Steve Pavlina is one of those guys I would love to sit down with and just pick through his brain. His blog is very inspiring and always interesting. His articles are long, but well thought out. His advice is helpful, but never condescending. Suffice to say, I really enjoy his stuff. When perusing through his archives, trying to catch myself up, I noticed a post entitled “Blogging for Money“.
One of the sections, also one of the longest parts, is where he brings up that bloggers need to learn to sell.
Eventually I figured out that if I wanted to run a business, I needed to learn how to generate income. This meant I had to focus on income-generating activities, and game development wasn’t one of them. I made the decision to become active in the Association of Shareware Professionals, a trade association for independent software developers like me. That was an incredibly eye-opening experience for me. I met people (online) who were making $50K, $100K, $250K a year selling their own software. In many cases when I saw their products, I felt I had much better technical skills, but they had customers, and I didn’t. I made some good friends and picked their brains as much as possible, and they were happy to share what they knew. What I learned really surprised me. Most of the people who were doing well financially spent less than half their work time developing software, often much less. But they invariably spent a lot of time working on marketing and promoting their businesses. By comparison I’d been spending about 80-90% of my work time on product development.
I don’t think there could be better advice for pretty much anyone in any business, but bloggers specifically, including myself, generally seem to have a problem with this. I know many successful bloggers that will back Steve up in his statement.
My eyes have slowly been opened to this reality, and I hope if you are reading this, you won’t have to take the long, hard road to slowly realizing that selling is important and make it your top priority. Content is king, but if you never earn a return on your work, will you continue to create such content? If you are in it to make money, I highly doubt that you will.