Every day I read all sorts of blogs. I follow hundreds of blogs with Google Reader and I’m constantly following links on Twitter and Facebook to various people’s blogs.
And I’ve gotten used to the mediocrity of most stuff out there.
There are very few people writing about what they love. But there are a whole pile of people writing about what they think will make them money.
You see, blogging is hot. Trendy even. Just about every company, church, start-up, and author I meet will quickly tell me… “I need to have a blog.” So the first thing people see is that blogging can somehow make them money. (Build a tribe, generate leads, sell product, sell ads) And in every marketing meeting in every corner of every market someone is in charge of getting bloggers to talk about their product. “User-generated content is what we need.” (aka free advertising!)
But they are missing the point. And their metrics always come back emptier than they’d hoped.
The reason people read a blog is because they connect with the content. A reader can tell the difference between a crappy post to promote a product or service and something they genuinely care about.
There are a lot of people, many of them my friends, who will sell you a big bag of tricks about how to make money with a blog. They will tell you it’s about design and whistles and SEO and mixed media. Most developers care more about the functionality of a site than they do the one thing that will actually work. (And make unlimited money.) Really, really good content.
But the truth is that all that matters is that you love your content. You have to love it or no one else will.