeded I want to tell you I’ve succeeded and I want to tell you how I did it. Who wants to follow someone that hasn’t succeeded if the intention is to make money? And if we have the big name bloggers that we know have done it and achieved financial success, what’s so wrong with them letting us know about that success?
I say all of this as I celebrate my first $600 month blogging income. It may be a fluke but it was the next step up after mentioning my first $500 month some time ago. No, it’s not enough to live off just yet, but at least it’s moving forward. Of course I’m looking for other ways to make money because I have things I want to do, things I need to do. All of it takes money.
And if I have to find and listen to the guys who can tell me how much money they’ve made, I’ll do that.
You know, I’ve written often about my travails in trying to make money online. Do you know what the number one niche for blogging is in the world? Making money online! Do you know how many people are actually making money online, and by that I mean money enough to live off? Less than .3%.
Finally last week a big time blogger, John Chow, wrote a post telling people to stop stop blogging about making money online if you’ve never made any money online. I thought it was about time one of them wrote it, and I liked it so much that I actually commented on the post, which I rarely do with the big names, as I’ve talked about in the past.
Whenever I’ve talked about it on this blog, I’ve either given a monthly report or talked about something I’ve tried and how it performed. I certainly have made little money off this blog, and I get all sorts of things from people such as “if you talked about only one thing”, if you “niched”, if you collected email addresses, on and on and on. Please folks; it works for some and doesn’t work for others.
Why is that? I think it really comes down to a few things. You need a true support system. You need some loyal visitors and you need a lot of them. You need a few folks who have high ranking blogs that get a lot of visitors to help give you a push. And you need to write that one post that really gets you a lot of attention in your niche, or for a product. In other words, you need a break, and a major one.
How many of us really get that? I actually can’t totally gripe about mine all that much except it’s not really on a topic that’s helped me any. When I wrote that one post on cleavage it was kind of a lark. Yet it overwhelms every other post I’ve ever written by an almost 10 – 1 margin. It averages 1 minute and 26 seconds as far as how long people stay on the post. and it has a bounce rate of 70%. That means a couple of things. One, it probably takes folks that long to look at the pictures, since it doesn’t get a lot of real comments. And two, people were looking for specifically that topic, came to the blog, noticed nothing else was like it and left. It’s helped some with traffic but none with sales or money making. Instead, it got this blog banned from Adsense; of all things!
The overall thing is that people should write about a few types of things. One, what you know. Two, what you like. Three, what you maybe don’t like (or what makes you mad; politics, religion, racism, ice cream, etc) that you can write a lot about. That’s about it; everything else doesn’t really matter. With these three things, you can show passion in your writing, communicate with people well, and possibly have the opportunity to make money. At the very least, you’ll sound original; everyone likes that.
Just be yourself and write that way; who doesn’t love that?