Starting a blog in 2017? Don’t.
Google the phrase “how to make money blogging” and you’ll get 75.5 million results detailing everything from how to churn out minimally viable content to multiple opinion pieces on the right income streams.
Thanks to the rise of sponsored content and blogger ad networks, blogging has shifted from a hobby to a legitimate side hustle, and even a full-time gig for a handful of enterprising entrepreneurs.
If Silicon Valley is the promised land for hungry engineers who want to raise millions of dollars and code their way to success, blogging has become the virtual gold rush for the rest of us.
Starting a blog on the web in 2017 means missing out on the biggest opportunity this side of the Internet: creating your own deep interest social network. It’s a newer, better, and — most importantly — easier option for creating a thriving, community-powered brand your audience will opt into faster and love more deeply than anything you can create via even the most modern blogging platform.
We’re not in 2007 anymore, Toto.
In 2007, your best option for starting a website around a unique idea, interest, or take on the world was a blog. Quick, easy, and cheap — anyone could create one in minutes and start attracting readers. Fast forward to 2017, and blogs are big business. There are 75 million blogs on WordPress alone, and the options for blog ad networks are endless.
Yet, 2017 is a very different world than 2007. Today is noisier and people’s attention spans shorter than any other time in history…and things are only getting worse. Facebook counts a “view” as 1.7 seconds and we have 84,600 of those in a day. Your new blog isn’t equipped to compete in this new attention-deficit-disorder Thunderdome.
And that’s just social media. There are entire companies dedicated to ensuring your blog never sees the front page of a Google search. While email newsletters still work, they are far from an engaging experience on their own.
If you’re anything like the bloggers we meet every day, you love the hustle — but the hustle no longer loves you back.
Enter a new breed of deep interest networks on mobile to delight your audience (and get next level engagement to boot).
If you have an idea, unique take on the world, or desire to start your own business, your 2017 “blog” needs to be mobile, social, and valuable from Day One. It’s no longer about lecturing at your audience, it’s about hosting a party where people want to meet each other — not just listen to you.
Welcome to the world of deep interest networks.
Deep interest networks — native mobile *and* web communities branded for *your* purpose and interest — are rapidly overtaking blogs as the most effective way to reach an audience, grow that audience, generate revenue from that audience, and allow that audience to build relationships with each other around the things that are most important to them.
Simply put? A deep interest network is the fastest, easiest way to create or grow a community-powered brand people absolutely love.
A deep interest network is:
- Organized around a single purpose or interest. Think people who are living and thriving with Type 1 Diabetes, craft hairdressers, digital small business owners, professional photographers, and feminist productivity badasses.
- Much, much more than an email newsletter. In a deep interest network, you and your members are sparking conversations, answering each other’s questions, and driving the kind of deeper discussions that just aren’t possible skimming an email newsletter, or worse, navigating spam in a comments section.
- Native mobile *and* web. While the web remains a key source of discovery, if you want people to stick around and build valuable relationships with each other, that’s only happening on a native mobile app in 2017. You’re beating the barrage of email your audience gets on any given morning for the power of mobile push notifications.
- Immune to overload. In a world of data overload, personalizing the experience of every member to deliver the most valuable information possible is a service in itself. With an emerging crop of software built for the instant attention spans of mobile natives, deep interest networks are ahead of the curve with personalized feeds for every member — showing someone only the most relevant people and conversations in the topics they care about.
- The reason you’re starting a blog in the first place. You’re probably starting a blog out of a deep interest, curiosity, or desire to meet people who share your same sensibilities and values. A deep interest network means you can spend more time talking to people and less time pushing out new posts in hopes of getting a few likes and views. I promise you, with a deep interest network, you’ll not only grow a business, but meet some truly amazing people along the way.
A deep interest network takes advantage of network effects — the simple interactions between people that make a brand stickier, more engaging, and, ultimately, more valuable — to organically grow a new and even bigger audience.
Network effects mean more bang for your hustle. Those long hours you’re investing now in commenting on other blogs or soliciting for readership are gone. Your members are your growth engine. No more begging for shares. They’re invested in sharing their own perspective, which drives them to share more on their social channels. And with each new share by a member, you have an opportunity to reach a larger audience without churning out 500 words a day.
Plus, who’s more qualified to find your next 1,000 members than your current 1,000?
But that’s not the only reason you should launch a deep interest network over a blog. The best part? A deep interest network can generate revenue starting from day one.
Deep interest networks generate real revenue…fast
Today, it takes years to grow the kind of blog readership that big brands will pay good money to access. The market is saturated.
On the other hand, a deep interest network can deliver value instantly on your own terms.
Beyond all the good stuff that keeps your members coming back daily — great people to meet, message, and learn from — a deep interest network allows you to instantly start generating revenue. This could mean funding your idea through member subscriptions, or using rich (and real-time) analytics to attract a sponsor.
Let's take a simple example. Say you have an email list of 2,500 people. After you invite them into a deep interest network. Your rich, real-time analytics help you attract a $5,000 per month sponsor who's driving giveaways. Plus, you’ve added $30 per year from 500 members who want subscriptions to your premium content. And because your members want to meet each other, your first retreat in Mexico is oversubscribed. This is uniquely possible with a deep interest network. You're engaging people in both one-to-many and many-to-many connections without having to hire a developer to add plugins and integrations into your blog.
Where blogging requires meticulous content posting schedules, deep interest networks naturally grow through interactions between members. These organic impressions are far more compelling (and actionable) than anonymous pageviews.
Think about it. As ad spending shifts to mobile, where and how do brands get involved? Outside of Facebook and Instagram, there's not enough quality mobile advertising inventory to be compelling. By providing sponsored native posts and advertising in a mobile network where 65%-70% of members are active and contributing, brands can be part of organic conversations they can’t be elsewhere.
All created by you.
The time is now.
Deep interest networks you can launch on your own branded mobile apps are young, powerful, and rapidly growing. They thrive on a platform three billion people have in their pocket. And they are the engine behind the next generation of community-powered brands like Airbnb and Instagram.
Sure, you can still choose to start a blog and compete with almost two decades of entrenched top blogs and algorithmic SEO farms designed to stand between you and success. But there’s simply a better alternative.
You can now invest that same time, energy, and passion in a deep interest network to take advantage of valuable network effects and generate revenue as quickly as you can get it set up.
Only one question remains.