I’ve often wondered about the tagline of this website, “Helping Bloggers Succeed”. First off I like to talk about success online and offline a lot. In fact its one of my favorite topics. When some folks talk online all they talk about is revenue. Revenue isn’t success necessarily. And more of it doesn’t always make you happier. All of us who blog have goals and dreams. That’s what this is all about. Providing you with a community that will help coach you along into success. I like to pick on Adsense because a lot of people think success is driving people to your website and getting people to click on your ads. To me this is the last kind of success I need. Although if you can do that you will have some success. I hope I’m not offending the Adsense Driven Model. It’s just that my goals and aspirations are different.
In some ways I’m a relationship blogger. In other ways I’m just a guy who wants to help other people reach their dreams and find a way to be successful. In a lot of ways I find joy in doing this. I like watching other people move on to bigger and better things.
To me not blogging would make me a lot more unsuccessful. I love communicating in this avenue. It helps me think and allows me to be more productive in relationship building. And that’s my bottom line. That’s how I measure success. The quality of relationship I have.
Let’s get to know each other.
I’ve been talking to different people about various projects they are working on or are blogging about. I love this kind of interaction. Getting involved in other people’s projects makes my day.
I want to open the comments up for people to share a project you are passionate about. It will give you an opportunity to share your project with our readers and allow you are readers to share some ideas on how to improve your projects.
First up is mine.
901am ~ New media news every morning
I feel really good about this site. It’s 3 months old and starting to take off the ground. Our traffic is fairly steady and our readership is pretty active. I’m not focusing on revenue to much but it should be fairly profitable once we start monetizing more aggressively. What would you suggest doing differently with this site?
Ok, your turn.
The following comment concerns this website, mentioned in the post above.
I thought it was really neatly done, in fact, that it was too neat. Your site gives the impression that there’s less content on it than there is – the features, the podcasts, the newswire, all that stuff is great. But the design is too uniform, as one going through the newswire can see the graphics in the exact same place per blog entry, and it feels redundant, and there aren’t any cool widgets around that invite me to other features by means of other graphics or bolder text links: the sidebar bores me. The writing is nice, but I dunno, there’s something emerging that I’ll call “performancing” style, which is like “a writing style that professional bloggers use to talk about blogging, writing in blogs, blogging about writing, talking about blogging writing, writing about blogging talk, etc.” and I just want to hear a different sort of voice after a while.
Yeah, I know, I’m arrogant. Those are just my impressions, though, and I know full well my audience isn’t your audience (I don’t have an audience because my blog is too good for the citizens of Earth. My blog will be respected when intelligent extraterrestrial life decides that humanity has done something redeeming).
humanity doing something redeeming is a bit of an oxymoron in action according to all the extraterrestrial life forms that I have spoken with recently, but they are pretty sarcastic.
I wasn’t sure who you were responding. There was a post that shows 9:02 am, but I didn’t see one from 9:01am.
I do hear and agree with your sentiments as there is a lot of blogging about blogging about writing about blogging going on out there (and in here). This is excellent when you are trying to learn as there are lots of good resources to provide direction. It can be very distracting when you are trying to get something done as there are many people to describe how to do it and not as many to do it.
Personally, I find it somewhat of a challenging exercise to write as I see fit within or outside the ‘rules’ but compensate with technology to obtain my goals. You can be the nicest person on Earth or the most arrogant person on Earth and with a blog, you can still attract readers. Someone somewhere will understand you.
If Einstein were alive he’d be dropping comments on the blog of the invisible hand right now.
@Brett: it’s published on your Perf blog now. It was in the moderation queue.
Everyone else: if you’re wondering why your post isn’t showing, I’ll do my best to get through the moderation queue whenever David cannot.
Ok, so things don’t work on Performancing like they used too. I had written a blog article and tried to post it like I used to, but apparently its lost somewhere in the bowels of Performancing. So my above comment, which was supposed to be a short intro is a little out of context.
In general what I was trying to get across is that Success has to be defined with a purpose for your blog or a goal that you are trying to achieve and this works best when its something other than just writing to get readers.
Gathering up writers/subscribers is great. I saw the results of that while what’s his name from Rocketboom (sorry I’m bad with names and too lazy to google him right now) was showing off his numbers at the Podcast expo last fall.
I’m trying to say that if you can actually achieve a result outside of the internet or at least outside of gathering more subscribers, you will get even more tangible feedback. Change the world, move people to do something, write the blog to achieve a purpose or in support of a purpose and then the driving force behind the blog will strengthen and your passion can be re-inforced and the money will come and likely have a nice destination to grow the entire thing.
I have to digg up the my post from the article I wrote and see if I can post it somewhere else that is relevant, since I can’t blog here. Maybe I’ll put it in the forum or something . . ..
OK, since I couldn’t get the article to go through on Performancing, I had to resort to the very uncool thing and post the article on my own blog. Its a new site and the article was intended for Performancing, but I don’t like my comments sitting around out of context for too long. You can find the article here at http://www.top10tech/web/ Blogging for a Purpose My apologies in advance.
I think Garri makes a very good point here and it should be expanded on a little. I think that before the money earning stage comes into play you need to have a good foundation upon which to earn a revenue. You need to build your content, your reader base including RSS subscribers and then the money issue can be addressed. many people set up a blog throw on the code for Google adsense and sit back and wait to get rich. Obviously, those that are doing this as a career, or part time work know this will never happen. I agree that before someone can think of money they have to have success at their blogging first.
@Garri: what you say makes sense. However, you don’t need the information presented on these pages to teach you to be passionate writing a blog before focusing on the money. PART of the purpose of Performancing, at least as I understand it (correct me if I’m wrong, David) is for those bloggers who are doing this as a part-time career or full-time career to share their blogging knowledge. That may or may not be posts about earning revenue.
Of course, there are the posts about building relationships and value. Those are just as important and should come first, before focusing on money.
Not sure you’re getting my point. I’ve never equated success purely with money (maybe that’s just the way I was brought up, who knows?). That’s too much of a restricted view I’m afraid.
My blog does have a revenue strategy, I didn’t say it didn’t. But for now, since it’s fairly new I’m trying to build something of value that will/may eventually turn into a web app. Getting fixated on revenue streams, that I have no control over anyway since they’re operated by 3rd parties, is not a route I want to take at this point in time.
Rather than aiming for the same target as everyone else, I’m shooting the arrow and drawing the target around it… It’s the only way I know 😉
Brett is right I’m afraid. As much as we might want to get touchy feely about things, you have to realise that there are some basic principles to success, and if you’re not making money (and don’t have any source of income to back you up), you’re going no where but down.
Having said that …
My football (soccer) blog is a perfect example of love mixed with money. I love writing about the sport and the primary motivation is not money, but I still want to make the blog successful as a business venture and monetization remains a top priority along with comments and an RSS base.
There is plenty that I can improve on it (feel free to comment), but my point is that you need both a profitable angle and an idea you are passionate about to be successful.
…but whatever happened to love?! Apart from the odd exception, the only passion I’m seeing sometimes IS for the sake of money. More and more people in the blogosphere are talking about revenue, it’s sorta vulgar in a way, and pretty uninteresting.
There’s more to blogging than earning money to make the experience ‘real’- isn’t there?
David’s original post, talks about success, which is not necessarily or exclusively linked to revenue. I’m not saying I abhor the notion of earning revenue, I don’t. But for me personally right now I’m not interested because it creates a barrier, a distraction, increases anxiety etc. Personally I wanted to be free from those constraints.
Success for my blog is an increase in RSS subscribers – that’s the number one goal at this point in time and even that is a constraint I’d rather not have 😉
I have been meaning to write a blog article here at Performancing for a couple months now. I just did and posted it up. It was too long for a comment and I didn’t want to hijack this great thread with something too long too scroll through.
That said I am keenly interested in collaborative work. From brainstorming the concept to creating something.
I too love talking with other bloggers and companies and working with them to build a better mouse trap or look at it from an additional perspective, even if that additional perspective affirms the current direction of a project.
I’m kicking off two new projects one of which is No More Incumbents.org. The purpose is not new and several other sites and groups have made it to the web before me. The key for me on this project is going to be the empowerment of the bloggers on the site. I’m providing a purpose to their blogging efforts and we’re going to make sure that their efforts earn them money.
With a good purpose and goal, it is much easier to channel your passion and the money makes the experience real. In the real world money still makes things go round.
Performancing’s history is perfect example of this concept. Great passion, several great purposes, but absent the money it had to be restarted. All three components are integral.
I removed all ads, sponsorships, affiliate links etc from Holiday Pad some while ago because I wanted to enjoy the process of building the blog without the constraint of having to earn revenue. Does that makes sense?
Anyway, it has been liberating for a few reasons and has increased enjoyment in the project. Don’t get me wrong, there is an aspiration of earning revenue and I have several unique ideas I’m exploring but for me the time isn’t right just yet. What’s more important is to build a great site and for me ads will just get in the way right now.
Holiday Pad was never started because of the desire to earn income from Adsense anyway.
The main monetary idea I’m working on has some value for the reader and in turn the advertiser – readers will actively browse through the ads, and possibly even sign up to the RSS and Email feeds, because it addresses a specific need/want related to my blog (I can’t divulge the idea yet)
We’re most excited when we can tell a client that they can have a blog, a blogger, and great content.
You know that’s only half of the story. I really like helping people earn some money from their writing. There are lots of talented people out there. Lots of people who can write extremely well, and they add tremendous value to our clients.
Of course we also love to get people who couldn’t usually have a website, a website and a blog in one shot. That’s fun and cool!
I was once long ago a search engine webmaster for an early Canadian search engine, now defunct. They didn’t watch their backs and got turfed due to American SE politics. (Though the company is doing very well with enterprise content mangement systems, and the co-founder of the company went on to co-write the XML spec.)
Their setup, if I recall properly, was 12 servers in California, with a gas generator as the backup power supply (beyond the normal power supplies). They had to use a specially configured database RAID scheme with some redundancy.
Anyway, I don’t know how truly large Perf’s DB is, but at some point some large sites have to go buy their own servers and a T1 or T3 line. (OCs are probably overkill.) Isn’t PlentyofFish.com doing something similar? He’s able to mostly run it himself, with the occasional bit of remote help.
If it’s becoming a constant problem for you, maybe SplashPress needs to have their own server farm to manage all the web properties. (Not sure how you’re set up.)
But that is something to think about. What keeps great sites like Techcrunch, BoingBoing, GigaOm, etc., going is probably good hosting setups. That becomes a mission-critical component.
Yeah I’ve participated in a couple. They are a lot of fun.
Great contribution. I really love Colbert on Demand. It’s a great little site. I’ve often wondered about the hosting issue. I’m looking to try to shore up the Performancing DB problems that have plagued us in the last little while as we move forward to expansion. A lot of growth needs to be had in the hosting industry before big big sites move forward. I mean at some point your growth has to stop because of bandwith and server demands vs revenue.
While gadgets get cheaper and more advanced. Server technology remains largely the same.
I had a great time on Liz’s site on “open mic” Tuesday a few weeks back. It’s kind of like a chat room, only through comments on a single blog post, which mentions the topic of discussion for the night.
I’ve worked on helping run and design Colbert On Demand a video site dedicated to posting The Colbert Report segments online as soon as the show airs for the last 4 months or so of 2006. Myself, nor the owner of the site (I say that because he spends more time on it than myself, and I accept no money from the site) have had the time to work on it.
When time permits we hope to further work on and nail the site design down…when I can better teach myself php, and furthermore we’d like to expand into posting video segments from Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann and The Daily Show.
We’ve proved that it can be a profitable model…with only having a couple hundred dollars in start up fees spent mostly on the script which laid the infrastructure for the site’s core functions, much like WordPress software does for bloggers. We became profitable by switching to monetizing the site through Yahoo!’s ad program, which pays out about 3x as much as Google Adsense was for us, even with the lack of targeting that comes with using Yahoo Ads.
The real problem that has and will continue to plague the site is hosting. We have only become profitable because we are using I think roughly 4 business bandwidth/hosting plans mostly from 1and1. No hosting plan I’ve seen to date can offer us the amount of bandwidth we need when we get linked to from social networking sites. One time one video caused us to loose our entire months bandwidth on all of our hosting plans combined in a few short hours because we were highly saaved/voted/dugg by all the prominent social networks (digg/netscape/del.icio.us/etc.) and many big blogs.
It’s a problem that I’m not sure anyone could solve and is due largely to the unevolving state of the hosting industry.
I’m assuming you are talking about your blog. One thing that’s always impressed me about your site is the community. And its super activity on Tuesdays. The design makes your community. Your guys did a good job.
Thanks for sharing.
I’m so excited. I always say “I live inside your computer. Come inside. You’re only a stranger once.” I wanted a design that had feeling that we were inside. We could talk and be ourselves away from the noise of the universe. I think that’s just what I got!