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Jennifer Fong

Blogging has CREATED my business. When my company went out of business, I started to blog (http://liajen.wordpress.com) with the intention of establishing myself as an expert in my industry, with hopes that that would land me a job. What surprised me was that people started coming to me, asking me to teach them about social media in this industry. They had read my blog and no one else in my industry was really talking specifics as to how to use social media to build a direct sales business (which is a creature all its own). I started to get speaking invitations, joint venture proposals, and recently was invited to become an associate with a prestigious consulting firm in my industry, all because I started a blog. Now I did use specific strategies to drive traffic to that blog, including social and regular networking, etc. But at the end of the day, it was the good, free content on that blog, specifically related to my targeted niche audience, that is now earning me thousands of dollars a month, and garnering me a great deal of respect as a thought leader in my industry.

I would tell people to do their homework so they know what they're talking about, be authentic so people get to know YOU through your blog, develop a strategy first so you know exactly who you're talking to, and try to provide as much value as you can. That's how you succeed in blogging. Oh, and also make it easy for people to share your content!

Cheers!

Jennifer Fong

Dr Ian O'Neill

Astroengine.com evolved from being my personal site into a full-blown space science news and opinion blog. As I was already a writer for the Universe Today website, I had some experience researching and blogging about science, which is fortunate. Before becoming a space blogger/writer/journalist, I was a space physics researcher, so I was very strict with my writing style.

After some time, I made my style a little more conversational and a lot less formal and I found that through blogging, I was able to reach more people. I learned by asking other bloggers, publishers and social media experts. Although I was blogging for fun, I found it had the beneficial effect of directing a huge amount of traffic to my little website. I was communicating complex science and my readers were responding. Within six months (from Jan-June 2008) my website's traffic increased 100-fold. Social media websites such as Digg, Stumble and Reddit are huge traffic sources.

Now I receive between 2000-4000 unique views per day, primarily from Google searches and social media websites. I recently had to upgrade my server and revamp the design to cope with increased demand.

Although the site isn't driven by ad revenue, in the past 2 months my Google ad revenue has increased by a factor of ten and the number of RSS subscribers have increased by 200. I think this is primarily due to my interaction on social platforms such as Twitter.

If I had any advice to give to anyone starting a new blog, I'd suggest publishing unique content regularly (daily preferably). Try to make each post as interesting/controversial/thought-provoking as possible, but make sure you are accurate with the facts. Also, don't blog for the money, do it for the joy of writing about something you love. If you keep those factors in mind, the ad revenue will grow over time.

Cheers, Ian :)

Denise Wakeman

Jennifer, you have a great blog success story! Congratulations on your successes. What happened for you is precisely why I evangelize that every business/service professional needs to be blogging for their business.

I would love to use your story if I have your permission.

Blog on!

Denise Wakeman

Ian, congrats on your blogging success. Sounds like, "do what you love and the money will follow." Do you monetize your blog in any ways other than ad revenue?

Do you get clients or speaking gigs?

Blog on!

John Easton

Denise,

I have quite a few blogging success stories but I will mention one here. I successfully pitched an article to Black Enterprise magazine, a nationally distributed publication on how small businesses can use YouTube to grow their businesses (I pitched the article just after Google purchased YT).

After the article ran I posted it to my blog and asked my audience members to read it and if they found anything interesting to send an email to the editor. My campaign was a success as the article ended up dominating the following month's letters to the editor section (3 of the 4 letters were about my article) and the month following that my article was reccognized again. The end result was 3 consective months of strong PR in a national publication (rarely happens), 60% increase in blog traffic, 45% increase in website traffic 3 closed project deals ($4,500 avergage revenue each) and credibility as a recognized expert that will last into perpetuity.

Below is the post link. If you read the comments you will see that Joan Stewart was one of the letter writers and her note was actually published...

http://www.eastonsweb.com/blog/?p=52

Blog on,

John Easton

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