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The 11th P of Blogging: Perspective


The 10Ps of blogging may seem to be quite enough, but a recent article by Matt Richtel of the New Yorks Times entitled Work fast, die young: The blogger lifestyle? pointed out the need for an 11th "P" word—perspective.

Why do you blog? Probably for many reasons, but most of the bloggers I most frequently interact with—people like Brian Carroll of the B2B Lead Generation Blog, Elge Premeau at My Travels on the Net, Albert Maruggi at the Marketing Edge, and Skip Lineberg of Marketing Genius—blog primarily as a PR activity to support a separate consulting business or marketing agency.

There are also corporate bloggers, analysts, journalists, and people who just enjoy writing as a creative outlet. The vast majority of bloggers do so on a part-time basis, but a few people—a tiny fraction of a fraction of the 100 million-plus bloggers—do it for a living.

Which brings us back to Richtel's article. He focused on two technology bloggers, Russell Shaw and Marc Orchant, who died suddenly and prematurely, and speculated that the "blogger lifestyle" may contribute to coronary problems. Both deaths are a tragic loss, and while Richtel accurately points out that two deaths out of 100 million bloggers hardly constitutes a trend, an endless regimen of 18-hour days, coffee and protein supplements is hardly conducive to a long and healthy life.

Perspective comes in this paragraph from Richtel: "Bloggers at some of the bigger sites say most writers earn about $30,000 a year starting out, and some can make as much as $70,000. A tireless few bloggers reach six figures." Those top bloggers reach 100,000 page views per month.

For perspective, if your blog gets more than a handful visitors per day, it's doing better than 99% of the blogs in existence. If you are getting 300 or more visits per month, your blog is in the top 1/2 of 1% of all blogs. 100,000 page views per month is the stratosphere.

The bottom line is to keep blogging in perspective. It can be a healthy creative outlet, and a valuable PR tool. But as one's sole means of making a living, the odds of success seem too remote, the dangers of the lifestyle too real, and the likely rewards insufficient to make this the most appealing career path imaginable.

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