Blogging is changing.
It seems like the dream, right? Working from home, writing about topics for which you have a passion and deep knowledge, spending your days building your own business instead spending 40 hours a week busting ass for someone else's six-figure salary.
But is it still possible? Is there still a way that a single person can build a successful blog without a team?
Absolutely there is, but it isn't in the way you might expect.
Advertising is dead.
Seth Godin and Gary Vee have been saying this for ages, but people still start up blogs and plaster them with ads, thinking that Google Adsense is going to be paying the bills. And I understand why— I've had ads on my website, and when I started to build The House of Muses, I thought that I would be supported by ads. I was wrong. The market for online advertising is dead. Adblocking is extremely prevalent, and 33% of internet users find online ads 'completely intolerable'. Can ads produce some supplementary income? Absolutely— but it is very important that you are not sacrificing the quality and readability of your blog for a few extra dollars. Today, bloggers make money not by blogging, but by providing their audience with services and products that go above and beyond what they can get from your blog proper.
Are we making cookies here?
There are a huge number of folks out there that will tell you they have the formula for you to follow, the exact, step-by-step method they used to build a six-figure business, and you can get it all for the low low price of $500 (because of course this is the value of this course, right?).
The truth is, there is no formula that will guarantee success for every person. All circumstances are different. All levels of ability and income and experience are different. And the real kicker? Audiences are catching on. They're sick and tired of seeing the same old formula trotted out again and again, the same webinar pitch, scarcity tactics, you need this product now method of sales that is constructed to make new bloggers feel desperate, confused, and willing to accept any solution that promises to get them out having to carpet bomb their city with resumes for a shitty minimum-wage job they hate.
To take inspiration from Seth Godin again, your blog and business will succeed when you find a way to develop your community in a way that makes you different, not the same.
Honour your authenticity, honour your audience.
Your blog will succeed when you show up. When you put yourself out there, and embrace what you love doing— even if it's different from how other bloggers have seen success. Do you hate Twitter? Don't use Twitter. Do you hate webinars? Don't do webinars. There are myriad ways to connect with your audience, and myriad ways that are yet to come. Do not ever pour your valuable energy and time into something you hate doing— it will never work for you.
Find what works for you. Explore and grow. Experiment and try new things. And above all? Serve the audience you have. Obsessive focus on growth and numbers will only leave you with empty statistics, and when it comes time to making money, you're going to be wondering what happened. Communicate with your audience. Answer emails personally. Take the time to chat with them one on one and build the types of relationships that will hold your blog and business together. Ask what your audience needs. Imagine these people complexly. Speak in your own voice— reach your audience with the words that hold power for you, not the jargon that someone else has prescribed.
And above all? Never stop learning.
>> If you've got the guts to show up and bring your vision and expertise to your community, grab my beginner's guide to starting a quality blog. It's for absolute beginners, and it gives you the framework on which you can build a blog that works for you— not a formula. Because this guide is for beginners and I want it to be accessible for as many fresh bloggers as possible, there is no launch, no epic marketing funnel, and it's $10. I think you'll love it.