People want information on all sorts of issues, problems and interests. Musicians are searching for information on how to create a new gig. Young mothers to be are hungry for information on how to care for their babies. Would be start-up business owners want the latest on business plans and marketing methods. People with an interest in food seek out information on recipes from other cultures such as Mexican, Thai or Indian.
Before the Internet, (who still remembers that time?), information was provided by newspapers that covered mostly general information. Sure, there were special supplements on lifestyle, motorcars, the arts and cooking but if you really wanted more specialised information on topics that interested you, you’d need to find a magazine catering to your niche interest. Even then, magazines, needing to keep circulations justifiably high to attract advertisers, still catered to the general taste.
That’s all changed with the web and particularly the growth of blogs. Within a few years millions of blogs have appeared on the Internet, catering for people’s interests narrowed down to niche audiences. Blogs cater for one brand of cellphone, one type of mental health problem, marketing for small businesses that sell online only, renewable energy in the home, and even gossip covering a few celebrated stars as well as fashion divided into varying tastes.
Many people come up with blogs to pursue a passion or just for fun but the blogosphere has been touted as being a way to find an alternate source of income and even a full-time job. Overzealous bloggers have even published books on how to “get rich” in blogging. Such titles as “Get Rich Blogging” and “Blogging For Fame and Fortune” are just some of the titles that push the line that blogging could be your way to wealth and happiness.
The dust jacket of one book on blogging screams, “If you’re bored with being passed around, frustrated that nobody is listening to your opinions and want to work less and earn more, then you need to quit your job … and start a blog.”.
These are the books that appeal to dreamers who believe that no technical knowledge is required to start a blog and that anyone can start up a blogging business from scratch.
Yet, this isn’t what I found from my insights working with lots of people who have started blogs and also obtaining the best advice from research with bloggers who have been successful.
Take a look around the blogosphere and you’ll find many blogs that have been started enthusiastically but have simply weathered and died – just look at when their last post (perhaps the final post) was made on some of the many blogs on the Internet. Those bloggers that have made a success of their blogs have only achieved income generation after 4 to 5 years. During this period they have had to learn to find their audience, provide their audience with content that they want, need and desire and learned how to build a business model for their blogging business.
You see, blogging is no different from any other business. You’ve got to have a product or service that people want. The trick is estimating demand for your product or service and then testing for that demand.
Blogging, like any other business, starts off with an idea and then that idea needs to be developed, tested and plans for its implementation made. In the changing world of the Internet, blogs require constant refocusing and development as competition increases, viewers tastes change and better blogs become available on the Internet.
I recently saw a typical example of an entrepreneur who started a parenting website for new mothers, pregnant women and those struggling to conceive. She was blasted on the front cover of a weekly business magazine as some sort of success but really isn’t as her business is struggling. The website has taken her four years to develop and only now is she generating some income from selling advertising. In addition to the fortune she invested in the blog, she needs to use spend money on maintenance, search engine optimisation and advertising of the blog. This leaves her with very little at the end of the day.
Blogging like other forms of expression do provide public awareness of your work, opportunities to motive and inspire others and provide a deeper connection with audiences. Some blogs offer people deeply moving experiences, life changing even such as one website I know that is done extremely well which is called Spiritual River.
If you are interested in taking a serious look at blogging and want to find out the reality of trying to turn a blog into a money-making proposition, then this is what you may be looking for.