Please point me in the direction of successful blogs that make money that aren’t about making money…. PLEASE!

by Marian Schembari on June 7, 2010


I would really, really, really like someone to give me a list of successful bloggers that make money blogging that don’t actually write blogs about:

  1. Blogging
  2. Making money blogging
  3. Being an entrepreneur
  4. Social media

Seriously. I feel like I’m constantly bombarded with sites that get trillions of visitors, thousands of comments and are highly regarded in the blogosphere but ALL BLOG ABOUT THE SAME DAMN THING.

Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.

If you check out my favorite sites, many of them involve humor, cartoons, design, books, whatever.

I feel like my writing is being pushed in the direction of BLOGGING! SOCIAL MEDIA! MAKING MONEY ONLINE! Because that’s where I get the most traffic. The most comments. Alas, my whoredom continues.

Last week’s post about why no one’s following you on Twitter is out of control, getting something like 2,000 hits a day, and whose “success” has me stressed out like nobody’s business. It’s by far my most read post, been retweeted an insane amount of times and it’s the number one source of traffic to my blog. Instead of being happy about this I’m worried about writing a similar post, keeping up my traffic, trying to come up with something bigger. Better.

Someone tell me that I’m allowed to write about shit that has nothing to do with Web 2.0 and that I’m still loved if I write about my new favorite band or my potential move to London or my budding career as a job coach (more on that later). Right? Right?

Also. Sidenote: I’d love you guys to post some links in the comment’s section to blogs that are successful money-making machines that don’t talk about being successful money making machines…

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  • http://twitter.com/marianschembari/status/15628896000 Marian Schembari

    {latest post} Please point me in the direction of successful blogs that make money that aren’t about making money http://ow.ly/1V27M

  • Marian Schembari

    {latest post} Please point me in the direction of successful blogs that make money that aren’t about making money http://ow.ly/1V29c

  • Marian Schembari

    {latest post} Please point me in the direction of successful blogs that make money that aren’t about making money http://ow.ly/1V29m

  • http://www.domesticsluttery.com Sian

    It's not a definitive list, but Company magazine did a bloggers' issue and losts of ladies on this list make money from blogging (even me!)

    http://www.company.co.uk/other/blogging-competi

    And take a look at those involved with Handpicked Media and the Glam network – they're media agencies that sell advertising across masses of blogs (Domestic Sluttery are part of Handpicked) so most of those involved are turning a profit. I could help you much across the pond, but there are more than you'd think.

  • http://alexisgrant.com/ Alexis Grant

    Sometimes blogging still confuses the hell outta me. I loved your Twitter post, but to be honest, I didn't think it was one of your best, and I didn't think it put anything out there that hasn't been said before. But whenever a blog post is about Twitter, it seems to get a zillion hits. I think it's partly because it gets retweeted, and the people who care about Twitter are the people who already use it. But I've had the same experience with Twitter postings. I didn't think they were genius, but they got tons of hits.

    The same thing seems to apply to ALL blogging — sometimes posts do really, really well, and I don't really get why.

    I love when you blog about social media because you 1. know what you're talking about and 2. bring new ideas & tips to the table. But I think your readers are right when they say you can write outside of that box. Posting about diverse ideas helps us get to know you as a person, and that's half of why we come back to your blog.

    Keep up the good work!

  • http://twitter.com/mlp63/status/15633335533 Mike Pratt

    Please point me in the direction of successful blogs that make …: I would really, really, really like someone to… http://bit.ly/b0kzS7

  • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

    Good question! And it reminds me once again to pursue some of my other interests as well, to BE one of those people that makes money blogging about a topic OTHER than blogging, making money, social media, etc. ;) A good reminder to spend a little time on my romance/relationship related blog this week… ;)

    I'm not making money at it yet, but I certainly intend to! And I'll let you know when I find someone else who is…. ;)

  • http://www.jargonwriter.com Melissa Breau

    Hey Marian,

    The best example I've come across of this is http://www.moderncat.net – Kate (the writer) is someone I know fairly well and she quit a marketing job to blog (and do related writing) full time. She makes a living from her blog and freelancing on that topic (a topic which she built her expertise in from her blog). She blogs about smart, good looking cat products. I recommend checking her out even if that's not your thang.

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    Omg Melissa, that is SUCH a great example! I can't believe how much involvement she has on that site, it's insane! And nothing could be further than blogging about blogging! Totally not my thang, but I love how niche it is and that Kate can make a living that way. Whoo hooo! This just made me feel a lot better about my life.

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    THANK YOU Alexis! While I'm happy my Twitter post got a lot of hits, I definitely agree with you. There are better examples of my writing and I hate that I've been stressing about writing another “fluff piece” again.

    Your comment made me happy and totally boosted my confidence about this. So thanks!

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    Oooooh, great link. Thanks, Sian! Will look up more info on Handpicked. I actually thought of you as an example (of a site with its shit together) while I was writing this post ;-)

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    Yes! Interests! Passion! Whoo hooo!

  • http://www.urbanmusewriter.com/ Susan

    These are the first two blogs that came to mind:

    http://www.bargainbabe.com/ (check out my interview with Julia here: http://www.urbanmusewriter.com/2009/09/5-qs-wit… – she discusses her monetization strategy, among other topics)

    http://www.younghouselove.com/ (this is an awesome blog, and it's hard to believe that they just had a baby! The husband recently left his job to focus on blogging/parenting and the wife was already blogging full time)

  • KassiaKrozser

    Marian — The entire Talking Points Memo empire (http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com). I've been reading them for many years.

  • http://www.transatlanticsketches.com Kate

    Hi! Check out Miss Expatria, the self-dubbed “leading enabler of travel addiction.” She's a writer and freelancer, and I'm pretty sure she earns money from her blog, although it might all just be feeding into her freelancing work. Either way, hope you enjoy! http://missexpatria.wordpress.com/

    Kate
    http://www.transatlanticsketches.com

  • http://cleopatradoesthenasty.wordpress.com/ Glynnis

    Personally, I love your posts that have to do with your life and passions beyond social media. Re: successful blogs NOT about making money – I can't speak with any kind of authority about the money she makes, but Pioneer Woman is a pretty big deal on the interwebs, has recently published a book and seems just focuses on chronicling her life as she lives it. Pretty cool stuff (and some seriously delicious recipes).
    http://thepioneerwoman.com/

  • http://www.jargonwriter.com Melissa Breau

    Glad you liked it. The engagement she has managed to drum up is incredible. What's even more unbelievable is that the niche she is applying to (and engaging very successfully) is one that's not doing great in other ways- that is, at traditional retail–these products aren't selling really well. But it shows there is an audience out there and she's connecting advertisers (most of whom sell products online) with customers who are willing to discuss their products and give them feedback, and more importantly, who are their target demographic.

  • http://cleopatradoesthenasty.wordpress.com/ Glynnis

    *seems just to focus

    (haven't had my 2nd cup of coffee yet)

  • http://profittrek.com/ paulgermana

    To make money blogging, post everyday and get interactive with other niche blogs. The best way to do this is to take the title of your post, make a Google Alert from it and opt to monitor it as a feed in Google Reader. (free tools for all Googlers) Be keyword conscientious in selecting titles and categories, so that Google Alerts can only send targeted results in Reader. Then you'll receive the posts of other blogs in the same keyword niche, where you can leave keyword anchor text backlinks to your daily posts. Say something smart and helpful to instantly attract visitors to your blog. Then, making your RSS and Optin or blog registration visible on your blog will entice visitors to subscribe. At this point a special relationship between RSS and Optin takes place, causing rapid growth of your optin list. If you don't have an auto responder, use the Subscribe2 plugin for WordPress. (or any of the many optin widgets) There are ways to automate this, but never sacrifice content quality.

  • http://jessicalawlor.com Jessica

    I'd love to see a healthy combo of both types of posts! I loved your Twitter post, but I also like reading about your life. I always put pressure on myself too when I have a really successful blog post. Honestly, it's usually the post you least expect and it's often hard to duplicate; at least for me!

  • http://ryanstephensmarketing.com/blog/ ryanstephens

    Marian – There's 1000's of blogs that make money that don't blog about making money. Most of these picked a 'niche' and then dominated said niche. Whether they're writing about dogs or baseball they work to be thought leaders on said topic and then often promote affiliate products, create their own product, start membership sites, etc.

    Congrats on the Twitter article, but try not to get caught up in chasing that traffic. Sometimes we strike gold, but most days it's about consistently delivering engaging content that's helping other people. :)

    Cheers!

  • Heather

    If this isn’t what you’re looking for, at least you’ll enjoy them ;)

  • http://lifeforward.onsugar.com Shayna

    I hear you – the post with the most traffic on Life: Forward is about the Real Housewives of New Jersey – it's not what I normally write about, just a one-off rant, and yet… oh yes, the search engines love it. But do I want to write another tv review… eh, not so much. The most successful blogger making money I read is Bakerella (http://Bakerella.com) which, as her name suggests, is all about what she's baking with recipes. She has a cookbook coming out later this year.

  • http://lifeforward.onsugar.com Shayna

    Yes – they definitely are about a niche – not about their personal lives, but providing consistently useful information about a consistent topic (yup, consistency is key to repeat visitors…they liked what they saw and they want more of it)

  • Liz

    i love your personal, down to earth posts the best. and currently love the job search ones as well. soon i hope to not need them :)

  • http://www.domesticsluttery.com Sian

    Awww, thanks lady! Glam Media are interesting because they operate throughout the US and the UK – I think advertising is so widely different across the two that I've always been curious about how that works so well. But then there's the other point that just because someone has advertising with a good brand, it doesn't mean they're making very much money. Affiliate banners have gotten very pretty recently.

    Wow, you can take the girl out of advertising…

  • http://www.solitarypanda.com floreta

    I hear you. I think the whole web 2.0 is getting a little overplayed. Kind of sad that it drives content so much though.. Been seriously considering the online business route lately so I've been immersing myself in these types of megablogs but I get you. They do get old. And they talk about the same thing!! For me to want to add to the masses of this stuff, seriously? What the hell do I have to offer? Personally, I like bloggers/blogs that show their human side and personality rather than just generic articles all the time. That's why I like you(r blog)!

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    Glynnis, Pioneer Woman is the PERFECT EXAMPLE. See? This is why I need you around because I forget about blog awesomeness like Pioneer Woman who doesn't write about blogging AT ALL and actually totally negates everything I say in this post. What would I do without you??
    xx

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    This is all great advice and should be implemented by ALL bloggers, regardless of their topic. I love your tip on receiving posts of other blogs in the same niche!

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    I think I'm getting hung up on the “info product” thing at the moment. Because I'm launching Pajama Job Hunt I'm reading a lot about launching online products and most of them seem to be about money, marketing, or blogging. It's getting boring and stressing me out. But now that you guys have all given me some great examples I feel much better about my abilities as a blogger, regardless of traffic :) Thanks so much for the encouragement, Ryan!

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    Awwwww, thanks, Liz!

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    That's the thing, a lot of these blogs that write about blogging (or money, or whatever) aren't actually that great. I recently stumbled across a social media blog that has an INSANE amount of retweets and traffic. But the content is only so-so, the advice is a little overused and there's just no… SOUL in any of it. You know what I mean? I totally agree with what you say about needing a human side. I'm glad you think I add that, you totally made my day :)

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    LOVE BAKING! AND BAKERELLA! SCORE!

  • DL

    The real question is: how much money are you trying to make by blogging anyway? How's your consulting business going? And what qualifies you to represent yourself as a job coach?

  • DL

    So I thought I posted this comment this morning but it's not showing up, so I'll repost:

    The real question is: How much money do you really want to make from blogging anyway? How is your consulting business going? What makes you think you are qualified to be a job coach?

    Please don't delete as I feel these are entirely valid questions to be asking.

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    Sorry, just seeing this now. First things first: this particular post isn't about ME. While it would be nice to just blog and make money, that's just not realistic. I make my money consulting (which is going swimmingly, thank you), coaching and writing. My blog (and blog traffic) helps bring in new clients for all my projects.

    Your question “What makes you think you are qualified to be a job coach?” sounds attacking and I'm not sure exactly what kind of answer you're looking for because I'm not sure of your tone (unfortunately side affect of the interwebs). I was going to write a post entirely about my new found career as a “job coach”. I'm *not* qualified to critique resumes or help prep for interviews. What I do is help people use social media to find clients or a job. I can critique a Twitter profile in my sleep. I'm qualified because I've done it and know what I'm talking about. More details to come!

  • http://twitter.com/ohal/status/15915941998 Hal Brown

    RT @marianschembari: Please point me in the direction of successful blogs that make money that aren't about making http://bit.ly/afjGy9

  • http://halbrown.myopenid.com/ Hal Brown

    Summery:
    Post often
    Post only the best original content
    Use social media
    Work hard

    I don't bother to read these things anymore. I love the way you write, so straightforward, no nonsense style.

  • http://www.bloggingfor.info/ Thu Nguyen

    I find myself falling into that direction as well but that's not to get increase in traffic but because that's what got me blogging to start with. Thus, passion is kind of weary when you think it's affixed to money. Then when you're getting pressured by your own self to do so, that's when you need to say 'Hold up! I'm beginning to sound like the other bloggers out there.' With that, a detour and falling off seems like a bad idea, but it's OK. Action doesn't have to be good to begin with right? As long as you give it your best shot, get a couple shots back and learn how to dodge like the matrix until finally you unlock the key out of the rabbit hole.

    Honestly, I've been building my bookmarks with marketers and bloggers. Besides that I check out the forums mostly because sites about making money are everywhere, it seems that they can all be contained as choices to click on when they're in one area.

  • http://www.bloggingfor.info/ Thu Nguyen

    I find myself falling into that direction as well but that's not to get increase in traffic but because that's what got me blogging to start with. Thus, passion is kind of weary when you think it's affixed to money. Then when you're getting pressured by your own self to do so, that's when you need to say 'Hold up! I'm beginning to sound like the other bloggers out there.' With that, a detour and falling off seems like a bad idea, but it's OK. Action doesn't have to be good to begin with right? As long as you give it your best shot, get a couple shots back and learn how to dodge like the matrix until finally you unlock the key out of the rabbit hole.

    Honestly, I've been building my bookmarks with marketers and bloggers. Besides that I check out the forums mostly because sites about making money are everywhere, it seems that they can all be contained as choices to click on when they're in one area.

  • L. Eleana Johnson

    These same questions haunted me when i originally started a blog back in July last year. So I walked away thinking that their was really no place for me in the blogger world. Now I've returned. I'm taking it day by day. I've decided that I really don't want to be a blogger. I want to write and simply have a place for showcasing my writing. I have no interest in coughing out articles in 20 minutes, but I wouldn't mind coughing out 2-5 per week. Call me crazy but I'm just trying to find my way.

  • http://leavethebar.blogspot.com Power of Atty

    I’m with you hear sister and if I ever begin to make good money I’d be sure to contact you.

    Meanwhile I hear that this lady makes 10,000+http://www.leighpeele.com/ and I am going to take a list another commenter sent you. I have got to find out what they are doing.

  • http://JassenBowman.com Jassen Bowman

    I run a personal blog and the corporate blog for my employer, and they are both primarily about one of the most boring subjects you could imagine: Taxes. On my personal blog, I talk about a lot of other stuff, too, ranging from my passions (travel and figure skating), to business topics that my readers would be of interest, including, yes, how to make money in their business (although that is far from the primary focus). Both blogs generate direct tax consulting revenue, and my personal blog *also* generates a small monthly Adsense revenue that is not insignificant to my personal income.

    These tax blogs are the anchor of my overall social media involvement (I’m a Laura Roeder student, which is how I found you, actually), and they directly generate a barely five figure monthly revenue stream, which is growing monthly.

    linky: http://JassenBowman.com

    Take it easy!
    -Jassen

    • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

      Wow!! Jassen, this is a GREAT comment. I love hearing how other blogs are making their money :)

      Thanks so much for your fabulous contribution *and* for stopping by!

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