Any of you who write – or plan to write – more than one blog probably know what it’s like to chase topics around to blog about. Since I launched my problogging-in-training career last June, I’ve mostly ignored those topics that I know about the most and thus can write about the most passionately. Even though I check my blog/ web site statistics regularly to see how my blogs are doing, I didn’t consciously realize I was ignoring the topics with the most potential, for me, until recently.
Years ago, my father gave me a book, by American author Dr. Marsha Sinetar, called Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow. After reading that book a few times, I bought several copies and gave them away to friends. It’s one of those few gems of writing that are truly inspirational, timeless, and widely applicable to anyone who is having trouble settling on a career, or thinking of a change. It’s level-headed and doesn’t build up false hope.
The book has served me in good stead several times during my willing and unwilling career changes. It’s helped me have the courage to launch a print magazine (now defunct), as well as send my writing out to editors, with a fair bit of success, including international magazines, a book, and the front page of the technology section of a national newspaper (in Canada).
I re-read the book regularly every few years, including recently. In the past few months, I’ve cast my blogging net wide in terms of topics I’ve been writing about, hoping that I could find a few that might spell a relaunch of my writing career, which has suffered fits and starts. Cracking this book open again has helped remind me that when you do what you love, you are passionate it about it. People feel that passion, whether they realize it or not, and therefore not only return but bring their friends.
If you have the patience, you can carve out a career – assuming that there is a market for what you are doing, or that you can create a market. However, Dr Sinetar does say that your passion itself will often help create the market; although it may take time. With the Internet as a delivery vehicle, this is more true for niche topics than ever before. While you may not necessarily make 5-figures per month in ad and affiliate revenue or product sales, I still strongly feel that you can eventually carve out a career blogging. That is, provided you put in the necessary effort, and have the patience to nurture your project until it starts to bear fruit, and well beyond.
And in case you haven’t yet figured out the true value of regularly checking your web statistics and absorbing what they are telling you, it’s as much to give you hope and motivation as to keep track of the health of your blogs. As proof of what I am saying, I’ve noticed that most of my active blogs are steadily showing improvement in both traffic and ad revenue. They don’t make very much money yet, but my analysis of the statistics suggests that they could by late this year or early next year. Those blogs that are not showing any improvement after 1 year will either be incorporated into related blogs, revamped, or possibly ditched altogether. Those that are doing “well”, of course, motivate me to nurture them and thus help improve them even further. It’s a positive cycle that you need to create for yourself.