Each week I am publishing an interview from the book Blog Blazers (in alphabetical order) which can be purchased on Amazon here. The interviews were all done in 2008 and the full list of bloggers interviewed can be found by clicking here.
This week the interview is with Dane Carlson of Business Opportunities Weblog
Business Opportunities Weblog
Dane Carlson’s Business Opportunities Weblog is a premier blog of ideas and opportunities for small business entrepreneurs and is one of the most widely read business blogs. In over ten thousand posts since 2001, author Dane Carlson has proven the notion that “ideas are cheap,” and pushed hundreds of inventors, entrepreneurs and small scale capitalists towards their dream of owning and running their own business.
Steph: What makes a blog successful according to you? Is it traffic, reach, revenue, etc.?
Dane: Reach and revenue go hand in hand. Every niche has some way to make it pay, whether it’s through direct monetization via advertising, or indirectly by generating offline business.
Steph: When did you decide you finally reached success with your blog?
Dane: For me, success is a target, not a destination. At one point, my definition of success was one hundred regular readers. Then it was $5 a day in advertising revenue.
Today my definition of success is half a million RSS subscribers.
Steph: How long does it take to become a successful blogger?
Dane: Since success is a personal target, it depends on your goals. Give yourself six months on the low side, though.
Steph: Who do you think are the most successful bloggers on the internet today?
Dane: I was going to write my own list, but Forbes 2007 Web Celeb 25 is a great one (http://www.forbes.com/2007/12/18/internet-fame-celebrity-tech-cx_de_07webceleb_1218land.html)
Steph: Which five blogs do you regularly read?
Steph: Which websites would you recommend for any new bloggers starting to blog?
Dane: Darren Rowse’s Problogger, definitely. But more importantly, every single blog you can find in your niche. It doesn’t matter if they publish once a month or eighteen times a day, you need to read them all.
Steph: Which book(s) would you recommend for new bloggers (these can range from marketing books, blogging books, etc.)?
Dane: I highly recommend the Cluetrain Manifesto. Don’t bother reading most of the how to make money online books. By the time they’re published, they’re outdated.
Steph: What is your most successful blog post ever?
Steph: What’s your biggest tip on writing a successful blog post?
Dane: Always include a link to something else. It doesn’t matter if you’re the smartest and wittiest writer in the world, the web is about interlinking. Link to something that backs up your argument. Link to contrarian views. Link to related subjects. Link, link, link!
Steph: What’s your best advice in regards to content and writing for bloggers?
Dane: Post often.
Steph: How important do you think are the headlines of your blog articles?
Dane: People are lazy, and if you don’t write good headlines, they won’t bother to read your posts.
Personally, I use headlines to editorialize about the content of the blog post.
Steph: Do you spend any money and time on marketing?
Dane: No money, directly. Time, definitely.
Steph: What are your main methods of marketing your blog?
Dane: I network with other bloggers in my niche. I also write content for print publications and try to stay on Google’s good side.
Never turn down an offer to have your content used elsewhere.
Steph: Which marketing tactic has surprised you the most in terms of its effectiveness?
Steph: What are your quick and short five best tips for blogging?
- Post often.
- Stay on topic.
- Don’t apologize for not posting.
- Post often!
- Post often!
Steph: What is the most common pitfall new bloggers generally fall into?
Dane: Not posting and then apologizing for not posting.
Steph: If you knew what you know now when you first started, what’s the one biggest tip you’d give yourself today?
Dane: I’d have chosen a shorter URL.
Steph: What repels you the most from a blog (animations, in your face advertising, etc.)?
Dane: No about page or contact information.
Steph: Do you make any direct money from your blog through advertising, product placements, etc.?
Dane: Yes, via advertising.
Steph: What is your best monetization method (Ads, affiliate marketing, etc.)?
Dane: Direct ad sales.
Steph: Do you find you get more from direct monetization of your blog or from opportunities that come because of the existence of your blog?
Dane: Most of my revenue is generated directly via ad sales, but I also generate revenue indirectly because of my blogs. I often do consulting, both for bloggers on blogging and small business entrepreneurs.