Sunday, March 2, 2014

For a commercially successful blog, don't do what I do...

I think many bloggers have fantasies of their blog going viral, making lots of money and enabling them to quit their mind numbing day job.  Although I share the fantasy, I continue to be crippled by reality - the greatest being that income from blogging probably won't allow me to quit my day job.  While the potential for income is alluring, it was not my primary motivation for blogging.  My motivation was and continues to be quite simple - I want a forum to run my mouth; a forum where I am accountable to myself and can express myself as I choose.  This includes choice of topic and expressing unpopular perspectives at times.  In this post, I am identifying some choices and illustrations of where this goal runs counter to a profit motive. Do and Don'ts for making money with your blogs:

1.  Don't blog anonymously.  First off please note that you probably won't be entirely anonymous, but this pertains to applying an identity (name and face) to your blog.  Readers really do want to know the source, particularly if you are offering expertise or blogging on an emotional level for human interest type blogs.  And while you're at it, make sure you pull in the full social media arsenal - tie in your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts - you never can have too much social media when you're aiming for popularity.

2.  Identify a clear theme or tightly defined specialty.  It is hard to establish a base when you jump from widely divergent topics as I do such as dog poop bags to politics (wait a second maybe they do fit).

3.  Let Google choose your words.  That's right, it doesn't matter if it makes sense or is something you feel passionate about, if it's popular write about it.

4.  Hawk products at every chance you get...  So that slicer / dicer doesn't work so well?  Don't tell them that; let your readers know that it's fantastic and splits atoms, right after it chops your salad!  And don't forget to provide that link to Amazon so that they can buy it now!

5.  Add intrusive ads... Sandwich them in with whatever you call content... Who cares if your readers frequently accidentally click these ads...after all clicking ads is your goal.  While you're at it, use ads that pop up and block your content and those ads that move as the reader moves are a real hoot too!  Whatever you do, don't do as I've done and keep the advertising portion of your blog crystal clear and unobtrusive to your readers.

6.  Don't offend anyone...  Suggesting whore houses for our military troops probably isn't going to make a lot of friends.  "Dis'ing" organized religion probably won't win a lot of readers over either and, if you're a white guy, don't write about racism or sexism...

7.  Comment on as many other blogs as you can.  Don't keep yourself bottled up - spout your wisdom everywhere you can.

If this path to financial success is not for you, you may need to resign yourself to being a starving artist.

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