Wordful.com is now officially 1 year (and a few weeks) old, so let me sum it up: blogging is awesome. It has changed my life, but not quite in the way you’d expect.
Blogging For Dollars: Not So Easy
For starters, I haven’t made one dollar from blogging. This is considered a major failure by many but not to me. More on that in a minute.
The main reason I haven’t made money from blogging is because I find myself at odds with the “make money online” mindset. Many (but not all) marketers in this so-called niche are not actually trying to help you make money, they’re helping themselves make money by selling you something to believe in.
Does “$250,000 per year or more by working just a couple hours per day” sound realistic? This is an actual quote. What part of your psyche do these outlandish offers appeal to?
Any experienced blogger will tell you this claim is next to impossible. Perhaps a tiny fraction of one percent of the population will achieve this–but not likely you or me.
But seeing I wasn’t experienced at the time, and I needed to make money, I fell for it. I purchased the books, subscribed to a cleverly packaged blog training program (it admittedly contains good blogging fundamentals) and followed the masses who were sold the same manufactured dream.
Tempering the Marketer Mindset
Why has marketing become such a ridiculous obsession on the internet? Doesn’t it seem there’s more marketing of things than there are things?
The first months of blogging for me were turbulent. I was trying too hard to sound like an expert—someone to be trusted with other people’s time, attention and money. I lost my voice.
Without a genuine voice, I was becoming nothing more than a hollow marketer.
The first epiphany I had after these initial rough patches helped me embrace publishing for publishing sake. I linked up with colleagues with the same pedigree as me: writers and journalists from the print world who—despite being caught in the crosshairs of a crumbling industry—stood by and defended their editorial integrity.
The truth about blogging and any type of content marketing is this: the content comes before the marketing.
The content is where you’ll find the value. Each and every time. Marketing of course is important, but only if you have something of value to market.
Have Vision, Will Work
So how did blogging change my life in one year?
For starters, I’m no longer under the impression that blogging exists to make money. Money is a by-product of content that’s been fined-tuned for its market.
I’ve also gotten well-educated. I’ve learned that blogging cannot exist without design, platforms (like Wordpress), social marketing, SEO and content strategy. These are all subjects I had no choice but to learn about along the way.
Best of all, I have a vision and a plan for the future of Wordful: commercially branded content. And if you’ve been reading the past couple of moths, you’ll get a sense of what I’m shooting for.
Now the real work begins. Over the next year, Wordful will be focused on leading impassioned communities online. Details on this are forthcoming.
This blog will remain the think tank and conversation hub of my adventures. For you, dear reader, this means more thoughtful, real-world lessons on content marketing, editorial strategy and 21st Century publishing.
Aloha!Photo by Flipped Out