There are a lot of blogs out there. No really, according to technorati there are some 24 million blogs in the US alone. Some good, some not so much. Most of those 24 million blogs are personal blogs of people sharing their photos and stories with their family and friends. I’m not going to comment on those, as personal blogs are personal, with a voice all of their own.
But many of those 24 million blogs are not personal blogs. Somewhere along the way word got out that blogs were a money-making enterprise. Somehow, some way, people got the impression that if you open a blog and just start writing about something, you’ll get ads and make a full time income in only a few hours a week.
And if you’ve ever actually blogged, you’d know that just isn’t true.
I’ve done pretty well at blogging. I’ve been blogging for two years as a hobby, only in the last six months moving to a blog meant for large readership. I can tell you after two years that its not as simple as write and make money. It takes a lot more work than that—and even then, the bulk of blogs consider ourselves lucky if we can pay for the web fees and the water bill each month.
Many people think they should blog because they can, and they love whatever they’re talking about. Others blog just because they want to make money. Some are good writers and think they should write, so why not blog? I want to suggest that only certain types of people should really attempt blogging. I know I’ll offend some, but after two years of experiencing the ups and downs of blogging, I wanted to share what I’ve learned.
Its not enough to love your topic. Everyone has something they’re excited about—a hobby, a pastime, a job—and they love talking to their friends and like-minded individuals about it. There are a lot of bloggers out there who think that its enough to love talking about something. I want to submit that I don’t think that’s enough. When I first started blogging for Contentquake, my friend Joe at EachNoteSecure told me to only blog about things that I was truly passionate about. Exited and knowledgeable is very different from true passion. Do you wake up thinking about your topic? Do you think about it several times a day? Do you drive your family and friends (and everyone you meet in the grocery store lines) nuts talking about it? That’s a blogger who’s going to have good success, in my experience. I’ve blogged on politics, something I love. I had decent readership, about 200 people a day. But when I found my passion—teaching others to save money—that’s when my blogging went from a hobby to a successful blog.
See, its more than just loving to talk about something. Its that burning, I-must-talk-to-someone-about-this-or-I will-burst, die-hard, annoy everyone you know kind of passion that makes a good blogger. And here’s why—blogging is so much more than posting a couple times a week. Its more than just sharing information. Good, even great, blogs convey a passion in writing week in and week out. Blogging is hard, you have to post regularly. Everyone hits burnout and writer’s block. Its those with the dying passion who make it past that. Those who just love what they’re talking about—they often don’t come back. Its just too much work!
Let me put this another way. If I didn’t have the blog, it would HURT. I would not just miss it—I would feel cooped up, like I wasn’t telling enough people. I’d be in the stores, on the message boards, at church, even at restaurants—anywhere I could tell people about saving money, that’s where I’d be.
Its that kind of passion that helps make a successful blogger. Others sense your passion and catch it. Not everyone will succeed, but having that kind of driving passion is what makes the difference between a blog that fizzles after a few months, and one that goes on for years. Some are even not such great writers–but the passion is so palpable, so contagious, that it doesn’t matter. Its that passion that gets bloggers beyond the normal barriers that pop up from time to time. That kind of driving passion makes all the difference in the world.