5 Things 2 Years of Problogging Taught Me

It gets pointed out to me a fair bit that I seem to be all over the blogosphere. The fact is that I write for probably 1/4 the number of blogs that I worked on last year. I’m focusing on fewer high PR blogs. Or was until Big Daddy G smacked some of them with PageRank penalties. Now, the focus is writing for quality blogs.

To say I’m not worried would be lying. If sites are affected in earnings abilities due to the penalties, will that mean fewer freelance blogging gigs – my primary income source? However, I stopped considering blogging as a career on its own, so that’s a few less knots in my stomach. I’ve learned a few things in the past 2+ years:

  1. Blogging is like a game of golf. You could have skills in various facets of blogging, but if everything isn’t just right and synchronized, your blog will not be a giant success. Which is not to say that modest success is bad.
  2. Problogging is not a career for everyone. This is a conclusion from the last point: most bloggers will not make enough to sustain the work on their own blogs, no matter how hard they try not to suck.
  3. Try blogging for hire. The blogger for hire route will probably make the average good blogger more money than their own blog(s). I emphasize “good”. If you’re good, disciplined, and timely, freelancing is the way to go – especially if you’re finding less success on your own blog(s).
  4. Apply discipline: quality, not quantity. Don’t start more blogs until the first few have reached the minimum level of success you want for them. Seriously. It’s tough because as a generalist, I tend to be interested in a lot of topics. I sneeze and I’ve just registered another handful of domains. But for most bloggers, $50/mth revenue from one blog is much better than $1/mth from fifty blogs. If you can’t make one work, you can’t make fifty work. Most people do not succeed with too many blogs. Focus on 1-4 blogs maximum, build them up, then hire out. Then expand if you feel the urge.
  5. Blog as a means, not as an endpoint. In line with the above realizations, blogging does not have to be a singular activity. It can be a full-time career, but I’m no longer expecting it. If it happens, it happens. I’ll stay positive.

While many people are praising the fact that they can blog from home, after 2+ years of doing so, I’m actually missing the social aspects of working somewhere, with other people. Does this mean I’m giving up blogging? By no means. What I am doing now is using it as an effective supplement/ platform for earning money in other ways. In fact, today I spoke to someone from the Toronto Film School, which I’m hoping to enroll in for Jan 2009. I’m also going to go back to my photography, film reviewing, and scriptwriting. Blogging will not only move me towards those goals, it’ll sustain me for some time to come.

So what lessons has blogging taught you so for, in terms of your career? Do you use blogging in a supplemntary way for another career, or do you want to simply blog?

7 thoughts on “5 Things 2 Years of Problogging Taught Me

  1. People disagreeing isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    After all, at least they’re visiting

  2. For as many people who agree with you, there will be twice that who disagree – and will let you know in no polite terms what they think of you. You have to have a very thick skin to be a blogger.

  3. For me, blogging has always been a way to put down thoughts and share them with as many people as possible.

    And Ryan’s advice is fantastic, btw (not that you guys need me to tell you that).

  4. #8. No matter how hard you try, you’ll probably make typos or grammatical erors that make you look really stupid. Ever since reading Brian Clark’s “5 Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Stupid” (or something like that), I’ve been cursed and making errors I’ve never made before in print. Just online.

  5. Yes, excellent point, Deb. I try not to think about that. But I’ve been mostly fortunate in not being well enough known to suffer that sort of thing.

    [No, I’m not talking to myself. Deb had a comment above this, and she must have edited it b/c now it’s further down the list.]

  6. I forgot to mention the biggest lesson: follow your passion. Start blogging your passion – the topic that you’re most interested in.

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