This is part one of a series of articles on professional blogging as a business model. We begin with a discussion of what is wrong with the strategies most bloggers implement when they first decide to become a professional blogger.
The Professional Blogosphere Today
There’s a good chance that if you are reading this you make money online or want to. There’s also a very good chance you are a blogger and you currently make money from blogging. Unfortunately most of you who blog and make money from it, do not make much money.
The sad truth is most bloggers, even those who incessantly work on monetization strategies, end up sitting around the few dollars a day mark and find it difficult to rise above this level.
Looking at the on the surface cause for this predicament, the natural conclusion is lack of traffic. More traffic leads to more income – that’s a fact in nearly all cases.
You don’t need super amounts of traffic to generate reasonable income and small amounts of quality traffic can bring in the bucks, but let’s face the facts – those true professional bloggers who make a full time income from blogging, do so with a readership in the multiple thousands.
Even five hundred visitors a day, a difficult amount for most bloggers to reach, is not enough to push you into the illustrious category of full time income from professional blogging, which I consider to be around $2000 a month.
There are probably a handful of bloggers who could prove me wrong, but I expect the number is well below one percent of the total blogosphere, or even of the sample of bloggers who aim to make money from blogs.
I trust most bloggers reading this have also come to the same conclusion and thus aim to one day have a readership in the thousands to become a true professional blogger.
Studying the wisdom of successful bloggers reinforces the assumption that traffic is the key ingredient for big money and more often than not the advice given to solve the traffic problem is produce more content that people love. Producing content makes sense on many levels and you won’t find many true professional bloggers who haven’t risen to the top thanks to their ability to dish out the goods on a regular basis.
Is Content Really The Answer?
Assuming content is key to the lack of cash flow from blogging, the answer is to knuckle down and attempt to replicate the big-time bloggers and follow their advice.
Some people, again unfortunately a minority group, stick to it long enough, hit a tidy niche and know enough about it to deliver the goods on a consistent basis. These bloggers taste the fruits of their labors, enjoy an increase in revenues, which further spikes motivation to work hard to earn more. This is a good positive reinforcement cycle that only a few bloggers enjoy.
Despite this successful scenario I don’t consider it ideal if you plan for blogging to be your business long term, and I’ll explain why.
The greater majority of average bloggers increase their content output, but for various reasons do not notice an increase in income, or it comes in such tiny increments that it just isn’t enough to fuel motivation for long and they get bitter or bored or distracted.
The root cause of the lack of success may be many reasons –
- A niche already dominated by other superior sites or blogs.
- A lack of consistency with too many posts varying from topic to topic, with no clear focus.
- Laziness or an inability to stay consistent.
- Insular blogging.
- Not enough knowledge or experience from which to draw from to produce content that people love.
Content that people don’t love is not good enough. Reading between the lines in the list above, you can infer some of the necessary conditions to successfully build traffic. If you want more information on this topic, join my blog traffic tips e-zine.
Blogging As A Business Model
In my case I’ve had two unique advantages as a blogger because of my background and personality – I know what it takes to build a successful business online and I am lazy. These two principles go hand-in-hand. If you don’t want to always work you need to create something that doesn’t require your participation as a critical component – you can’t be a vital cog in the system.
Can you see where I am heading here?
Blogging, and in particular successful professional blogging, is dependent on content – we know that. Most would-be professional bloggers presently produce their own content and no doubt as they continue to learn more about blogging, figure out the relationship between content and traffic and money.
The outcome is a bunch of solo-bloggers attempting to churn out great content consistently to replicate the success of their professional blogging heroes.
The end result – blogger burn-out and disappointment.
In part two of this series we begin with a look at one of the top professional bloggers, who appears on the surface to be an exception to the rule that solo-bloggers can’t succeed long term on their own. I bet you can guess who that might be!