Your Blog. Your Brand.

My previous post was about keeping your time profitable, and I talked about how my blog is currently not in that category. I got a few great comments that made me realize that I unintentionally put blogging under the wrong light. It wasn’t my intention to imply that blogs aren’t profitable, so let’s get into the short-term and long-term profitability of a blog.

Short-Term

This part of the story starts out very slowly for most. Being a new blogger is tough.This is just something that you will have to come to terms with. With small amounts of traffic and not many connections, you are going to be fighting an uphill battle.

If you are thinking that you can make a solid income from your blog within 6 months, you have fallen prey to fanciful thinking. DISCLAIMER: It has been done, but don’t bet your blog on it.

There are a lot of people that choose to make the fast dollar and decide to employ CPC accounts and private advertising right out of the gate. Would I recommend it? No, to be honest. Unless you are receiving hundreds of visitors daily, avoid cpc advertising. John Chow is making less than 1k/month with adsense from his blog, so I wouldn’t recommend that you attempt to support yourself from a single advertising income stream.

The main short-term goal of anyone who is looking to make money online and runs a personal blog should be to build you brand NOW, to reap the benefits LATER. Your brand needs to be nurtured and grown to be effective when you would like to harvest your market influence. Don’t confuse yourself by setting a short-term goal of blog income.

Credibility Counts

In fact, as I’ve said in the past, credibility counts. When you’re starting your blogging journey, it’s less important to earn profit than it is to build a loyal readership. Period.

What kind of brand are you projecting, when you are new to the blogosphere and you’re already trying to push products and advertising on people? Where is the fine line between a useful, credible blog and an advertising landing page? Longevity, quality content, loyal readers… they will draw the line for you.

Long-Term

This is the strong argument as to why the penniless hours spent initially on your blog are very worth it. If you have set yourself up a strong brand that has widespread authority within your niche… you’re “sittin’ pretty” to say the least.

BRANDING, BRANDING, BRANDING! This phrase should be ringing in your head when you are setting long term profiteering goals. How will my brand (short-term goal) affect my ability to monetize my blog (long-term goal)?

Imagine you are six months and 1000 RSS subscribers into the future. Ask yourself these questions:

  • At this point, can I decree to my readership that this product or advertisement that I am peddling is within my world-view and brand?
  • What kind of products and services can I provide to my readers/advocates?
  • How can I leverage all of this penniless time and branding in my favor?

As the floodgates of profiteering open at this point, how you best take hold of the opportunity rides solely on your ability to bring your brand, your readers, and a great product or advertising opportunity together.

Best of luck and may you persevere. ^_^

Profitable Time

I wrote a post last month that tackled the difference between static and profitable time.

In general, these static activities are going to have little-to-no benefit to you directly generating profits. You will be going nowhere in a hurry with most of these activities, so lets take a look at the good stuff. Profiting tasks may include:

When you are profitable, you are doing what you set out to do as an entrepreneur; make money. The more time you spend being profitable, you will be able to spend less time working hard, and your profits will hopefully soar. So I have to ask you, how are you spending your time?

It has been a personal goal of mine to increase my profitable time to the point that it encompasses most of my work days. Well it has come to fruition, to say the least. I have been extremely busy ever since the launch of Unique Blog Designs.

Unfortunately, my blog has fallen into the static time category lately. I am not monetizing my blog yet because I don’t want to seem disingenuous by spamming you with ads, so therefore it is a branding tool that can at most be used to promote UBD.

Excuses, excuses… so what’s the point of this post?

I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to maximize your profitable time. There are so many distractions to choose from, and if you aren’t careful in how you choose to allocate your time you will fall victim to dry income streams.

Forcing myself to take a step back from the blog and refocus my daily goals on UBD has been a monumental step in my entrepreneurial career. The business is BOOMING with clients and we have begun hiring designers and coders to take on the workload. Speaking of hiring…

If you are a competent designer and/or coder that has experience in wordpress, PLEASE shoot me an email.

How are you spending your time?

I have to pose this question again, and I am more interested this time because my readership has grown significantly. Are you standing still? Has static time wasting become habitual, or are you the type of person who is focused on really succeeding and making money online? I hope you are the latter! :)

Blog Goals for September

I have been trying to decide as to how high I should be setting goals for this month. I was fairly successful (I say “fairly” because I don’t consider squeaking by a great achievement) last month, and it has left me aspiring for bigger numbers and achievements. Here are September’s goals:

  1. Write 25 Posts – Judging by my democracy poll, most of my readers appreciate frequent posting. 65% of you are posting 5+ days per week, with 42% of you posting 7+ days per week. What a revelation, huh? It’s no secret that consistent, quality posting is a pillar to successful blogging, so this leaves me with a clear goal of providing that to you.
  2. Improve the content of my writing – I had some relatively good posts last month, and it definitely aided in strengthening my reader base.

    Writing basic “make money online” articles is a great way to get new readers to stick, but at the same time I don’t want to disillusion my veteran readers by not stepping up the quality. Along with a few make money online gems, I will go into detail this month not only on how to make money, but how to effectively plan and manage the marketing of your idea.

  3. Reach 55 RSS Subscribers – The number of readers that are subscribing to my feed has exceeded my expectations to this point. As I write this, I have 35 RSS subscribers. I am very confident that this goal will be reached within the month.

Goal setting can be precarious if you aren’t careful. Sometimes I see people setting goals that are just plain unreasonable, and they end up failing because of poor planning.

It would have been extremely fanciful of me to set goals like writing 50 posts or achieving 150 RSS subscribers. All of my blog’s data shows that I will not be growing that quickly, and I certainly can’t say that I am planning a massive marketing strategy.

Also, two of the three goals that I have set are under my direct control. Improving my content (although it may be subjective) and writing 25 posts will be achievable only by me, not my readers. In this strategy, I have allowed myself to take control, and ensure success. The bar hasn’t been set at an unattainable height, and the only factor that I can’t directly control is how you, my readers, will react to my posting.

Now, it’s not to be said that setting your goals high is foolish. There are many situations in which you can set your bar high and then leap over it, but in this case I don’t see the value. I would like to keep on the trend of steady, loyal subscriber-ship, and growth.

How do you go about logically setting goals? Do you use logic and strategy or are you setting arbitrary goals that leave your success up to chance?