I’ve been reflecting today upon the long term nature of having a business that makes money from blogging.
I am regularly asked by bloggers in their start up phase why they are not earning enough money from their blogs to go full time.
While I usually can find a variety of reasons – in the majority of cases it tends to come back down to the length of time that they’ve been blogging.
Why is length of time in successful entrepreneurial blogging for money so important?
There are a few reasons that come to mind:
- Quantity of content – I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years (in fact November will see me hit this mark) and in that time I’ve added over 11,000 pages of content. This is 11,000 possible entry points to my blogs in search engines. This quantity of content does not just appear.
- Search Engine Optimization – It takes significant time to become an authoritative and highly ranked site in the eyes of search engines. While it might be possible to rank highly on lower paying topics – to rise to the top of a competitive area is rarely achieved quickly unless you have a high profile, a lot of cash or get very lucky (or know something I don’t about SEO).
- Reputation – Building a reputation for yourself in real life takes significant time – the same is true for the online profile of you and/or your blogs. Good reputation builds incoming links, opportunities, bookmarks, RSS subscriptions, advertiser goodwill and loyal readership.
- Network – Connected with a good reputation comes good relationships and a network of contacts. Two years ago if I had wanted to start a new blogging project with someone else I would have had little chance of convincing anyone to join me – but since that time I’ve worked hard at my relationships with fellow bloggers (and other online and offline contacts) to the point now where my problem is becoming too many opportunities to collaborate.
- Web Smarts – I shudder when I look back at my first blogging efforts and how naive, ill-informed and poorly run they were. I have a long way to go when it comes to learning about the web, blogs, design, writing etc – but over time my own skills and knowledge in these areas have grown. You can read all the books, blogs and articles you want on blogging (and I’d encourage you to do so) – but so much of what you can learn about blogging for money has to come from on the job experience – which again only comes with time.
So if your goal is to grow a substantial online business – one of my main piece of advice is to take a long term view of it. While a very small percentage of successful online business people do seem to make it big overnight – the examples of this are increasingly becoming fewer and farer between. I believe you can still realistically expect to grow your business (at least to some extent) but think its worth reminding ourselves that like most things – successful blogging comes as a result of hard work, determination, smart decisions and time.
A few quotes to end with:
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” – Napoleon Hill
“Someone has defined genius as intensity of purpose: the ability to do, the patience to wait… Put these together and you have genius, and you have achievement.” – Leo J. Muir
“Genius is eternal patience.” – Michelangelo