Blogging is Publishing

I was reading this post the other day about how blogs really don’t treat themselves as publishers, despite that is exactly what they are.  We produce content ourselves or use guest bloggers to generate content and then publish it.  A number of bloggers that would like to go “pro” and be able to live off their blog income but a lot of us don’t treat our blogs as a micro-business, despite the fact that is exactly what they are.

As such we tend to not think with in terms of all the hats we have to wear when you run a blog including:

  • Editor: Guess what folks, editors at major newspapers don’t spend their time fixing a lot of other peoples crappy writing.  They fix the obvious, cut the any word that isn’t required and send it back for a re-write if certain parts don’t make sense or it wasn’t what you were looking for.  The writer is SUPPOSE to fix it and then send it back.  Unfortunately, I suspect many bloggers are way too nice about rejecting crappy guest posts and end up doing too much re-writing themselves.  That isn’t your job as an editor so stop doing it and hit the reply button instead.
  • Marketer: You can have the greatest blog in the world and no traffic.  You have to get out there and strike up some interest in your blog.  Submit to carnivals, comment on other blogs, do guest posts for other blogs and be helpful to others in forums.  All of those can help to drive traffic to your blog without paying a cent in ads.
  • Sales: Want some income on your blog?  Then don’t just stop with Adsense you need to consider affiliate programs, paid link ads and perhaps launching your own product like an ebook/book, software or something else that people will buy.  Income from a blog to be useful has to come from many sources.
  • IT: I recently had my hosting company’s tech support try to tell me that they weren’t hosting my blog and that some other company was doing it.  Needless to say I freaked out and then dug into it.  Guess what? They were wrong and I had to figure that out what the hell was up.  Like it or not you need to know a few basic items on how websites work and then have a phone number or two of friends you can call in when you get in over your head.  You are the Help Desk like it or not.
  • Accountant: Do you need a GST/PST/HST vendor account?  Can you write off your hosting costs if you don’t keep a separate account for your blog income?  When did you get your last Adsense cheque?  If you don’t know the answers to those questions, then you need to find out.
  • Writer: Then last, but not least, all bloggers are writers.  We often start off doing just that role and forget we need to expand out into the other ones.  Great blogs at their heart have good writers, but what makes a blog really great is how well you wear those other hats.

Now if you aren’t good at a particular role it’s ok to get help.  Pick other people’s brains or even hire out sections of work.  I know my weak points are IT and marketer.  I’ve have to beg for help once and while from others with IT and I know I don’t do enough marketing work.  I’m just starting to get better at the editor role with Robert and Dave doing regular guest posts.

So if you blog, what hats do you need to get better at wearing? If you don’t blog, which of these hats do you wear in your job? Any tips for the novices out there?

One thought on “Blogging is Publishing”

  1. I’ve been slowly building my blog over the past two years, but I think the reason it’s lacking in popularity is that my posts are highly irregular. I guess that falls under the writing/editing category that needs improvement. I plan to try and post regularly from now on.

    Also, one could spend all day marketing a blog. The key is to write something interesting enough that people want to come back for more later. Most of my blog hits according to Google Analytics (a very useful tool by the way) are one-time visitors. I guess that’s to be expected when I post something someone is specifically looking for. I’m going to try to write more insightful posts that are relevant to a larger audience.

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