Why Are You Doing It?

I’ve been watching the internet world for many years and seen internet businesses evolve over that time.

The past few years have seen an explosion in home-based businesses, many of them web-based.  The blogging world has grown to the point where traditional print-based media is slowly declining and some bloggers are becoming household names and hold incredible influence.

It’s so easy today to set up a hosted blog and begin writing and selling something.  If you want to get a bit more serious you can register a domain name, set up hosting somewhere and begin your web based business and try to make money online.

If you want to make money online, there are so many people out there who will tell you how to do it.  Some will tell you to sell affiliate products, others will get you to use Google AdSense or AdWords, some will tell you to create your own products and others will suggest you build membership sites.

There are so many choices, but which ones are right for you?

The answer is…’it depends’.

Back To The Beginning

What are you trying to accomplish?

If people asked themselves this question more often, I think they could be a lot more successful.

When it comes to blogging or having a web site, what are you trying to accomplish?

Your Personal Goals and Vision

When I work with my business coaching clients, one of the first questions I ask them about is why they are running a business.  I want to understand how it fits in with their life.

Usually, their first answer is they want to make money.  That doesn’t tell the whole story.  I want to know what their personal goals are and how the business fits in with those goals.  A couple of questions I are:

  • “What role does your business play in enabling you to achieve your personal goals?”
  • “Do you feel your business is helping you achieve your personal goals?”
  • “What would need to change in your business to help you get on track to achieving your goals?”

For many people their business runs them.  They don’t feel in control of their business.

A Clean Slate

In most cases, beginning a web-based business is an opportunity to start from scratch.  But sometimes it isn’t, so it’s important to think through this stage properly.

Are you blogging or running a web site as a way to make money, or do you just want to do it for fun – as a hobby?

Your answer to the above is tremendously important.  You may want to blog as a hobby.  You may have a topic you want to write about that you feel so passionate about but you may not care about making any money.  Your vision is for your blog to always be a hobby, to never replace your full time job, and you’re happy with this.

If that’s you, well done.  Congratulations on having a strong vision in place and knowing what you want. 

If you don’t fall into that category, and do want to make money, here’s another question:

Realistically, how much money do you want to make from the internet?  Do you want it to produce enough to cover your costs, pay for holidays and ‘extra’ purchases, do you want it to replace your current income, or do you want to earn five or six figures from it?

Again, your answer to this question will help to influence the choices you make with your blog.  Remember, everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all.  The important thing is to decide what’s right for you.

Following on from this last question, here’s something else to consider:

How much time can you realistically spend on your internet business?

Think about your answer.   Be realistic.  Think about it in relation to the previous question.  If you want to quit your day job and earn a full-time income from your blog, it’s not going to happen if you only spend a few hours a week on it.  It’s going to take a huge commitment from you in terms of time and resources – are prepared to make that sacrifice?

Why?

So let’s come back to the title of this post – ‘why are you doing it?’

What do you want to achieve? 

Take some time to think about your personal goals.  Decide how the internet blogging / business thing fits in your life.  Decide on whether you want to make money and if so, how much you want to make.  How much time will you commit?

If you decide that you want to make money online, then by default you’re really saying ‘I want to start a business and run it online’.  And running a business is different to having a hobby.  It takes time, effort and commitment.

Many of the principles for running a successful business apply regardless of whether the business exists online or offline.  Over time we’ll discuss those principles and ideas here.

Let me know what you think.  What are your goals for your online endeavour?  Is it a business or a hobby?

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About

Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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