About a year ago, I was following a topic online and I started to feel like discussion was starting to lead people down the wrong path. The topic was related to money and finance, and I saw more and more misinformation popping up without anyone raising their hand and saying, “yo, that’s crazy, y’all are getting it wrong!”
In short, I started to disagree with the loudest talkers in the topic’s space. And those talkers are pretty formidable – they get millions of visitors and thousands of comments every time they post something new, which means that posting a random comment every time they said something I disagreed with probably was NOT a super productive way to get my voice heard.
But I did want my voice to be heard, because I didn’t just vaguely disagree with some of this stuff, I really disagreed. I thought that some of it was just plain wrong. And, I thought that the right information could actually help a lot of people.
Disagreeing with the big, loud, important voices who were talking about a topic that interested me was the seed that would ultimately grow into my blog.
I tried to squeak my voice into the discussion via a couple of small ways at first – some posts on reddit, a couple back-and-forths on topic related forums, things like that. But I pretty quickly reached the limit of how much voice I was actually able to have.
One of the problems, especially on social based sites, was that I was disagreeing with people and ideas that were big in the community.
Wrong or not, they were “established,” which is often just as good as being right, from a popularity standpoint. That fact, combined with the ability to “dislike” or “downvote” really creates a pretty tall wall to scale when you want to introduce contrary points of view into the stream of discussion.
So, I decided that the best way to move forward was to start my own discussion, via a medium over which I had editorial control. The powerful part of this solution is that while people who don’t want to participate are free to avoid visiting, they are not able to hide the discussion from people who do want to participate. That’s a pretty big deal.
So, I did that. I built a blog, grew it, and gained a voice. I’m still doing it. And you know what? It’s going pretty well. I have a good audience, I’m having fun, and I’m actually making some money doing it.
Blog Reactor is Born
Along the way, I had the idea that I could start a second blog that kept track of my first blog’s journey, as a way to help others figure out how to conquer their own little corner of the blog world. It seems like a compelling idea to walk through the process of coming up with an idea, getting it online, and building an engaged audience.
When I first started making a little money with my blog, I also figured out that a lot of people are actually making a living at doing the blog thing, and – more importantly – that it’s not that hard to do it. In fact, I realized that most people – with a little bit of work and some pointers to get them started with the hard stuff – could probably do the same thing. See, setting up a blog is a lot like starting any other business. There’s some key things you have to know, and some specific steps you should follow. It’s kind of formulaic – do this, don’t do that, etc.
Well, heck, I’ve figured that stuff out through trial and error while I was building my first blog. I bet people might be interested in that.
And, poof! BlogReactor was born.
How This Place Works
Parts of this site are pretty organized, like The Core, and are designed around a step-by-step formula to help you get a blog up, hosted, growing, and generating some return.
Other parts of this site are written as support material to the organized places. You’ll find quick definitions and small topics, very specific discussions on bigger issues, and some truly epic long-form articles on the more philosophical and “big picture” type concepts involved in running a successful business.
Here’s some basic stuff you should know about the site and the way we approach the whole build-a-blog-for-fun-and-profit topic.
- Honesty is the best policy, so I’m going to be honest with you as I explain things. If something was expensive, but I had the money and didn’t really investigate a bunch of cheaper options, I’m just going to tell you. If I try an ad campaign that works super well (or fails amazingly), I’m going to describe it from beginning to end, without omitting the “key” step(s) that would make it hard for you to do on your own. That’s a good general rule to keep in mind for the whole site – there are no hidden corners. You get the full story.
- While it’s impossible for me to cover every teeny tiny detail, I’m going to try and cover everything that I think was actually important along the road
- I’m telling the truth when I discuss about my base knowledge and starting conditions as related to the blogging. There’s a couple of really basic things I started out knowing, and whole crap load of things I had no idea how to do.
- I had a decent budget when I started this project. I’m not rich or anything, but from the beginning I was able to start with a kick-butt host, get some real email hosting, and buy the good WordPress plugins instead of the second rate free ones. I was able to spend a little money when I thought it was important, and that made things much easier. I’ll come right out and tell you when I think a commercial product is the worth the cost, and I’ll also tell you when I think you can get away with a cheap fix.
- I will always clearly disclose if this blog uses affiliate links, and I stick to hawking products I actually use or really like. In fact, there’s a whole affiliate policy about it linked from the bottom of every single page. I absolutely, positively will never EVER sell, transfer, give away, write in firey letters in the sky, or in any other way intentionally share any personal information you choose to give me (like an email address or something) with anyone else. Pinky swear. That crap is wack.
So that’s kind of what this place is about and how it works. It should be enough to get going, and that’s what I want to do – because that’s where all the cool stuff is.
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