Once upon a time, blogging was just a hobby. We built personalized online journals to share pictures with family, capture the opinions of readers and even teach or learn the fundamental skills of web design.
Hobbyists still make up the largest population of bloggers, but the current state of blogosphere also includes micro-blogs and social media. Its a number so large that Techorati doesn’t even dare count the size anymore. We are all blogging for different reasons, true blue content bloggers point to business growth as their key motivator. (Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere survey 2010). Making money from your blog demands expertise in web business and content strategy.
To build a business around selling content, you need free content that demonstrates immense quality, and great usefulness. This is the proof you give your audience to show that your paid products are worth it. At Psdtuts+, we put most of our effort into producing high quality free content, so people can’t help but think “Wow, the paid stuff must be amazing!
Says Skellie, seasoned blogging exper and current manager of the Envato network tuts marketplace. Her 10 plus years of content publishing gems have brightened sites like Problogger, DailyBlogTips, FreelanceSwitch and Northxeast.com, so much so she has reached one-name status everywhere she is mentioned.
Other publishers who have embraced the new content magnet model feel that the title “blogger” is too broad .”The word blog has become diluted. It used to mean this personal website with personal updates. Now a blog can be anything from a MySpace blog to Engadget.com, which is something totally different” , says David Leggett. He runs 2 pivotal blogs, Tutorial9.net and UXbooth.com, and contributes to many others. His contribution to the web design tutorial niche is as a pivotal learning resource for visual creation and site architecture .
“Content can be video or text or anything, the important thing is that your content is acutally valuable. It teaches something or it entertains or it offers some significant value that either can’t be found somewhere else, or is targeted to a specific kind of reader” , says Leggett.
The future of blogging demands us to support quality content creation. Lazy conventions like cliche list posts and Swipe file formula titles are the type of mimcry that amplify the already ubiquitous media noise. “At Tutorial9, we probably reject around 50 list posts per week”.
“A big reason why I am making the (monetization model) change at Tutorial9.net is that advertising is starting to change on the web. I don’t want to be left out when that transition occurs, and hopefully I’d like to help shape it”, says Leggett of making such a major shift as his site hits the prime of its traffic growth. Leggett has been a blog tutorialist since the age of 15, and now at 22 he is a crafty veteran of making a blog business work.
Smith On His popular ” Marketing Tips From…” series
” The same way that people have ‘ad blindness’, they also become blind to half-ass attempts at attention grabbing content. So, with the “Marketing Tips From…” series, it’s still essentially a list of tips but it’s packaged differently. “
The same with the “Biggest mistakes on _____” series I write for the various social media sites out there. It’s all in how you package it.
“I started GuerrillaFreelancing.com on March 18th 2008. I wanted a place to write about freelancing and used it as a place to store tips and information that I had learned, this way I wouldn’t forget it all ” , says Mike Smith, one of the fresh faces of web design blogging niche.
“I admittedly took a lackluster approach to the blog until January 1st of this year (2011) and have seen a dramatic increase in the reach and influence of the site since I began taking everything serious with it” , says Smith.
Guerrilla Freelancing. is Smith’s blog, it is a beacon for the blog do-it-yourself. Smith himself is a self-taught, full-time freelancer. He builds and sells custom WordPress templates and he is a web business development consultant. He teaches others how they can earn money and generate traffic on their own sites.
“When I write an article on my site, I generally write it as if I’m talking to myself. I like straight forward advice and information, no fluff or bullshit that you get from other freelance blogs out there. If it isn’t practical and cannot be used in your day to day business, I don’t want to write about it. If there’s a bunch of links to my site because of it or it becomes popular on social media sites, that’s great but at the end of the day, I want the content to be worth something to the reader”, says Smith.
He is the content magnet model personified. The value of his content is regenerative in that what he shares on mirrors his experiences as a freelance designer, and being a freelance designer makes him more credible to speak to his audience. Smith is the outcome of what Skellie and Leggett have been producing over the last half a decade.
In this article I set out challenge “normal” ideas about monetizing your blog. My goal was to personify the take-aways of good valuable content on the web, by putting a face to your end user.
Mike Smith woudn’t be “guerrilla Mike Smith” and, for that matter I would not have written this if it were not for the content pioneers like Skellie and The Leggett. I too am a member of the part-timer blogger population. This is my way to give back.
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