The Business of Blogging

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business-bloggingThis is a guest post by Mark Johnson, who is an SEO and internet marketing Geek and writes at

If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Do you write a blog? Yes? Ok, do you make money or hope to make money from your blog? Yes? In that case you are in business.

A lot of people won’t like that statement, and may well disagree with it. But when you think about it, running a blog really is a business.

Even if you only use Adsense to make your money.

Here’s why:

The idea of a business is to sell something to your customers in return for something from them. When you write a blog you have two sets of customers:

The advertiser who is buying traffic from you for an amount per click.

The reader who is offering you their attention in return for information.

You need the advertiser in order to make an income, and you need the reader in order to provide traffic to the advertiser.

So one way or another you are selling the information you produce and leveraging that to make a profit. The long and short of it is that your readers are your customers.

So what?

Now that we have established that your readers are in fact customers, you can start thinking about your product in more detail and how to target what you are offering to your customers.

You should be thinking about who your customers are, what are they looking for? They obviously want information, but about what? And at what level?

If most of your customers are completely new to your subject then perhaps you can offer better value by explaining your topic in a way that anyone can instantly understand.

If on the other hand, your customers tend to know a bit about your subject already, then you might be better off creating content that is more in depth.
Are there any other related subjects that your customers might also be interested in? This is the blog version of cross selling, and it gives you the chance to diversify into new “product” areas.

This may all be stuff that you think about anyway, but by thinking about it in a business sense, it forces you to be more systematic about it. If you think of your readers as customers it helps you to remember that you are serving them, not vice versa.

It will also help you to be more focussed and disciplined.

The problem with writing a blog is that if you fail your customer, they won’t demand their time back, they will just leave. This means that you don’t have that pressure keeping you working.

It’s nice, but sometimes you have to remind yourself that you really do have customers and that you have to keep building your business.

Mark Johnson is a SEO and internet marketing Geek. He runs a blog that he intends to develop into a full online resource for internet entrepreneurs. He likes to blog about SEO, blogging, making money online and anything else related to starting an internet business.

Mark’s latest post: Is your website useless?


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16 Responses to The Business of Blogging

  1. Marcus Baker June 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    Good points Mark. I think sometimes one gets so taken in with the fact that we have an audience that we forget that we need the audience to pay us in some way to do we are doing. If they are not paying us then either we have the wrong audience or we are offering them the wrong products. Either way something has to change.

    .-= Marcus Baker´s last blog ..Research Profitable Keywords Before or After You Write Your Network Marketing Article? =-.

    • Andrew
      June 9, 2010 at 8:00 am #


      Re: product and audience is crucial – I agree. One rule I have is I only promote products I have actually used.

      For me even more crucial is the relationship you have with your audience / visitors / customers.

      I like to provide advice and knowledge to help them improve their lives.

      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..blogging guide =-.

  2. Julius June 8, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    I also think that we also need to keep our customers (our readers) happy. When we offer a service or product, we should try to respond to them and become as accessible as possible.
    .-= Julius´s last blog ..What Can a Musical Genius Teach Us About Accessibility? =-.

    • Andrew
      June 9, 2010 at 8:03 am #


      So right!

      A bit of a plug here – sorry but…

      Before Joel and I created our blogging guide course – we carried out some research and asked what people wanted from such a course.

      The top response was support and access to us – the creators.

      From that we added – what we think is the best support we can provide – a private forum, weekly live teleconference and access to our private emails for private questions.

      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..blogging guide =-.

  3. Alamin June 9, 2010 at 4:19 am #

    Thanks mark, really nice post which will help to rethink some point. I do believe that my reader is my boss so i always try to keep them happy

  4. Joel
    June 9, 2010 at 5:49 am #

    Very interesting Mark, and you make some good points. Who knows how many people visit and leave who could have been customers if only more care and attention was paid?
    .-= Joel @ Blog Solutions´s last blog ..Making The Jump To Writing Your First Blog =-.

    • Andrew
      June 9, 2010 at 8:06 am #

      That’s a good question Joel.

      I suppose one way to check is to monitor your bounce rate and perhaps change the navigation on your site or test by adding a few more informative pages like faq’s.

      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..The Business of Blogging =-.

  5. Dennis Edell June 9, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    1. EVERYONE that is not a “hobbyist” is in business. Even hobbyists needs to understand, if you make that first sale, you’re now a business; albeit maybe a really small one.

    2. Readers ARE customers, this is true. However, they should never be treated as such…that’s how they become loyal repeat customers…and those are the ones you want most of all.
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..The Future of DEDC – Part 4 – FINALIZED!…..? =-.

    • Andrew
      June 10, 2010 at 7:51 am #


      The problem is NOT EVERYONE that is not a “hobbyist” is in business.

      Oh…a double ‘not’ sentence.

      Can’t get me head around those, sometimes!

      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..The Biggest Cash Blogging Contest EVER =-.

      • Dennis Edell June 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

        OK enlighten me friend, what the third? 😉
        .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Attention Commenters: VALID Email Addresses PLEASE! =-.

  6. Mark Johnson June 10, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the comments, and sorry I haven’t been back sooner to respond. My week has been busier than expected… Which is ironic given the post I’ve just written 🙂

    It’s true, there are a lot of non-hobbyists who don’t quite realise that what they really have is a business.

    It’s important not to just treat your customers as a money machine, but as actual people and it’s also important to treat your blog as a real business and not just something that you can pick up when you want to – assuming you also want to make money out of it that is.

    I think some blogs could learn a bit from “real businesses”, but I also think that the “real businesses” could learn an aweful lot from the bloggers.

    Maybe in the future we will see much more of a merge between the two. I think that would be quite exciting, and great for the customers.
    .-= Mark Johnson´s last blog to 6000 readers; Turbo charging your blog =-.

  7. Jen June 10, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    This is a really good reminder that we don’t just blog for fun, no matter how passionate we are about it! We do need to remember that there is a valid business reason behind our work, and stay customer focussed.

    .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..On managing your workload… =-.

    • Mark Johnson June 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

      Hi Jen.

      Yes exactly. Blogging for a living is a lot more fun than working (in my opinion) but you do still have to earn it, and that’s something that the very best bloggers never forget.

      It’s awesome to be in a business that you really would keep doing even if you didn’t get paid for it though.

      Thanks for your comment 🙂
      .-= Mark Johnson´s last blog to 6000 readers; Turbo charging your blog =-.

  8. Mark Johnson June 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Hi Chandan.

    It’s Mark by the way 🙂 Thanks for the comment though. Yeh it can be very difficult early on, especially when you are starting out and have other things you need to do.

    The best policy though is to treat it as a business in terms of how you structure your work. I find it helpful to keep a spreadsheet of what I have done and what I need to do. This really helps me to actually do the jobs that need doing.

    You just have to keep doing what you can do though. Even if it’s only part time, if you keep the right mentality you’ll get there sooner or later.
    .-= Mark Johnson´s last blog to 6000 readers; Turbo charging your blog =-.

  9. Michael June 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    You are so right in this thinking. Readers/customers, whatever you want to call them, they are reading/using your blog and you have to treat them as the most important thing you have. Yes you can write the best content ever but if you don’t have readers, you won’t make money or grow.

    Send out a survey from time to time and find out what your blog readers really think.

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