If you have a blog or ever dabbled in blogging you know how blogging for bucks makes gardening in the desert seem easy. It is not that easy and ad-revenue is tough to earn. In fact, my experiences indicate the more I write the less revenue I earn from the advertising.
So, when I came across a post today, passed on by a friend it noted that blogs and writing should not be your main product, that your blog should support some sort of product or service of real value to people. I like to think my writing is a real product, but I know better I am not going to be winning any prizes for my writing.
I expressed the same conclusion to a close friend of mine last winter during a ride up over the Big Bear (Ski Brule) and he concurred. This is not my only experience “blogging” I have written a political blog, and setup a few others. The political blog is not dead but it is inactive and is more of a forum for expressing thoughts where I want a degree of anonymity. That blog is also hooked up to Google AdSense and that account has yet to pay out. I have had a couple payouts here, but I was using AdWords and easily the $ I had to payout to generate the traffic easily exceeded what I earned in ad revenue.
The post I read noted the best use of a blog is to promote a product or a service and not serve as the product itself. That is why you, as a business person should seriously think of setting up a blog. Push creative uses of your product, give your customers tips on caring for the product, give them some insight on how your product came into being. Keep them coming and deliver value to them, and use the blog as another communications channel. I do have one suggestion, formulate a policy or guidelines on dealing with upset customers and feedback.
One good site out there that follows the above advice is a Daily Crusher colleague Debbie Stevens at Lynn Allen Consulting. There she not only writes about herself and her life, but gives out tax and accounting advice for free. Free anything can only go so far, if you are busy running a business the free advice may be helpful but if you are too busy to really sit down and figure out all your tax and accounting needs, whose name is at the top of your mind? Yeah, Deborah’s name is.
Deborah has no ads on her site as Google Ads would most likely place ads for business in direct competition with Deborah. I have seen that firsthand and the Google Ads disappeared real quick.
I do not want to get too deep into my plans, they will be revealed in time as they become reality, but they follow the general notion that my writing is not enough of a product or a service.