Since the very beginning of the Internet, everybody has tried one way or another to make money online. Some have succeeded while most internet entrepreneurs got to the point where they had to sell the computer to pay the rent. In the past 5 years, blogging has become the buzz for for those who want to make money online. Throughout the years, I’ve experienced different blogging business models. Since several web enterprises turned out to be a total massacre while others were simply just a big nightmare, I thought of making an analogy with different horror movies:
This is the most common type of blog; the guy who has an opinion and wants to share it with the world. Just like everyone knows about the Exorcist, everybody knows someone who has a blog. The movie is a classic and respects some basics of a good horror movie;
– Talks about Demons (the ultimate form of evil)
– Include a little girl (what is more frightening that a little girl staring at you?)
– Has some gross scenes (remember when the head spins 360?)
Well the classic blog has its own basics:
– Written on a consistent basis
– Gives your opinion on several topics
– Interacts with readers and other bloggers
As The Exorcist was controversial, if you write on controversial topics, your chances of getting more attendance (read traffic) are improved.
Real Blog Examples: The Financial Blogger at First
I started TFB with the classic blog in mind. I had a voice and wanted people to hear it. Plain and simple. I scored my biggest success at first with my opinion on the controversial company Primerica and on my controversial way of investing; leveraging!
You may or may not like the Saw series. It was specialized in a very specific horror movie type: puzzles, mechanics and ultimate gore scenes. The thing with this movie is that if you like the first one, you will like the others. And you will really like them. Why? Because they keep serving the same sauce with different recipes. This is what a specialized blog does: it hits a specific topic and goes very deep into it.
Specialized blogs experience some great success as they are built on a certain level of authority. The author is known to be an expert in this domain and people are following him because they want to know everything he does regarding a specific topic. If you liked the first Saw (I did!), you were probably eager to see the next one and so on. However, if you can’t reinvent yourself, your specialized blog may end-up as Saw did: into a repetitive series of scenes (I mean, there are so many Saw movies and they all look the same!). If you want to play the specialized blog card, make sure to have a topic that evolves over time.
If you don’t want to hear about techno stocks, forget about IS. Same thing if you are not interested in dividends with DGB! These are very specialized blogs with a unique goal: share as much information and thoughts about a very specific topic.
Original but limited budget movie, limited number of (unknown) actors, simple stories with no possibilities of a sequel (well they shouldn’t have done it anyway!); this is what The Blair Witch Was All About. The Blair Witch Project was built around a very original concept that was used to the maximum; filming an amateur-like horror movie around a “true” story.
A niche website is very similar in many ways; it should be very specific, aimed at a smaller, well-defined audience and should not evolve over time. We are talking here about a relatively static type of website where you have one topic, get on top of it and cover all the angles. The major different between the niche website and the specialized website is the fact that the latter keeps being updated on a regular basis. The niche website should have a determined number of articles and topics. Your success depends on the very same thing as the Blair Witch Project; is the audience you targeted big enough and have you reached them?
These are my first 2 niche websites. They are still under construction and I have a lot of little things to tweak before starting another one. However, the number of articles is almost done with both of them and I definitely play the keyword games on both of them.
What is Resident Evil truly about? A cute girl, guns & blades and tons of zombies to kill. When you go see this movie, you don’t really care about the plot, you just want to see blood and cool stunts. It is usually a good money maker at the box office and doesn’t require much effort to write. This is what an all-in massacre blog is about.
These “cheap” types of blogs exist to get found by Google through SEO. Their content is not really interesting but they sure have a lot of keywords. You usually get sponsored posts, and other paid advertising all over the place. The goal is simple; put money in the owner’s pocket.
Some people have more than 100 sites and run them like zombie killers: they put adsense, get paid advertisers and fill the rest with other affiliate websites. There are tons of advertisers looking to create content just to include their links. Sometimes the content is good, sometimes, it’s far from being enjoyable!
Real Blog Example: Subprime Mortgage Plan
Yup, I do have a few all-in massacre blogs! Surprised? Well, it’s not a big part of my business and I don’t really like them either. They were born from the first steps of our company and they are still earning a few bucks here and there.
In my opinion, Freddy is the ultimate horror movie icon. For others it will be Mike Myers from Halloween and the younger readers will surely prefer Scream. Nonetheless, they are all iconic. They can’t die, they are bigger than their movies. You can recognize their mark easily (man I want that glove with those claws!) and you identify them by the way they do things (kill people in their nightmares!). Most importantly, these are very hard to create and when you have a icon horror movie character, you just hit the jackpot!
Brand Blogs are very hard to create and maintain. Famous bloggers like JD from Get Rich Slowly, John Chow or more recently Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income are well known in their niche and thinking that I will become the next one is almost like insulting them. Nonetheless, this is my goal with The Financial Blogger. Yet, I don’t have a real blog example to give from my own company but I want TFB to become MY brand. Something that will follow me for many years to come J. 2011 is a turning point for this blog and for my whole company. I’m already starting to feel the wind of change…
One thing to remember; You Don’t Want to End-up Mixing Models!
In all honesty, I know people (and I have experienced this myself) who have had success with all kinds of blogging business models. The key is to determine which model you want to create with your blog and stick to it.
Unfortunately, there is one huge mistake several people make; they mix more than one type and try to create a hybrid model. This is what happens when Freddy meets Mike Myers for example… a very bad movie!
And you, Which Horror Movie Does Your Blog Looks Like?
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