First of all, if you are dropping by because you have read the article in the Singapore New Paper, thank you so much. This post is for you. 🙂 (… and thank you so much Reeta, for interviewing me and giving me this opportunity to be featured).
I think I first need to clarify what I do. I’m not so much of an Internet Marketer per se, as in I don’t earn my rice bowl from selling digital products off the net (at least, not yet).
What I do is training, and what I train is blog marketing. While I do make a small income off this blog, it is by no means supporting me yet. It does pay for my web hosting fees though and I am happy with that.
Let’s talk about making money from blogs.
You see, while there are bloggers out there who are making a pretty decent income from their blogs, the fact is that most are struggling to make pennies off their ads. Most programs out there that claim to help you “make money blogging” are programs that ask you to create hundreds of blogs and make pennies off each.
I know, because I have bought
a couple too many of them myself.
While that may seem to be sound strategy if you are just bent on making money from blogs, I personally have a very different view. I hope you can empathize with me, and allow me to explain.
Having being exposed to computers since I was six, I am really passionate about the use of IT in helping to make things easy for humans. The Internet is a great place for people to find information today, get to know people from the other end of the globe, and really get connected.
However, the sad fact is the many people who have just started their “online business” have no idea what detriment some of the tools they use are doing to the web. Tools are always double-edged swords. In the right hands, these tools bring about automation, and really help to ease the workload. When put in the wrong hands, these same tools can be disastrous, and they bring about more work and frustration for people because of the junk they leave behind.
Most of the spam you see in your email today are a result of powerful tools in the wrong hands. Just think of how much time you take to clear spam from your emails everyday. Does it take you one minute a day, or more? One minute a day is a six full hours a year, mind you, and that is only your own time. Have you considered how much extra bandwidth you are using? How much more electricity is being used? Then, multiply that with the Internet population in this world.
What are we looking at now?
The world does not need any more websites or blogs that don’t add value. Republishing other people’s content (even with their permission), I feel, is useless and you are “littering” the web with digital junk, unless you have your own comments and critique to add.
At the rate all these “digital junk” are being generated, I cannot imagine how terrible the “Internet experience” our future generations would be. Finding good content would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
You might argue that there will be better filters, better search engine algorithms, better technology to tell the difference between what is legitimate and what is not, but I think we are going one big round and getting nowhere. We have all heard of “prevention is better than cure”, and I think we need to tackle this issue from the root – the HUMANS that are behind all the digital junk creation.
Back to the topic of blogs and “make money blogging” programs – unless you are cyborg, I doubt you can spin out 100 blogs and constantly update them with good content.
So that why I refuse to implement what these programs ask me to do, even though they may make me more money than what I am earning today. If you are doing so, I would encourage you to stop too.
So, what do I mean by blog marketing then, and why is it different from the regular “make money from blogs” program?
The focus is different.
The power of blogs are not so much in making money, but building relationships with people who drop by your blog. Blogs are very powerful platforms to invite discussion and participation. If you just head on to some of my previous posts, you will find that it is possible to take discussions so far and so much more in depth from the blog post itself.
So, what I focus on in my blog marketing training is how we can use blogs to build relationships, and especially, the use of this platform to revolutionalise the way businesses can talk to their customers, and reach out to the whole world. Blogs are also wonderful platforms for small companies to create buzz and build credibility – the sheer size of the archives of some blogs show just that.
What impact does it have on the bottomline of a company?
Yes, I know. Companies are incorporated to make money, not build relationships.
The industrial revolution brought about mass production, and mass production only means that the corporate giants have to create “one size fits all” products.
Unfortunately, it has never been “one size fits all”. It doesn’t make sense at all for all the customers of a big corporation (which can run in the millions) to like that range of 200 designs of shoes or 50 flavors of drinks. People used to have “no choice”.
Now with the Internet, it is so much easier for people to search for the specific product they want just by heading to Google and typing in their search phrase (this is, by the way, what the whole Long Tail phenomenon is about), so there is now a real NEED find out what REALLY these people prefer, and the best way to do that is by building good relationships and trust between the company and their customers and prospects.
And of course, having good relations with your customers will certainly mean more repeat sales.
That’s the motivation of corporate blogging and blog marketing in a nutshell. This is what I share in my training, and aspire to master.
If you are still awake after reading this long blog post and want to know more about the topic, I am doing a one day workshop on 10 Feb 2007. Head on to http://www.practicalblogmarketing.com to enrol.
Give me an opportunity to share with you okay? I really want to help.
Spot on. Far too many people think you make money from blogging by getting income from adverts or digital product sales. I earn a significant income from my blogs – but it’s because they establish me as the “expert” in my field and then customers pay me for my expertise.
Thanks Graham, its great to know of like minded people who have succeeded!
KA ah~ where’s the article?
Isn’t it you start feeling a bit frustrated having to teach those uncles and aunties to learn blogging? (I saw ur pic u posted of ur training, quite lots of them). Well, they are the stubborn group and might claim you’re trying 2grab some money from them…. Internet can let u make money, if u have niche content and manage to grab few hundred thousands of readers. Just like Mike Arrington’s TechCrunch, he’s got the expertise in those interesting and hot web 2.0 trend, and he’s making more than $50K only from the ads on his site. Anyway, keep it up 🙂
Hey Luo Bing,
The article has been uploaded! 🙂
I think ultimately, it is a matter of preparation, patience and more importantly, a passion to share.
I think the people you mean by “uncles and aunties” deserve a chance to learn, and I believe that they can. If you think they are “stubborn” then that is the way they will seem to you. I personally think that they are the best people out there to get started with blogging because they are the generation with the years of life and business experience.
My mum is a great example, and I’m very proud of her. Although she hasn’t started blogging (yet), she is aware of technology like MSN and Skype!
Thanks for the great example of TechCrunch. Unfortunately, out of the 57 million blogs, there aren’t many like TechCrunch (I would say, less than 100!) so while it is possible, it would be necessary to set better expectations. Besides, not everyone is prepared to dive into blogging full time.
What blogs can do for a 1/2 hour post a day is to extend the reach of a brand, and that is what I’m sharing.
If you are talking about money, then uncles and aunties are the people who have financial resources – what they lack is time. Of course they are stubborn people if they do not see the reason to change. If they can change so easily then where got money to make!
And I think young people are stubborn too if you ask the uncles and aunties… 😀
Haha shi heng, I’m not thinking about money, I’m blogging for interest and fun only, I’m a business man, only blog during leisure, I’ve got several more profitable business, although my major is in IT 🙂 Blogging is more about the Internet, just fyi, most TechCrunch’s readers are techies… that’s why they managed to create buzz. Hot blogs like Engadget and others also having techies readers. Don’t u thing one day uncles and aunties would become techies? I do not know what specific content uncles and aunties interested haha, maybe about cooking does better. The only need is patience, most people are short-term minded :), I do know some mums are eager on blogging and they’ve been doing good, just like the 5xmum 🙂 anyway happy blogging
Hey Shi and Ketyung,
I think there are niches that “uncles and aunties” would be interested in, and while they may not be techies, the topics really go far and wide. For example, some of the less business related topics could be parenting, feng shui, bird watching, hi-fi audio, gardening, travel… so many!
There are always many sides to see it when you don’t know something, and I think choosing to see it as an opportunity to learn and to help out is a great perspective to take.
I agree entirely that blogging should not be about fooling people to visit your website and just merely clicking for cash. That is such a silly value proposition and a very tough way of making money. Plus, it also reeks of insincerity.
Even though I am a marketer, both offline and online, I believe in offering genuine advice and inputs in my blog. Much of this isn’t plucked from the air but based on real life experience. In other words, been there done that.
Thanks for your insights Walter. Well, unfortunately, that is what the hype promises… and its sad that these programs still work (at least for now).
I probably do not have your experience in marketing, but I guess my journey of IT education and its related businesses makes me feel concerned when I see the way some people are building “blogs” today.
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