This Is A Business, Not A Hobby

It’s interesting that this post from Copyblogger came out today about the ‘3 fatal diseases that kill good blogs‘. Why? Because I’m currently writing a book right now called ‘Attention!’ and one of the themes I’m working on in the book is…

This is a business, not a hobby.

Social media, blogging, email marketing, affiliate marketing, online PR, you name it… This is a business. We’re doing this to make money, or leads, or get publicity. Not for fun. Not for “friends”. Until you flip that switch in your head where you understand this, you’re going to continue to find it very hard to find success on the Internet.

From the Copyblogger post…

If you are serious about blogging, you need to treat your blog like a business. You are the CEO of You Inc., and you’ve got to weigh every single decision as if there were millions of dollars on the line. Yeah, it would be great to blog in your underwear and sleep in every morning, but the reality is that most of us can’t afford to do that.

Measure the day’s work in results, not in hours spent typing on Facebook or Twitter. Absolutely, fostering relationships is important, but every action needs to be treated as an investment of your time.

This is especially important if you are a solo blogger, as there is only so much work that you can get done in a day. You’ve got to be efficient with your time. This means measured action and measured results — not just going with the flow.

I wrote the first eBook about how to make money from blogging back in 2004 called Blogs To Riches. When I wrote it and released it, I was getting hate mail from people saying things like “You shouldn’t use blogs to make money you jerk” and “You’re ruining the Internet, F#$% you”. These people didn’t believe that blogging was a business, or could be.

Of course, a few years later people like Problogger came on the scene and proved that you could buy a house with the money you make blogging. Now, today, we all realize that blogging is in fact a great way to do business. Yet, still so many of us treat it as a hobby still.

Here’s why. Because “regular people” are the people who start blogs. They’re not marketers. They’re not entrepreneurs. They are people who have a passion about something and they want to share that passion with the rest of the world without having a gatekeeper tell them they can’t.

But things are changing, yes they are. We’re no longer bloggers anymore, we’re “publishers”. The majority of people don’t start blogs anymore just to waste time. They want something out of it. It may not be money they want. It may be fame. Whatever it is, they want something for their effort, and that makes them a publisher.

What happened to me in 2004 is the same thing that is happening now to social media. We’re all being told we shouldn’t try to make money with social media. It’s pure, they say. Leave it alone, you’ll ruin it.

This is ALL a business, not a hobby.

@nhangen - October 29, 2009

Great take on the post Jim, and very serendipitous! I'm interested to read the book because obviously, I think that bloggers could do so much more if they just master a few basic business skills. I didn't realize it until I left my computer desk and actually talked to people at bwe09.

You know, I still laugh often about your difficult task of moderating Tim Sykes' panel…well done :)

    Jim Kukral - October 29, 2009

    Yeah, that was a fun panel. Tim is a crazy guy, but he gave the goods on how he does it, which is all that matters.

Kate - October 29, 2009

Thank you – great article!

@joshwalsh - October 29, 2009

There are millions of blogs out there that get zero attention. There are tons of marketers out there forcing their blogs in front of readers.

Yet, the bloggers who really make it big (copyblogger, garyvee, problogger, etc…) are the ones who can best communicate their passion for the topic. Their passion is contagious, and it really spreads to those who read it. No "marketing tactics" can come close to replicating passion.

That's why the internet will be ruled by individuals with passion for small niche industries.

John Ettorre - October 29, 2009

I'd agree with all of this, Jim, but just add one crucial thing, which is basically implied in much of what you say elsewhere anyway: if you're not being true to yourself and you're not writing about things you really know about and care about, you'll fail on every level. So in other words, it can't only be about making money.

Joel Libava - October 29, 2009

Blogging to make money?

How crazy is THAT?

The Franchise King
Joel Libava

Dave Starr - October 30, 2009

Excellent advice, Jim. If most bloggers who also have a regular job worked at that job the way they blog, they would soon become full–time bloggers involuntarily.

Putting in just a few hours a day as if blogging was a business can really reap dividends. And as far as making money being evil, on-line or off? A sentiment usually expressed by "basement critters" living at home off their daddy's money, getting yet another degree as they try to "find" themselves.

Making money is a worthy endeavor.

IM Blog - October 30, 2009

Maybe you are right but I have my doubts.

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It’s a business! : Mindanao Bob - November 13, 2009

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Event Planner SFO - February 7, 2010

Blogging truly is a good side business and a business that you would enjoy to do because it has been derived from your interest and that is the very reason it becomes interesting. Indeed some dedication can take you to a great level and may give you a good side income as well.

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