Thursday, May 07, 2009

Review: 279 Days to Overnight Success

JP and I have been having a little bit of a conversation about 279 Days to Overnight Success in the comments.

At a simplistic level, 279 Days describes a strategy for building your blog in such a way that you can make a living (or at least a side-income) from it.

Is it the sort of thing you'll be interested in? Well, that depends on what you want:
  • Do you want lots of people to read your blog?
  • Do you want to sell stuff that you've created?
  • Do you want to build a community of people interested in the same topic(s) as you?
I've recommended it to two people so far: Jenni (because she's interested in creating stuff people want to buy) and Morgue (whose ideas about small group action deserve a wider audience).

There's quite a lot I like about this manifesto. First off, it encourages you to think about why you're blogging - I've had to do a bit of that over the last year (and came to the conclusion that I just want to enjoy it - more fun, less profundity).

Second, I absolutely agree with the philosophy that if you're going to try and make money off your blog, do it with your own creations, not Google ads. As part of that, 279 Days describes the process of listening to your audience and discovering what they want. I find the process of finetuning the balance between my writing needs and what people who comment here say they want to be really fun.*

* Actually, JP, based on an earlier comment of yours, look for quite a bit more TV reviewing to show up here in the near future.

279 Days also mentions some other principles I agree with:
  • Figure out your writing style
  • Commit to a publishing schedule
  • Know why people should read what you write
  • Ignore vampires (critics who try to vapourise your will to write)*
* I've had a couple of these over the years, and I've had to figure out a couple of ways to deal with them.

This is not for every writer. The desire to expand your community - whether or not you intend to make money from blogging - isn't for everyone. But there's enough good stuff here that I have to recommend it.

Questions, JP?

(BTW, JP's blog is one of my top five reads on the internet: literate, thoughtful, funny meditations on growing up and parenting. This is a perfect example.)
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