Only 2 Good Reasons to Blog for Profit
Darren at ProBlogger.net is declaring August “31 days to building a Better Blog” and is writing a series of how to tips. He has also put out a call for blogging tips; it seems he is aware of a number of bloggers who start blogs to try and make money and are now discouraged or considering quitting.
Never short of an opinion, I couldn’t help weighing in. For me success or failure is always made in the very first step taken. What made you take the first step? Why are you taking this journey?
There are only 2 good reasons that I can think of to start a blog for profit.
- You have a thorough understanding of business and you recognize the business models that are in play with blogs and you know you can make money in this area.
- You love blogging and/or you love a narrow topic enough to do it even if you never had a single person visit your website and you never made a penny from it.
A lot of people, including myself when I first started, think that number 1 is easy and that they get it. Not true. Here’s my current definition of a business: you, the owner, can be convicted on insider trading charges, spend a year in prison [sorry no passing notes through the barbed wire fence], get out of the pen and have your business be worth more than when you went in. If you know how to accomplish that, then you are ready for the first step on path number one.
Number 2 is the “no lose” scenario. I fall into the number 2 camp, except that I knew myself well enough not to limit myself to too narrow a topic. More important to let the expression have a place to flow with number 2 than to stick strictly to a niche [strict niches are for number 1s].
The reason that I see these as the only two successful starting points is because there is one very large barrier that every venture or creation of any kind must go through: HOPELESSNESS. It’s inevitable. During the process, at least once, probably more than that, everything is going to feel hopeless.
You’ll know it when your head is full of thoughts like, “why bother, no-one ever comes to my site anyways” or “I don’t feel like writing the same thing day after day” or “nobody cares”.
To a number 1 business guy/gal these feelings are well known. They are dealt with by having a plan. The plan is not influenced by how the practitioners are feeling. The plan moves forward and negative feelings are a part of moving through the plan.
To number 2 the hopeless feelings are really okay because he loves it so much and is detached enough from the results that the hopelessness becomes something to blog about. And if you’re a number 2 and you blog honestly you will find readers and then the hopelessness won’t have any weight with you anymore. [a couple of stories that have expressed my hopelessness have been the most popular on this site: Why I'm Not Rich and Let's Not go Down That Road Again, Okay?].
If you can think of another good reason I’d love to hear about it, but to me most blogs that people are trying to earn money from are hobbies. Which is completely fine. I always find it worthwhile to get clear about where you are going before taking the first step but it’s never to late to examine the first motivation for a business decision.
Once you have reason one or two [or both] in place then you have the foundation for unlimited success in blogging or any other business.