I was reading a couple of posts on ProBlogger yesterday, namely about how he became a professional blogger and what he thought of the professional blogging industry.
They posts make for interesting reads so I won’t summarize them, but after reading’em I got to thinking about the big professional bloggers – John Chow, Darren Rowse and Jeremy Shoemaker and in particular started to ponder how all of them were able to become professional bloggers.
Thought 1 – How Did They Get So Many People to Frequent Their Blog?
On the subject of making money from your blog, this was the first thing that popped into my head because obviously, the more people that come to your site, the more value ads have for advertisers, the more money you can charge. So naturally I said, “So to go PRO, you gotta get those people to your blog right? Well why would people do that?”
Thought 2 – Why Would People WANT to Frequent Their Blog?
I wish I could remember where I first saw it but simply put, a user visits a site because it provides some kind of value. Maybe it’s humor, maybe it’s web development lessons, but whatever it is, it’s something. So then I thought, “Ok. So to go PRO, you gotta provide something of value to your readers… My blog is about technology, video games and blogging…”
Thought 3 – Am I providing substantial value on my subjects for my readers?
This was a hard one to think about because it’s never easy or fun to deal with your own faults. For me and this site, I again talk about three things… Technology, video games and blogging.
Strike 1 – On the technology side, I think it’s fair to say that I rarely bring news or reviews of technology (aside from video games) to my readers. Nor do I share technological items with them.
Strike 2 – On the video game side of things, there are sites that are better than mine. They do more comprehensive reviews, often review full games, and give games to their readers.
Strike 3 – Out of the three things that I mainly talk about on here, I’m probably best qualified to speak about blogging and web development. But I rarely do so. Instead, I spend most of my time speculating on how to make money online which relative to others, I haven’t done yet.
Thought 4 – If I were ever to go PRO, something has to change.
You know that ol’ 20/80 rule right? Well I think if I honestly analyzed how things have been going on here, I’d probably be more “successful” at things if I decided to talk more about things that I have authority on such as web development and blogging. After all, most people who visit the big bloggers’ sites go there because they want to know WHAT TO DO… What WILL work. The biggest problem for me is that I think I’d get bored if I limited my topics like this.
Even if I just wrote about web development and blog tips, I’m too interested in web entrepreneurship not to bring it up. But I really don’t have much authority to speak about it which brings me to my final thought…
Thought 5 – To be an authority on making money online, I have to start making money online.
Going back to the big make money online bloggers, we all visit their sites because we consider them to be authorities on what they write about. They’re authorities because they’ve become successful making money online.
But did they make their first monies with the blogs we’re familiar with?
Probably not. And I guess that’s the thing we often forget about. I kind of think it like these guys have corporations. And the only part we see is their public front, kind of like their PR dept. But what started making them the money is their individual departments and subsidiaries that we tend to overlook (such as Darren’s photo blog or Shoemoney’s past experience in the ringtone market).
Now don’t worry, this post doesn’t mark a “midlife blog crisis” for me or anything but more a reminder for all of us that if we’re looking to go PRO with our online efforts it definitely doesn’t happen overnight, and often it comes from the sum of our various projects – Earning us not only money, but invaluable wisdom that we can share with others.