There is no shortage of people trying to make money blogging, especially in today’s economy. There is however, a shortage of people actually making the money. It’s kind of like the have’s and have not’s in a way. Does it seem unfair? The recent article in Slate Blogging for Dollars says that on average blogs getting 100,000 or more unique visitors per month earn an average of $75,000 annually. That number is skewed further by a very small percentage of those blogs making more than $200,000 per year. But with nearly a million blog posts published daily, all the money in blogging is being made by a very, very small percentage of blogs. These are regular bloggers too, not affiliate or niche sites at all.
The best resources online are free. The best free content comes from knowledgeable people. When you find a great resource you bookmark it and go back time and time again. Why do people spend time giving away free expertise online? Is it ego? Self gratification? Charity? I recently read a problogger post “10 Innovative Blog Business Models” that talks about bloggers that painstakingly write expertise based blogs with an ulterior motive to sell something else. I don’t find that innovative at all – it’s just smart, and what I call “natural monetization”.
Why do you think I take the time to write this blog? It’s certainly not because I want to help the world. It’s also not for ego, and for sure not because I think I’m the next John Chow. I figured if I wrote enough about my problems slogging along as a blogger, my experiences and opinions would be worth something over time. I’m building a reputation and a body of work through this blog, and those that find value in that will try and use products and services I recommend. I’ll make money from those referrals, and hopefully the amount of money I make will increase over time.
The first 6 months on this blog I didn’t make dime. I wrote 50 posts on faith alone. The second 6 months I made maybe $150. Since I wrote 50 more posts, I guess I was paid $3 per post for those. Then I made $40 in one month, and then $75 the next, $125 the next, and $200 the next – do you see a pattern here?
Think about your success online in terms of a series of deposits, or even earning a degree. You have to pay to play. You have to pay your dues. You have to blindly and selflessly forge ahead until you reach the payoff – or else you have forfeited all your time for nothing.
What is success really? What does it mean to you? The degree to which you actually obtain success is determined not by your own sheer drive alone, but instead is measured by the quality of your content. Go back to the bank analogy again. Think of your posts like bank deposits. Are you depositing $1 posts, $100 posts, or $1,000 posts? Do you wonder why I don’t blog much anymore about passing fads or day to day crap in the blogosphere? It’s because I see those as $1 posts – why should I waste my time? You can read that crap on 100 other blogs. I try to make sure that every post is a $100 – $1,000 post. You come to this blog to read about how to fix something in WordPress, how to make more money in your blog, or how to get more traffic or readers. I try to make sure (now) that every post has some direct instructions on how to do one of those things. If not – I just don’t post. It just like if I owned a business and just didn’t go to the bank to deposit until my bank bag had at least $1,000 to deposit.
How does all this translate to you and your online work? Whether you writing in a blog, a niche store, or an affiliate site, think of each and every post as money. Think of the long term. Will this post be useful tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Next year? Think of the VALUE in terms of money. Think of every page and post as a resource that spawn some kind of action. Think of posts and articles and pages as “products” like a brick and mortar business. Would it be easier to sell 100,000 1 cent pieces of candy or just one Cadillac automobile? Don’t let your blog or site become a dollar store for your ideas – think of it as a “dealership for your business”.
Most of the posts I’ve written for this blog take 2-3+ hours or more. Guess what, nearly every one gets viewed each and every day. When you write are you putting money in the bank?