Thursday, September 13, 2007

Character, Moneybags & Blogs

“It takes a long time to educate a community and it can't be done by spellbinders, moneybags, hypnotizers or magicians or Aladdin's lamp. Character is what matters on a paper.”~ Harry J. Grant, American Author & Publisher
I hear this alot.

"Cool blog, does it make any money?"

Everyone seems to want to make money with a blog... but not me. CVoD is a resource, a place for discussion and sharing... it's not a commercial marketplace.

Oh sure one day I may test selling a product, (he said in a foreshadowing manner - hehehe), but that is not the purpose of this site.

Then why have a blog?

Ah ha, well...

From a business point of view, there are two reasons to publish a blog.

One is as a marketing tool to bring exposure, credibility and clientele to an existing business, service, or product. For instance, blogging about gardening to promote a local plant nursery, or better yet blogging about your web marketing philosophy which states that one must create value for their Internet business or, in the blink of an eye, it will soon perish from the medium.

CVoD baby!

The other reason is to generate money through the blog itself. Rather than promoting a person or a business, the blog is the business.

There are some doing this such as "The Daily Kos" which can attract millions of readers and via an advertising business model sell thousands of dollars of ad space.

But this is an exception. Most blogs CANNOT get the traffic to use an advertising model. Most try and fail. Some may have garnered some traffic years ago using Google's AdSense and black hat techniques, but those days are gone mostly. And so are those businesses.

According to Technorati, there are 103 million blogs in existence and 175,000 new ones created every day. Yikes.

And to me... most of them are for crap, eh?

They are mostly Ma-and-Pa descriptions of daily life that don't even try to sell ads. Many of them do try to monetize via Google's AdSense program and fail. Do they make some money?

Yes, each month money comes in but in unspectacular fashion. And often the margin is so ridiculously low that the time would be better spent doing some real marketing for the blog.

As always, there are exceptions to the rule. A few blogs make $10,000 per month, but that is less than 1% of the total. In a word:
Atypical, a·typ·i·cal, adj. - Not conforming to type; unusual or irregular.
I think a blog should follow the CVoD 4 E's:

Entertain, educate and engage.

The motivation should be the personal satisfaction of writing... and sharing with others experiences gained. A blog should create a niche community of like minded thinkers. Organically...

It should become a community that can be supplemented with advertising down the road, but if you try to monetize the blog from day one... without giving care to the community first, then you'll never see a dime from the advertising.

Making a few extra bucks never hurts... but let me shout it from the tallest mountain:
"Build a Community... not just a business"
So what to do?

Work on your editorial, build your community and then test some of these...

Google's AdSense, blog ad networks, selling ad space yourself, selling your own merchandise, or setting up affiliate relationships with online stores such as Amazon so you receive a percentage of sales that come through your site.

Heck... you can even ask readers for donations. You'd be surprised how successful that can be, that is, if you're creating value for the members of your community.