So there I go, thinking about blogging again. First I admit my schizophrenia, then I cut back, then I admit to being a blogaholic and talk about doing more, then I actually start doing more. Sheesh. Just when I think I have this habit under control, I go and read about six-figure bloggers. I’m hopeless.
But actually, it’s filled me with a lot of hope. I’m just not sure what to do. [this is going to be one of those long rants, so most of you may want to bail now]
Reading about the six figure blogger, Darren Rowse, has actually been pretty inspiring. The guy started a personal blog back in 2002 and it’s spawned into 17 or so different blogs and the guy makes big money doing it. He stays at home and blogs all day. That may sound pretty lazy to some of you, but it’s actually a lot of hard work. And it sounds great to me. Sitting at home and writing all day. That’s sort of what I do now, though having a network of money-making blogs would set me up as a publisher of sorts, not just the bottom-feeding freelancer I am now. There’s a little more stability in that.
So I’ve been reading Rowse’s ProBlogger for the past week or so, filling up on ideas about what it takes to make real money from a blog. For the record, I’ve probably made less than $50 in the past year directly from my blog (indirectly is another story). So the idea of making $50 a day is pretty tempting. Heck, $50 a month would be nice. Anything to make a dent in those loans. (The savvy Thoughts readers out there will notice a new ad that’s actually in the content area on my individual post pages. It’s all a part of my experimenting to see what works. Does it? In the short term it does. But I make so little money from AdSense that it’s hard to gauge trends from tweaks like this. A dime here and a dime there isn’t much to go on.)
The conclusion I’ve come to is that for a blog to be successful it helps to have a tightly focused niche. That’s exactly what I don’t have. A random look at the home page shows posts on my new dog, a college friend, a book about being homeless, a Christian rock spoof movie, fun with satellite images, the top worries of young adults and Seth Godin being nice to Minnesota, just to name a few. Talk about random.
All of which makes me thinking breaking up the site into specific topics would be more effective. I’m not sure everyone would agree. Part of me likes to think all my visitors like reading whatever I have to say because they’re interested in who I am, and if I think it’s interesting, they’ll think it’s interesting. Pretty full of myself, aren’t I? Honestly, I think these personality driven blogs that cover everything under the sun only work for a few, select personalities who are either already famous for being blog pioneers, or were already famous in another field. I’m neither. (as a bone to the folks who like all Kevin D. Hendricks, all the time, I’d probably set up a page that pulls in feeds from all the various blogs