You may think you do. As a blogger, you have your own schedules, you write when you feel like it, you write about things you love and so on.
But that’s not what I mean when I ask if you really work for yourself.
Even though you have a blog and you do whatever you want to do with it, you’re still limited by certain choices. Do you rely on Google for traffic? Do you rely on an ad network to monetize your blog? Do you promote others’ products to make small commissions?
In all those situations, you work for others. In particular, you depend on others to monetize your blog, to make it profitable, and to make your efforts worthwhile.
Now, there’s certain trend in the blogosphere about making money from your blog. And it’s mostly made popular by certain lazy bloggers (pardon me but I’m NOT referring to you).
It’s so easy to slap Google AdSense code on your blog and wait for the pennies to trickle in. Most people don’t even think they have any other choice.
The best they do is change the advertising network.
There’s nothing wrong with making money from ads. But what you make with ads is nothing compared to what you can make when you work for yourself.
How do you work for yourself? You sell your own products and services.
The first step involves building a platform that you can use to sell your products.
Build a platform
You don’t just start a new blog. It’s easy to do, and anyone with internet access can do it. You build a platform.
Blogging is not immediately rewarding. It’s only rewarding when you establish yourself as authority in your niche. When you tell people something that’s true, that makes sense to them, and that affects their lives in a positive way.
Building authority and making your audience listen to you can not happen in a few days, or weeks, or even months (unless you have a lot of pals on Digg).
It’s going to take time and consistent posting by you to make your blog stand out.
If you rely solely on ads, your interest in blogging will slowly peter out… leaving you to wonder what did you gain from all the hard work you put into your blog.
When you have a long term goal in your mind, however, you can go on creating content and building authority till you’re ready to sell your expertise.
Sell your expertise
If you blog to build authority, you’ll not only gain more knowledge about your niche, but also establish yourself as a expert in your niche.
Your readers will have certain expectations from you. They’ll read you to gain insight into whatever they want to know.
And this, my friends, is the right time to start charging for your knowledge.
You DON’T have to charge your readers for reading your blog of course because frankly, they’re doing you a favor by reading you out of all other bloggers.
You can, however, use your expertise, skill, and experience to put together a product or service that solves a big problem with your audience.
The product or service can be anything from an ebook, an interactive course, a tool, or just plan your consultation and advice.
You’ll do just fine on your own. However, if you feel there are certain areas that lie outside your skillset, don’t hesitate to reach out to other people with skillset that fill in that gap for you.
As the saying goes, 1+1 make 11. A joint venture can be profitable for all parties involved, there will be less work, things will get done fast, and there will be better profits.
The web is reaching a critical stage for online publishers and entrepreneurs. People are more interested in buying online than they were ever before. They want to spend their money. So this is the right time for you to start selling and accept the money they are so willing to put in your pocket.
Work for yourself and stop promoting others’ products. A year or two from now, the Internet is going to be so saturated with online sellers, you’ll have hard time fitting in. And you sure don’t want to be collecting pennies forever.
In the end, I’ll ask the same question again: do YOU work for yourself?