I am forever reading articles about how to make your blog a success. Very rarely do these articles define success, but for most of them, the implication is that success is equivalent to making money.
Certainly this is one possible goal for a blogger, but I think that there might be other very valid reasons to blog that have nothing to do with money, and the goals will have a strong bearing on how the author writes, promotes, markets, and monetizes his or her blog.
Here are a few possible reasons to maintain a web log:
- To make money
- To educate on a particular topic
- To promote a product or service
- To collect news of a particular topic into one location
- To promote a sense of community within a particular group
- To stay in touch with family or friends (similar to the previous goal but more personal)
- As a creative outlet
- As an outlet for one's own personal feelings and experiences.
In order to make money one must do a fair number of all the things that are explained on so many blogs- search engine optimization, discoverable titles, keyword density, affiliate marketing, advertising, and all the rest of it. Even though the stated purpose of this blog is to make money, each of my other blogs is maintained for one or more of the alternate reasons. I believe that these are just as valid.
To build a sense of community within a particular group it is really important to make sure that the members know about the blog, it might be less important to advertise it to the general public. How would success be measured here? Perhaps by the number of comments, participation in polls, percent of members who know about the blog, and consider it essential to being "in."
If your blog is a creative outlet, discoverable titles may feel like a death knell. There is nothing catchy about a title such as "Ten Sarcastic Reasons to Bathe the Dog." Something like "Don't Break My Flea Soap Bubble!" won't help the SEO, but may make you much happier.
To promote a product or service, SEO may be very important, but revenue generation is deferred by one degree. The blog itself is probably not expected to make money. However, the quality of the articles might be even more important than in other blog styles.
This post is not meant to be a definitive statement on all the reasons one might choose to blog, but only to point out that there are several valid goals.
If making money is your goal, I would suggest that you consider the ethics of the many options available to help you rake in the cash. The number of pyramid schemes, rip-offs, shady deals and scams is amazing. Freedom without responsibility is anarchy.