I'd begun to think I was missing something. Maybe it was an age thing, or maybe I simply wasn't as intelligent as I thought I was.
When I started blogging, it all seemed simple. You had to find a vertical where you thought you could do better than the other players (I later found out we bloggers call them niches.) And you had to start a blog.
You worked bloody hard at it, writing as much content as you could, while promoting the heck out if it everywhere you were able. In time, you built a readership, got some advertisers, sold some products and you made some decent money.
So that's exactly what I did, with two blogs. And hey presto, it worked! We have a solid, steady income from Lanzarote Information, and a strangely sporadic (but very worthwhile) one from this blog.
Job done. All I needed to do was keep doing more of the same.
But suddenly I found I was questioning things:
People who I admire and respect were asking these questions. So I felt I had to do the same, and I struggled:
I only have one voice, perfected over 49 years. It's how I talk and how I write. I don't understand the concept of finding my true voice.
$29 Million a year
I have to admit I am a little envious of the guys making that kind of money (and believe it, some internet marketers do.) Should I be pushing harder? Should I revise my rather simple goal of creating a business which will support us while we travel the world in a two years time?
I've always struggled with this. To me it's so simple - if you have to think about it, you're not being authentic.
I'm not an artist. I'm not even an artistic writer. How can I make art? I can see art. I can see it in the words written by Dexter, by Wilde, even by some bloggers. And I enjoy the art momentarily, fleetingly. But I don't value it for anything other than that moment.
So all of this has been revolving around in my head for some weeks now, a nagging at the corners of my mind. A sneaking suspicion I should be doing something differently, that I should be changing things.
And then I watched the Pete Cashmore interview on Bloomberg.
In case you don't know he built the world's most profitable blog by writing loads of good content, every single day, from his parents house in Scotland. He started out with exactly the same objectives I did - to build a successful and profitable business based on a blog. He worked hard at it, he scaled the business well, using the income and never borrowing, and look at him now.
Some people will say: "Yes but he started in 2005, it was different then." I'm not sure it was. I managed to match his income at the nine month mark. I don't know how we're doing comparatively now, but for him it would now be mid 2007. Pete?
During the interview Pete talked about funding, objectives, writing good content, building traffic, creating a large community, ROI of using other social media, generating revenue from advertisers, business planning, cash reserves and scaling.
In short, he talked about business, and he spoke like a business man. He didn't talk about authenticity, art, or finding your voice.
And that's why it resonated so much with me. Because I'm a business man, and I have been for ten years.
Having watched the interview, I feel I can stop examining my navel and that I don't need to rip anything up and start again. I'll simply get back to doing what I do, and keep doing it better.
Or to put it another way, it's business as usual.
Would you like to read the story of the blog we took to a full time income in one year? You can download your free copy here: Case Study.
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"Mike's Life is where you can stay current with the life, thoughts, successes and failures of Mike Cliffe-Jones. Never knowingly ordinary, Mike shares as much as possible about his work as a marketer and in business, as well as his enviable lifestyle on and in the oceans around The Canary Islands."