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Rise Of The Blogging Service Industry

In this guest post, Neil Matthews from WPDude.com writes about the rise of the blogging service industry, and how bloggers can use their existing skills to enter this lucrative industry.

Blogging has moved away from a niche activity to such an extent that it has spawned it’s own service industry. There are numerous activities and companies supporting the blogger.

The market is huge, with hundreds of millions of blogs in existence and thousands more being created each day, there is an insatiable need for blogging skills, something the experienced blogger can use to their financial advantage.

I would like to present you the various sectors of the service industry and how you can use your existing skills to enter the industry.

Theme Development

If you have experience designing and modify the theme of your blog, you already have the skills to become a theme developer.

The routes available to you are to develop a premium theme such as Thesis and sell if from your own site. A second option would be to set yourself up as a service company selling bespoke theme design and development services.

People want individual blogs, not standard themed “Just another WordPress blog” blogs. For many Probloggers a target is to have their own bespoke theme built for them. This requires theme developers.

Plugin Development

Do you have computer development skills? If you do you can string together the code to write a plugin, there is place for you in the blogging service industry.

Plugin developers can make their money in two ways, much like bloggers, directly and indirectly.

The direct method is to write a plugin and charge for it. The majority of plugin in circulation are free, but there are a growing number out there which are for profit. They tend to be larger and more complex. The paid for plugins I have used include a mailing list and a membership site plugin.

The second method is to develop plugins, distribute and support them for free and use them as a showcase for your technical skills. This is excellent social proof that you have the ability to develop blogs and can lead to other development jobs.

Coaching & Consulting

As I mentioned there are millions of blogs, and many of these blogs owners needs support from blogging experts.

Well know bloggers such as Chris Garrett and Michael Martine offer consulting services to their clients on the back of their very successful blogs.

If you have the skills and know-how to coach people or companies on their blogging strategy/problems, then this is a route into the blogging service industry with a low barrier to entry. All you need is some social proof that you know what you are talking about and a website to inform potential clients of your wares. This is the sector I work in.

Copy Writing

Blogs have an insatiable thirst for content, they need to be fed with a continuous stream of words. Why not set yourself up as a blog copywriter.

Check out the PB jobs board for a small section of the work that is available. There are paid freelance writing gigs out there for good writers.

Create a portfolio of writing by developing posts on your own blog, cast the net out and guest post (for free) on other blogs and take this social proof to the market to prove you can write quality content

Books

A quick search for the word blog on Amazon, will return page after page of results on books about blogging. This is another sector of the industry which you could enter.

The skills you have learned developing content for your blog can be put towards a larger writing project. Can you take your blog posts and edit them together into a larger work? If you can develop a few hundred blogs posts, then you have the skills to string them together into a book length piece of work.

I understand that a couple of up and coming bloggers called Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett (no I’ve not heard of them either) did just that. They wrote a book on blogging called ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

The only thing I would say about writing about a dynamic medium like blogging is to make it timeless. The time to press for a book can make your manuscript out of date before it is in the hands of your readers. I have read a number of blogging books only to come away thinking that was yesterdays news and techniques.

Consider writing a book for your niche. Blogging for {INSERT NICHE HERE} books may be viable way to service the blogging industry.

Graphic Designers

If you are handy with Photoshop, there are a huge number of opportunities to service bloggers. We need logo design services, 125×125 banner ads, fancy RSS logos, even the latest tools such as Twitter need graphic designers to create home page backgrounds.

Whilst blogging is predominantly a text based medium, it still required a lot of imagery for the presentation layers of those millions of blogs.

Check out freelancing sites such as elance.com for graphic design gigs.

Other Bigger Services

There are other sides to the blogging service industry which is probably out of reach for most bloggers to enter but well worth a mention anyway and these are the large infrastructure services underpinning blogging. These include:

  • Syndication services e.g. Feedburner
  • Hosting – Deamhost, Godaddy to name just two
  • Advertising – Adsense and Chitika,
  • Blogging platforms- Blogger, WordPress.com

If you have the benefit of a generous Angel Investor and the next big idea for bloggers, there is a large enough audience to enter the infrastructure side of the industry.

Conclusion

There is a brand new service industry out there servicing an abundance of blogs, getting a slice of this industry should be easy for people like us; the early to mid level adopters of blogging. Remember as the medium becomes more and more mainstream, there will be more and more blogs and more and more opportunities.

If you can establish yourself as the blogging expert in your niche, not just a blog writing expert in your niche there is money to be made from a fertile market.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

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Comments

  1. This is great! It really shows me where to expand my blog. I think that sometime in the future I might try to write a book to go along with my blog, but we will see…

    Thanks,
    Nate

  2. Good post with useful tips and ideas for expanding money making opportunities

  3. Julie M says:

    Blogging really has become part of a service industry. Blogs have become so widespread over the years and for those that have been around for awhile, I am sure you have seen the changes.

    Good to know there are additional ways to generate income from blogging. Thanks for this post!

  4. Fllu says:

    I was thinking for some time to make some templates for Blogger. Now, after reading this, I think I will give it a try.

    However, it’s pretty hard to make templates knowing that they will quickly become available on RapidShare, Megaupload and others like that (that is, if you sell them). If you give them away for free, you will not make too much money from them, unless you add some AdSense in the template.

  5. Guillermo says:

    Great post Neil, but I still think you could’ve used some decorum by advicing the readers that you Thesis link is an affiliate one… Or you could’ve said “sell from your own site and others”!

    Just those little details that ruin a great job!

  6. A Maui Blog says:

    I “personally” know many bloggers who delved into some of the items you listed and are making decent pay out of them, so I very much agree with your post. Now I am in the process of figuring our what works best for me but I am confident I am on the right path with A Maui Blog.

    And yes, I bought Darren and Chris’ book – it’s great! A very helpful resource (and inspiring too)

    Liza
    A Maui Blog

  7. Bash Bosh says:

    Very interesting and useful post.
    I have also bought Darren’s and Chris’ book and yes, it’s great. Most quality blogging related book I have read.

  8. Sean says:

    Another area is all the server side stuff. I’ve had good success with providing services for server migrations, server tuning & maintenance, and diagnosing performance problems all the way down into plugins and custom code that people have written.

  9. I believe more and more people will join the blogging industry, looking for alternative income stream since the economic is bad now.

  10. Kayla says:

    Good post! I plan to move into this stuff after I’m done with school, as most of it is time consuming. It’s a great post to reference back to. My blog needs more time to gain in popularity anyway.

  11. Unoblogger says:

    A wonderful article…. and wonderful pointers on why blogging is emerging as a industry,,…. thanks

  12. This is a great article. I’m new to blogging but still learning. Thanks for the great resource.

  13. But with such service there is one more service developed a lot and i.e., SEO industry. Now people want to get indexed fast and want to build the backlinks as well.

    So if people have such knowledge than he/she can also make good money from it.

  14. RAJEEV TIPS says:

    grea t article.. there are plenty of people wanting to take up blogging in a big way ..this is opening up whole range of opportunities.. exciting times ahead…

  15. Robin says:

    Blogs that market to bloggers, seem to be doing the best lately. I’m not that savvy though.

  16. As a blogger with hearing loss, I’d like to suggest an important addition to the blogging related jobs you mention here. More and more, bloggers and websites are using video as a means to get their messages out to their Internet audience. Millions of people with hearing loss have difficulty following the videos because they do not offer captions. Resourceful people can offer reasonably priced caption services to bloggers like Darren Rowse and many others so that their message reaches an even wider audience. Free programs like http://www.overstream.net exist to caption online videos. For more web-based captioning tools, scroll down this page: http://www.dcmp.org/ciy/

  17. Lara Kulpa says:

    Guillermo – that’s Darren’s Thesis link. Not Neil’s… and for what it’s worth, I think your comment was a bit harsh…

    His point was to direct you to the Thesis theme as an example of a premium theme, in regards to an additional way to make money in the blogging industry. He wasn’t making a push for you to go buy it… and so what if you did? While he also wasn’t saying “put your affiliate link to Thesis whenever you write about it so you can make money, too” this blog as a whole is about making money blogging… one of the main ways of doing that is using affiliate links when appropriate (as in, don’t spam it all over a hundred times in every post you write). I see nothing inappropriate about the usage of it here… sorry.

  18. Great article. I’m about to hire someone :) . Thanks for the great resource.

  19. Blogging really became a big industry and now people don’t use blog just to promote their sites or share with their friends and family but many people want to make a full time income from their blogs. I hope that I can make a full time earning from my blog and after finishing my education I don’t want to go do a job.

    Mohammad Afaq
    Free Website Traffic
    Free People Search

  20. ITrush says:

    I’m hoping also that I could get some slice of that very tasty blogging services.. who knows, right?

  21. One of these days, my webmaster will be as savy as you guys are. Awesome information for the public, thanks.

  22. Adam says:

    This is a great post and makes me think of where I can fit in. I do a little bit of everything mentioned here and I guess I have to find my competitive advantage.

  23. I’ve never been a big fan of people ‘selling out’ with their blog success. It’s the modern equivalent to ‘let me show you how to get rich… by selling you this get rich quick guide’! :)
    If someone is going to become a successful blogger, they have all the skills in this day and age to do it themselves anyway: presumably able to write, have a passion and common-sense marketing skills! :)
    Sam

  24. Great post.

    This is so true. Copy writing or guest blogging are the only blogging services that I would be able to actually offer but on the other end of that, I would utilize many of the services you listed here.

    I have been on the search for awesome graphic design services for my blog and have found someone that may be able to create a nice layout for my blog. I also utilize plug-ins and it would be awesome if someone created a Related Posts plug-in that could be used with Blogger since this particular blogging platform does not offer it to members. I know that wordpress offers this plug-in for people who use the service, but I am not willing to transfer all of my content over and lose links, page rank and viewers.

  25. Hi Neil,

    Your list didn’t include corporate blogging services. Are we the only ones doing it? :)

  26. Dan says:

    One of the big problems with premium themes like Thesis is the affiliate program. Everyone talks it up because they want readers to click on their link so they can make a buck. Hard to get an honest opinion that way. And no, I’m not clicking on your link above. Sorry!

  27. Lara Kulpa says:

    Oh Dan… like Guillermo, you’ve missed the point entirely.

    What difference would it make if he had said Thesis or WooThemes or any other premium theme gig out there right now? REALLY? What difference would it have made? He picked Thesis, and Darren, the owner of the site, not the one who wrote the post (so you can’t cry dishonesty) put his own link in there.

    Besides, by leaving a comment just to say you’re not clicking the link, you’ve given the site two pageviews.

    I can’t believe you’re trying to make such a stink, when there are aff links on other posts and no one’s batted an eye… it’s ridiculous. The blog is about making money blogging and one of the ways to do that is with affiliate links. Anyone with half a brain knows that… it has nothing to do with the credibility or honesty of the author, the site owner, or the blog as a whole.

    It’s not like the post is saying “Hey, buy Thesis! Thesis is a great theme! You know what? There’s this theme, and it’s called Thesis! You should buy Thesis!” with every “Thesis” being an affiliate link. He was ILLUSTRATING a POINT. One that you clearly haven’t gotten.

  28. So true, these types of services are so necessary, and especially since so many bloggers are non-techies.

  29. Bibokz says:

    Another job evolutions that blogger could benefits. Blogger would rise… blog is the best internet marketing tool for me.

  30. I would just like to bacl up what @Lara Kulpa is saying, the link to thesis is a reference to a premium theme, and the link is Darren’s not mine.

  31. Patrick says:

    I`d be interested to know the % of women who began blogging because they got stuck at home all day with their baby and bordem sunk in. Blogging and / or blogging services that is.

    Read an article on the BBC a few days ago speaking about women are having a greater online presence now than ever before from this scenerio. I suspect the number would be higher than one might imagine.

  32. The Internet explosion of the past few years is doing blogging to a whole new world of business is really a great thing for the people. Also this makes many people employed. Thanks for that!!!

  33. Blogging has become such an important way for businesses to interact with their buyers/readers. And it’s so easy to do on the go with your mobile phone or laptop and the internet! Just access your webtop and you can quickly write and upload your post.

    I think consulting will continue to be a large requirement as new and old businesses begin to blog. It’s a different marketing strategy and requires a new mindset from copyediting and other marketing pieces.

  34. Neil, this is a great overview. Blogging services and products are absolutely booming, and closely related are social media services.

    The educational need and the technical assistance needs are very great. There is tremendous opportunity to help people and earn a living doing it.

  35. David Risley says:

    Yeah, I wrote about this on my own blog just a couple days ago. There is good money to be made here if you want to go into the service business. There is growth happening in the blogosphere, yet the technical skills are lacking for most people. Take advantage of that!

  36. Good article – plenty of food for thought. I find blogging about employment law almost more enjoyable than doing the job itself!

    Michael Scutt of Jobsworth

  37. Blogging Service industry is the vast industry on the internet. They serve many people with the blogs by sharing much information over online. Its easy to make and share the blog with other people and it grows a lot. Thanks for the useful post!!!

  38. Seth says:

    I am really interested in the coaching/consulting industry! We will see how things go though.

    Thanks for your information in the future of the industry.