I have a problem with blogging

Ian Lurie

I’ve got a problem with blogging.
I’ve been out here for about, what, 5 years or so now, writing blog posts on various sites, offering advice, etc.. I’m a huge proponent of supporting the community through education.
In the last 3 years I’ve written 800+ posts. Not a ton, but respectable.
That sucks up about 1 hour per day, on average, 7 days a week. Sometimes it’s less, sometimes it’s more.
But, even though I’ve written about how your blog can make money, and I can trace a nice group of clients back to this site, I have doubts.
If I took that 1 hour per day and sunk it into, say, affiliate marketing instead of blogging, I bet it’d pay off better. I mean, I am pretty decent at getting stuff sold online. Of the 40,000 or so people who visit Conversation Marketing each month, maybe 20 contribute in a real cash money kind of way. Add in advertising and maybe we’re at $.0002 per visitor. Woo hoo.
If I were selling a product, I could do more with it. I could make people love my customer support team, get them excited about my brand, etc.. But as a service provider in a really unique, wild-west, expertise-intensive field, all I can do is get more people who don’t know why they should pay me for advice. How many of you would pay $1000 for a consult with me? Not that many.
So yeah, it’s frustrating as hell sometimes.
On the other hand, I’m addicted to blogging. It’s compulsive. These sure as hell aren’t thoughts I should be publishing on the web, but here I am doing it. There’s a bit of a rush when I see folks start retweeting or commenting on something I wrote. There’s a bigger one when someone tells me they changed their campaign after reading a post, and that it helped.
So I won’t stop, probably ever. I probably won’t even slow down.
Like I said, I have a problem with blogging. Like some people have a problem with drugs, or alcohol, or chocolate (ok, that’s me, too).
OK, off to board my flight home from Pubcon.

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Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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Comments

  1. I empathize with you Ian. I was questioning things last week and wish I knew the answer to how to break through the “do it yourself” mentality. Whether it’s home repair or even blogging, everyone thinks they can do it themselves and that they don’t need somebody else’s help. The economy taught people to be frugal and crafty. It’s hard asking someone else for their hard-earned money.
    All you can do is convince them that you can provide them more value than what your services will cost them. I got this one from Eben Pagan: Give away $100 of value and ask for $10 in return. It’s a lot easier to give 1,000 people $100 of value and ask for $10 in return than it is to give away $100 of value to 100 people and ask for $100 in return.
    Also, thanks for answering my SEO question. I may actually purchase one of your eBooks since I can honestly tell you that you’re my favorite SEO resource, especially after that last post of yours.

  2. I don’t think you have a problem with blogging. I think you have a great hobby that makes a little money on the side and makes you extremely influential. Not too shabby!

  3. Except it probably is having a cumulative effect on your personal brand. You probably could use this to make money in other ways if you wanted to. Get paid to speak at events, get a book published, etc. If you only want to use this to get consulting projects it might not be the best way to go about it but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways this can make you money.

  4. You are not alone. When I talk to my clients about blogging and tweeting they almost all roll their eyes in despair. I suspect you could make the same financial argument about business networking clubs, but I agree with Lateef – the reputation it brings is worth a great deal.
    I have got on my soap-box about it too on my blog: Man Killed by Social Networking

  5. I think it all depend what is our objectives from blogging. Ian, did you try to see how many of those 40,000 readers/month actually become leads/clients to portant or is there a cross over from your blog to portant.
    I also think that by you blogging, you are giving back to the community, which got me thinking that this time spent writing a blog should be tax deductible if you have no ads on your blog!!

  6. Ian, you don’t know how much I wish we could do a consult with you. The place I work for is the poster child for Worst Practices. Unfortunately, the decision makers seem to like it that way. It is so frustrating. Even when we do hire decent SEO consultants and even highly trained in-house SEO people, we ignore or sabotage their recommendations, so what’s the point? It’s a lonnnng story, and I won’t bore you with the details, but I bet it’s fairly common throughout corporate Dilbert-World. The people most interested in hiring great experts like you don’t have the power to do so. The folks with the power are clueless. In the immortal words of Dilbert: “Gaaaa.”
    Well, the least I can do is buy your books. I plan to place an Amazon order tomorrow.
    I go by another name on Twitter, but, for once, I’m being minimally discreet. 🙂
    Agent99
    P.S. I love your blog.

  7. But Google eats up the content and that can be very powerful for online businesses. People get lazy with blogging because they do not see money coming directly from the blog, but they don’t realize how much money can be made indirectly through good SEO strategies.
    Sorry, I am reading through your site, but I did not realize that this topic is a year old. Oh well, it is a good topic. Great blog Ian.

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