My Blog is Worth $0.00

I installed a widget from Dane Carlson’s Business Opportunities and it confirmed my suspicions about the dollar value of my blog. According to the API my blog is worth precisely $0.00:

It raises a very good question about the whole purpose of blogging. How much is a blog worth? If it’s monetized, you certainly could generate a pleasing stream of cash flows through ecommerce or advertising.

But there are non-monetary values to blogging, all of which derive from the many purposes of blogging. I’ve been blogging for a very short time, but I have enjoyed the little writing I have done. What’s more, the whole process has forced me to come up to speed fairly quickly on the available tools for publishing and has opened me up to the the possibilities and challenges of web connectivity.

A friend of mine asked me the other day how many visitors I get to my blog. I hadn’t run Google Analytics recently enough to give him an answer but the latest analysis reveals less than 100 since this blog’s inception. His question, though, led me to Dane’s widget and when I ran it and it returned “Your blog is worth $0.00” I loved it! Zero is a nice round figure. If I decide to seriously zap the blog with focused monetization strategies, I’ll be curious to know what the widget says later on as my blogging continues.

But the question “What is your blog worth” is a actually deeper than a simple matter of monetary value of a blog. There is the matter of personal branding. Most of us were taught to go to a good school, get a good job and maintain a good resume. And most of us followed directions very well and we got into good schools, got good jobs and maintain good resumes. And yet, wouldn’t the more valuable instruction to us have been: brand yourself? The question “How much is your personal blog worth” is getting at your success in branding who you are. If I had to do things differently in my career I would have ditched the resume and gone for branding. I grew up listening to people who didn’t have resumes: Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Steve Marriott, the members of Pink Floyd and The Who and Jefferson Airplane and the list goes on. These names were brands. Remarkable brands. How much were those brands worth? I’m guessing a lot more than what they would have been if those folks were resumes.

So today my blog is worth $0.00, which is to say that my brand needs some work. Perhaps that’s why I’m blogging: to forge my voice and establish my reputation. Isn’t that what a brand is, a mark of voice and reputation? Sure it is. Certainly a blog is worth more than its sales price. How long will it take for blogs to be just as important to employers and business as resumes? As long as it takes employers and businesses to figure out that a blog is a far more three-dimensional measure of a personal brand than a resume.

So the value of a blog matters I think. Whether that value can be expressed in dollars may or may not be the important thing. But for me, if the money follows, well that leaves more toys to play with. And if the well stays dry, then at least I’ll have the key ingredients of a personal brand: a voice and a reputation.

A New Beginning

Well we all have to start somewhere and WordPress is a good place to start a personal blog.

I remember a few years ago when the word blog was becoming popular and we all thought blogs were either for political hacks or vain geeks. Although that might be somewhat true, the greater truth is that blogs are here to stay with us for lot longer I think. 

In an age when anybody can get onto a computer or an iPhone or blackberry or whatever portable devices that can connect large groups of people together, it will become almost impossible for businesses to stay in business unless they turn out remarkable products and services. Going quickly are the days of spending huge sums of money on advertising to build a successful enterprise. We’re now participating in either the democritization of the world or the mobification of it or some combination of the two. We shall see.

The technological innovations that are converging into what is generally referred to as Web 2.0 are generating enormous shifts in economic, social, cultural and geopolitical relationships. The exponential curve of change is increasingly inflecting at sharper angles and unless one really understands the general trends, it’s going to be very easy for large groups of people to become economically, culturally and socially displaced. But as these technologies become less expensive and more ubiquitous and user-friendly, more adopters will be able to ride the curve. My goal is not to become a laggard. My hope is that we all keep up.

For now, I believe the world is becoming increasingly democratic, although the transformation will involve a lot of hard work, dangers, and other kinds of resistance. This is going to be a merciless but remarkable century and since technology will be the dominant influence on it, it’s probably wise that we establish a remarkable relationship with it.

Blogging is a small but growing part of the changing roles we will be taking on and I’m glad to have finally broken down to pound out the keyboard and see where I can fly with it. I hope you join me in my dream to make this world at least a little more remarkable than it was before we came along.