What do I blog for? This is the question every blogger ought to be asking himself or herself.
Is it for money? If your answer is yes, then there is nothing wrong with it. But it’s a very slippery rope you are holding on to. And it’s not a long term strategy either. Why?
Let’s imagine this situation: Let’s assume that one fine day you lost all your advertisers, and your blog suddenly stopped making money. One month passed, it brought zero income. Two months passed, still no sign of any advertisers. Three months passed, you are still sitting on zero profit.
If this is the situation you are in, do you think you will still be blogging? My guess is – you won’t! Rather, right after the first month, you will be putting your blog on auction at sitepoint or shutting it down indefinitely.
So, how not to fail and blog for long term?
The answer is, in the vision. If you don’t have a vision, it’s very likely that you will be closing your blog (or selling it off) at the first crisis that you encounter. That’s what happened to many blogs recently.
In contrast, if you do have a vision, you will most likely to succeed almost all the challenges you meet in your blogging career (see the illustration).
Let’s say, your vision is to help bloggers improve their writing skills. Now, when you have such a vision, do you think some PageRank decrease will make you close your blog? Or worse, sell it to someone else? Of course, not!
Because you are NOT blogging for PageRank, neither for money, nor for self-promotion. Rather, you are blogging to help other bloggers improve their writing skills. And as long as you can help others improve their writing skills, I am sure you will be blogging for many many years to come.
Let me give you one example from the real life business.
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs said:
“We don’t think in terms of power” referring to his competitors like Microsoft and PC makers.
“We think about creating new innovative products that will surprise and delight our customers. Happy and loyal customers are what give Apple its ‘power’. At the heart of it, though, we simply try to make great products that we want for ourselves, and hope that customers will love them as much as we do. And I think after all these years we have gotten pretty decent at it.”
Fortune Magazine, December 17, 2007
As you can see above, Apple’s vision is to create new innovative products that will surprise and delight its customers. Making money and being profitable is a secondary objective for them.
But how about money? I need to eat…
I am not saying that you shouldn’t monetize your blog, I am just saying that, you should not make “making money” the ultimate vision of yours. Believe me, if you do your job well, money will come by itself. Advertisers will chase you and even PageRank will come after you.
Remember Jakob Nielsen example in this post? He has done his job so well that, he has established himself as the uber-usability-expert. Now he makes tons of money, and continues to improve major corporations’ web usability (and he does not even care about his site’s PR8).
Define your vision, take action now.
So, are you ready to set your vision for you blog? Web2.0 has many challenges ahead, so arming yourself with your vision is the best thing you can do to overcome these challenges.