To Blog Or Not To Blog, Making The Hard Decisions

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To Blog Or Not To Blog, Making The Hard Decisions

Should I blog right now or do something more productive?  That’s a weird question for a blogger to ask himself I think.  Being a work at home dad it may seem that I’m falling into the trap of complacency.  I’ll explain a little bit more and maybe you can relate.  If not…well, I’m gonna’ talk myself through this thing so just put up with me for a bit.

Herein Lies My Problem With Blogging

I have been struggling with this question everyday for the past 2-3 months.  Yup, 60-90 days-everyday-I open the computer and ask myself, “should I be doing this right now?”  Oh, I’m going to blog.  That’s not the problem.  I love to write.  I obsess over stats.  I can’t get enough of backlinks and web 2.0, so-yeah-I’m going to do it.  The problem is this:  How much do I do it and pass up better money?

I make more money online when I write content for other people’s blogs.

And as a work at home dad I feel that like that I’m kind of being selfish and here’s why.

  • If I can get paid $12 for Break Studios by writing 200-700 words then I could probably be making about $24-$30 an hour.
  • When I spend all day writing for my blogs I’d be lucky to make a buck between Adsense, Infolinks and my Commission Junction affiliates.

So, I’m giving up money to make no money but to do what I love.  Either way I’d be doing something that I enjoy.  So, why am I no doing more “instant gratification” writing.

You Need A Business Plan For Your Online Business Or Blog

Here’s my business plan:

  • In 3 to 5 years I want to be able to make 4,000-5,000 per month online.  In order to do that, as a writer, and not as an internet marketer, I figure I need to have a couple sources of residual income.  Blogs and content sites are my top choices right now but I’m also looking at the aspect of affiliate products that have recurring billing.
  • I figure that I could couple that residual income from blogs and other content with my military pension.  The kids will be gone and the wife and I can do what we want.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing regal.  Just simple living with some money being taken in online.  Don’t get me wrong, if things take a turn for the better then I’ll take “regal”.

You have to assume that writing sites will be around for a while

If not them then someone will have taken their place.  The internet is growing and everyone is going to need content for the those sites that are popping up my the millions everyday.  I know that not all of those web heads and admins aren’t writers.  Can’t be.   In fact, I’m betting that a good deal of them hate writing the same way I hate messing with code.

I don’t see the need for good, original content ever not being necessary especially since it seems that everyone continues to try to make the perfect autoblog crap or artificial articles.  It just doesn’t work.  There will always be a need for the human brain to do what it does-be brilliant.

So, those same writing opportunities will still be there in a few years.  They’ll be available.  They’ll need me.  I may need them.  No panic.

Invest In Your Blog Now For It To Grow In Time

I’ve read a lot of bloggers talk about how they started making money online by blogging or selling products.  I have yet to find one that says, “I started a blog, put up a few posts with some affiliate links and was making a living online within a month.”   Well, I take that back.  I have heard those claims.  But they are faceless claims made by fancy-shmancy landing pages or a voice-over paid actors.

The fact is that blogging for money is a business.  It’s not “like a business.”  Of course, if you love what you do then it seems like a hobby but you still have to treat it like a business.  Some new business owners go a long time, sometimes years, without pulling a profit or taking a salary.  However, if they never invested time, effort, energy, and tears into their passion to be a small business owner and work for themselves then it would never grow.  It would die. And so will your dream of blogging for a living if you don’t put time into it now.

So, What Are You Supposed To Do?

Funny, right?  We’re right back at that original question.  What choice do you make?  I think you have a few.  Let’s just mention them real quick.  Explanation accompanying when necessary.

  • Decide To Ditch the Work At Home or Blog For Money Idea

It’s a legitimate idea.  Not everyone is going to have the patience or attention span to continue to develop something that is not reaping instant monetary rewards and be able stay interested in it at the same time.

  • Work Full Time, Online Churning Out Content For Other People.

A write it, send it, forget it type of thing at which some people make a very good living doing.  There’s nothing wrong with this but you just have to realize that once you’re doing it then you can’t stop.  If you don’t write or work you don’t get paid.  There are no paid vacations or other revenue streams coming.

  • Grow Your Blog Slowly By Writing For Other People Most of Time While Posting And Developing Your Blog At A Pace That Your Needs Allow You To.

Obviously, this is my choice.  However, it still calls on my conscience and my need to see instant (or near instant) monetary results for my efforts.  I don’t want to be misunderstood here.  Like I said, I love writing and would be doing it in the desert on the back of an MRE box if it was the only medium available.  But when your plan is to make money writing then you need to start looking at ways to do that and work it into your “passion your writing” or “desire the shackles of the rat race of your wrists for the work at home lifestyle” which are both great for your “About” page but I’d be willing you wanna’ make a buck or two from this thing too.

Over time your residual income from your blog or “those kind of sites” like Suite 101, HubPages, Squidoo, Y!CN will develop and you can slowly let go of your reliance on those other sources. It will mean more freedom and less “shackling”.

  • Put Everything You Have Into A Bunch Of Blogs And Hope It Works Out In Time

The same thing as the prior example only things happen at lightning speed which is extremely difficult to make happen (and probably won’t) and you could starve in the meantime.  I supposed it has been done but I would definitely have a back-up plan.   Make sure you don’t totally give up your day job or other source of income because you may need to go slithering back to it at some point. Which leads us right into my conclusion…

Don’t Burn All Of Your Bridges

There are people that I’ve met on Textbroker and Elance, private clients, that I’ll always drop whatever I’m doing and do a job for them.  These are the people that gave me my first direct orders and came back for more!  It was a great confidence booster in my online writing.

The people you meet will be available to you forever as network contacts as long as you treat them right.  Maybe they’re web-heads and you have a coding issue down the road.   They may run operate a popular blog in your niche (their site…your content) and just maybe instead of taking money for your job you can request credit with a backlink.

I dunno’ much about this stuff…I’m just spit-balling here.

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