I joined Entrecard a few weeks ago, and thanks to dropping my cards and being dropped on, I’ve been seeing many more blogs than usual. The blogs I am reading regularly now cover a wide range of topics, from parenting, to books, to funny videos. But of all these new blogs I am discovering, A large percentage of them are “Make Money Blogging” Blogs. Another popular category is “Watch Me Make a Million Dollars In One Year Blogging”.
ProBlogger Reality Check
I would like to suggest, that if you are a blogger hoping to make a living from blogging, and especially if you have one of the above mentioned type of blog, that you take a look Darren Rowse’s article A Reality Check about Blogging for Money over at ProBlogger.net. If you are not familiar with Darren Rowse and his ProBlogger site, you probably haven’t been blogging for very long. Darren is THE ProBlogger, the one who made the whole idea of blogging for a living a reality. His site is full of information that every blogger should read. In short, he knows what he is talking about.
In his Reality Check post, Darren Rowse points out that he didn’t get to be a ProBlogger overnight. It took YEARS! Years of multiple part time jobs and blogging into the wee hours of the night. Years of studying SEO and figuring out the best way to monetize his blogs (at one point he was posting over 20 times a day!) Even now he blogs 40 to 60 hours per week. And is he making a million dollars a year? Well Darren isn’t saying, but according to the Wall Street Journal he earns over $250,000 per year. Not a bad income, but not even half way to a million dollars.
Now does this mean you should quit blogging and give it all up? Certainly not. It just means that, while there are some bloggers who rocket to success in a very short time, for most bloggers it is a long hard haul until you are making enough to cover your hosting costs!
A Blog Business is Just Like Any Other Business
The trick to being successful and profitable in a reasonable amount of time, is to look at your blogging business just like any other business. Especially at first, you shouldn’t be worrying about how to fit another widget onto your website, or how to trick people into clicking on your adsense ads. Your first concern should be to deliver a quality product that people will want to buy, (or in this case, read). Pick a topic that people are interested in, and learn how to write well. Spend some time on your posts and deliver information that people will find useful. Find some way to differentiate your blog from all the rest. Is it your writing style, your point of view?
Market Your Blog
Once you have a quality product, work hard on marketing and finding readers. This is when you worry about keyword optimization and SEO. Become active in some social sites, post in forums, comment on blogs you like. But don’t ever, ever spam.
Learn From Other Bloggers
I know that when I see someone in my niche who is doing really well, my first feeling is jealousy and I want to find fault in their blog. But I know the smart thing to do is to study what they are doing well, and see how I can use that knowledge to improve my writing or the look of my site.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Know that your blog is like a baby. At first it is going to need your time, attention and money to grow and thrive. Then gradually, it will become self supporting, it will still need lots of time and attention, but hopefully it will be paying its own way. And then the day will come, when your blog is making you money. For most of the off line businesses I have consulted with, this process, from totally dependent baby to profitable business is about 3 years. It is interesting to note, that Darren says “the average age of blogs in the Technorati Top 100 was over 3 years.”
You Can Be the Exception to the Rule
Create a quality product, market it well, and then hope for more than a little luck. Just maybe, your blog will be the next big thing, the exception to the rule, and you will become the millionaire blogger!