On January 3, 1996, Bill Gates published the essay, Content is King. In it he states,
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting…No company is too small to participate…One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create…Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products-a marketplace of content.”
The reason why content is so powerful is because it connects thoughts, ideas, and information from one person to another, which has effects far beyond making a few bucks from ads on a website.
There are many forms of content, all great in their own ways, but for this post specifically, I want to discuss why blogging is so powerful for making money.
1. Blogging Builds Authority
99% of people are afraid to speak. I don’t mean talk, I mean put their thoughts and methods and mindsets out there for the world to hear. If you can be in the 1% who aren’t afraid of that, you can be heard.
In a world where 1% are talking and 99% are listening, you can be an authority faster than you think.
The concept of authority can really be captured in one word. Trust.
• Trust that you are knowledgeable in your field
• Trust that your advice is tested and sound
• Trust that you have your audience’s best interest in mind
• Trust that you’re not a liar
• Trust that you have something to offer that is unique, specific, and great
The two biggest barriers to selling anything, are exposure and trust, and blogging can break down both of those over time by using it as a vehicle to do what #2 and #3 cover.
2. Blogging Builds Relationships
There are a few bloggers I have followed for years, and maybe you’ve experienced this too, but I feel like I know them personally even though I’ve never even spoken to them.
I’ve read their content for so long that I’ve gotten a very real feel of who they are as people through their writing styles and stories, and have grown to trust them because of that.
Who would you rather buy a guitar from: the guy who has provided you quality information for months on guitars and has proven his expertise, or the guy at the local music store who you don’t know anything about?
A blog isn’t just about providing information to hook in potential buyers, it’s about building relationships around a common interest and teaching everything you know.
3. Blogging Provides Information
Yes, I know I just said blogging isn’t just about providing information to hook in potential buyers, but that is something it does very well.
People like to learn, so people need teachers. You may not even be an expert in the subject you’re passionate about teaching, and that’s ok.
All you need in order to teach, is 1 person who knows less than you about that subject.
Expertise is relative. I’ve probably said this 50 times, so don’t mentally punch me if you’ve heard me say it, but I need to get the point across; I’m mediocre at math (at best), but I could teach basic math to a room of second graders. I am an expert at second grade math, and there are people who need to still learn that, and they’re willing to pay (maybe not the second graders, but you get the point).
Particularly if you’re selling higher-priced items, whether it’s custom denim, online software, consulting services, or anything else, customers want to know they’re making a smart investment.
What’s the first thing you do before you make a big purchase? Research, right?
People want the most and best information available before investing their money, and blogging can provide the information that makes them say “yes” to you.
Even though that essay was published almost 20 years ago, Bill Gates was able to see the potential for content to be a real player in money-making opportunities. I suspect content will remain King for years to come.