Are You Building a Blog or Building a Business? (and Does it Matter?)

Blogging can be fun. Blogging can take up a lot of time. Blogging is very rarely a solid business model. Yup, I said it. Blogging is a great add on to an existing business model to stay in touch with your customers, add fresh content to your website, target some long tail keywords to rank for, etc. but if your primary aim is to build a business model where the business model begins and ends with blogging then I hope that you think a couple thousand dollars a month is the big time because that is likely all you will ever see – and that’s if you have a clue what you are doing (which you probably don’t) :).

Harsh? Maybe. For those of you that love blogging and are convinced that it is your ticket to riches then just let the above paragraph motivate you to try harder – for those of you that realize that you probably don’t have the skill or the know-how to be a tier A blogger AND you also realize that even if you have the skill and the know-how to be a tier A blogger and that most tier A bloggers don’t really make that much money then read on.

Let me clarify.

Some bloggers are bloggers in name only. What do I mean by this? Well, the really smart bloggers realize that they need to offer a product or service to actually make some real money. In short, they need to build a business.

They can either build a cool web app like my credit card finder website I mentioned in a previous Case Study Friday and tack the blog on as an addition to the main part of the site for some of the benefits mentioned above in the first paragraph or they can offer a useful service via their blogging like Johns Wu did before he sold Bankaholic.com for $15 million.

You might be tempted to think that Johns Wu was just a blogger when he sold Bankaholic.com and in some respects he was BUT, and this is an important distinction, Johns Wu was much more than just a blogger – Johns Wu was providing a useful service each and every post. He was in the business of providing close to real time in depth and personalized analysis of CD rates, mortgage rates, etc.

You might also be tempted to just say that Johns Wu happened to “choose the right niche”  in which to start a blog and you are certainly right to some extent but if you peruse the Wise Bread Top 100 Personal Finance Blogs List you will notice that there are many other bloggers in similarly potentially lucrative niches just like Wu but they are simply blogging. Many certainly offer interesting and useful posts that I and many others enjoy reading but are that many of them actually building a business and offering a high quality specialized service (or product) like Bankaholic? No.

You might have noticed that we haven’t been blogging on this Domain Superstar blog a whole lot lately. OK, not at all. :) Well, we have been working like dogs on a lot of different projects that are growing by leaps and bounds and our next big project is a complete overhaul of the Domain Superstar tools dashboard.

Our Chief Technology Manager, owner of Domain Superstar LLC, and coding ninja, John G will be promoting himself to a full time position at Domain Superstar LLC :) so in the next couple weeks we will be redesigning the dashboard and adding many new tools for finding great domain names. If you have an idea for a tool you want or a feature you want then just let us know. You ask for it – we build it (within reason :) ).

That is our reason for slowing down on the blogging. What about you? Are you building a blog or building a business?

Enter your desired keyword(s) to start finding great domain names!


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Comments

5 Responses to “Are You Building a Blog or Building a Business? (and Does it Matter?)”
  1. Todd says:

    I am building a blog about my building-a-business. :)

    I am trying to make a living with some net businesses, and writing about it in real time.

    Glad to see the new blog post. Please continue to blog regularly – it’s much appreciated. Best, Todd

  2. Bob says:

    Apart from ‘long tail keywords to rank for’ what else does this article really offer? To start with, it doesn’t answer it’s own title question, and secondly turns a topic of business/blogging into how your ‘Chief Technology Manager’ is going full time… nothing but hot air and no substance. Fail.

    • Admin says:

      “Apart from ‘long tail keywords to rank for’ what else does this article really offer?”

      It points out the key difference between a successful blog that is run as a business providing a useful service (i.e. the Bankaholic.com example given) and your average blog where the only goal of of the blog owner is to provide purposeless “content” in an informal blog format.

      “To start with, it doesn’t answer it’s own title question”

      The title question is actually directed at you (“Are You Building a Blog or a Business?”) and I guess we can assume that you are building the former rather than the latter based on your testy comment :)

      The second question in the title (“and Does it Matter?”) I would hope was answered as a resounding “Yes” from above after the Johns Wu $15 million sale example given.

      “and secondly turns a topic of business/blogging into how your ‘Chief Technology Manager’ is going full time”

      The reason it was mentioned was to explain some of the things that we are currently working on (rather than blogging as much as we used to). Sorry to bore you with an announcement :)

      “nothing but hot air and no substance. Fail.”

      Wait a minute… you really can’t get anything of value from the Johns Wu example given where he used his blog as a means to an end where the end was providing a useful service rather than just using his blog as the end unto itself?

      Honestly – you don’t see the difference between Johns Wu and 99.99% of all other bloggers out there?

      If not then just keep on blogging without a purpose and hopefully you enjoy it because that is likely all that it will be good for (which is just fine because blogging can be fun) :)

  3. JW says:

    Great article ;)

    Your example of Wisebread etc is good. A lot of PF bloggers used to just write random articles about budgeting, investing, blah blah… but they didn’t have a focused business plan.

    Nowadays, post-Bankaholic, I noticed the same PF bloggers are now hopping on the Bankaholic bandwagon and trying to steer their sites into the lead-generation / affiliate business model.

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