Saturday, March 1, 2014

Making Millions by Blogging

Most bloggers begin their online writing out of a bit of ego and a genuine desire to share information. They are, mostly, information mavens, which is the term Malcolm Gladwell coined for content-area experts who have a knack for curating useful information for countless niche markets. However, many bloggers would also love to do what they do full time and make a healthy income - if not millions - by doing it. I know a part of me dreams of A Teacher's View being that media source for many and income source for me.

To that end, countless bloggers and internet readers are drawn to articles like "How We Grew a Blog from ZERO to $6 Million."  Those titles are pretty tempting - especially because they make it sound so easy.  Of course, if it were so, I wouldn't still be working a full-time job in schools. Or maybe I would, but I'd do it for fun. But that's not to say that articles by sites and organizations like Digital Marketer are wrong or exploitative or deceptive. The information they provide such as setting goals for subscribers, providing real products, sharing advertising, and maximizing pays-per-click are absolutely on target.

For example, the above article about "Growing a blog to millions" focuses on areas such as selling products, site design, and, most importantly, the idea of content curation or content aggregation. The key to most successful sites is the way they provide readers consistent access to quality information. And they rarely produce it all by themselves. Think about it:

I’ll say it again: The world does NOT need more information. Instead, what the world needs (and values) is a trusted authority who will organize and aggregate all the GOOD information that’s actually worth reading into one place. And this concept is nothing new. In fact, the largest, most successful authority sites on the web rarely feature content written by the person who has their name on it.
Think about it: The Huffington Post, The Drudge Report, Bloomberg, Forbes, Breitbart… these sites aren’t famous for the owner’s writing style. They’re famous for the content they presentIt's just that making money by blogging does require a lot of work and quite a bit of luck.
Do you see where I’m going here? I sometimes like to jokingly call this “The Oprah Factor,” because Oprah built her ridiculously successful career by bringing the best experts, content, and entertainers onto her talk show. Oprah understood something that most people don’t…
Experts do NOT equal Authority… authorities are people who aggregate and associate with multiple experts. That’s why Oprah has associated with (and in some cases created) expert brands such as Rachel Ray, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz.
This is the playbook that the most successful authority sites use. They host expert content, associate with the most reputable thought leaders in an industry, and they leverage those associations to build their authority…just like Oprah does (just on a slightly smaller level).