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Passion or Profit? Why You Shouldn’t Choose Between Them

2010 October 28
by Annie Wallace

Blogging as a career is so appealing for a number of reasons. You can work from wherever you want, with an audience hanging on your every word, and now it is more feasible than ever — and more people are doing it than ever.

However, to have true success in blogging i.e. get an audience and make money off of it, you cannot just blog for profit. Bloggers that write posts on topics purely because they think it will generate the most revenue simply will not make it. You can and should blog about a passion and have a financially successful blog.

The blogosphere is a harsh place because every single person online can be a critic.

Anyone can check out your post and say whatever they want about it, whether in the comments section, on their own blog, or via other mediums like Twitter. The easiest and quickest way to have your work torn apart by someone else, thus decreasing your credibility, readership, and income, is by being inauthentic and unknowledgable. If you are writing about something purely for financial gain, it will show through in your writing. If you had little knowledge of the topic before you started writing, it will show in your posts. Plain and simple, your intentions will be made obvious.

Bloggers gain readership by being passionate experts in a given field or chosen topic, and that is exactly what readers are looking for: passion and expertise. Like in any business, to direct consumers to your product you must demonstrate that you have created something no one else can at a higher level of quality than the competition. This level of quality generally is a direct result of knowledge and effort. As a blogger, your product must be something no one else can find elsewhere at such a high level of quality. It must be more insightful, more unique, and more thoughtful than anything else on the internet to be successful.

You must brand yourself as an expert to keep readers coming back for more (and thus to generate an income), and expertise most organically comes from a passion. A broad knowledge base, a thorough understanding of a field’s history and current state, and unique insight are often only a byproduct of borderline-obsessive passion, the kind of passion your readers will have and will be able to tell if you have.

Also, if you are simply writing on something for purely profit, it is very likely that a lot of other people have the same idea. This will make it harder to stand out and attract regular traffic. As in business, filling niches are the easiest way to turn profit, and this is incredibly true for blogging. The most influential, popular, and financially successful blogs fill a need no one else could before and now no one else after can. The best and most organic way to fill a niche is to do so by writing about a passion, and to do so with a lot of personality. Experience and knowledge, above all, show through. That is why bloggers like Perez Hilton or the Huffington Post or countless others have been wildly successful — because they are trusted experts in a field of which they are passionate.

Blogging is an increasingly crowded field as more and more people see its earning potential and are attracted by its flexible schedule, working remotely, and having thousands of people read their work and look to them as a trusted expert. But to be successful, it is all about building this trust and proving you have the passion that others share. This passion simply cannot be faked. Pick a topic or field you are passionate and knowledgeable of, even obsessive about, and go from there. Blogs were started by fans; be one too.

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