If you look at some of the bloggers who are making a lot of money from online only (or at least claiming to) it is tempting to think that it would be as easy for you to get online and make money.
What we don’t recognise is that these guys (and gals) work very hard have a lot of knowledge about a niche and literally are typing till their fingers bleed getting content out.
I decided to look at the early days of blogging in a few popular sites to see what level of output they had on their blogs. My rough estimates from looking at their archives are below. But first the blogs I chose.
CHRIS BROGAN - www.chrisbrogan.com
I like Chris Brogan’s site and I read it fairly regularly and he is a well known online personality. He blogs about quite a wide number of topics mostly in the self / business improvement space (he may correct me but that’s what I read).
He started off as a writer for the Entrepreneur magazine and then branched out with chrisbrogan.com in 2004. However like any site he had to start off somewhere so if you look at his early content statistics you can see a consistent pattern.
Chris’ first article was written in 2004 and in the first 4 weeks he wrote as per the table below. He initially was writing about fitness and not specifically about goal setting unlike where he is today but he was writing every day and a huge total in month 4. My numbers are estimated from trawling though his archives and manually counting.
In August Chris wrote 60 posts – yes 60 so that is 2 per day every day.
Problogger - www.problogger.net
Problogger is a hugely popular blog and in the initial days of September 2006 he was writing about 2-3 articles per day and he seemed from month 3 to be writing 3 per day for an estimated total of 90 per month. This seems to have continued since and as his niche is showing people how to write good content.
He ranks number one worldwide for this search term. So for the past 5 years he has been pumping out content every single day on the topic.
The one similarity is that he and Chris above take breaks by using guest bloggers so when they are on holiday they are still filling the content silo with content.
Think you cant do it? Read some of their stuff. It isn’t rocket science, all the posts are written in simple attractive language. none of the pieces are wildly long. The prose is readable and digestible and doesn’t dig into any one topic too deeply. This is possible for most topics and niches and they are making money from it.
This isn’t Darren’s only blog or writing output so basically he is writing all the time. He should be easy to spot as the guy with big fingers.
Mashable - www.mashable.com
Pete started as a tech blogger and the blog is one to the top web and tech blogs in the world. He has editorial staff, they are sponsored and his site is one of the go to sites for mainstream technical updates.
These days Mashable are producing articles nearly every hour as it is full time online magazine with many editors, but in the early months of July 2005 in Scotland Pete Cashmore was writing the content himself and skipping July and August where his content was low he continued with about 1.5-2 articles per day for the first six months.
Pete still writes for Mashable but only about 20 or so this year. This probably the typical output of some people on what they think is an active blog.
The numbers below are estimates from looking at the archives of the respective blogs in their early days. They all tell the same story. high levels of consistent production. The numbers may be off but they are close enough.
Brogan – Mar 2004
Rowse – Sep 2006
Mashable – July 2005
The winner in volume here is Problogger but Mashable is now the most popular. My own perception is that from the beginning Mashable was linking to other sites and had a more attractive topic base. I am not sure what sparked the great growth of later years but throughout his time writing himself he was writing about breaking products and technological topics which have a huge audience. He also seemed to jump on reporting a new technology of product really quickly.
The other guys weren’t (and still aren’t really) writing about specific items and developments so their challenge was different. Across the three of them there is evidence of hard core attention to their writing. What we cannot see from these numbers is the other work they wre doing offline to build community but the effort must have been intensive and still is in the case of Problogger and Chris Brogan .
Your typical private sector work is usually contracted to be in the office for 8 hours a day. Of those 8 they have lunch, coffee breaks, leaning on the wall chatting breaks, meetings (where they do not contribute) and from that I would estimate they do about 3-4 hours work per day. Think I am joking do a log of your own days work and let me know. You will be surprised. Don’t share it with your boss by the way.
Bloggers and content creators buck this trend. Even if it is a part time gig they are putting in 8-10 hours work per day working on their content, networking, social media and basically living the plan. They produce mountains of content in the early stages of their work with rich keywords for search and well written content to retain the visitors.
They don’t stop for coffee. If they work another job they work till 2-3AM on the content and get up early on weekends to do the same. They still have family life but they use every available minute pushing a message again and again and again. They don’t give up in a day or a week.
Unlike most of the bloggers who come and disappear these guys only have one intent to come online (despite what they may claim). it is to make money and as much of it as possible. If the content is great then they will get and retain visitors that eventually will click though on some of the ads on their sites.
They aren’t here to write fluffy life diaries. They are to get cash from you. If they do it by writing top notch content that attracts traffic then all the better. In fact without this content they would not succeed as you can spend a lot of money getting traffic but you have to retain the person for at least a period of time for them to eyeball the ad and make a decision to buy or not to buy.
This isn’t a secret. They will tell you this.
Where Do I Start?
Simple answer – don’t unless you can dedicate several weeks and months to a regime that involves single minded attention. Laser like attention is what I mean.
Build a rich unique interesting set of content. I would say 2-300 posts in the first two months on the topics at 2 posts per day. Each of them should be excellently written, grammatically tight and entertaining. They need not all be huge treatises on the topic but should for a measure be at least 500 to 1500 words in length. the number of words isn’t an influencer.
The Author writes occasionally and not enough and has no subscribers. He lives in a lonely cave on top of a mountain and this blog post was delivered by snail mail and typed in by a typist.