I came across an essay titled Economics of the Blogosphere, authored by David S. Evans who is co-author of the book Catalyst Code: The Strategies Behind the World’s Most Dynamic Companies.
The blogosphere is one of the biggest and most influential global industries created in the last decade. Technorati tracks almost 100 million blogs and estimates that about 20 percent of blogs are active in the sense that they were updated in the last 90 days. Via Economics of the Blogosphere
Yesterday I asked “Who do you trust?” because when I was looking at this chart from eMarketer I found it interesting that the number of people who trust ‘strangers with experience’ as a source for information – nearly doubled since 1997.
In my opinion, blogs still have a long way to go as we are slightly more trusted than advertising but only half as often as TV news reporters – we have come a long way but we still have a long way to go.
David says that according to “comScore, blogs accounted for slightly more than a third of the 173 billion US Internet visitors in May 2006.” which means that blogs are major competition for advertisers who are trying to reach the same people.
In Economics of the Blogosphere, David says that “about 10% of blogs make money from advertising but few of those make enough to pay their operators the minimum wage.” My experience confirms that his estimate is reasonably accurate. So, this means that most bloggers have a different motivation driving their passion for blogging.
The Other Blogging Currency (reasons people blog)
We all have our own reasons for spending a significant portion of our lives reading and writing our own blogs. David writes that people are motivated to blog for the following reasons:
- Blog to influence.
- Blog for fame.
- Blog for reputation.
- Blog to enhance another business or sell another product.
- Blog for information.
- Blog for interactions.
Before I ever started blogging I wrote the “Business Tip of the Day” for five years. I had 3,000 subscribers which was pretty good in those days but there was no ‘conversation’. While looking for a easy way to replace my content management system I discovered WordPress and my blogging journey began.
Why I Blog
I find that blogging keeps me connected to business owners and entrepreneurs that are reading my blog and it consistently provides qualified leads for my business coaching practice. In 2005 I placed adsense on my blog and can say that it paid my mortgage, groceries, and gas for the car. But I found it became a distraction because I was so obsessed with maximizing click-throughs, the quality of my writing slipped.
From Distraction to Focus
I made a decision to remove all advertising because I felt an internal conflict – do I write to maximize click-through or to help the readers? I was not able to easily overcome that internal conflict and it really bugged me – so to keep myself intellectual honest, I removed all advertising.
I no longer have any confusion over why and who I am writing for – I eliminated the internal conflict.
As soon as I made that decision and removed all the ads and started promoting the Business Plan Coach ebook – I got a contract from McGraw-Hill Trade to write my first book about buying a business and last year I finished my second about how to write an effective business plan.
Interesting how that works isn’t it? I believe that once I got clear about why I was writing – I attracted a book contract from one of the worlds largest publishers.
I challenge you to think about and answer this question, “How can I become more focused and on purpose with my blogging?”
Greg Balanko-Dickson is author of two business books, third generation entrepreneur and The Remote Control CEO.