When San Francisco Chronicle Columnist and all-around good man John Carroll wrote about bloggers and wondered how they make money (in "the blog dilemma" which should have been designed to be found in a search), he looked at it, it seemed unknowingly, from the perspective of one who's used to working for someone else.
The most successful bloggers own their own blogs: Perez Hilton comes to mind. Now, if you're going to tell me what you think of Perez' content, you're not going to learn anything, so you're not the person I'm trying to reach.
Perez Hilton owns his own blog, and yet he's "multi-platform:" he has millions of Twitter followers. His videos can be found on his own YouTube channel, where, like me, Perez is a YouTube Partner. That means he earns revenue from his video views. He's got over 62,000 YouTube subscribers as of this writing. Me? I'm just over 5,000 YouTube subscribers, but hey, I love every one of them.
But my point is Perez has his own channel and his own "brand" that's not all in one place. Regardless of what you think about Perez Hilton, you know what you're going to get when you visit his blog. That "brand" has led to offers of up to $20 million for his blog.
What John Carroll missed is a look at the blogger who's an entrepreneur. Before the days of journalists looking for work as bloggers, there were journalists who did blogging, specifically Justin Hall.
Hall's called a pioneer blogger, but the point here is that Justin did his own thing as a blogger and gained fame doing it.
I encourage people who blog at Zennie62.com, or any of the blogs in the Zennie62 network, to maintain or start their own blogs and cross post their work to mine. I want each person to grow their own online value. That's what John Carroll, ever the good man, misses. But it's also my fault for not following up with Carroll on my desire to video interview him
See, John Carroll is a star. Like many long-time journalists and columnists he has a following, but he's not "branded" in the way Perez Hilton is. He's not on video or mobile devices. He doesn't have his own widget. He should have all of this, and more.
In short, John Carroll doesn't have that set of platforms that, added together with respect to traffic, he can sell for money, or make money from. It's a welcome direction given the shrinking print media industry.
The problem is the death of print media is forcing people online, where they're quite literally lost in Internet space. Many people: journalists, publicists, and public relations specialists, are totally lost.
And they're not helped by those who are in the same professions who take money from them with these seminars and panel discussions, claiming that they know the Internet way, when in point of fact, those same persons don't even have a clear Internet presence and brand. So, it becomes the blind leading the blind, and both eventually get frustrated either because they aren't making real money or the people have realized they don't know and have stopped paying them.
If you are asked to pay over $100 to attend a social media "how-to" function, run, don't walk, to the nearest exit. Don't do it.
Just do what Former San Francisco Chronicle Columnist Glenn Dickey did, and at my pushing, about five years ago: he started his own website called Glenn Dickey.com. Plus, he's at Examiner.com And while I think he could improve on his Internet presence and website monetization by a ton, he's at least created an online home that has some value (the paywall's a bad idea). The Examiner gives him another platform that helps drive awareness of the "Glenn Dickey" brand and thus, get more traffic.
So, John Carroll, you can make money blogging, but you've got to have your own blog and brand. In short, you have to think not in terms of working for someone else, but in terms building your own media business.
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