My friend Mike from the Financial Blogger recently wrote a post where he said his blog progress is too slow. He compared himself to JD Roth, formerly of Get Rich Slowly, but I think Mike is being too hard on himself.
JD has a great talent for writing and storytelling and I don’t think any other blogger comes close to him in those areas. That talent plus his work ethic made him very successful. His willingness to talk about his own life also helped.
Pat Flynn is another example of a high profile, successful blogger who has a lot of talent in a number of areas and is also not afraid to put his entire personal life on his blog (ie wedding dance video).
That said, it’s not fair for most bloggers to compare to those two. It’s like an average NHL player wondering why they aren’t putting up Gretzky numbers.
Most bloggers don’t have JD’s writing talent or Pat’s willingness to put up personal info.
As much as I like watching successful bloggers like JD & Pat give speeches about what made them successful, I believe it can be counter-productive for most of us to try to be too much like them.
I can’t write as well as JD, I can’t tell stories like JD, I can’t be as public and as likeable as Pat. I can try to be like them for 20 years and it just won’t happen.
Bloggers have to figure out how we can run successful businesses using the talents and passions that we have. Most hockey players don’t make a living by scoring lots of goals, they have other roles.
I know a number of very successful bloggers who have a relatively low profile, but have a great business because they focused on money-making activities that they are good at. Like most bloggers, they might have started with the idea of emulating a well known blogger that they admire (like JD or Pat), but eventually they figured out their own way.
What are these “other” money making activities?
Some bloggers put less focus on building a community and loyal readership and will focus more on creating content which generates revenue. Other bloggers use their site as a platform to get work such as contract writing jobs, technical jobs or speaking gigs. Using a blog to help promote their books is another possibility. Some bloggers have gotten into ad sales for other blogs. Many self-employed people will blog to get more clients for their main business. I even know one fine fellow who puts on personal finance blog conferences. I’m sure there are many other methods as well.
There is nothing wrong with trying to implement advice from successful people, but you have to be prepared for the idea that it might not work as well for you and it might not work at all.
I believe that most bloggers have the ability to build a reasonably successful business, but they have to figure out something they are good at and that also makes money.
What do you think? Are you the next JD Roth or have found a different path for your business?
Read my 2011 FINCON wrapup