In the early stages of developing my new blog, I’ve been stumped for effective marketing techniques. Namely, anything that does NOT make me resort to posting comments on my “friends'” Facebook and MySpace pages, a la “Cammie, luuuuvvv ur site–read mine: [link to my site]”. First off, I find those tactics incredibly annoying. Furthermore, it seems to be a tremendous waste of time. And I was glad to find I’m not alone in that feeling.
On Rosalyn Gardner’s very in-the-know site (read: she’s spent ten years online, with her sites and blogs earning 100K a month), Net Profits Today, she recommends investing your time in a pay-per-click campaign rather than random forum or site comments for the sake of a few backlinks. The rewards are greater, she says, because the results are a targeted audience for your site, rather than random people–who may not even have any interest in what you do–culled from a social networking site.
Gardner posted in response to Caroline Middlebrook’s “Stats & Analysis for October ‘07? blog post on Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger, in which Middlebrook wrote that she logged 235 hours of work on her Web site and never saw any financial gain, despite 11,000 visitors to the site in its two-month infancy. That’s a hell of a lot of work to not be making any money. The kicker is Middlebrook had quit her full-time job to pursue “a living online.” I found Middleton’s story, as well as Gardner’s reaction to it, incredibly interesting but not because of the obvious.
I sympathized with Middlebrook (and my younger self) for putting so much time (with such risk at stake) with zero monetary reward. When I first started out as a blogger, I simply didn’t understand there was money to be made so I took pro bono job after pro bono job, thinking the clips and/or experience would be worth it. And I was always assured, “Well, after the site takes off, we hope to compensate you for your time.” Keywords naive Sarah didn’t pick up on were “after” and “hope.”
Of course, I received nothing. Only slightly higher rankings in Google, which I guess, is better than absolutely nothing. What’s worse though, is that I truly didn’t expect to find money in blogging. Had I read the vastly experienced Gardner’s suggestions prior to my entrance into blogworld, I wouldn’t have had to look back with a mixture of regret and embarrassment.