Why You Should Make Wealth – Not Money – With Your Blog

  • 64 comments
  • Psychology of Blogging
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    Key Points

    • Wage doesn't make you happy when you work. Autonomy, purpose, and mastery do.
    • Wealth is stuff we want - food, clothes, houses, cars, gadgets, etc. You can have wealth without having money.
    • You can make money by blogging about blogging, but you're unlikely to make yourself happy.
    • Find something you're obsessed about and write about that. Even if you're obsessed with the fundamentals of blogging NOW, it's likely not something that will last.

    Summary

    Life is too short not to make something that matters. Montezation shouldn't be the reason you start your blog - it should just be something that happens.

    If you view creating your blog as something that creates wealth, rather than money, you're more likely to end up with something you love AND that makes you happy.

    Close

by RossHudgens

Astoundingly, it seems like the number one goal of blogging is to make money. This seems fundamentally correct – after all, we all need money to feed ourselves and keep a ceiling over our heads. However, there’s something blogging can do that we often overlook, and in reality, is bounds more important than ever making a dollar – building wealth.


I first truly understood this concept from reading an essay by Paul Graham, “How to Make Wealth.” Graham is the popular founder of Y Combinator, a seed-stage startup funding firm – but more than that, he’s known for his informative, game-changing essays such as the one mentioned here.

Since Graham does a better job than I can of truly encapsulating what wealth is, let’s refer to his definition within the essay:

Wealth is the fundamental thing. Wealth is stuff we want: food, clothes, houses, cars, gadgets, travel to interesting places, and so on. You can have wealth without having money. If you had a magic machine that could on command make you a car or cook you dinner or do your laundry, or do anything else you wanted, you wouldn’t need money. Whereas if you were in the middle of Antarctica, where there is nothing to buy, it wouldn’t matter how much money you had.

Who would you rather be – one of the richest people in the world in 1800 or a lower-class citizen today? If you’re like most, you answered the latter. The reason is that although the people in 1800 might have had more money, they are far, far less wealthy than a lower-class citizen today.

A lower class citizen has things people in 1800 never did, like air conditioning, easy transportation, television, and more. Although you might have had power (the non-electrical kind) in 1800, that’s about it. Every other part of your life, if compared to a lower-class citizen today, was pretty terrible.

What Does This Have to Do With Blogging?

When creating a blog, one often establishes some metric of success. Generally, it’s money. What’s my market size? Can I sell things? Is there a niche I can target and monetize? Rarely, though, do we effectively look at different metrics that really matter – in this case, the defining metric – the wealth we create.

Besides wealth for ourselves, what blogging really does is create wealth for others. Some of us want to be healthier or better looking or more fashionable, and in many ways, several blogs help provide us that assistance without ever denting our pocketbooks. Why is this, though? Every blog has the potential to monetize, right? Not necessarily – or, at least, not in the way that can efficiently fund your life.

@GapingVoid tweet

Imagine an internet where everyone only wrote on topics that could be efficiently monetized. No offense to Alex and Blogussion, but we’d end up with an internet we’re already quickly approaching – one “>saturated with blogs about blogging.

Many of these are great blogs, yes, and they can all help us improve our lives in some way. But what this does is leave us all with an incredible expertise in blogging, and an incredible lack of expertise in everything else.

Wealth Outside Monetization

Every niche has monetization capabilities, but many have limitations in terms of market size and the potential spending abilities of its audience. What these niches offer, though, is no different from what a blogging blog or business blog does – create wealth – but the area in which they’re created is different.

Take, for example, a recent blog I’ve become a huge fan of – Zen to Fitness.  I love this blog – as it offers good, well written tips on how to improve one’s health.

However, I can’t imagine how it’s monetizing very efficiently. There’s an e-book, but do I really need an e-book on these kinds of tips? Not really, because rarely do I find myself thinking that I need a complete, absolute guide to fitness. I think of fitness as an abstraction, one that can be intermittently filled with the holes in my strategy.

Unfortunately, I will likely never give Zen to Fitness blog a penny of my money – but I will be indebted to it for the tips it has offered to make my life, better. I will be indebted to it for the tips it has offered to make my life, wealthier.

How Are You Creating Wealth?

At the beginning of your blogging career path, you’ll almost certainly see money as the driving force behind your efforts. It works the same way as you start any career.

But the fact of the matter is, money isn’t the thing that makes up happy – and it’s also not the thing that motivates us. Dan Pink recently discussed just this in his talk on the surprising science of motivation.

It turns out that financial incentives actually dropped productivity in the workplace. The things that actually drive motivation, Pink says, are autonomy – working without micro-management, mastery – becoming the best, and purpose – doing something that matters.

We spend so much time behind our chairs and churning away, and so little time actually spending money or swimming in pools. It makes sense, then, that we should do something that we care about – and blogging is no different.

My argument, here, is that you shouldn’t worry about how your blog will monetize – it CAN monetize, no matter the area, in some fashion – you should worry about how that blog will make you happy, make the others around you happy, and overall, create wealth for yourself and those around you.

If you’re just plugging out another blog about blogging, you’re doing the world a disservice – there’s enough people in the world doing that well already. Find your obsession – and then multiply it by your voice. Merlin Mann, productivity guru, said it best:

Topic times voice. Or, if you’re a little bit more of a maverick, obsession times voice. So what does that mean? I think all the best nonfiction that has ever been made comes from the result of someone who can’t stop thinking about a certain topic — a very specific aspect of a certain topic in some cases. And second, they got really good at figuring out what they had to say about it.

If you want to write, write. But don’t do this because you found that it can make you lots of money after you read the Four Hour Workweek. Do it because you love doing it. Then find something else you love doing, and write about it. Anything else isn’t enough.

If one of those two parts doesn’t mix, do something else. Seriously. Find that mix, find the batter, spin it up, and create a blog – or a thing - that you’ll love – we’ll love – and the world will be better off for.

We could use the extra wealth.

Photo by Jeff Belmonte

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Cammie Tyus December 1, 2010 at 5:54 am

Keep working ,fantastic job!

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Cabinets December 2, 2010 at 4:35 am

What a nice post. I agree with Paul Graham, wealth in not all about money. It talks about the things that we wanted even without using money. For me, in blogging, money is just secondary but learning is my main focus. Thanks for this wonderful post.

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Mudancas residenciais December 4, 2010 at 3:02 am

I really agree on your view about real blogging. These days, blogging has become a trend for those who wants to earn extra income and it has become so popular that some just do it for money and not for passion. Real bloggers MUST HAVE a great passion for blogging and their target is to provide useful information and content to people as well as for their fellow bloggers. Real bloggers also consider their blogs as wealth and once they are able to achieve the goal to be what it takes to become a well-known blogger, they earn money in the process without even minding it.

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Mens Underwear Online December 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Definitely true! Making blog is not just only matters about money. It also talks about how you express yourself in a certain topic. When you love what you’re doing, money just follow. Thanks for this wonderful article. I learned a lot while reading this and as well your summary.

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John McNally@Blogging for Pleasure and Profit December 24, 2010 at 6:16 am

I’m with you all the way on this Ross. If you concentrate on doing whatever you choose at the highest possible standard, adding value, the money will naturally flow from that.

Funny you should mention Zen Fitness. The cult book ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ came to the conclusion that “quality” was the most important aspect in life. That’s what I try and concentrate on with my blog, delivering quality.

John

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Phillips March 10, 2011 at 1:35 am

Definitely I felt interested regarding this post. If we wanted to get rich, how would we do it? I think our best bet would be to start or join a startup. That’s been a reliable way to get rich and the best answer to our question because startups usually involve technology, so much so that the phrase “high-tech startup” is almost redundant. A startup is a small company that takes on a hard technical problem. Raising a business is like selecting a perfect road which we can pass as easy as we could because in business world there are a lot of consequences that we must to consider. Lots of problems, trials, as well as struggle that need determination in order for as to commit success. Thanks for the information provided here.

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