Interview with Jon Gale of Mobile Tracker

I’ve had a lot of good feedback on the interviews with Professional Bloggers that I’ve been running lately so I’ll keep the ball going with this week’s one – this time I’m featuring a blogger I’ve admired a lot recently Jon Gales. Jon is one of the youngest Pro Bloggers that I’ve come across (only 20) but runs one of the best examples of a professional blog that I’ve seen – Mobile Tracker (a blog on all things Mobile Phone). Jon was featured last year in an article at Fortune which revealed that back then he was already earning more than $5,000 per month from Adsense. Looking at his traffic levels since that time you can expect that this is a figure that has continued to rise.

Here is what Jon had to say.

– Jon, thanks for chatting with us, can you briefly tell us a little about yourself? Give us a quick sketch of your life.

Jon – I’m young (I’ll be 20 in a few days), on a break from college, and having a blast publishing online. There’s something about writing for an audience that excites me.

ProBlogger – How and when did you first discover and enter into blogging? Do you have or have you had involvement in other blogs or websites other than Mobile Tracker?

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Team Blogging the Only Profitable Way? Part II

Pete continues the discussion going over at pc4media on The Lone Blogger vs The Group, responding to my post and some comments left on it by lone bloggers who are making a living from blogging. He writes:

‘The key to building a business is building “processes” that are valuable, not “products” that are valuable. And if you are blogging and selling ads and you don’t have anyone helping you with anything, you have no processes. All you have is a product: your writing and your ability to sell. Jason Calacanis is building a business. Darren Rowse is making a living.

I certainly wasn’t implying in my earlier post that this was not possible. But, it certainly is not scalable. And although, you could make a living being a blogger, you certainly aren’t building a business if you are a lone operator. ‘

Again I partly agree with Pete but mainly disagree. Maybe its about definitions but in my mind what I’ve built or made so far is a business that makes me a living. I actually don’t see much distinction between my approach and Weblogs Inc except for the scale of our operations. Whilst Weblogs Inc has 70 blogs I have 17. Whilst they have many bloggers, I have 1. Whilst they split their profits between many, I take 100% of the takings. Whilst they have people negotiating advertising deals, I do that work myself (I should be able to make an announcement on a significant new one tomorrow).

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Team Blogging the Only Profitable Way?

pc4media is making some sense writing on Access to Inventory. Ad sales is Most Profitable when More Inventory is Accessible

‘No matter how good your writing is, if you don’t have a full time sales guy selling ad inventory, you aren’t making a living. And therefore, the more writers you have – the more inventory you have – the easier it is to sell the inventory. The more inventory you have – the more money you make – the more sales people you can hire. And the cycle continues. Pretty simple formula.

So, if you are blogging for profit and you aren’t playing on a team or teams or atleast have a sales team working for you, you won’t be blogging for profit very long.’

I see the sense behind such a statement but don’t completely agree. I’m a one man band, I don’t have anyone selling ads for me (except for me) and I am making a good living from my blogging.

Yes I could do better if I had a full time ad selling person and more people writing with me, however at this point that isn’t possible. I am hoping to expand things a little in the next 12 months but at this point am finding things are working out pretty well. I guess its each to their own and a medium where there is no one way to be successful.

Blog Advertising Articles Blog Advertising: Right for You?

I’m sorry for my absence this past few days, I’ve been speaking at a conference and also trying to keep up with posting on a couple of trade shows in the US that are related to a couple of my blogs. Things should return to normal here in the next day or two.

In the mean time – here are a few articles that I just noticed on Blog advertising.

– fulminator has a two part article on ‘The Blog as an Advertising Medium – Part 1 and Part 2

- Clickz has a feature titled – Blog Advertising: Right for You?

Meet the Trotts

There is a good article over at Yahoo news on Mena and Ben Trott from Six Apart:

‘Like so many other 20-somethings hoping to mine the Internet gold rush of the late 1990s, Mena Trott was thrown for a humbling loop by the dot-com bust, yet still craved stardom. Her unassuming husband, Ben, just wanted another computer programming gig in Silicon Valley’s depressed job market. The couple’s odd chemistry cooked up Six Apart Ltd., a startup that has helped popularize the “blogging” craze, with millions of people worldwide maintaining online personal journals that dissect everything from politics to poultry….

The revenue stream, which the Trotts declined to disclose, has enabled the privately held Six Apart to expand from just six employees in early 2004 to more than 70 with the LiveJournal acquisition, making the Trotts darlings of the blogosphere.’

Read more at Yahoo! News – Couple Build Startup Into Blog Powerhouse

My new Blog HQ

I’ve been thinking recently about actually finding an office to blog out of and when I saw this wonderful photo at Brand Autopsy it was like a dream come true and I knew immediately that this is what I should be looking for in my new Blog HQ!

Bloggers Grotto 1-1

Photo originally from Everything And/But Nothing: The Blogger’s Grotto

Will Blog for ‘Boys Toys’

Duncan at the Blog Herald is willing to Advertise you for 12 months in exchange for a Mac Mini.

Hmmmm – nice idea.

I’m willing to prominently advertise* you in exchange for any (or all!) of the following:

G5 iMac
Canon 20D DSLR
Panasonic Video Camera

*By ‘advertise’ I mean I am willing to negotiate a nice package worth more than the retail value of whichever item you choose. This advertising could appear on this blog and/or any of the others in my stable of blogs and could include a combination of banner, button, text and sponsored posts. Of course if you’d just like to buy me any of them because you think I’m a nice guy I’m willing to accept them also!

Dreaming of a ‘Blog Market’

Paul is looking for bloggers that are looking for work. He’s hoping to build a stable of writers that he can match with potential clients, publishers and companies looking for bloggers. Nice idea really.

I was actually dreaming (day dreaming) last night and wondering if a time is coming where there is some kind of ‘Blog Market’ – where those looking for bloggers to write for them and bloggers looking for work come together in a virtual sense to bid and pitch for work. I envisage a wall street stock market floor where there are people with content to be written and blogs to be maintained who are vying for the attention of the best bloggers in their industry (and visa versa). Similar in a way to this one for programmers or this one for web designers or this one for freelancers.

I suspect that at this point there is probably an oversupply of bloggers for the amount of work that people are willing to hire for, but I’m hoping for a day where the demand and supply for bloggers in this kind of work evens out a little.

Blogging Creates ‘Experts’

I was speaking at a conference earlier today and was introduced by the host as:

‘Darren is one of the most famous bloggers on the internet and an expert in his field…’

As I listened to this introduction (and wondered how I’d be able to live up to it) two things struck me:

  1. How little the guy doing the introductions knew about the blogosphere and my little bit of it.
  2. How writing a blog on a topic has the potential to give you real credibility and legitimacy in a field.

Two years ago I was just an ordinary guy who liked to research and think about his personal hobbies. Today I’m still an ordinary guy who likes to research and think on the same topics, however I do it out loud and in a public way – and suddenly people call me things like ‘expert’ and ‘famous’. What’s more they ask me to come and talk to and teach them about the things I write about.

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Entrepreneurial Blog Consultant for Hire

Update: Due to a very high level of demand and other projects – I’m currently not taking on new consulting clients. Please feel free to ask after reading what I offer below – but please don’t be offended if I’m unable to take on your work at this point. I’m working to clear some time for more of this type of work – but it could be some time before I can do so.

Since starting ProBlogger back in September I’ve had an increasing number of requests from Bloggers and potential bloggers to help them think through how they might generate an income through their blogging. To this point I have been happy to offer some basic free advice or to point these people to appropriate articles and/or resources that might help them.

On a handful of occasions I’ve given bloggers more specific and advanced advice and have assisted them in putting into action a money making strategy for their sites. In one of these cases the blogger in question increased their earnings from $5 to $55 per day within 48 hours!

I get a lot of satisfaction from helping bloggers move towards their goals of earning an income from blogging and have decided to make more time available in my schedule over the coming months to work with a small number of bloggers as a consultant.

The areas of experience that I can offer potential clients advice and consultation in include:
– Adsense Publishing Program
– Amazon Affiliate Program
– Other Advertising and Affiliate Streams
– Search Engine Optimisation
– Sourcing Content on Niche Topics

I’m also open to approaches to write on different blogs as an editor or contributor.

If you would like to engage my services in any of these or other related areas please do not hesitate to contact me with your requirements or ideas. If they meet with my areas of experience I would be happy to speak further with you and prepare a proposal that would be mutually beneficial for us both.