Guest post by David Risley, of David Risley dot com.
What I’m about to share might be a little bit counter-intuitive for many, so I ask that you stick with me.
What if I were to tell you that blog posts really aren’t all that important?
OK, Mr. crazy man. Stop yanking my chain.
However, I’m quite serious and I’m saying this to you as a full-time, professional blogger who makes his living completely online.
The simple truth is this: Poor bloggers spend most of their time writing blog posts. PROBloggers spend most of their time on what actually matters – business.
Blogging Isn’t A Business
I’ve been quite direct about the fact that blogs are not businesses. I believe that so many bloggers get so hung up on their medium that they haven’t stepped back to look at the big picture. A blog is a promotional medium and a communications platform. And in order to really monetize a blog, you have to ask the question: To what end?
What is your real product? What is the thing that you can provide to others in exchange for some of their money?
See, what we do with blogs is nothing new. The platform is different, but it is essentially human communication and we’ve been doing that ever since the days men were writing on caves.
Then, people developed economies. Some people create things that others can use, and others buy it. Then, people learned how to use the art of writing to promote those products. Thus, people had the power to mobilize crowds of people into certain things. Economies got bigger. Media expanded the reach of promotions into TV, magazines, etc. The Internet then revolutionized the way we communicate. Now, any of us has the power to create and mobilize groups of people from the confines of our bedrooms.
All that being true, the rules haven’t changed. People still spend money on products that they need and want.
Want to Actually Make Money? Then, Answer This…
So, I ask you: What is your product, really?
Your product should be something which is valuable to your audience which they will be willing to fork over a little money for. When you have that, your blog is a promotional medium for an actual business.
Most bloggers today operate in a dream world of made-up business rules. They try to make money with their blogs when they have nothing to sell. They’ll try to monetize the eyeballs only by littering the blog up with banner ads to sell other people’s stuff. It doesn’t take long for most bloggers to realize what a freaking difficult way to monetize a blog that is!
So many bloggers seem to think of their blog as a newspaper. Newspapers are monetized by ads. Guess what? Newspapers are disappearing left and right last time I checked. The model is limited and broken. So, why try to perpetuate it in a completely different medium?
No, the REAL answer to full-time incomes from blogs is to answer that question: What is my product? And if you don’t have one, you need to create one.
In other words, build a real business, then slap a blog on top of it. :) Treat the blog, not as a newspaper, but as a promotional vehicle for an actual business. This isn’t to say all you do is pimp your products. On the contrary, you provide really great content in order to build the relationship up with your reader. However, you do it with the aim of converting into a sale of your own product.
So, Blog Posts Aren’t That Important?
Now, let’s come fill circle back to my original point. Blog posts aren’t really all that important?
Here’s my point: Blog posts are not your product. They won’t get you paid. So, spending all of your blogging time writing more posts isn’t getting you anywhere – IF you want to turn your blog into a revenue producer.
My suggestion is to regroup. Take whatever time you have available for your blog and divide it up. Spend part of the time thinking ahead by producing assets that will help you grow your business. Products to sell, content to use to build your email list, etc. Schedule this into your routine. Then, use the remaining time to write blog posts.
If you have a readership and still aren’t making much more than a few bucks per month from your blog, then something is wrong. And the answer is most likely to be found in the question, “What’s your product?”
David Risley is a professional blogger, which basically means he sits and types a lot and manages to earn a living at it. His blog is the Confessions Of a Six Figure Blogger, and you can follow his escapades on Twitter.