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Poor Bloggers Focus Too Much On Blog Posts

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.

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.

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Comments

  1. I have to disagree with this post. Although you’re right in a way that blogging without a product isn’t business, you’re wrong about what you said about blog posts getting you nowhere. By writing blog posts, you’re writing quality content for your site, and isn’t that what SEO is all about?

  2. The ideal situation would be to turn your blog content into a product. For a few years I have been writing budget friendly blog posts on fashion, beauty,home decor, entertaining and money savvy ideas. It was obvious within a year of starting the blog that I was not going to make a living by simply writing 5 original blog posts a week no matter how well written they were. Knowing this I made a point of writing at least one blog post a week that was timeless enough to be used for book content. My book just came out and I am glad that I created the blog both for the book content that came out of it and the opportunity to build an audience before I had a product to sell.

  3. Robin Alley says:

    Interesting article. On the one hand its very true. But on the other hand I despise seeing people release junk just to make money. So, its a catch 22 — you need to have something to sell, but make it valuable with the end goal in mind to create a win-win. That’s the winning combination.

  4. Faiz says:

    you have some good points. there are people who concentrate on writing great blog posts, gain huge readership and earn through promoting various products.

    so your point is not always right. it is right sometimes

  5. gazzali says:

    i sense a contradiction in this post. This guy is saying building content and adding banners and adsense do not bring in money. And then he gives a secret to traffic at this post
    http://www.davidrisley.com/2010/04/12/blog-traffic/

    Is he hiding something or what?

  6. This is Source Blogger. How are you David and Darren?

    I feel a little late to the party, but here goes.

    I’m sure that David knew of the reaction of other bloggers who have been ‘programmed’ to do everything with their blogs except earn a healthy income from it.

    The problem is that there is a flood of digital products on the market. Every “blog on blogging” has something to sell.

    Many buyers often feel “remorse” after their purchase. Newbie bloggers are tasked with creating a sellable good AND creating a successful blog. Often the commitment to do so is overwhelming.

    The reality that this will be accomplished by paying for an e-book is unrealistic, comical even. But, I do respect your right to offer something tangible to your readers/subscribers.

    In closing, I’d like to say that inclusion in one’s blog revenue is a turnoff to me and I’m sure to many readers. Must my worth be determined in dollars and cents? Does that not devalue our relationship?

    I assume that is the trade-off for trying to build credibility in that market.

    Keep selling “the dream.”

    Source Blogger

  7. mk akan says:

    I strongly agree with David…look around you ,blogs that are really making it are selling something (a product or a service),…and a product doesn’t have to be an e book.it could a souvenir like T-shirts and other merchandised stuff.
    basically,money comes when you provide something valuable one can exchange for with money..it is the way services and products make money offline..and is the way money is made online…
    don’t forget the internet or your blog is only a tool..
    @Glen..
    i do agree with your too that blogs posts can earn you money and all but remember ,writing a review or blog post for others is A SERVICE you provide.
    which is something valuable people pay money for.
    so maybe David was a little vague or one sided when he asked
    “what is your Product?”
    maybe he should have asked “what can you provide on your blog that people can pay for”
    but the point still is this…
    blog posts or blogs don’t just make money till you provide a product or service people can pay for.
    (by the way when you make money from Google ads,you are providing a service to Google )
    so at the end of the day you need a product or service to leverage our earnings..

  8. Ira Mann says:

    I agree with your statement that blogs are not a business. Blogs are an asset in the business. They are a part of your overall business plan….like inventory. I also think you are correct about focus. I believe a weekly post on your blog will get you just as much traffic as a daily. I’m not saying daily’s are bad, just require a lot of work and a weekly blog will do the same job. Nice post. Very informative.

    Just my 2 cents…..