blogging worth an ounce of gold? The amount of money you earn blogging depends on the amount of time you invest. But your blogging “skill” level determines how much you can make from a block of time, and how much you need to learn before you can earn more in less time. Don’t you wish that 10 minutes blogging can be worth as much as an ounce of gold? It can, but not overnight.

Let me explain…I own a lot of web sites. Er…rather I have a lot of domains, and quite a few web sites online. But there is only so much time in the day I can devote to setting them up, creating content, and maintaining them. If I worked on only one site per day I’d be working 48 days (since I own 48 domains). I am an interpreneur, webpreneur, an online business man or marketer – if you will. I get ideas all the time and find myself buying domains with the intention of setting up these “future ideas”. The problem is I haven’t fully finished setting up all the ideas I already have – so new ideas just make it worse.

What do I do in the course of a day? As I said – I have many sites, and you can view them in the footer of any page on this site in “The Smorgasbord Network” block. I write for this site, I write about geeky gadget stuff, I write recipes and home cooking info, and about my Windows Vista laptop and it’s problems. I write about designer handbags, and funny top jokes. I even write about my guitar gear and my classic rock cover band T-Town Sound. These are the main web sites I work on every week. I have a few others that I only post to a few times per month. Let’s say I regularly work on a dozen web sites. I have enough trouble creating new content and posting to all these web sites and blogs as regularly as I should. Can you imagine what an effort it is to upgrade WordPress on all of them? I just wrote about stripe ad, and OIOpublisher – and I just love both plugins. So now I have to set both of those plugins up on a dozen web sites. Ouch!

When I said that I was the most successful blogger in the world, I said that my blogging plan for success would be 20% setup, 30% content, and 50% promotion. I still stick to that premise since if you have really good quality content you don’t have to post 10 times per day. You can get away with 3-5 good posts per week no problem. The problem I was having was that if I worked 10 hours and did 2 hours setup and 5 hours promotion – I wasn’t actually putting in the 3 hours content creation like I should have been. I just kept working on issues and problems or promotion. You can really get caught up in that. What you have to do is treat blogging more like a job – a real professional full time job (even if you are still working you day job).

I just had to explain this to a friend last night, so it’s fresh in my mind. I got a phone call and my friend had asked if my “course for online success” was worth the money or not. I said “What?!” After some prodding I found out he had visited this site (he’s not a blogger) and clicked on one of the Adsense ads (not understanding those were ads and not my articles), and he was reading some page about a guy who now vacations in the bahamas because he made millions blogging on the Internet. I had to explain to him that it was possible to make lots of money online, but it was like a business and would take a large investment of time. I also explained that he had a lot to learn about technology and marketing if he wanted to become successful.

That’s when I explained that the amount you could make for the time invested was directly relevant to your knowledge. I said 10 minutes of his time (blogging) was probably worth a lump of coal. 10 minutes of my time blogging is probably worth about $6.50. 10 minutes blogging for John Chow or Shoemoney is probably worth about $175. Lots of things factor into what a person’s time can be worth. I don’t think a lot of bloggers starting out realize all the different things becoming successful entails. I realize a lot of it as I go – which is why I setup this web site, so I could write about that process.

There are three main areas you can focus to increase the worth of your time blogging. I think that the first thing that denotes what your time is worth is your blogging skill level. This is something you can’t “buy” – you have to invest time and earn it (using the next two areas). A lot of things could make this sort of “ranking” more complete, but mainly I think it has to do with how successful you are in terms of readers and montly income. With readers and income, you must have strength in other areas – and with income you can pay other people to do things you aren’t strong at, or take time to lean the additional skills you need to become even more successful.

A mock blogging “skill level chart” might be like this…where do you think you rank?

Skill level (time on the job)

The second area is training. I call it OJT or “on the job training”, because that’s what it is. Blogging is learning as you go. You should constantly be reading, learning, trying new things, and becoming stronger in areas that you think you are weak in. Remember, blogging is a business and your site is your store front. You can become good at writing content, buy maybe you aren’t bringing in any new readers. Time to bone up on advertising and marketing. Maybe you don’t have very good search engine listings? Learn how to become better at SEO. Have your blog reviewed and see if maybe the layout needs an overhaul. Can you install your own plugins and customize your own theme? Do you know how Digg and StumbleUpon work? Do you know how many visitors per day you need to get to make money? Do you even know how many visitor a day you get, what they view, and how long they stay before leaving? You are running a business and you are the only employee (for now). You are President, chief cook, and bottle washer. Figure out what your strengths are, build on them, and start learning in all of your weak areas.

Here’s a short list of things you should be thinking about:

On the job training (learning as you go)
Adversiting and Marketing
HTML and Coding
Graphic Design
Web Based Tools
Communication Skills
Creative Writing

So now that you have some skill and a bit of training you should be accomplishing something – right? Keep track of those accomplishments and milstones because with each one you should be earning more money and building a greater montly income. Track your daily/monthly traffic and RSS subscribers you have now. As it rises so should your income. Does it? Set goals – and strive to reach them. Each week you post more content, you should be getting more search engine listings. Are they quality first and second page SERP’s? Improve your SEO skills until they are. Do you have complete profiles in all the right social media places? Like Digg, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, google, Yahoo!, Facebook, myBlogLog, BlogCatalog, entreCard – the best ones that apply to you? Are you spending enough time in those networks to build connections with other sites? Are you building a “name recognition” and a “brand” so people know who you are? Basically accomplishments and milestones equals “reputation”. Are you building an online reputation? You should be, because that reputation make your time online worth more money.

Accomplishments and Milestones
Amount of daily Traffic
Number of RSS Subscribers
Quality Search Engine Listings
Number of articles
Profiles in Social Media
Networking with other Bloggers
Amount of Monthly Revenue

I hope this helps you in some small way and makes you realize that whatever your successes or failures in blogging, you are only at a particular phase in your journey to success. Using my 3 areas for blogging improvement find out what phase you’re in and where you need to improve to move forward. Only then will your time become worth an ounce of gold! If you don’t think it can be – think about this…when ProBlogger, or John Chow writes a quick review of a product they’re endorsing that includes an affiliate link, and 10,000+ RSS subscribers read that article – how valuable do you think their time is? Without foaming at the mouth, now think about how many thousands of hours it took them to get to the point of having 10,000+ RSS subscribers! There is a dramatic payoff – but are you willing to put in the same amount of time to be able to play at their level?

For questions, or comments regarding your success level please comment now!