Ask the Readers: Are you REALLY in the Right Niche, as an Online Publisher?

by Chris C. Ducker · 43 comments

I’m currently in the process of working with a blogging mentor – I’ll reveal who it is at a later date, but trust me, their credentials are solid!

The reason why I reached out to this person is because I’ve been battling with a few ‘blogging demons’ over the last few months. More specifically, I am actually questioning my purpose as a blogger, as well as my general niche and the way that I am perceived in that niche, too.

It’s Personal, I Get It!

The thing is that we blog for our audiences, obviously. But, as a blogger, when you spend the amount of time that you do, putting together all of your content, surely, you should be:

a) Enjoying it.

b) Doing it for the right reasons.

This is what I am questioning, I guess, at the moment. And, I must say, after just two sessions with my mentor, along with a little homework, I already feel that I’m getting close to REALLY understanding what I SHOULD be doing and the type of content that I should be creating as a blogger.

Now I’m Wondering…

So, here I am, now starting to wonder if all my blogging buddies and the other people that I enjoy reading online (and perhaps even offline – you know, real BOOKS!), are perhaps feeling the same way?

Are you blogging in, and about the niche, that you REALLY should be?

Or, have you started something that has done well, and you’re simply sticking with because it keeps you ‘up there’, or making you money?

I’m curious. If you’re a blogger, podcaster, author or online video producer, please let me know how you feel about this topic below in the comment section.

And please share this post with other bloggers you know…

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Robb Sutton January 27, 2012 at 23:50

I JUST went through this and realized that I had become what I hated…a sell out.

Being a blogger is a funny life as the blog can shift over time without you even realizing it. A solid plan is essential and then adapting that plan to changing environments allows for greater growth. But…it all boils down to what your ultimate goals are down the road. That lays out the map to get there and then it all comes down to completing the steps. Every blog and blogger has different goals. I have very different goals for each of mine, but they are written down so I don’t get distracted by things I shouldn’t be doing or publishing.

Not sure that is the feedback you are looking for but that is how I see it anyways…

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 00:08

Hi Robb

I remember this transition for you. I commented on your ‘coming out’ post, if thats the right term to use..!?!! It’s certainly seemed to have worked out for you. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your fatherhood escapades recently, especially!

All the best and thanks for dropping by.

C

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Corbett Barr January 28, 2012 at 01:00

Hey Chris! I’ve had the same questions myself a BUNCH of times before. Most bloggers I talk to also question whether their blogs’ topics/audiences are right for them. This is totally normal.

BUT, if you have that nagging feeling that something isn’t right, you should do something about it. Spend time pondering, go on a vision quest, decide what to do and then implement changes (or not) and move on. You can’t operate in this state of questioning for a long time and expect to produce your best work.

After you go through this exercise and make a decision, things will be great for a while. Eventually you’ll come back to questioning your project though. It’s all part of the process. (and part of the fun ;) )

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 00:11

Hi Corbett

‘Nagging feeling…’. This was it. Exactly.

I remember when you changed FreePursuits to CorbettBarr – I reckon this has been a massively successful transition for you – especially from a personal branding standpoint.

Thanks for the insights, bud.

C

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Derek January 28, 2012 at 01:47

I’m with Corbett. You’ll always question what you want to write about, especially after doing it for a while.

The one thing I’ll say is this:

No matter what you choose to explore, make sure you put the time and effort into whatever you’re writing to make sure you’re creating something valuable… new… creative… and innovative.

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 00:12

Hi Derek

Thanks for popping over, man!

Valuable, for me, is the most important one there. Without it, the rest is just fluff. :-)

Chat soon, bro.

C

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Tyler Tervooren January 28, 2012 at 03:08

For me, the litmus test is how I feel about the project when it’s not going the way that I want it to. It’s easy to stay motivated, work hard, and feel good when things are going right, but how do I feel when things are going wrong? Is there a natural motivation to right the ship and get things back on track or do I sulk and give up? Do I need some external motivating force to get up and get to work?

If the natural motivation isn’t there to improve things when they turn sour, then it’s a pretty good indication to me that I’m not working on something that’s going to last.

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 00:14

Hi Tyler

Look time no see / hear – thanks for popping over to the blog.

I love the way you call it ‘natural motivation’. Meaning, it comes from within, instead of being fueled by money or whatever. Nice touch.

Appreciate the comment, bud.

C

PS. If anyone hasn’t checked out my chat with Tyler on the VBL Podcast – make sure you go check it out now!

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Phil Montero January 28, 2012 at 22:45

Hey Chris,

Good question! I have thought about this several times and I am passionate about mobile work technology and the ability for people to use these tools and the right strategies along with them to run their businesses more effectively. I love when I get a comment from someone telling me a tip or strategy I shared helped them save time, money, or have more flexibility in their schedule. Really gets me fired up!

Of course I hope that by blogging I will reach more people and after reading my blog they will want to buy some of my training products, hire me for a brainstorming session, or find one of the affiliate products Inpromote to be useful so I bring in some income. After all while this is my passion it does take money and time to do what we do.

I feel my niche is one with a lot of growing interest as more people are running their own businesses and becoming digital nomads or location independent professionals. Plus I just love talking about it and sharing tips so I have fun with it!

Phil

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 00:16

Hi Phil

My Mr. Miyagi of everything ‘cloud’ hits the blog for the first time in a while..! :-) Thanks, man.

Reaching the number of people you might want to is easier via blogging, than traditional magazine or newspaper features, I feel – not to mention that its a more targeted audience, too.

You’re right on the growing interest side of things for your particular niche. I’ve seen it myself here on the VBL over the last 12-18 months for sure.

Thanks for commenting, bud.

C

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David Siteman Garland January 29, 2012 at 04:18

That has definitely happened to me before with The Rise To The Top and happy to share a couple of lessons from it. So, sometimes I would just get this itch to try something different. Example: At one point last year, I decided to not just focus on business interviews but do it with other types of interesting people (athletes, actors, etc.). It was fun, but not what my community wanted (it was only what I wanted).

What ended up happening was a big time learning experience. Not only did I realized I needed to balance exactly what I was into and the community was into, but that I needed to get MORE specific with the niche that I’m in (learned this by doing the opposite…going too broad). Now, all the interviews are with content creators/Internet marketers (“mediapreneurs”) who usually create digital products, are rolling solo or a couple of virtual assistants, mobile, etc. and it balances out my interests and RISE nation. Results have been incredible.

Just my story on it. Hope it helps in some way :)

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 00:18

Hi David

I reckon you’ve finally hit the sweet spot here. I’ve seen the transition and experiments you mention here myself, as an avid viewer of RISE.

And I’ve also seen your renewed energy for the show, too – or maybe thats because you have a 6-pack now…?!!

Either way, you’re bang on.

Thanks for injecting your 2 pennies worth to the conversation, bud.

C

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Dean Soto January 29, 2012 at 15:27

Hey Chris,

I totally agree with David. I think that this is a feeling that every entrepreneur has… We want to try new things and see if we can make them successful. However, you have grown a following around a specific niche and that is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Yes, it’s exciiting to think of the possibilities of changing things, but it may not always be the best thing for your community.

Maybe a bit of niching down further is what the doctor ordered instead of going wider?

No matter what ya do, i’ll keep readin :).

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 00:21

Hi Dean

Niching down – interesting use of words and words that I regularly use when looking at potential business models, too – I believe you’ll make more, for longer, with a more targeted audience – but, thats another discussion for another post, perhaps! :-)

I appreciate you’re kind words and support, bud. Thanks again.

C

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steve wyman January 30, 2012 at 18:24

Hey Chris

Just found the post!

I think there are some interesting points above but rather tame. Im unsure about Corbetts need to vision quest a blogging niche.

The cut to teh chase sure is

“If you enjoy it do it, If you have something to contribute do it otherwise do something else”

The reason i dont blog is i “hate” it, I like blog commenting so i do it, I also like to build business so i do that as well.

Its a bit like education where you spend 90% of your youth being forced to learn stuff thats useless and boring (IMHO :-)). Im not one for doing course or mentoring programs to learn stuff i dont get. Sure I mentor to endance performance but not to set direction that has to come from PASSION.

So rather than try to be what your not, just focus on what your are best at. Horses for courses.

regards

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 00:23

Hi Steve

Thanks for the insights, as always.

Horses for courses, indeed. It’s a personal thing, like I say in the post – one thing is for sure, though, if you don’t like something then there is no point in doing it. That’s clear. :-)

Appreciate your comment, bud.

C

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Terrance January 30, 2012 at 22:14

Yes, as a person who actually does blogging using newsletters…. I knew that I was in the right niche…when I was apart of my niche. That is very important ….I personally love traveling around the world and going to parties….and I also love horror movies….so I knew that my passion would lead me to choose one of those two fields….The money is in the travel niche…..so I chose to blog about that….in my niche. I have been doing it since 1999 putting out at least 1 newsletter per week and I still have not grown tired………so I think it is important to find your core of what you like to talk about naturally

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 00:25

Thanks for the comment, Terrance.

I love this story, sounds great. And you’ve been ‘blogging’ (albeit via email) for such a long time, too. To have that passion still burning must be great. I’m sure a lot of bloggers could do with hearing your story, so to speak, in a wider, longer format.

Do you have a post online anywhere…?

C

PS. And, welcome to the VBL Tribe!

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Frank Schwarz January 31, 2012 at 00:39

Hey Chris –

Great post. I haven’t found my true niche yet. I’m busy working on blogs for my clients and keeping them posting about their niches.

Once I find the niche I care about I’m sure I’ll be able to monetize and still remain passionate.

Let me know how your mentoring is going.

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 21:13

Hey Frank

The fact that you’re engaging in blogging in regards to working with clients is a great stepping stone, I think, bud. It will ‘calm the waters’ for you a little.

Let me know when you launch your own blog. I’d love to check it out.

C

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Wiguan Fujiwara January 31, 2012 at 00:40

I’ve been blogging across several niche from “make money online” to eventually my real interest, music production.

When finally I blog about something that I really love, I didn’t feel the burden anymore.
I started to “drop” other blog and focus on only this blog and I’m looking forward to help other people in my circle about music production.

However all the past times with the blogs I make intended to “making money” give me all the experience to market this music blog in the right direction (for example, not spamming). Hence making me feel good that I have advantage than other musician in term of internet marketing and SEO. Of course there’s other musician is an internet marketing too, but we don’t find them too often.

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 21:14

Hi Wiguan

I’m super happy to hear that you gained all that experience and that you’re now putting it all to good use by focusing on something you geuinely enjoy talking about – good for you, man!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You made me smile! :-)

C

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Wayne Edward Clarke January 31, 2012 at 01:55

I’ve never been faced with a choice about my content. I almost envy you your angst.

I’m an author of science fiction and fantasy epics. I wrote the first two over eight years for my own enjoyment, then posted them online for free and asked for critiques and opinions. I was amazed by the hundreds of raving fan letters I received; the response was 100% positive, and several said my stuff was the best they ever read. That convinced me that it would be worthwhile to seek publication, but some research revealed the futility of trying to be conventionally published at that stage, so I began self-publishing.

I had to teach myself to be a publisher, editor, publicist, cover graphics designer, website designer, blogger, and finally, internet marketer. To be honest, I’m still not very good at many of those tasks, but I’m learning quickly, and my sales are steadily rising.

The time requirement of doing all of that is pretty onerous, so I began seeking ways to automate some of the work. That led me to the world of internet marketing, and frankly, most of it disgusts me.

I bought an automated system for an online bookstore, and another to set up blogs and niche sites. Both incorporate Google ads, Paydotcom affiliate marketing ads, and automated systems for managing mailing lists, SEO, etc.

The eBookstore system ad said that it was giving away the system for free to beta testers. Several upsells and a few hundred dollars later I actually had the whole system. Same thing with the blog/niche site system.

If they had just said up front exactly what the systems did, what they entailed, how much time they saved, and what they cost in total, I would still have bought them. And felt a lot less disgusted by the process. But no, they have to act like con artists selling crap to suckers. They’re selling dreams to the desperate, most of whom will fail, instead of marketing their products to serious business people who need them. It’s ironic that most of the internet marketers seem to sell nothing but internet marketing systems, and they all act the same.

Having bought those two systems, I found myself on the mailing lists of many other internet marketers, and the bullshit continues. Most of their emails are teaser letters that don’t give you any valuable information about whatever they’re pushing at the time, so I ignore them. Most of the rest are invitations to webinars, supposedly sent to only a few people so they can sell a product to even fewer, because hey, they can’t just let everyone have this stuff! What a load of crap.

The only internet marketer whose mailing list I found myself on who actually acted like he had integrity and a serious product to offer to the business community was you, Chris C. Ducker. I plan on utilizing your outsourcing services starting in March. I also plan on moving to Cebu in March or April, at which time I hope to buy you a beer.

Sorry to be so off-topic, I guess I’ve been wanting to get all that off my chest for a while.

Wayne Edward Clarke

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RobM January 31, 2012 at 20:43

Very well said Sir. There are some diamonds in the rough and it’s a hard job to find them. A good place to start is here and with Pat Flyn’s Blog at Smart Passive Income.com

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 21:21

Hi Rob

Yep – Pat is another one of My 3 Go-To Guys

Great stuff, everyone – love the interaction, too.

C

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 21:16

Hi Wayne

Excellent stuff, man – thanks for the comment, and congrats on your success, too!

I also thank you, sincerely for the kind words on myself and allowing me to grace your inbox. That means a lot. Really. Thanks, again! :-)

Look forward to helping you out in March, then.

C

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Paul Donovan January 31, 2012 at 06:27

Am I writing the right blog? Nope. But am I trying to make it right? Yup. Cuz the theme is just what I want it to be, but I’m getting lost in the details. Just like working for a regular job, if you work in something you like then you will enjoy punching in that clock. But if you don’t like it then you really have a hard time waking up in the morning. Same with your blog, if you really like the subject then you are always gonna be thinking about that next post, or the next or the next next. Otherwise you are gonna just ignore the blog and its gonna die a slow death. But the great thing that creates the posts I write also inspires me where I want to go next — my next blog.

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 21:17

Hi Paul

Great stuff, bud. You bring up some really cool points here.

Thanks for interjecting your experience and feelings to a really important post, I feel.

C

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David Risley January 31, 2012 at 09:54

Hey man. :-)

I’ve DEFINITELY been through the struggle. Both with my tech blog and my DavidRisley.com blog. With the tech blog, it has been much stronger… because I’ve changed a LOT since I started that site. While I still love computers and tech, I’m not the DIY-type who likes to build computers anymore. I own Macs. :-) So, I’d had a harder time connecting with that audience. But, the site makes good money and has a nice community. So, I don’t want to shut it down. The solution for me was 3-fold:
(1) Have others do most of the writing.
(2) Tweak the membership component so that it fits with my real passions in tech (changes coming soon on that).
(3) Run it as a business, with the idea that, eventually, I’m probably going to sell it. So, it is an asset and I run it like one.

As for DavidRisley.com, I went through the same thing Robb Sutton did. In his case, though, he left the niche. I’m still in it. I truly love what I do, so I figure as long as I’m happy doing it, I’ll do it. Big thing is to continue to push the envelope to keep it interesting. For me, that means I’ll be doing more videos, more webinars, and starting a podcast soon. :-)

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 21:20

Hi David

First up – as one of my Top 3 Guys to Follow, thanks for dropping by! ;-)

You make some great points here, especially like #3 – this is a GREAT learning curve you’ve tipped over here. Good for you, mate!

I know you love doing what you’re doing as a blogger – it shines through very brightly in your writing, and its one of the main reasons why I read everything you put out, as you know.

Thanks again for injecting your own raw, full-of-experience opinion here!

C

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Lee Sheppard January 31, 2012 at 11:26

hmm good food for though as I am just starting to blog. I started a few niche sites as well primarily you Chris got me started. The number one things i have learned so fair is find someone to mentor you witch i have not found yet and have a love for what your blogging about.

So fair its been a lot of learning with very little results with only making $13 on Google AdSense but hay that’s only first month. I’m in it for both giving something I love and also to help others save money but I am starting to learn without making money my family will keep asking me is it worth it?

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Chris C. Ducker January 31, 2012 at 21:23

Hi Lee

First up, glad to hear you’re starting your own blog. Our conversations have impressed me. Your a smart guy, and I look forward to reading what you put out – whenever it starts up!

Love the fact that I got you into the niche site stuff, too! That’s awesome.

As for the mentor thing – I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I have my third call scheduled this evening with MY mentor, and I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of this conversation, especially in relation to direction, etc.

Thanks for contributing.

C

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Gary January 31, 2012 at 22:20

Hi Chris. Recently discovered your podcast – good stuff and looking forward to your return. As for the purpose of bloggers, here are my thoughts. I’m not a blogger but I go to a select few blogs for their expertise and to learn what specific steps they took in the real world to make themselves a success. I lose interest when I feel a blogs’ purpose is to push its followers to other blogs for reciprocal attention. It feels like a virtual Ponzi scheme. I’m not interested in a world where we all we do is sell content to other bloggers. Where’s the value created? I want to know what made you did to build a success business and how you built the systems to become a virtual CEO. That’s what I enjoy most about your content and that’s what I’ll come back to the site for. Regards.

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Chris C. Ducker February 1, 2012 at 11:43

Hi Gary

Glad you’re enjoying the podcasts – good stuff!

Search in the Archives for the Monthly Report posts, you can see the certain things I did to free myself from my desk full-time, and become that ‘Virtual CEO’. It was quite a journey, I’m tellin’ you!

Appreciate your support, my man.

Cheers,
C

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stevewyman February 2, 2012 at 07:34

Hi Chris

This Quote may well apply ?

“You’ve got to find what you love… Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.”
— Steve Jobs (2005 Stanford Commencement Address)

And if youve never watch the whole thing then go to youtube its a fantastic speech to say the least

regards

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Chris C. Ducker February 8, 2012 at 16:24

Hi Steve

Great quote, and a great video, too. I’ve seen it before, and have just watched it again.

Thanks for the added inspiration and resource in this classic Jobs clip.

Cheers,
C

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Charles Harman February 2, 2012 at 08:54

Hello Chris,
I am still blogging about Retiring in the Philippines and love every minute of it. How I make my money is with inexpensive web sites and blogs running on wordpress3. I have a second blog for the business and will begin adding content to it. Coming soon SEO for Bloggers. Currently I do not have a product but as you suggested to me some time ago I am working on an ebook for those interested in moving out of their native country to the Philippines.
Charles

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Chris C. Ducker February 8, 2012 at 16:23

Hi Charles

Great – glad you’re still blogging and loving it, buddy.

Sounds like your eBook will be in demand – I have at least one conversation a week on social media from people in this exact demographic. Good for you!

All the best,
C

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Anshul February 4, 2012 at 06:55

Hi Chris, In my case its relatively easy to write up a blog post for my readers. Most of the times it’s about a new strategy I am implementing for my IM business and I am quite happy to share it with my readers which is always appreciated.

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Chris C. Ducker February 8, 2012 at 16:22

Easiness is great, and I believe as long as you’re in the right niche, which you are, obviously, then you’ll pretty much always have something to say and write about, which is great.

Thanks for the inspiration, Anshul.

C

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Sharon February 6, 2012 at 07:18

Hi Chris, I’ll be very interested to hear more about your mentoring and the direction you decide to take. I’ve only just started out with blogging and feel I would really benefit from a mentor but where do you start looking to find the right person?

Sharon

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Chris C. Ducker February 8, 2012 at 16:21

Hi Sharon

I’ll certainly update you… In the meantime, check out THIS POST for three guys that you simply must be following online. They will stir you in the right direction, for sure.

Thanks for dropping by.

C

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Rodrigo Langeani March 28, 2012 at 09:34

Sorry, for being late for this post.
I have made the same question many times in the past months.
I`ve started to write a blog about endurance sports (here in Brazil) two years ago, and last year I was nominated as the second best blog in my nich in the most important internet prize from Brazil.
The point is that:
-my traffic is increasing
-I get more comments each day
BUT, i still haven`t made realo money on this blog. And that makes me wonder: what am i dong wrong?

Reply

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