I am frequently asked about how to make money on the web, especially how to make money with your blog. I find a wide variety of answers around the web, some of them get rich quick schemes, PageRank games, and SEO illusions, but there is only one answer that I want to shout to the roofs, but few people listen.
Blogging as a business is business. It takes business training and skills to make money with your blog.
That’s it. That’s the secret. John Chow, Guy Kawawasaki, Darren Rowse, Seth Godin, these princes of blogging didn’t get rich with their blogs by just having blogs. They used their business sense and know how to make their blogs work for them. They understood that a blog is just another tool in the business arsenal, a business card and resume all wrapped up in one, offering a business a powerful communications tool. In order to make your blog work for you, you have to understand how business works.
To have a “successful” blog and to make your blog work for you, you have to have skills and training in advertising, marketing, economics, finance, writing ability and language skills, public relations, networking, everything any business needs. These are the skills you bring it to your blog to make it a success, earning the money you deserve.
If you don’t have the business skills, where do you get the training you need to flip your blog over into a business and money magnet?
You can hang out on the successful problogger’s blogs, digging into their past content and sitting at their knees to learn every day they share another tidbit.
You can take business classes at your local college, university, or community program, taking months or years of training on the basics of business and business communication.
You can read a book or three on how others made money, but will it really apply to your specific needs? Maybe. It worked for someone.
Or you can get the training you need from fellow bloggers who have “been there done that” with their blog and business expertise and learn from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
Business of Blogging Events
There are two big blog events annually which focus specifically on the business side of blogging within the United States. Blog Business Summit, which held their program in Seattle in January (the next one hasn’t been scheduled), and the Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCON2008) in Chicago, May 2-4, 2008.
When I look at the list of speakers, I’m overwhelmed – and excited. Imagine being in the room and able to interrogate Brian Clark of Copyblogger, Terry Starbucker, Anita Bruzzese, Chris Garrett, Chris Brogan, Dave Bullock, Liz Strauss, emoms’ Wendy Piersall, and me, Lorelle VanFossen, on all things business and blogging. You have the whole weekend to ask them all about how they blog, why they blog, and how they make money with their blogs – the business of blogging up close and personal.
You can still register for SOBCon 2008 but space is limited. It is designed to be an intimate workshop, giving you the hands-on skills and personal attention you deserve to help build your blog business. The speakers will be using a unique Presentation/Workshop model, turning theory into practice so you leave the weekend workshops with a solid action plan in place, tailored specifically to your individual needs. It’s one-on-one business training for bloggers.
Topics include establishing and maintaining your online reputation and public relations; business definition, purpose, plan, and demographics definition; increasing the return on your investment and saving time with an editorial calendar and plan; sales techniques and strategies for your blog; investing in social captial and networking; emphasizing the return customer, encouraging them to come back for more; and switching from independent blogger to business owner, learning and coping with new business challenges and skills.
The speakers represent those who have succeeded, as well as those who have tried and failed and then rose up out of the ashes to keep trying again. They know how business works, especially online business and social networking. They are the leaders that bring you the best advice and techniques for successful blogging.
I’ve written a lot about the benefits and rewards of attending SOBCon. It is a life changing experience. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty. If you want your blog to be successful online, you cannot afford to miss this event.