Bootstrap Your Career With Blogging: 7 Tips

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at 5:30pm by Site Administrator

Entrepreneuring might not commonly be referred to as a “career”, but it is as far as I’m concerned. Over time, I’ve met some very interesting bootstrappers. Some of them raised the capital for their businesses – including restaurant chains – through the oddest means – including selling drugs or even writing romance novels. Now that’s not to say you should do either, heaven forbid, but maybe you can find some creative way to generate funds for your entrepreneurial career.

While I’ve publicly admitted that my own websites/ blogs don’t earn a lot of money yet, I believe they could. (Most of my income is from freelancing.) I feel that with the right niche, you could bootstrap your entrepreneuring with bloging, if it’s your sort of thing. I don’t mean publishing a blog for your business. I mean blogging as a means to raise capital for the business you’ve been dreaming of.

Challenge
I’m making it sound easy, and it’s not. To make it work, there are a lot of things you have to do right, in synchrony. I’m also assuming that you have the ability to communicate clearly most of the time. Far too many bloggers do not communicate well, then wonder why no one reads their blog. Communication skills are important in business, as well as for blogging.

  1. Pick a good niche. Find a monetizable niche known to have high ad CTR (Clickthrough Rate). This is the lynchpin factor. Without the right niche, you’re better off working over time or raising money some other way.

  2. Be visible. Write anywhere from 5-20 posts per day, with word count/post decreasing as quantity increases. The more you write, the more search engine traffic you’ll bring in, provided your writing is entertaining/ engaging/ informative (depending on niche).
  3. Develop your own voice. To keep readers coming back, develop your own voice in a niche.
  4. Experiment. Try different post styles (see below) until you find something that works for your niche.
  5. Persist. Trying for a month or two and giving up isn’t going to take you anywhere. It might take a few months for your site to draw regular readers and/or search engine traffic.
  6. Be informed. To pull off an authority blog, you need to know what you’re talking about. If you don’t know, learn. This of course requires a chunk of time for research.
  7. Promote. Use social media sites to promote your site and your best posts. This takes time and effort, something non-entrepreneurs tend not to want to spend.

Those of you balking at this advice, please leave the room now. It comes from someone who has concrete proof – in impressive monthly income – that this publishing frequency works – especially 10+ posts – for specific niches.

Approach
In addition to the points above, you have to take the right approach to the actual writing and research. Obviously, the more time you can devote, the more likely you’ll make this work.

  1. Start by writing small summary posts and apply the principle of kaizen to improve your writing. (Read this first if you’re starting in a niche that you know little about but want to learn.)

  2. Expand your knowledge so that you can summarize it succinctly in your posts. It’s actually harder to express the same information in fewer words, and takes knowledge of your subject.
  3. Add illustrations/ images/ videos, if suitable for the niche. Start with Flickr and YouTube, then expand your “sources”. Pay for quality pics if you have to, when you can afford it.
  4. Don’t dawdle. If you have an idea for a post, write up a summary. If after brewing it in your head for an hour, you have nothing else to say, post what you have then write an expanded post later. (Just make sure the summary is coherent.)
  5. Space out publishing. Some niches require that you post all day long. Wake up early, if you have to, and beat each busy period: morning, noon, evening by publish before those times, not during. (Of course, your time zone matters, depending on who your readers are.) What you don’t want to do is write 20 posts and publish them all in the same 30 minutes. Try to publish 1-5 posts per period, but with at least 10-15 minutes between any two. This is a necessity for staying visible in blog directories and search engines.

Post Style
Your post style is another important factor and depends on the niche you’ve picked. If you’re not sure, experiment. I’m doing that in a particular niche, where I have several partners and hired bloggers. These are small experiments, but should prove valuable. Here are the parameters:

  1. Voice: neutral or opinionated.
  2. Links, internal: with or without.
  3. Links, external: with or without.
  4. Images: with/ without.
  5. Word count: micro (25+), short (50-100), medium (200+), long (400+), or tome (600+).
  6. # Posts/day: 1 to many.
  7. Video: with or without.

The number of posts per day that you “should” do depends highly on the niche. However, generally speaking, the more content you have, the more often search engine spiders visit your site, thus improving the chances of lots of traffic. That’s a very nutshell explanation, but some niches absolutely require 10-20 short posts per day for a blog to be a success financially.

Of course, the more posts you do per day, the shorter the posts should be, if you are expecting to gain blog feed subscribers. It’s also less tasking to write 10-20 posts per day if they’re shorter.

Summary
The entire point of this exercise is not to blog about your business – which in this case hasn’t been launched yet. The point is to explore a possible means of generating startup capital to launch your startup. You can use a pseudonym if for some reason you don’t want to use your real name.

My colleague who earns five figures per month swears by most of the above information. As for niches, well, i’m not going to give away all my secrets just yet. However, if you’re clever and do a bit of hunting, you’ll figure out which niches I’m hedging my bets in, along with partners.

I have my regular freelance work that pays my bills. I’m hoping that my experimental blogging/ publishing will also help me start up my photography once again – possibly enough to pay for equipment and a live/work studio – pay for my entrance into film school, and then generate capital for when I do make movies. The double benefit is that I’ll already have a few of my own vehicles for advertising my films.


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1 Comment »

  1. This sounds like good advice and goes a long way to explaining my modest traffic. Apart from the voice and expertise, I can definitely work on all of these things.

    Comment by Colin Beveridge — December 5, 2007 @ 12:42 am

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