Category Archives: Tips

Getting Famous Online: Easier When You Have Money

Over the last little while, I have come to realize that certain bloggers that have made it big online, have done so due to the money they had in their pocket from their full time job, selling a big name site, or through smart advertising and sponsorship partnerships.

Money makes becoming “famous” online easier.

Need server resources to launch a big application that will hopefully be as successful as Twitter? Make sure you have money. Want to run a really nice video production? Make sure you have some money.

Things aren’t cheap, and for the most part, unless you are super talented, having some money to back you up can make things a million times easier.

When I was a full time blogger working for various networks, I didn’t have to worry about how much money the site was bringing in. I didn’t have to worry about how much server resources I was taking up. I didn’t have to concern myself with very much other than the content, and now that I am running various blogs and paying a small group of writers a reasonable fee, I am finding that worrying about all the minutia can be very stressful.

It becomes a question of paying writers or giving up on the dream, and that isn’t a fun decision to have to make. So far, I have continued to move forward but with uncertainty with my wife’s career, I might have to reassess my goals when it comes to my personal projects.

People are always surprised when I tell them that I don’t have a cell phone, I rarely go out anywhere, and most of the gadgets I own were given to me as perks from my various jobs or inexpensive equipment that I desperately needed.

For someone that loves technology, I live a life surrounded by very little of it, as I continually focus on building my personal brand online and constantly re-invest in myself online.

By now, I am sure you have a list in your mind of a million people that have “made it big” online without having much money to their name, and if you re-read the article, you will notice I never made mention of how much money makes things easier.

The fact is that the amount of money you need to make things easier online differs from person to person and project to project.

I doubt you can list many successful people online that didn’t at least spend some money on their projects to make them successful. Hosting, staff, domains, custom WordPress theme, statistics packages, premium plugins or custom coding all cost money, and spending this money on other things will hopefully free up time and give you a better competitive edge over the millions of others on the same journey as you.

A good example of this to me is Geek Brief, a video podcast about technology that I really enjoy. Without investing in equipment for the show, would it have ever risen to be as popular as it is today? What about all of the shows on Revision3? Sure they started out with reasonably low budget kind of look, but now they have a huge studio for their shows, and are investing in bringing more shows on board.

Finding ways to make the money you need to re-invest in yourself, your personal brand and your projects can definitely be difficult, frustrating, and tiring, but those that do seem to be able to get further faster than those that don’t.

Originally posted on June 10, 2008 @ 11:51 am

Paid Blogging: Make Your Own Rules

Today, I had a great conversation with a friend of mine who was frustrated with their job a little bit. See, they had decided they wanted to make good money from blogging, but they were letting the blog owners make all of the decisions on how much their time, effort, and writing was worth, and my advice was that this person take back control over their blogging.

Blogging is a skill, not a commodity, and bloggers are not soda machines where you can insert a dollar to get what you want. Great bloggers are creative and capture attention and the imagination of their readers and blog owners have to realize that they are paying for more than just a few words that they can slap advertising around or else they aren’t worth working for.

So many blog owners that I have dealt with expect blogs to blossom overnight, going from a simple blog with little to no content into an amazing resource that everyone links to and wants to comment on, but this isn’t how it really is, and as such, expectations aren’t met and issues begin.

What about the guy that can do ‘insert crazy number here’ posts per day, and always gets a dozen comments on each post? How can I compete?

It isn’t a competition, and most of those bloggers that can outpace an experienced blogger do so only until their burn themselves out. Sure, there are faster writers, or bloggers that are able to come up with a winning formula or two that they repeat time and time again, but what usually ends up happening is that they burn out, pretty much never to be heard from again, or they have to slow down and fight the hard battle of raising their rates in a very competitive world.

When I was a full time blogger, I didn’t set my rates high enough, and I did this at my own detriment. Yes, you have to understand that blog networks can only pay so much for every post, but you shouldn’t undervalue your time. The best bloggers are artists, editors, marketers, and more, and deserve to be compensated accordingly.

When it comes to setting your per post rate, make sure you make your own rules, or you will always find yourself being controlled by one individual or another, and isn’t part of the whole problogging idea to take your destiny in your own hands, and work for yourself?

Originally posted on June 4, 2008 @ 10:23 pm

Problogger Book

Problogger BookChris Garrett and Darren Rowse, two people that I highly respect, and who are both directly responsible for my career and inspiring its continued growth have come together and published a book on blogging called simply enough Problogger.

From Chris Garrett:

The book is our combined experiences in professional blogging. Making a full time income either directly or indirectly by building effective blogs.

I haven’t had a chance to give it a once over yet, as neither Chris nor Darren have sent me the sample chapter which you can get by signing up for the e-mail list on the book’s site. (contact me guys) I do plan on purchasing the book to review it, as well as maybe learn a few more tricks on how to get myself closer to their level.

Here are some things that you will probably learn from the book:

  • How Bloggers Make Money
  • Direct Income Earning vs. Indirect Income Earning methods
  • Why Niches are Important
  • 20 Ingredients for a successful blog post
  • Optimizing advertising
  • Which advertising platforms work best
  • Expert analysis of Technorati’s Top Blogs – why they work

Some other details about the book include that it is 280 pages long, and will be published by Wiley on April 18th and should begin shipping on the 28th. All of the attendees at SOBCon are going to get a copy.

Will it be worth the money, or is this another book that’s a great idea, but gives information that most people can’t replicate due to the ever changing rules online? There is no such thing as timeless advice when it comes to making money online, but Chris Garrett and Darren Rowse are names that I know and trust, so if nothing else, this books should be inspirational.

Originally posted on April 12, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

Don’t Post About Holidays

I can’t tell you how many posts I saw about Easter. I understand that it is a holiday, and that it has a religious slant, but letting me know it is Easter, and hoping I have a good one is really a waste of a post.

There are so many other things you could do to separate yourself from the hundreds of others mentioning the holiday and wishing people well. Tell me something interesting about Easter or connect the Easter theme to your blog. Tell me how the Easter Bunny would make a great blogger, or what my favourite devices would look like if given the Easter colour treatment.

You are wasting time, space, and energy mentioning the holiday and not expanding on it. If you want to fade into the background, then feel free to post about the holidays. If you want to stand out, and capture my attention, use a holiday as a springboard into an amazing post.

Originally posted on March 25, 2008 @ 4:35 pm

Do You Read More Than You Write?

One of the issues that I have is my obsession with learning new things. This obsession leads me to subscribe to way too many blogs in hopes of finding great things that inspire me to write, but it also takes away the time I have for writing. At one point, I was spending half of my day reading a variety of RSS feeds in Bloglines.

I have since cut that down and can go through my daily read list in around an hour or two, but when you add on the forums I participate in, the social networks, and things like Twitter, I am back reading more than writing.

Reading can be a great source of inspiration and content, but I find that living my life, exploring my interests, and disconnecting from my normal routine makes me much more productive than the days where I ingest content all day until I am so overloaded with information, I can’t remember things that happened two minutes ago.

If you are recovering from St. Patrick’s Day partying, and you have the option to get off work early and just recharge and relax, I suggest you use it. Get out of your normal routine, disconnect from the Internet and put pen to paper or fingers to notepad, and just crank out some new, original, interesting posts.

Originally posted on March 18, 2008 @ 12:33 pm