Google Analytics Gave Me Profiles, Santa Gave me Insight

First of all, let’s establish that writing for a living is not some sinful activity. Agreed? Okay, so why are so many bloggers seemingly against blogging for a living? True, not everyone can write – but having spent significant parts of my life encouraging new writers with that necessary spark to continue writing, I see that writing is a skill, to be developed like any other. Some bloggers will get better, others will give up. However, blogging requires more than just writing ability, as I’ve consciously come to realize just this morning (still Xmas over here).

Now I’m not going to tell you things you probably already know as a Performancing reader. But I’ll tell you what I’ve learned, both as a published writer/author, a former search engine webmaster and a general tech-nerd, and now as an aspiring pro blogger: have a plan for your blogging career, just like you would any other. And stay on that plan, or revise it as necessary. But always keep researching.

If you don’t have a plan, develop one. Do your research. Find your niche. Would you jump into a new career without knowing its potential and what it entails? Of course not. So why jump into blogging about a topic without knowing its potential? I’m extremely guilty of this, too. In my desire to be just like successful but very hard-working Darren Rowse (who took about 3 yrs to get where he is), I’ve been focusing on the wrong blogs in my “network”. When Google Analytics finally increased the number of website profiles on my account last night, I saw the truth of this in the numbers.

Now I’ve read the blogs of numerous other aspiring bloggers. What I’ve noticed is that the more technically-minded the blogger, the more likely that they dislike seeing advertising on a blog. This is especially true of younger bloggers, who are used to all the freebies on the Internet. That’s fine, have your opinion. The truth is, there are two key categories of blog: monetary and non-monetary. I call the non-monetary blogs “hobby blogs”, which is not to say that their quality is bad.

If you want to write a blog and not earn any money for it, then I’m hazarding a guess that Performancing is the wrong website for you to read. Write your hobby (non-monetary) blog, and godspeed to you. Maybe success will come from other quarters. But if you plan to earn a living as a blogger – even just part-time – there are only so many ways you can do so:

  • Sign up with ad networks, such as Google, YPN, Chitika, Adgenta.
  • Sign up on affiliate programs to sell someone else’s products or services.
  • Advertise blog-specific merchandise, such as t-shirts with your blog’s logo.
  • Advertise your own products, ebooks, or services (including blogger-for-hire).
  • Build your own private ad network by contacting potential advertisers directly. (Or try the network, who only accept publishers with a very high daily pageviews level, compared to Google, YPN, Microsoft, and others.)

To earn blog-based revenue, you need to choose any or all of these options, depending on your own comfort level. If you don’t like any of these, then you really need to consider another career. Or consider blogging for a network that pays you either by the post or as a percentage of their monthly revenues. Patience is a strong part of this career. After 5 months, I’ve just started acquiring clients that want me to show them how to blog. And I only managed this because of building business relationships with other people who then told their acquaintances about blogging to promote their business. (In other words, I didn’t even have to start calling business owners to tell them how great blogging is.)

I may have missed something, but the above list covers most of the ways to make money on a blog. Some of it is not very palatable for some people. In fact, a lot of people are against Google or other contextual advertising. However, my own research of other bloggers show that contextual advertising is ideal for new bloggers because of the simplicity of setting up a revenue stream.

If you don’t have the blog traffic, it’s unlikely you can get your own advertising. That time should be spent writing, promoting, analyzing, and generally blogmastering. Believe me, sell advertising is not easy work. I used to publish a free monthly “fringe culture” print magazine in the early- to mid-90s. I had to compete with another magazine I used to write for who lied about their circulation. (Although that problem is not an issue for publishing on the Internet.)

Even though I had a lot of contributors, I did all the infrastructure work, including publishing (that is, promoting, selling ads, collecting ad payments), general editing, and page layout. Does this sound anything like blogging? It should, because this is what a to-be-successful blogger has to do: be a publisher, act like a publisher, research like a publisher, and be an editor-in-chief finding topics that can be monetized. And that’s on top of being a writer, photographer, statistician, marketing expert and blogmaster. I repeat: this all means picking subject matter that CAN be monetized, no matter how much you want to write about something that has no market value.

Technorati Tags: blogging, problogging, blogrevenue

Technorati Tags: blogging, problogging, blogrevenue