These days it seems like everyone wants to be a “problogger”, though why that is, I am not sure.
Perhaps the word itself is appealing. Perhaps the prominently displayed revenues of a few probloggers make others wish for the same prosperity.
I am not a problogger. I make my living on the Internet. I make what many would call a very, very good living with my sites. But I do not try to make money primarily from blogging.
Blogging is fun. It’s a good way to get a nagging thought off your mind. It’s a good way to share your ideas with random strangers. It can even be a good way to make some cash.
But I am lazy. I cannot imagine myself tied to my computer and my blogs each and every day for all eternity. While my work still requires me to be online most days, my ultimate goal is to be able to leave the computer entirely for several months next year without a drop in revenue.
That ain’t going to happen with blogs. The problem with blogs is that they’re never finished.
If you build a portal or information site… lets say, “Everything you need to know about raising thoroughbreds”… at some point, your work is going to be pretty much complete. You can keep up to date on new developments, but that isn’t going to require more than one or two updates in any given month. Contrast that to tech blogging, where you can miss a huge story by sleeping for one hour.
A comprehensive information site takes a tremendous amount of work to build in the beginning (it’s like writing a book!), but once it’s done, you don’t have to tend it daily to keep people coming back. You’ve got a genuine resource that Google will adore, visitors will find useful, and your search listings and revenue will stay pretty steady whether you update weekly or monthly… or even every other month.
One site I’ve built using this technique makes me about $5,000 a month, and although I generally add content to it twice a month, at the beginning of the year I was exceptionally busy and didn’t add anything for a little over three months. My traffic and revenue did not decrease at all. Nor would they if I left it another three months.
I built another small site on a very obscure topic about a year and a half ago. There were a few other sites with one or two pages of information on this particular topic online, but nothing comprehensive. This site has no Adsense, because there are too few related advertisers to make it worthwhile, but it does have a few loosely related Clickbank products, and a lot of Amazon links.
That little site, which has NEVER been updated since it was finished, brings in at least $30 in Clickbank and $100 in Amazon referral fees each and every month.
I’m not saying you can’t use WordPress or other blogging software to create in information site just like that one. In fact, WordPress (with a load of tweaking), is a great platform for building just about any type of site. But the usual blogging format, with dated posts and archives, makes evergreen information seem dated, and makes it sadly obvious when a site hasn’t been updated recently.
Now, there are a few exceptions in my portfolio too. I have some content sites whose traffic has whithered away over time, and I have two blogger blogs that haven’t been updated in two years that have steadily increasing Adsense revenue each month for no apparent reason.
But, in spite of the anomalies, I am far more confident that I will achieve my goal of Internet-free vacations next year through content sites rather than blogging.
If you are just the opposite, and a month away from your computer sounds like a torture worse than waterboarding, then perhaps life as a problogger is just what you’re looking for.
Then I’ll come by and read your blog when I’m online. I might even click an ad. And I’ll be ever so thankful I’m not doing that particular job.