Are you nutso?
Do you wonder how some people seem to manage it but you can’t?
(Guess what I was gonna write here.)
OK then, time for a reality check I’m afraid.
First of all, those ‘successful bloggers’ started differently to you, but that’s not even it – the important point is that they’re very much in the minority and if you look closely, they’re not just blogs either.
Why This Article
Honestly, it’s not the article I was going to write today, but I just keep on seeing people asking the same question…
It’s just my view, but a blog is not a business, never has been, never will be.
Sure, there are some exceptions – but these are so rare that they fall very much into the category of the exception that proves the rule. A blog is not a business.
Important Distinction: This doesn’t mean it can’t become one. It also doesn’t mean that a business can’t be made massively more successful by adding content marketing (blogging) to it – but a blog on its own is not a business.
Let’s Play Detective
So why is a blog not a business? I hear you ask.
Well, there are plenty of clues and I’m not going to list them all.
Personally I think it’s blatantly obvious, but there are obviously plenty of people out there who would disagree with me so let’s look at just a few of them – 3 biggies will do then you can always tell me if you can think of some more…
Clue #1: Anybody Can Do It
You heard me.
Anyone can create a blog these days.
I showed my son how to do it when he was 8 years old. He wrote a few articles about our pet dog then lost interest and went back to Minecraft. But the point is he could create a blog. Easy Peasy.
Technically what we’re talking about here in market terms is barriers to entry. As in: they are very low. Well, there are none really. Which makes your competition pretty much infinite. Me, exaggerate? No.
Clue #2: Information is Free
Business is a value exchange.
You provide value and the recipient pays you back with some more value in the form of money.
So far, so good.
So you’re providing lots of great value via your blog in the form of great content. The problem here is that the market value of that content is free, because that’s the price everybody else is providing really great content for these days, and the only payment they want is a bit of attention – not even money.
So when you start trying to find ways to monetize your blog, is it any wonder that you fall flat on your face?
Clue #3: The World Is Changing – Fast
Possibly the hardest part to explain but one of the most important is that the world is changing fast.
Have you noticed?
Business has always been and always will be about two things – that value exchange mentioned earlier and relationships.
Before people are going to want to pay you for providing them with some value (via a product or service usually), they are going to need to have some kind of relationship with you – and that relationship better have some elements of trust and authority in there or they are unlikely to proceed.
They are also unlikely to proceed if it’s not actually something that they want (whether they need it or not – people buy what they want, not what they need), they don’t agree with the price, they can’t afford it, they are not in the mood, they don’t have the authority to make the purchase, they don’t see the offer or they just didn’t get it.
How does this relate to the world changing so fast?
Well I just told you the constant bit – value and relationships.
There was a time when blogs started taking off that they were something new so did provide great value and they also provided a way to connect with people in a new way. So at that time it’s conceivable that you could make some money through a little advertising, product promotion or even charging for articles (which some people did).
These days, people suffer from seeing too much information and have to filter most of it just to get by. That’s what I mean by the world changing fast. What worked yesterday, doesn’t have the same impact today and what works today won’t work in the same way tomorrow.
That’s not to say I’m a big fan of keeping up with latest trends either. That’s just following sheep. I’d say be aware of the changes in technology (for your business options as much as anything or any particular ‘latest tactics’ or trends) but don’t be a slave to any of this stuff or you’ll start spinning your wheels.
Choose to keep up to date if you want to but be prepared to do what YOU think is right for your business (assuming that you have one and it’s not just a blog after all).
So this could be just me.
I’ve personally never much liked the word ‘blogging’ in the first place (though I’m quite comfortable with the term ‘content marketing’ as it describes more accurately what I think we’re talking about) – but to think of a blog alone as a business, well that’s just crazy, isn’t it?
(or at least really really wishful thinking…)
P.S. If you’d like to know what does make a good business, sign-up to our email list and give me a shout and I’ll tell you all about it.