Monday, August 30, 2010

Blogging Out Loud

I have been considering taking my blogging hobby to the next step, like so many others out there. I like to blog, and maybe if I could capitalize on it I would feel a little less guilty spending a couple of hours in front of the computer instead of cleaning my house or playing with my kids.

I like to write, and if I do it often enough, I figure I will become respectable at it. Due to my job I have some knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), although admittedly I don't have a lot of hands-on SEO experience. However, I'm fascinated by the topic. I also have some web design experience due to the 2 years I did free-lance web design prior to getting hired by my current employer.

Somethings holding me back however. Primarily I'm concerned about my level of commitment. I have become better at updating this blog recently, but I still find devoting time to update it every day very difficult. If I am going to monetize a blog, I know I must update it daily, Monday - Sunday.

Secondly, I am concerned about finding a niche. I don't expect to make money off of this blog because it really isn't that focused. I also feel I must purchase my own hosting, hire a designer instead of using the free blogger software if I am to be taken seriously. However, this particular blog seems to break the specific niche rule. When I go to this blog, Scoutie Girl, my first question was, "Is this about 'Living Outside the Box,' 'Creative Living,' or 'Mindful Spending'?" My second question was, "How do all three of those topics relate enough to belong in one blog?" and my last question was, "How does she sell such a broad blog to her advertisers?"

And there is one more concern that actually ties for number one along with my fear of commitment: the low earning potential. I was very disappointed to learn that many bloggers make only about $100-300 a month. That doesn't seem like much for the 2-6 hours most of these bloggers claim to spend on their blogs every day. If the minimum time commitment (62 hours a month) is divided into the maximum return ($300) it works out to less than minimum wage ($4.84 an hour). I don't expect to get rich quick, but as much as I love blogging, those earnings don't exactly inspire. If I'm going to have my own business, I want to at least be able to make a living if my family should lose my husband's income.

And then I started to reassess my objections, and realized something. The blogger that breaks the rules, Scoutie Girl, seems to make more than the bloggers at this blog. At least based on what the owner of Scoutie Girl, Tara Gentile, claims.

This is when I realized I mustn't let my objections stop me but rather prepare me. What makes Tara Gentile different from other bloggers?

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