Why Bloggers Matter to the Publishing Industry

What makes a blogger?

A penchant for the rant? A crowd hustler with sticky offers? A spirited journalist, an observer of life, a thought leader?

And what about the rest of us, scratching hard to make (not even a) living? Is it all for nothing or is there a future for us?

The answer is absolutely. The titanic publishing industry is mobilizing, and we need to upgrade our strategy.

The Myth of Make Money Online

For the obscure blogger aspiring to the privy rank of ‘problogger,’ chances for commercial success are razor slim if they follow most of the “blogging for bloggers” advice and training programs out there. Here’s why:

Before the ‘pro’ in problogger existed, early bloggers stumbled upon their fortune by accident when they realized their posts were attracting attention, and that attention could be monetized with Adsense and affiliate offers.

A few of these enterprising bloggers saw this opportunity and hatched a business model easy money blogging formula that would be packaged and heavily marketed to people willing to invest throw away their money for a chance to strike it rich.

The success of this goldrush strategy relied on one’s unsubstantiated claim of “how to make money online” expertise. (As MMO pioneer John Chow ingeniously quips, “I make money online by telling people how much money I make online.”)

Cash crazy blogs and outrageous personalities soon filled the web, quickly trampling any hope of handcrafted publishing and editorial stewardship.

The Second Coming of Publishing

Any day, any week, any month now—the industry now in trouble and mocked will stand back on its feet and launch its shock and awe campaign on Web 2.0. Publishing 2.0 will not operate in the same trickster marketing vacuum as opportunistic blogging.

There will be ample budgets, partnerships with e-reader platforms and revenue models that offer more fair and appealing incentives for authors and bloggers who make the cut.

Plus, these companies will be backed by decades of experience, wisdom and industry connections.

And, oh yeah—as for social marketing—well, everyone knows how to do that now.

How You Can Make the Quantum Leap

If you look at any given blogging success story, you’ll see the bonds that tie: passion, creativity and editorial integrity. These bloggers treat their blogs less like slot machines and more like prize stallions.

You too can possess this vitality. Here are a few suggestions to keep you going:

  • Stay as focused as a hungry hawk on the quality of your content. Writing, video, podcast—whatever form it is. Nothing new here, right?
  • Integrate editorial strategy into your blog. This includes a style guide and an editorial calendar. I will cover this more in detail in a later post.
  • Promote yourself on social media to people in the publishing industry. I will cover this as well in a later post.

Despite the doom and gloom, there’s exciting stuff happening in the publishing industry. They will be looking for bloggers who stand out from the crowd. Brainstorm some ideas of how you might angle yourself to these companies.

As one Harper Collins insider said to me the other day, “I think it’s the heyday for the indie entrepreneur.”

Photo by Editor B.

5 Replies

  1. damon Reply

    “…They will be looking for bloggers who stand out from the crowd…”

    I need to be pointed to “Them”!

    I feel that anyone that tries to hard to make money online by pushing bogus content is obviously setting themselves up for disaster.

    I’ve always felt the best and most effective blogs are those that are focused on an individual who leads an interesting life in general.

    At what point does one feel successful blogging for money? I felt successful with my first paid advertiser I got. I never relied upon any adsense or click for money type of model to promote ads.

    I went straight to the top of the businesses or they came to me and we worked an agreement that each of us thought would be mutually beneficial. Never thought in my entire life I could make over two thousand a year, in Sponsorships or Cash, blogging about my life in general.

  2. Charles Reply

    Damon, you are so right.

    I have developed a deep appreciation for your tenacity and consistency with blogging. Your approach is pure in that you lead with passion, honesty and hard work.

    How could a bright future not be in store for you?