Let me confess something today, which I never did in last seven years of blog writing career. It’s getting tough and hard to produce quality content and maintain the tempo of writing. Of course it’s not just about surviving out there, but to continue writing–profitably.
Why am I writing about my confession today? There’s reason to that. Timing of this article can’t be better. I started writing about telecom/Internet around year 2008 and started this blog page in year 2009. You can see my old page (part of WordPress now), where I used to write, before moving to complete new domain. Last month, Telecomblogs celebrated sixth years of existence. It’s surviving and thriving, but struggle is still on.
This brings back me to question-why now? Honestly, when I started out writing, I took inspiration from Gigaom, especially from the founder- Om Malik. We belonged to same city, albeit, I was just starting out and he was my superstar idol. Since then, I always tried to chase him down and his team. I loved to visit Gigaom and read Om’s blogs. I copied some of his writing style. I wrote about some of the topics they talked about. And I did everything possible, which will make this portal look and feel similar to Gigaom.
But inevitable has happened. The mighty content creator, the Gigaom, has been facing credit crunch and the team hasn’t published any content since 9th of March. I’m just hoping that they bounce back well and be on track. I don’t have any idea about what’s happening behind scene.
Why this might have happened? Although I’m just guessing, after writing and producing some content over years, I came to similar realization that, content isn’t the only king and not all visitors or readers of your beloved blog page make you rich or help you in surviving. It’s must to have both, but not sufficient.
So how do great blog portals survive? I bet, there are hardly any real blog portals nowadays. All you get to see around have already well adapted to needs of survival and readership. Some of them solely survive on just PRs and sharing news, others have started affiliate services, ranging from jobs, forums or something similar platforms.
Of course, advertising revenue is still the major chunk of revenue for all of them; it won’t be possible without having great content or some interesting readership value to readers. But surviving is hard and becoming tough.
If you see traditional media producers, especially in telecom segment, the one who publish monthly magazines and newsletters, for them surviving was always dependent on selling maximum copies of print subscriptions. It was never about producing content on their home page. Although some of them do have blog pages, it’s never the crux of their business. For them, it’s different story. Writing in print media is different flavor altogether and I don’t see it’s what we bloggers love to do all the time.
What’s conclusion? Most of the bloggers, who still continued to write and produce great content over years, have multiple sources of revenues. I know few of them are really doing well, but they have been involved into multiple projects and do lots of consultancy work. Most of them are still individuals and some of them have formed teams to work together, but writing content hasn’t remained the only objective. It has been one of the objectives.
The story isn’t all with sad ending. Some of the bloggers out there have created niche for their writing, and have been quite creative in producing awesome content, which readers can make use of or relate to their own life and work. Others have started offering some subscription services to content (Gigaom had used this model). Few others have written books. Rests of them are waiting for growing revenue with more advertisements.
But in the end, one thing has always remained close to all our hearts. When I say ‘Ours’, refer it to only pure content bloggers, who always believed that writing blogs will make the lives of readers better, make them more informed and the content will help readers some or other way. What’s that ‘One Thing’? It’s all about writing and helping readers out there. Rest is all about survival.