Happily Blogging and Benefiting From It
Hey, Maureen? What do all these social media and blogging posts have to do with happiness, anyhow?
When I went to college to earn my Master’s in Social Work, I didn’t realize that the coursework had a significant portion of management built into it (MSWs are often the leaders of small and large non-profits and public organizations). I thought I would be learning a lot of – you know – social work-y stuff like psychology and sociology. But some of the most valuable insights I gained came from my ‘macro’ level classes, which taught about systems and large organizations. A professor in my first year of graduate school said something I have never forgotten:
A lot of people think that having power automatically makes you one of the bad guys. This is not only untrue, it is dangerously untrue. In order to be the most effective advocate you can be for the powerless, you must learn how to gain and use power.” Unfortunately, I can’t credit which professor said this, as I don’t remember. Suffice it to say they were all wonderful and any of them could have said it.
Still haven’t answered my question, Maureen
A lot of people, especially activist types and ‘mom’ bloggers and others who blog to share something of interest to them (but secretly just want to be famous) have the same attitude toward marketing (and making money) that many social work students have toward power. And for similarly wrongheaded reasons.
No one is beating down the door to find your blog, no matter how wonderful it is. Even if you have the secret of happiness (and of course you do. Everyone does. That’s the point of this blog.) No one is chasing after you with a seven figure check in their hands
The ‘noise’ in the blogosphere is just too loud. No matter how small your niche, someone’s already there, and has already built a customer base. If you want people to read your stuff, you’re going to have to help them find it. If you want to get paid for your work, you’re going to have to make that happen.
But I don’t want to ‘market’, Maureen. I just want to write. But it would be nice to make money.
Fair enough. Find someone else to do your marketing for you, or skip it and write a diary that just happens to be where anyone can stumble upon it if they look very, very hard. And keep your day job.
Well, okay. (pouts) But I don’t know how to market my blog.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Neither did I when I started. I stumbled upon StumbleUpon myself, got a few people here from other places on the web where I hung out, got an RSS feed, commented with links back here and there, registered on half a gajillion blog directories, and people started trickling in.
See how that contributes to happiness? You don’t? Imagine for a moment that hundreds, or thousands, or tens of thousands are reading your blog every day, commenting and contributing and benefiting from what you’ve written. Now imagine that you’re making enough money to pay down a bill, or buy a car, or quit your day job, or buy a summer home. Pick your goals along that spectrum. All of them involve marketing and making money. And those things, defined by you, contribute to your happiness.
It isn’t noble to be broke and unknown, especially not when 1) it doesn’t benefit you or any cause you’re a part of, and 2) you can change it, at least to some extent. Now, if you’re making a vast fortune and giving your money away, then maybe it is noble to be broke and unknown. But it’s not a universal value.
Now that I’ve convinced you that you should market your blog and make money, I’m going to provide you with some reading (both my articles and others) about marketing your blog and making money from it. And watch this spot, because my next article (on this topic) will be on how to manage, market and monetize that wonderful little micro-blog, the Twitter feed. And feel free to read about happiness, books, knitting, and that crazy bunch, the knit group, in between.
From this blog:
Business of Blogging: My Two Cents Worth (me, whistling in the wind about how I didn’t want to be rich or famous or even make the price of a cheeseburger).
Linking (Come on In) (beginning to get a clue, I start marketing my blog, and share my first fledgling attempts)
This Blogging Life: A Bit about SEO (a bit of SEO hilarity and some useful advice)
How to Make Real Money Tweeting and Blogging – Ethically (now we’re down to brass tacks. My readership is up, and I’ve begun to build my Twitter account – this article discusses the philosophy behind ethical monetization of a blog and micro-blog, as well as some specific advice. It’s been a favorite of my readers)
From all around the blogosphere:
Seth Godin’s blog: If you didn’t already know about this blog, what rock are you living under?
Problogger: Everything here is good advice. Every day, all the time.
Copyblogger: Every day, all the time. Everything here is good advice
Traffic GenerationCafe: 202 Ways to Get More Followers: The ultimate mega list
If you want to make a living blogging, or even an extra car payment a year, you’re going to need to work at it. I hope this helped you make up your mind to do so, and gave you a good start in the right direction.
- Combine SEO, Blogging and Social Media to Optimize Your Marketing Efforts (hubspot.com)
- 8 Places You Should Promote Your Blog to Get More Readers (blogs.constantcontact.com)