Moving The Free Line But You Want Jam On It Too?

Chris Anderson in his post today on Wired in the run up to his launch of “Free” and freeconomics provided a great discussion point because bloggers face a frequent dilemma.

Blogging Is Marketing Your Revenue Stream

That revenue stream in my opinion doesn’t have to be current, though it is beneficial to at least have long-term plans for revenue.

To quote Fred Wilson:-

If you are building a media oriented business, particularly one that has low marginal costs, meaning you build it once and the cost to serve an additional customer is negligible, then you have the unique opportunity to focus first and foremost on building your customer base or audience.

This slightly contradicts Rich Schefren’s teaching, as he would normally recommend building a back end first before adding front end products and services, but that model is aiming for optimal monetization (check out Rich’s previous material).
Rich is also a master at business systems and processes, just look at at the time gaps of his most recent launches.

Business Acceleration 2 Seminar – July 2007
Busuness Acceleration Home Study Guide – December 2007

New Beginnings Seminar – February 2008
New Beginnings Home Study Guide – ????

Rich’s team have been through the growing pains of taking a live presentation and turning it into a high quality home study system, and you can be sure there will be a much quicker turn around – this isn’t short term preparation, as the plans for the Orlando event were already on the table in July 2007.

The systematic marketing system is now in full swing

This isn’t typical Product Launch strategy, where there might be a big build up to an event or product, with a throw away blog, or possibly a blog rising like a phoenix from the ashes for a follow on product. Strategic profits is turning into an effective marketing machine in a similar way to Agora Publishing with Early to Rise and other information services.

You Don’t Have To Be A Doctor To Blog About Diabetes

You don’t have to be a PHP guru, marketing expert, or professional writer to blog about blogging.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to write about digital photography

Thus you don’t have to be an accredited SEO consultant to blog about SEO

Even if you don’t monetize your blog, but still discuss SEO, it is not a fallacy because you can always cover your ass and link to sources with differing opinion – in fact that is more than most “expert” SEOs would do.

Ultimately good bloggers are good researchers and communicators, though there are exceptions even then.

Experience sure does help, as does some kind of “proof”, but they are not a requirement

In my opinion the biggest fallacy in SEO blogging is when “experts” write articles that are out of date not by days or months, but years.. on obvious things like plugin selection for WordPress SEO or not so obvious but hopefully now understood, what you should use robots.txt for.

From Lee’s post

Writing blog posts for the benefit of the industry and getting links from other SEO blogs is fine, but being able to write blog posts that consider the needs and pain points of your target audience and giving enough information to demonstrate your expertise while not completely giving the goods away to competitors is a skill worth developing.

I am going to counter that – writing blog posts that are poorly researched or don’t move the free line far enough will result in lost attention and mindshare – maybe some SEO companies can live with that, but if the only information supplied by specialist SEOs are top 20 lists and newbie tutorials, a large number of people are going to continue to believe that there is no need to hire a SEO specialist.

At the same time it certainly allows others to move the bar higher – some old tennis pros stuck with wooden rackets.

The SEO specialist looking for work in 1 or 2 years time isn’t going to be me, because that isn’t my business model, and it isn’t going to be the one who continually shares high quality information without holding huge amounts back.

I know that populist guides suitable for the majority are popular with readers and generate lots of links, but they don’t take the SEO profession forward.

From what I have seen in SEO and marketing blogging:-

If you are a good SEO or marketing consultant, that is not a guarantee that the blog posts you write are good – good is subjective, but my definition is “advancing the industry”
If you are not a SEO or marketing consultant, and have no visible backend strategy, that does not mean your SEO or marketing blog posts are poor quality.

To finish I am going to leave you with a thought:-

In medicine, the people famous are the ones who provide ground-breaking long-term cures or work tirelessly for the good of man without thought for personal reward or safety.

Most of the backend software people build websites with these days are Open Source

Where is the full-featured shopping cart that really is SEO friendly?
Where is the cure for canonical URLs?

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  1. says

    Opinions are great aren’t they?

    Blogs have different purposes as you have indicated. My blog is a marketing tool. It’s an ad for our consulting business. As long as the content we promote satisfies the needs of our prospective clients to become clients, to attract talented employees and marketing partners then I believe we’re doing our part to advance the industry by building a successful business within it.

  2. says

    Yes I agree. There are a range of topics to write on and one doesn’t have to be professional in a particular field if he chooses to write on that topic. Good research and writing skills are more than enough if you want a good blog.

  3. says

    Great post Andy. This is excellent advice that should be considered by all bloggers. You don’t necessarily have to be the best, most certified official in the business to blog about a topic. It is great to see new ventures into previously uncharted waters in the blogosphere. Thanks :)

  4. says

    While blogging to advance the industry is fine, blogging for only a fraction of the people you could reach is shooting your own foot. The real challenge is to write in a manner that everybody reads and understands while still advancing the industry.

    • says

      Tad would you link to and vote for content that includes WordPress plugins that barely work with the current version of WordPress?
      Would the fact that it is published by an SEO Consultant make it better?

      Even my own WordPress SEO article is now out of date, as it includes plugins I would no longer use.

      These are just examples

      I linked to one of Darren’s sites as an example, but I could easily have also linked to Maki – voted the top social media blog in the Search Engine Journal awards.

      As far as I know Maki doesn’t do any social media consulting, doesn’t reveal niches, thus the only “proof” is that the blog he writes on is successful, or being the top user on Sphinn.

      I have a huge amount of respect for Maki, I think he is a great writer and researcher. However based on Lee’s article, but more so the comments, it seems that there is some kind of pent up disrespect in the community for people who visibly only write a blog, and haven’t been visible in the industry for long.

  5. says

    You’re right, the marketing stream will dry up as the technology changes, that’s why we have to stay current. It has to be good content, not just filling space. Each blog draws its own crowd, and theres going to be newbies somewhere in that group.

    For example, Andy’s site has advanced far beyond where most started out with WordPress, and it shows from his crowd. Just like Google draws techies, Yahoo and MSN draw a more social bunch. You’ve got experienced users here, and the drifters blow on with the dust.

    Andy’s right that news is only news for the moment, the longer a page is up, you gotta expect it to sound old, just like the old 386 that was a great server in its day.

    A revenue stream stays only as good as the content that support’s it.