I recently came across this post on the New Media Expo blog which examines the question “Should Bloggers Think More Like Start-Ups?” Reading this post got me thinking.
The post talks about two different types of blogs:
“1. The blog is the business. They hope to monetize the content through advertising, premium content, affiliate sales, or other means.
2. The blog is not the business, but rather a means of marketing the business. They hope to use their content to lead to sales through being hired as a consultant, selling products, etc.”
The author goes on to talk about how these two types of blogs sometimes overlap one another. Either way, whether you want to make money from your blog (i.e. the blog is the business) or whether you are using the blog to market a separate business, you and your blog need to have a professional appearance.
Whether you’re blogging as a marketing tool for another business or your blog is your business, the blog is a reflection of you and your principles. If your blog is sloppy, filled with typos and grammatical errors, your readers will come to the conclusion that you conduct all your business that way. It doesn’t matter whether you do or not. You won’t be able to overcome that perception.
The post goes on to make several other good points.
- Blogging is hard work. Yes, it is. Like anything else worthwhile, blogging takes time and effort. It’s not a get-rich quick scheme.
- What problem are you solving? If you’re going to be successful in any business, blogging or elsewhere, you need to provide a product or service that people either want or need. Focus on your customer or reader’s needs, not your own. Your customers/readers don’t care that you have a mortgage payment due at the first of the month. They’re coming to you to solve their problem, not the other way around. If you can’t solve a problem for someone, you have no business model.
- Monetization needs to be in the plan. Yes, that’s true to some extent. But if you’re new to blogging, you may want to build an audience before you start approaching brands for sponsorship and the like. You have to have something to offer in return. In many cases, the thing that you offer is your audience or readership. Of course, that’s if you’re treating your blog like a business. If you’re blogging to market an existing business, you want to connect with your present and prospective clientele.
I would offer a word of advice at this point. Even if you’re blogging as a hobby right now, I wouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility of monetizing your blog at some point in the future. When I started my pet health care blog several years ago, I had no thought of monetization. I simply wanted a way to disseminate information to pet owners. Though that’s still my main goal there, making money on the blog allows me to continue with the work and still pay the bills. So, even as a hobbyist blogger, I would still advise treating your blog as a business and acting in a responsible and dependable fashion.