Saturday, November 18, 2006

The ABCD of blogging

First, a disclaimer- I am no expert on blogging. I am fortunate enough to have a side income but there are millions of bloggers who aim to earn a living through being independent publishers (bloggers). This is a synopsis of what I have learnt about blogging:

Advertising support – There are more pro bloggers in the field now. Many more are entering this niche daily. However, they will face problems in an advertsing slowdown. It is not smart to dream about ads from web 2.0 startups. That only happens if you are Michael Arrington.

Blog often, blog persistently- Write at last at least one good post daily. Someone recently pointed out that the top blogs in Technorati are, on an average 33 months old. It takes time to build a professional publication.

Create useful and entertaining content. Everyone has wised up to making lists and how to posts. There is a glut - we will have to think up ideas about creating better content. Turn to big name magazines in your niche for inspiration. The best blogs are like good magazines. Look at Engadget.

Look at The New Yorker’s analysis of the recent elections in the U.S. and the resurgence of the Democratic Party. Look at the amount of data the writer gives out:

… the fate of ballot initiatives around the country suggests that, on balance, the conservative tide may be ebbing. In six states, mostly out West, proposals to raise the minimum wage won easily. Yes, seven ballot measures banning same-sex marriage passed, albeit by smaller margins than has been the pattern; but one, in Arizona, was defeated—the first time that has happened anywhere. Missourians voted to support embryonic-stem-cell research. Californians and Oregonians rejected proposals to require parental notification for young women seeking abortions, and the voters of South Dakota overturned a law, passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor eight months ago, that forbade abortion, including in cases of rape or incest, except when absolutely necessary to save the mother’s life. Rick Santorum, the Senate’s most energetic social conservative, went down to overwhelming defeat—man on dog won’t hunt, either, apparently.
- Hendrik Hertzberg

Can we bloggers give that amount of data? This is a holy grail, believe me.
Research, Research, Research.

As Steve Rubel says, don’t depend on advertising support – there are too many bloggers and blogging is a superstar economy.

We must look at other methods to earn:

Guy Kawasaki once said this about blogging – Think Book, not Diary. That’s an idea.

For example, 50 cookbooks, 51 PS3 tips, 2006’s top …, ‘how to’ series which later can be translated into books. You can sell your books as Pdf files online or via as print books. In both cases, you don’t spend a dime. You might also consider selling special reports on areas that you track.

Other ideas include: subscriptions, affiliate networks, consulting, events, merchandzing (with Cafepress support).

I hope this short advisory helps you chalk out your special blogging success story. All the best.


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