This website is in part a blog. I blog on a number of other sites too. I started blogging in 2006 but the first blogging sites were emerging at the end of the 1990s.
Here is a brief chronology of some of those early sites that promoted blogging and its evolution and blending with social media.
Open Diary was launched in October 1998
LiveJournal in April 1999
Friendster in March 2003
LinkedIn in May 2003
MySpace in August 2003
Google’s Orkut in January 2004
Facebook in February 2004
YouTube in February 2005
Yahoo! 360° in March 2005
Bebo in July 2005
Twitter, in which posts (tweets) were limited to 140 characters, started a brevity trend in July 2006
Tumblr in February 2007
Instagram in July 2010
Google+ in July 2011
Right off, it would be difficult to make a living just by blogging, although I’m sure a few people are doing it.
Some people who blog casually get seduced by their statistics. I know several friends who have websites and blogs and are rather obsessed with their web stats and analytics. They are always checking to see how many hits the site gets or what pages or posts are most popular or what search terms are being used to find them. Social media has encouraged this with Likes and Retweets and Reposts. Our smartphones love to send us notifications that someone has engaged with some piece of our content.
I do check my websites’ analytics occasionally. I have ten sites and blogs that I do, so it can’t be a very regular thing. I do like to look every few months to see what has been happening, but I also have clients that I do websites for and they are always interested in their stats.
I blog almost every day but it’s not my “job” – though it’s nice if someone clicks on an Amazon link that I use and buys a book or something and a few pennies drop into my account.
I got this alert about one of my blogs last December:
Your page is trending up
Your page clicks increased by more than 1,000% over the usual daily average of less than 1 click.
Possible explanations for this trend could be:
- Modifications you did to your page’s content.
- Increased interest in a trending topic covered by the page.
Of course, I was happy that people found this post from back in 2010 and are still reading it and hopefully enjoying it. Google’s “possible explanations” for this are both correct, as I did update the page that month and the topic of the solstice was probably trending across the web as we slipped into winter.
This post was inspired by my browsing Amazon to find a book for a friend who wanted to try to start a blog that would make money. I certainly don’t have a secret formula for that, but I did find a bunch of people who have written about blogging as a job. The idea of having “passive income” is very appealing – and probably quite difficult to do in any meaningful way. Still, give it a try. If you find the secret formula, let me know – then write the book.