Should Health Of Blog Community Align To ROI?

I had a post all ready for today, and then @TheJackB spat all over my blog in comments. I could not let that slide, so this post is a compilation of his musings and mine. (You get co-authorship, TheJack, but just not in the byline…heh.)

The Sales Lion wrote a post yesterday about why community is not Holy Grail of blogging that I’m sure is creating a slew of comments, not the most of which is Gini Dietrich (although I’ve not been over to comment myself). Marcus said something to the effect that “Gini shocked the blogosphere admitting her business almost went bankrupt in 2011 in spite of her healthy blog, Spin Sucks, and its huge community with lengthier commentary.” (paraphrase)

IMHO (In my humble opinion), Arment Dietrich is a service firm; it delivers professional services and seeks clients to pay it to stay viable. Gini is the point person, face, poster child, CEO, founder, biz dev artist for her firm, and, oh, yeah, she’s chief cook and bottle writer for her highly popularly ranked and accoladed blog, Spin Sucks. Her new product, Spin Sucks Pro, for which peeps will subscribe to content and teachings via webinars and writings from around the ‘sphere, launches soon (after a one-year delay during which she had to fire a tech team and start from scratch). (Never write sentences like these two.)

When you’re running a successful digital marketing/PR shop with staff and expensive headquarters near the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, and you’re launching a brand new online moneymaker that fails and requires an immediate new investment in tech dollars and clients refuse to pay you for six months and the economy sucks (like Spin), then what’s so surprising about a firm nearly going belly up (in spite of a successful blog and community)?

This dilemma is one many successful entrepreneurs face —  how to clone oneself. We are the brand and brain power clients wants, hire and require. Using Gini Dietrich was a poor example to showcase that a profitable business has nothing to do with a healthy blogging community, and here’s why:

The target audience for Spin Sucks Pro are PR, marketing, social media peeps; a healthy community of such is required to ensure that Gini’s new $ venture succeeds. Can you imagine if she had attempted to launch Spin Sucks Pro without putting all the sweat and tears into building a healthy and growing community at its precursor? Right.

 

Here’s what THEJACKB had to say in comments here yesterday:

Yep, I commented on Marcus’s post. I was half awake at the time and uninterested in picking that post apart but I am not convinced that there is a relationship between Gini’s biz and comments.

Fact is that if you can demonstrate to brands that your blog reaches the eyeballs that they want to get in front of then you can make money blogging. It happens, and any one of us has the opportunity to make it happen. It might not make sense for some of us to pursue that path but the opportunity is there.

Let’s circle back to comments and community. You and I (Jack and Jayme) have talked about this, and I’ll repeat that I don’t see comments as being currency. They aren’t always useful social proof for whether a blog is popular, influential etc.

But that doesn’t apply across the board. Fact is that many of the people that speak at blog conferences get their positions as faculty because of their community and the comments. It is not impossible to get a gig without, but it is much easier when you have it.

Data mining is useful for bloggers. When you start to break down who your readers are you can learn all sorts of interesting things. During the past four days more than 4k uniques took a moment to read my post.

Two PR agencies and several brands were camped out on that post for extended periods of time. I don’t believe that they hung out there solely because they loved the writing. There is something more going on. My job is to figure out why. Maybe it is because they are looking for a writer or maybe it set off a keyword alert, but I’ll put money down that there is a money making opportunity tied into it.

Let’s circle back to the question of can you make money and approach it in a more direct manner. Let’s pretend that blogger XYZ has a product/service that they sell and that there is a valid value proposition tied into it.

Blogger XYZ needs to learn how to close. Ask for the order. Stop pussy footing around with “you might be interested or want” and ask for the sale. Remember Alec Baldwin in Glen Garry Glen Ross- “Always Be Closing.” (Excuse me while I reconnect the IV, the coffee drip just ran out.) (Indeed, Friend, you exhausted yourself with that spittle.)

What say you? (This is edited; thank you, Marcus.) Are business success and community related? Need you have a thriving blog community to also have a thriving business?

 

42 comments
perin gill
perin gill

This dilemma is one many successful entrepreneurs face –  how to clone oneself. We are the brand and brain power clients wants, hire and require. Using Gini Dietrich was a poor example to showcase that a profitable business has nothing to do with a healthy blogging community, and here’s why.

Monokinis canada

Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day Jayme, Gini, Marcus, Jennifer and all the rest of you,

Get down off you individual and collective high horses and get on with blogging, running a business or whatever else it is that you do. And have this quote by Mark Twain put on a large sign that you can see frequently every day:

"It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for certain that just aint so." 

I'm sorry if that pisses you off. But I don't subscribe to blogs to read this sort of childish egotripping. However, I'm well aware that the opinions that people hold are facts to them. So I suspect that my entreaties will fall on deaf ears. But as I'm  an Aussie curmudgeon old enough to be father to all of you, I've simply told you what some one had to.

I'm a member of your community too. All this bickering stops you having fun.

That's a bloody disaster!
 Seeyalaider
Leon

Michelle Quillin
Michelle Quillin

Excellent topic, Jayme! Thanks for the heads up!  Is a blogging community vital to a blogger's "for-profit" success? It's not for us. But as @bdorman264:disqus wrote, "it depends on what your model is and what you are trying to accomplish."  

@howieatskypulsemedia:disqus wrote, "Erica and I seem to use the blog not to make money with the blog itself, but a way to showcase our smarts so potential clients can come visit, see what we are about, and hopefully hire our companies to work with them."

That's the #1 reason I write for New England Multimedia's blog. The #2 reason is to share tips and tricks everyone can use to get their message out via social media and blogging. That helps both potential and present clients, but also attracts folks who might send clients our way for our Wordpress, social media, or video production services. 

But the #3 reason? SEO! Keywords, keywords, keywords that will hopefully funnel potential clients to our website, where they''ll see #1 and #2, check out our portfolio and our services pages (clearly marked), then contact us via our toll-free number (clearly marked on every page, including blog posts) or via our contact form (also clearly available on every page, including blog posts). We're contacted at least once a week, sometimes more, through our website's contact form, and it's a pretty simple Wordpress site. 

The social media part of our online presence is very important, too, because when folks do a search for our name, we're all OVER the search engines. The relationships we build via social media also funnels clients our way (referrals). And when visitors to our website click on our social media icons, our Tweets and Posts are almost always geared somehow toward what our services are. 

We definitely saw an increase in contacts after we posted our base prices on our website. When there was no way to post a base price, we posted a range of prices. I think when potential clients see those numbers, they know immediately whether or not they can afford our services, and doors open. 

Does anyone else here post lists of services and prices on your websites?

Mark Harai
Mark Harai

Hey Jaymee!

I thought Marcus's purpose for his post was to point out a potential perception problem and stumbling block to business owners who may be trying to figure out exactly how to make money with their social media efforts.

And then pointed out some ideas of what things you should focus on to monetize your efforts.

It’s accurate. A shift in focus from numbers and popularity (many here who are new to this stuff) to business and profits when planning your social media strategy will save both time & money and lead to better results and profits much quicker.  This is critical for small businesses.

I think it’s an important shift. Socializing your brick & mortar or online business, in my opinion, is the single most important piece of a comprehensive marketing strategy for any business in today's marketplace.

Businesses need to approach social media with the same thoughtfulness as any other part of their marketing strategy and understand precisely how their investment is going to produce a positive ROI and most importantly, when.

They can't afford to try it out and see what happens or accept the notion that social media is not measurable nor profitable in the foreseeable future. This is inaccurate and a perception problem.

All this ignorance is doing is keeping the snake oil salesman raking in the dough for unsuspecting hard working business owners who just want to figure out how to make money for their families.

I'm rambling now - just my thoughts…

So, none of this really had nothing to do with Gini; but at her expense, many business owners who read Marcus's article will now proceed to develop their social media strategy with profits in mind. That's a good thing!

As far as Gini is concerned, she's lifting some serious a_s weight over there. That is one cool cookie with balls of steel and a head of brilliance. In business, you never let them see you sweat. What a great leader we have the privilege to learn from.

She's is going to build a great profitable company and leave a BIG mark on the world in the process.

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

Let me be clear about something: Our clients didn't refuse to pay us. We have great clients. During the credit debate, everyone went back and hid in their holes because we were all afraid of what was going to happen and, if there was going to be a double dip recession, it was best to hold on to your cash. We did it to our partners and our clients did it to us. We DID get caught up, but it took four months to do so. It was in that four months that I didn't know how/if I was going to be able to make payroll because I made a fatal flaw. I allowed the business to run from month-to-month on cash received in the door INSTEAD of saving it and having it on the ready to get us through challenges like this. I also had a ridiculous lease that took me 18 months to negotiate out of and the end of those negotiations were happening at the very same time as the government was debating about what to do with our credit. The only reason we almost had to shut the doors is because *I* forgot that cash is king. It was nearly a fatal mistake.

That said, I haven't been to Marcus's blog yet and I may have to school him a little bit, but the goals for Spin Sucks and Arment Dietrich are completely different. While the blog helps us create and maintain credibility for the clients and prospects for AD, it does NOT drive business to it. And I don't expect it to. But I DO expect it to drive business to Spin Sucks Pro, which is why I so carefully build the community there. Our goal is to convert only one percent of our visitors to subscribers. That's a very, very small amount. But I do believe the community that is built there is going to either buy or refer friends to us. So it's extremely important for that goal.

Now I'm fired up and I'm afraid Marcus's blog post is going to piss me off. I'm going over there. I may be back.

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

My takeaways from @twitter-92096544:disqus post were: 1) a successful blog and strong community do not necessarily mean that the business behind them are profitable and 2) as this space gets harder to manage, many of those blogging for business need to build their blog in a way to grow business and profits, not just community. It's not that the two are mutually exclusive or inclusive, it's a matter of priorities, goals and objectives. 

I really think @bdorman264:disqus  got it when he said 'from social efforts ALONE' - emphasis mine. Even the well-monetized blogs, is that the ONLY way they make money? See also the lecture circuit. Then we get the chicken/egg dance of which really needs to come first, the 'community' and successful blog, or the cross-over popularity as an author and speaker? And which of those signs up a paying customer? IDK I've just seen that as the business model, not sure of its viability. I'm struggling just with the 'content/inbound marketing' piece of it myself and per @TheJackB:disqus  I really need to learn to close, but then...

There are 'appearances' which I'm gonna butcher, but hopefully this will ramble to a point. In my opinion, Gini is successful; SS is successful; hell, I'd go so far as to say that AD has been successful. I was surprised to learn that her business was however, not profitable. Eventually yes, lack of profits will drive you out of business but IMO profit isn't the only barometer of success. (And I realize that's not what Marcus said.) It's something I've noticed about perception: do you dine w/ skinny chef? take fitness advice from an overweight doctor or out-of-shape trainer? How does a 'marketing' person market their business, since if we're such experts, shouldn't we not need to? We have to make money, like everyone else; but for some reason, when I go with my 'hand out' looking for work, there's the perception/appearance issue of "if I were so smart, so successful at marketing/PR, shouldn't the business be coming to me?" 

I blog b/c I like it, b/c I am social and value community, all that it has to offer, all that I can learn and everything I can give back to others. I am also absotively blogging about business, for business, to earn myself some business. It's illusive and I'm working on it. FWIW.

Jennifer Devitt
Jennifer Devitt

Is our blog thriving? Depends on what one considers thriving.  Do we have a active community...nope, not like the one here.  Sure we some regulars who stop by and are kind enough to retweet it.  But its not anywhere near as active as many.  But, then again thats not our ideal goa (sure when we started it was, I was a new blogger, what did I know?).  Ultimately our blog showcases our partners and gives them a chance to show our clients what they have to offer. Being a custom development shop, our customers do ask about marketing, PR, copy writing,etc - thats where we refer our partners.  

We use our blog to share our knowledge with our clients and/or perspective clients.  It helps people get to know us, get a better feel for who we are, what we offer.  At the end of the day, if our blog gets us new business (which it has), helps our clients grow their business (which it has) thats the best we could hope for.  If our clients business is growing, they come back to us to further build on their web exposure our build other custom tools to aid their growing business.

So, while I may only average 1-2 comments a blog post, SYDCON is thriving in other ways, partly due to our blog, but, clearly not only as a result of it.

The JackB
The JackB

Morning from the West Coast folks. This is a good discussion and there is plenty of food for thought. I don't believe that we have to discuss this as an either/or proposition. You don't have to choose between community or making money. They aren't necessarily mutually exclusive and it is possible to do both.

I think that because of the saturation of the marketplace by people who don't understand how to monetize their blog it comes up more frequently than it otherwise would. Think about the millions of blogs that are all competing in the same space. It is no different than seeing a mall that contains a 150 donut shops. 

There is no way that all of those donut shops can survive but that is not because their prospects don't eat donuts. 

Bill Dorman
Bill Dorman

Are business success and community related? Need you have a thriving blog community to also have a thriving business?
Question 1 - it can be, it depends on what your model is and what you are trying to accomplish; OR they might be running on parallel paths and one does not effect the other.

Question 2 - Nope, but once again; it depends on what your model is and what your are trying to accomplish. You CAN certainly have a thriving blog community tied to a successful business, but it's not necessary.

Social has so much opportunity, but trying to harness it is something totally different. I'm just glad my day job pays me quite nicely and if I can figure out a way to blend the two then I will be way ahead of the game. Out of people I follow, @howieatskypulsemedia:disqus is one of the few who cuts to the chase and tells it like it is about what is real and what is fluff in social. 

Call me out if I'm wrong, but out of 100 people we know in here I will bet 98 of them are NOT making a sustainable income from their social efforts alone. The reason it is such an echo chamber is everybody is trying to justify each other's existence in here.

Like I said, social is here and here to stay with plenty of opportunity; but also plenty of fools gold as well. 

Lindsay Bell
Lindsay Bell

Social is as social does. If you're not being human and engaging (socially!) with your community and commenters, then what's the point? I don't have a money making blog (though I wouldn't say no....hellooooo...marketers...brands...??) but even if I did I would put some thought into how what I'm writing or what I'm writing about is going to affect my community. And it's obvious to me that corporations will approach SpinSucks because they are widely known and respected and have enormous reach. Marcus played the old "would you rather" game (and it was a great and very thought provoking piece he wrote!) - but "would you rather have community or $$" is hardly a fair question to ask, IMHO. :) 

Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan

One last question Jayme: Where in the world did you get:

"Do you agree with Marcus that business success and community are NOT related?"I've never, ever, said that before, and I think if you read the post again and the comments, you'll see I have said just the opposite.

Howie at Sky Pulse Media
Howie at Sky Pulse Media

I left a comment on Marcus' blogpost yesterday co-agreeing with @ericamallison:twitter that the position only told half the story. Erica and I seem to use the blog not to make money with the blog itself, but a way to showcase our smarts so potential clients can come visit, see what we are about, and hopefully hire our companies to work with them. My blog on ...uhm...blogger.com surely will never have tons of comments or digital advertising, though I can get readers. And if my insights and content rock even on that weak platform I can get business. I never claim to be a digital strategist or tech person. I am a marketing and advertising consulting hired gun that can do everything from crunch ROI numbers, remove the BS/Hype of marketing/advertising, mobile and social strategies, campaign development, and general business development.

So comments could help should people ask me questions and then I respond. But I am not sure I want to spend all that time responding because I don't think for my case it generates money.

That said if your goal is to be on the speaking circuit without having a title that gives you entree to that, then comments and community are important. If you write books for small biz and individuals the same. But I don't think Pepsi will hire me to help them choose a better creative TV Agency (ahem @pepsi:twitter you need one and I have someone for yoU!) based on comments or my community. Though I could be wrong.

This is a great discussion to be had though!

Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan

I really think you misunderstood that post Jayme, at least the Gini reference part. Here are two facts:

1. Gini has easily one of the best communities on the web now for a couple of years.
2. Gini's PR company struggled last year.

We can all agree on that. Gini brought it (the financial struggles) up herself and knew it would raise eyebrows (she is a PR professional). More than one person asked me about it privately (as they know Gini and I are friends) and I was willing to address a subject people don't like to talk about. We address too many easy subject day in and day out on the blogosphere, and when people blink over hearing something like what Gini said, it should be addressed.

I also did not say in the article Gini had improperly monetized her blog. In fact, I didn't say she had done anything wrong at all. Furthermore, it is her blog that has in many ways lead to her book and speaking notoriety.

What I did say,though, was just because we appear to have a successful blogging community doesn't mean our business is always turning a profit. The two don't necessarily overlap. Sadly, many folks 'trying social media out' believe they do.

Myths like these need to be dispelled.

Is community important? Of course. But I'd also note, the definition of community changes from industry to industry, niche to niche, blog to blog.

But business blogs do not exist if there is no business. This much I know. So when I say one must have priority, that is why.

Soulati
Soulati

You got me to click your swimwear site based on your smart comment, Perin. Way to go...you're in.

Soulati
Soulati

Posting pricing is absolutely risky...but, good for you that you met it head on, and it's a differentiator for you. I just called your office this a.m.; this comment spurred me onward.

Soulati
Soulati

Rambling is good; rambling is good. The takeaway from all this "bickering" to quote an Aussie curmudgeon who hand-slapped us all, is that each of us runs a business with goals. Each of us runs a blog which should have goals. These goals are either:

Running concomitantly on a parallel path
Eventually will intersect at a designated vertex
Be aligned and in synch as the business owner and blogger are one and the same

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

I'm back. Thank you for sticking up for me. You've actually taken the time to understand why I made the comment that we nearly went bankrupt. Shame on me for putting that out there, in one sentence in a larger blog post, without explanation. I've learned my lesson.

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

We actually ended the year profitable. It was really scary for four months because we didn't have cash. We had accounts receivable, we had clients, we had money forthcoming...but we didn't have cash. That has nothing to do with Spin Sucks or the community. That has to do with me allowing myself to be blindsided by something that happend in the economy and I wasn't prepared to weather it. Of course, we did weather it, but I really didn't know if we were going to make it.

Soulati
Soulati

Each of us in and on a blogging journey; each of us are associated with businesses either for self or someone else. Neither of us are at the exact same spot on this continuum, and we'll likely never be. That said, those of us making the effort to use blogging as a way to promote self, brand, service, product are farther along than most. That said 2, there are some realizing more ROI (not necessarily $$) from their efforts and that can be directly aligned to investment.

I got your points, well made and taken. Thank you for coming.

Soulati
Soulati

I marvel at your goals for your blog, and it works for you and your company, Jennifer. Good for you that you can say you've earned business from your approach. I don't know that I can say that; not yesterday and not today. And, that wasn't my goal at the outset.

Point is, as said above, each of us on the blogging journey has varying goals with the foremost to be earn money in business and hopefully in blogging, too. Congratulations to Marcus and Gini and Mark Schaefer (a few I know who've succeeded) who have parlayed their content into dollars. Their effort, investment, labor, time, and more are recognized and intense.

Soulati
Soulati

Great surmise...donuts. I see the circle.

Soulati
Soulati

I was just getting ready to tweet you and ask...How does someone like you (earning salary for job hardly influenced by this network on social media) put community and business ROI in same breath?

You answered it well, and what's fascinating to hear from many of us in the 100...the making money part is illusive! Is anyone really trying beyond Marcus, Gini and Michelle Quillin at New England Multimedia? @nemultimedia:disqus that we know?  Thanks, King Bill!

Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan

I enjoyed this comment Lindsay, I really did.

You're right, the question I asked was not a fair one. After all, who *ever* wants to say community is not as important as profits, mainly because the two are tied together in many ways.

But at the same time, it's a very, very fair question. Let me give you an example or two:

Let's say you have 1 hour today of time left to 'work'. You can:

1. Produce a blog post you've been needing to write for some time that will go after a particular keyword phrase that is essentially to web visitors (sales).

2. Answer the comments that still remain on your blog from readers you've yet replied to.

Which do you choose?

I ask this because I have to choose one or the other almost everyday, and so it's something that pulls at me.

Here is another:

Let's say you want to build your email list for increased constant contact with your core audience of potential customers. In order to build this list, you find out pop-up domination is very effective as a list builder. Everyone that uses it properly, loves its results. The problem is, you know those persons that commonly read your blog (blogging buds we'll call them) don't like pop-ups, and they'll think you're 'selling out' if you add it. Do you:

1. Add Pop Domination despite what some of your friends think so as to build the list?
2. Elect not to add the pop-up so as to not upset your more vocal friends and community, thus hurting your list and business?

I mention this one because I got this email yesterday after someone read the post, and they were literally depressed trying to deal with this issue.

Are they having to make a choice?? You betcha.

So yes, the question stinks, and I don't like it either, and it's not fair.

But it's very, very real.

Bill Dorman
Bill Dorman

Absolutely Lindsay, what is the point? If you are not being human (and some aren't because they think business and human are mutually exclusive) then all I can say is, good luck. 

I view social as a chamber of commerce meeting; I will meet many and do business with few. However, I am building relationships and establishing my reputation and you never know what opportunities will present themselves because of my efforts. It is all about relationships and if you don't want to put the time and effort into that, then really, what is the point? 

Soulati
Soulati

Provoking indeed; look at all the peeps thinking about it, commenting and writing extended blog posts. Because so many of us in these circles are aligned with Gini, the intense dissection of what Marcus said elevated this content beyond normal and customary. That's my thought anyway...as per your last remark, I have to agree! We all know $ comes first, but the buyers are often in teh community. Thanks. Ms. Bell.

Soulati
Soulati

AGREE! I am going to edit that now because that sentence was not adjusted AFTER I had edited the above. Sorry, Marcus...thank you for making that second comment here.

Soulati
Soulati

Marcus has built  his swimming pool business on inbound marketing and highly successfully so. The other key point that must be stated among our network, Howie, @ericamallison @ginidietrich @ThejackB:disqus and many others is that we are in the business of professional services.

Our product is the intelligence and client services we deliver from our own smart brain power. We're not selling swimming pools. And, Marcus said...for those of us not in the business of making money by blogging, delete this post. Perhaps I should've done that as I fall into the camp that, today, "isn't making money by blogging" by design.

The speaking circuit and book writing benefit from the blog; who's to say how much revenue one needs to make to recoup all the time it took to write the book, invest in social media, write the blogs, respond, and be present? Is there profit to blogging EVER?  I'm not so sure when you compare time vs. revenue.

Thanks, Howie. Now, please do give me your blog url again, wouldja?

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

The thing that is most disappointing to me is we are friends and, if people are asking you privately what happened, why didn't you ask me? You made an assumption that the profitability of Arment Dietrich and the community of Spin Sucks are intertwined. They're not. In fact, they're two separate businesses. So Spin Sucks and Spin Sucks Pro could be profitable as heck while Arment Dietrich struggles. Or vice versa. The two businesses have totally separate goals. But the issues we had at AD are completely and wholeheartedly because I mismanaged our expenses and I allowed the business to live paycheck to paycheck. Both very good (and nearly fatal) lessons to learn. That has nothing to do with whether or not Spin Sucks is a great blog or we have a vibrant community.

The community at Spin Sucks is vibrant and huge and I spend a ton of time on it because they BUY Spin Sucks Pro. Either that or they refer subscribers to us. Two different visions, two different goals, two different businesses. In my case, community does equal business. Just not for the business you assumed it did.

Soulati
Soulati

I just re-read your post again for the third time. I realize now that your main thought, which is correct, is being sidewinded by the Gini example. I, too, am friends with her and zeroed in on her and her blog instead and this is what drove me to write this.

You said above "the two don't necessarily overlap" in re community and monetization. Again, I submit that because I know Gini's back story, the goals of her blog and why she's driving community building I am struggling with your message.

So, per chance what's up here is that I know too much (in re the example you selected to tell your story.)

Soulati
Soulati

As I say to your face all the time, the lessons you deem appropriate to share with the world are your life! You're freely open about all the twists and turns you learn about or win at. This approach also makes you an open book for everyone to use as fodder for their content. When most don't know the backstory or understand the setting of business goals and their strategic execution as a SERVICE BUSINESS, therein lies the crux of the matter.

Gini, thank you for doing what you do for the space. You have a huge and supportive network amongst us, and Mark Harai is correct -- you're carrying the limelight on your wee shoulders. XO, Gin Blossom; Carry On, Garth.

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

Thanks for the update, didn't mean to disparage or suggest anything. We've discussed it before, the economy, so many ups/downs, we look and prepare but do get blindsided once in a while. Here's to working hard, making it better this year.

The JackB
The JackB

Marcus,

I still don't see this as an either/or situation. Your friends will understand why you are using PopUp Domination and they will let it go or they aren't much of a friend are they. 

Unless they can demonstrate how it is negatively impact your business and the bottom line they need to just suck it up and be quiet. Alternatively they can always read other blogs.

This sort of thing makes me irate. The content that is posted online doesn't show up for free. Someone is being paid to write it or in the case of many bloggers someone chooses to spend their money on writing it.

Any time I read the NYT, WSJ or any other "professional" publication I know that that ad revenue is supporting it. So I don't complain when I see a banner promoting Intel, Lexus or what have you.

If your readers believe that your content adds value and that is worthwhile they will not squeak about a pop up that requires a simple point and click to move. It would be a very different story if it required significant effort.

We all have to look at what our goals are for our blogs and determine how to convert them from wishes into reality.  For the sake of this argument I'll pick on you and Gini. 

Let's say that the two of you want to make your livings by traveling around the country and speaking to businesses and groups. You can get those opportunities without your community but I'll put money down that if you didn't have your community to refer to it would be much harder.

That is not because you aren't eminently qualified or knowledgeable about the topic. The reality is that outside of a small bubble you won't have the same name recognition so trying to convince someone that they should hire you to speak becomes much harder.

Or just for fun let's flip over to me. I have monetized my blog and I make a few bucks off of it monthly. My income comes from advertising, reviews and the occasional sponsored post. When I engage a prospect in conversation about why they should work with me we always talk about eyeballs.

It is not uncommon for them to look at my blog and ask why some posts don't receive as many comments. The less sophisticated get hung up on that, but that is a different story.

The point I am making is that the significance of community really varies depending upon our goals and that one of the reasons so many bloggers fail is because they don't understand how to make use of theirs.

T. Shakirah Dawud
T. Shakirah Dawud

I like the "chamber of commerce" view, Bill. And I think if you visit any blog and see it's active and well-liked, even if not well-known, you'll probably have a bit more trust in the business behind it.

T. Shakirah Dawud
T. Shakirah Dawud

Sorry, I actually skipped completely past the Gini connection in Marcus's post when I commented. I just got the main point, which was, as Marcus says, that money and blog do not always overlap. But by using a personal example, I'm sure it hit some nerves.

Soulati
Soulati

Dude. I forgot. No need to remember that crap; I have more important things to try to remember, like where the flip is the vacuum cleaner attachment? I need larger brain capacity; can I buy some megs anywhere? RAM is killing me.

Soulati
Soulati

No, it's OK, that I made a mistake. It's called brain malfunction; senioritis, motherhood. Indeed. Now what the heck is even the name of that movie???!!! LOflippinL #RockNot, Jayme

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

I'm pretty sure there will be a new lesson we have to learn this year. But the one lesson we won't have to re-learn is cash is king.