Only 2 Good Reasons to Blog for Profit

by SMD 

Darren at 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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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.

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26 Responses to “Only 2 Good Reasons to Blog for Profit”

  1. Steven on June 12th, 2007 10:53 pm

    The blog story here look like give me some idea on building my blog site. However, does it mean if I am not sure what I want to promote, it is better not to have one site? Rgds Steven Look for tips to build multiple source income online? has the tips for you.

  2. Yongshin Y on June 12th, 2007 10:53 pm

    I blog for money and don’t make much. I’m not trying to get rich but just make a niche for myself. I don’t expect to earn a life saving’s off of it, but its fun.

  3. Gerard on June 12th, 2007 10:53 pm

    I maintain a couple of blogs. One is a personal interest site, the other promotes my web design business. I’m starting to look into commercialising my personal blog to see if it is a viable venture. If it is, then I can quit my day job and earn a living doing things I love!

  4. Darren on June 12th, 2007 10:54 pm

    What about people who blog to build their profile, to become seen as an expert in their field? Sure, they’re kind of blogging for money, but not directly. And they wouldn’t be blogging if nobody was reading. They’re using blogging to reach a wider audience for their other pursuits.

  5. Duane on June 12th, 2007 10:54 pm

    I started a blog to share stories about my kids with relatives who I am not always in touch with. I threw ads on it because I work for a company that is heavily into SEO techniques and I wanted to learn more about it. For the most part I blog about whatever I want (from kid stories to American Idol complaints to Shakespeare references) and could care less about the traffic and Google numbers. Then one day I hit it just right, I said the right thing about the right tv show and before I knew it my traffic went up like 10x and suddenly there was actually the prospect of making a few bucks off the thing. And for awhile I would tweak and twist and word things just write in an attempt to keep that traffic up. Then summer came (darned reruns) and my traffic dipped again, and now I’m back to not caring all that much. It’s easier that way. If I get a check in the mail, yayyyy, and if not, hey, I’d be doing it anyway.

  6. Nikki on June 12th, 2007 10:54 pm

    Yes, yes, blogging for fun or profit. The fun part has so many motivators: connecting with like minded people, getting your thoughts out of your head, writing about your favorite hobby or past time. Profit on the other hand: it’s all about the benjamins baby. I recently set up a blog for an e-commerce client so that they can connect with their customers and have a well structured site for SEO purposes. You could do it for the PR or you can go the direct route and put up a few affiliate links. I had a personal blog for 2 years and had no idea anyone was reading until I read about something controversial, then all of a sudden the lurkers came out of the wood works. So, being the business minded individual that I am I decided to monetize it:-)

  7. Dan on June 12th, 2007 10:55 pm

    Fun or profit, sure. What I’d like to learn more about though, is moving from “fun” to “fun + profit.” It seems a difficult road to hoe.

  8. John on June 12th, 2007 10:55 pm

    How boring! It’s what I’ve been doing for 28 years. But still proud of it. Mechanic=no traffic. Hell it’s just a blog right? Monetization? I think sharing experience is the mission for now.

  9. jay on June 12th, 2007 10:55 pm

    i love your post and i fall in category 1, i think the faster the better

  10. redwall_hp on June 12th, 2007 10:55 pm

    Great article. Seems like the way I see things: Blog about what you like, because it’s enjoyable, make some money on the side if you can. I’ve been blogging since October 2006 (I’ve been running a website longer, though) and my adsense is finally up to $23. I’ve also made about $60 total off Adbrite. I fully intend to keep blogging, because it’s fun. If I can make some money off it too, fine with me. “don’t fall into theBlogger free blog trap” I couldn’t agree more to that. I’ve been writing a tutorial series on starting a WordPress blog.

  11. K on June 12th, 2007 10:53 pm

    What else is there? It all comes down to the for love or money debate. ‘Course it’d be great to have the best of both worlds. Me, I blog for fun which tells you how much of a nutcase I am.

  12. Christi on July 20th, 2007 10:35 pm

    I think it’s when people start off blogging for money and have no real purpose to their blogs that the discouragement is not far off. If a blogger truly loves writing, they will do it whether or not people actually read about it. It’s funny that this post popped up in one of my searches, it’s the same subject I just posted about earlier tonight. Quite a few times I have considered letting one of my several blogs go, and it’s right about then that I realize that I actually do have readers. I have blogged professionally at times, and yet still enjoy rambling on for free on my own blogs. I think it sort of gives me a feeling of freedom, a sense of flexibility, and definitely a platform in which to speak my mind when or if I feel like it. People who truly love blogging will do it regardless of how many people are reading or commenting on their site. That’s the beauty of blogging, it’s a “who cares” type of job. Who cares if someone is reading, who cares what you write about, and who cares if they like it. If you are having fun doing it…keep going!

  13. Mackenzie on July 22nd, 2007 7:38 pm

    Great Post, I have been debating on whether or not I wan to start a blog for fun, where i am creative and provide a place for my friends and others who share my interests to gather, or to start a blog where I could profit. I dont have much free time so I am going to do one or the other. I have been trying to think of how I could create the blog that i want and profit but it has been difficult. I am going to this free conference Postiecon in Vegas to learn more about monetizing a blog so I know what I really need to do. You might want to check it out, i think it is going to be really interesting.

  14. C Tutorials and Computer Articles on July 30th, 2007 2:17 pm

    I personally blog for the enjoyment of blogging. I like sharing my tutorials and articles. If I make a few bucks along the way thats great. I think as long as your content is great people will be willing to visit and you can make a profit.

  15. Andrew on August 5th, 2007 6:18 pm

    I am also a #2. I tried niche blogging and actually started to get good results but I lost interest in it. I like to write, that is my niche (not internet marketing which I tried to blog about), but I will no longer limit myself to one particular topic. My new blog is hosted and has its own domain name unlike my blogger site. I can write what I want when I want and I will read it if no one else does. This is a hobby I love and If I make money good, if not, then that is why I have a job. Thanks for writing this article it helped to clear some things up for me.

  16. cj on August 15th, 2007 5:33 pm

    I’m a newbie. I have NO idea what I’m doing. But, I am an opinionated person who loves to research, learn and write. So, thanks to all who are contributing to my blogging education.

  17. Patricia A. on August 26th, 2007 9:28 am

    I’m new to blogging and are trying to make money at it, not too much so far but why not.
    So far, I see that your #1 approach is the only way to get to make any money. There has to be a plan and the plan has to be followed, no matter how you feel. Also, without too much attachment to comments against you, or how interesting the info out there is, lest you get lost.
    Good Luck to all!

  18. sanimoyo on August 31st, 2008 3:41 pm

    your two points are valid, everyone does assume that they have the first one on lock though, most people are incapable of checking if their business plan is solid or not.

  19. Barbara on October 30th, 2008 1:20 pm

    hi am writing a book and want to get it published it is based on a true story . I have never written a book before I know the topic of the book is a hot one thought maybe bloging would help promote my book and answer questions . would this work what is the best way to create a blog? I heard that every time some one visits your site you make money . I’m very new at this and would appreciate any im put that you can give me . Thank you , Barbara

  20. Barbara on October 30th, 2008 1:21 pm

    hi am writing a book and want to get it published it is based on a true story . I have never written a book before I know the topic of the book is a hot one thought maybe bloging would help promote my book and answer questions . would this work what is the best way to create a blog? I heard that every time some one visits your site you make money . I’m very new at this and would appreciate any im put that you can give me . Thank you , Barbara I have never been on this site before

  21. JS on October 30th, 2008 3:05 pm

    “I heard that every time some one visits your site you make money .”

    Whoever told you that… never believe anything they ever say again :)

    You can get a blog setup here: but as for making money from it, or promoting your book, there is a lot of competition and a steep learning curve.

    Sorry for the reality check, but better to know what you’re getting into up front.

  22. Ralph on January 7th, 2009 4:49 pm

    Nice post. I completely agree with you. The key for me is to blog about what you enjoy instead of just typing a lot of rubbish which you don’t really understand. If you don’t enjoy it or don’t really understand the business you are promoting you are definitely going to fail.
    Good luck to everyone in these tough times.

  23. Charlie on February 16th, 2009 9:04 pm

    I am just getting starting in blogging and I agree with your post I feel hopeless at the moment because I can not figure not how to generate traffic to my blog. I am not giving up yet though. Can anyone give me some more tips. Check out my blog

  24. Charlie_B on May 10th, 2010 1:29 am

    “Understand the business”…that is the key. So many people start blogging for profit with little or no understanding of what they get themselves into. They start a blog and expect the first thousand bucks in a months or so…something that never happens and so they lose their faith and they dump the whole thing altogether.

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  26. 31 Days to Building a Better Blog - Day 1 on August 18th, 2016 7:46 pm

    [...] at Smart Money Daily has a tip titled Only 2 Good Reasons to Blog for Profit in which he looks at one’s motivation for blogging [...]

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