First, Give

Filed as Features on October 3, 2008 2:14 am

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The top reasons people want to blog are all self-centered:

  • I want to write a diary
  • I want to make money from ads
  • I want to sell products and services
  • I want people to listen to me
  • … and so on

That’s all fine, and I encourage anyone to persue their goals. Fact is though, if you do want to achieve goals, you need to think differently …

When you are aiming to blog for anyone but yourself you are setting yourself up to provide a service. You do not get to decide how valuable that service is, the recipient does. All you can do is build benefits and communicate them.

The mindset has to be about giving. Forget about taking for a while. Make it easy for people to consume and benefit from your work. Focus on what your audience needs and how you can deliver solutions, even if what the audience wants is entertainment.

What made me think of this again recently was a blogger who was complaining he was only making pennies from his network of blogs. Rather than building one fantastic blog he thought it might be easier to have one hundred blogs making a dollar each a day. Now, this strategy can work, I have friends who have done similar, but even to make a dollar a day these blogs have to offer something of value.

Yes, a humble income target is easier to reach than a stretch goal, but to achieve it you still have to serve an audience, and yes, even if you are focusing on SEO:

  1. Readers who will be putting in the search terms – You need to research what they want to find
  2. Search engine users who will click the search results – Write in a way that is compelling so your articles get clicked
  3. Fellow webmasters, to get links and therefore ranking – If you are spewing out rehashed trash, why would anyone link to you?

Does this make sense? Garbage in, garbage out.

If you want to reap the benefits, first you need to sow value.

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  1. By Simple Sapien posted on October 3, 2008 at 3:29 am
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    Excellent advice Chris.

    I guess the old “treat others the way you want to be treated” comes into play here as well. Wouldn’t you love it if a lot of other blogs, even new low traffic blogs, would link to you once or twice a week? Of course you would.

    BE that blog that links to others.
    BE the one who helps others.
    BE the one who participates in other blogs.

    All of that will be reciprocated toward you in time.

    - Jack Rugile
    Simple Sapien

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  2. By Ted Murphy posted on October 3, 2008 at 9:00 am
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    The keys to creating content useful for building a web audience are providing entertainment, education and help. All of those things put the reader’s needs before the writer.

    Marketing that content — and monetizing your success after building an audience — is a heck of a lot trickier, unfortunately.

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  3. By james posted on October 7, 2008 at 3:02 pm
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    I enjoy sharing my view and experiences on various subjects including travel – and love it when people find my blog while searching for the topic.

    I better “selfish” reason for blogging is to keep your writing and thoughts sharp. In writing, you must communicate effectively. Even for hobby bloggers like myself those benefits translate to the workplace and other aspects of life too.

    Reply

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