News Flash: If You Think That You’re Going to Make Money Off a Blog You’re Fooling Yourself

Is There Any Money for the Little Blogger?

In the past two days I’ve been contemplating two important ideas that make me feel very uncomfortable about what I’ve done and what I plan to do with this site.

This is a very good thing.

The first idea can be summed up in two sentences.

Make something remarkable.
Make something worth talking about.

This idea comes from Seth Godin. If you aren’t reading him you should be. Read everything he writes. Start with this free e-book.

Is Your Blog Remarkable?

Trust me, it’s not. Mine sure isn’t. Almost none are, and making a remarkable blog gets harder every day.

If your blog is just writing on a web page posted in a reverse chronological order, then the chances of it being remarkable and worth talking about are slim to none. It doesn’t matter how good the writing is or how many images and gimmicks you throw in. They’ve all been done ad nauseam.

These days, everyone and they’re mother has a plan to make money blogging. The market is saturated. Look at how many popular posts you see on the social sites about blogging, Wordpress, building traffic, and making money off a blog. An entire niche (and a big one) has sprung up to cater to the masses of wannabe probloggers who think they are entrepreneurs but are actually consumers.

These days writing a blog (even a very good one) is far from remarkable. Too many people are already doing it. Readers have short attention spans and a small amount of time to read. Why should they read you? There are more established options. People want to read what other people are reading and talking about.

This is a reality check for neophyte bloggers who read an inspiring post (possibly by Steve Pavlina) and assumed starting a blog was the fast track to financial independence. All you have to do is follow the formula, stick with it for a year or two, and you’re sure to make it big.

Guess what. The rules of the game have changed since Steve and others made it big. When they started, the niche they entered was virtually empty. Right now it’s about to burst and the top positions are already taken. Even if the popularity of blogs continues to grow, the rich will keep getting richer and the late comers will still be fighting for scraps.

And who can blame us for wanting a piece of the action? There are hundreds of sites that post all the keys to blogging success. I’m not saying this information isn’t valid (I’m sure it is), but doing what everyone else is doing to build traffic and readership isn’t going to make your blog remarkable. The big blogs are leveraging their success so attract more follower blogs; little bloggers that read and link to the bigs boys but will never amount to much themselves.

Being remarkable is going to take more than just a blog, because everyone else is already blogging. This brings me to the second idea that opened my eyes.

Are You an Opportunity Seeker or an Entrepreneur?

Did you decide to start blogging after reading that it was a great way to generate income? Do you have a long term strategy to generate income from your blog other than building traffic and putting up ads? If it takes you longer than 5 seconds to answer the second question you aren’t an entrepreneur, you’re an opportunity seeker.

Opportunity seekers are people who do what everyone else is doing to make money i.e. bloggers trying to build traffic and make money from AdSense. Entrepreneurs actually have a strategy to make money that they are constantly optimizing. Opportunity seekers are doomed to fail because a) they’re doing the same thing as everyone else and b) they spend more time looking for new opportunities than they do building a business.

I have to thank Rich Schefren for making me realize that I’ve been an opportunity seeker and not an entrepreneur. His internet business manifesto opened my eyes to this critical distinction. Without realizing this I probably would’ve been doomed to failure.

But now that I know, and now that you know too, we can stop being opportunity seekers and start forming a strategy. The great thing is that we’ve figured this out now. Instead of constantly looking for the next opportunity we can start focusing our energy on making something remarkable and developing a strategy to make it pay.

Don’t Stop Blogging

If you think the point of this article is to convince you to stop blogging you are missing the point. Keep blogging, it’s a great way to build brand, have a conversation with potential customers, and promote your ideas. But don’t think that blogging alone is going to make much money. You need to build something remarkable and you need to have a strategy.

So how do you make something remarkable? Well that’s the hard part.

You can expect big changes around this site. But don’t worry, this blog isn’t going anywhere.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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