April 18, 2008

Why Blog? (A Caveat)

Filed under: Blog Explanations — Robert John Ed @ 2:30 am

A lot of people have asked why I started this website and why I’m attempting to write this blog at all. Here’s the scoop on the site, although the details aren’t completely ironed out and I believe this is a work in progress. It’s going to take a long time to build a community, but I can honestly say that it has already been rewarding.

One person asked me if I was garnering business from the site. Well, no. Commerce is based around selling something and I honestly have nothing to sell as of today. I don’t intend to ever monetize this blog even if I was garnering gargantuan stats (although doing like Fred Wilson over at AVC and advertising for charity certainly peaks my interest). There’s a certain integrity to keeping this kind of idea gratis.

But make no mistake, and this is the caveat, I’m doing this for selfish reasons. I intend to learn an enormous amount about online marketing and build a network of marketers and other professionals through this and other online communities. This is the wave of the future and we should all be striving for the crescent.

At a presentation the other day, someone asked what the best way to make money blogging is. And honestly, I’m pretty tired of people asking that question. The answer is pretty obvious, build and incredibly huge following and sell your own ads, cutting out any middle man. Unfortunately, that requires a lot of work: creating great content that people actually want, continuously building the network, and eventually working to sell your ad real estate. And it’s getting harder. 175k new blogs a day? Good luck. People don’t want to hear that. They want a lottery ticket. And it doesn’t work that way.

So what it comes down to is that you (or anyone else) are extremely unlikely to be the next Arrington, Godin, PostSecret or anything else on top. And that’s OK. It isn’t about monetizing a blog and becoming rich “from the comfort of your own home.” It’s a process. It’s a place to learn and prepare yourself, network and have fun. It’s pretty odd that I find marketing to be fun, but to each their own.

On the other hand, despite not wanting to make money directly from this site, I would like to advance indirectly in terms of career progression. I also want to meet marketers in all kinds of industries and business models, so that I can figure everything and get in where I fit in (fun of me, so check it.) Lastly, as marketers we are expected to understand a wide variety of practices, including interactive. We do so by participating, not merely sitting on the sidelines. These are all probably good reasons for you to make a website, blog or something similar. After all, today if you don’t exist in a Google SERP, you don’t exist.

Bonne nuit.


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