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You’re Brand One?

Are Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki and Jason Calacanis really too self-worshipping in building their online brands? Or is Valleywag wagging the tongue in accusation a bit too much? (See what’s said about Robert Scoble and Steve Rubel and a few other blogcelebs. Hoo boy.)

With millions of websites/weblogs, aren’t strong personalities required to win out? Name a few A-list bloggers that do not have “strong” (i.e., self-promoting) personalities. Okay, maybe Darren Rowse and Steve Pavlina. These two earn most of their income from revenue-producing websites (or just one in Steve’s case). The others above mostly earn their income from offline activities.

Does the means of earning a living determine how aggressively a blogger has to self-evangelize? As a bit of a foot-in-motormouth myself, I’d have to say you need to stand out online if you want to be in the blogosphere’s A-ranks. What do you think? Note: the infographic below is done to the best of my knowledge and may not be accurate. It suggests there are no bloggers who earn income from all the indicated sources simultaneously, at least not publicly.

bloggers income sources Youre Brand One?


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20 people thinks stuff!

  1. I’ve just unsubscribed to Guy Kawasaki’s blog because, to be honest, I just didn’t find it worked for me. So many people told me “you must subscribe to his blog – it’s brilliant” but, like most of the A-listers, I found it an exceptionally dull read.

    Now maybe I’m going to miss out on some ground breaking stuff but I figure that I have enough in my feed reader to keep me going and, besides, there are plenty of other sites out there which will highlight his best posts to read. Why bother wading through the other stuff?

    Seth Godin is going down a similar route too.

    The way I see it is that brand reinforcement seems to be the primary focus for A-list bloggers rather than delivering quality content for the readers.

    By Mike on May 1, 2007 7:37 pm

  2. For me, it’s pretty much a must that I read a wide selection of blogs whether I like them or not. While I don’t regularly read all 1000+ feeds I subscribe to, I try to. That means scanning for what’s good and ignoring other posts. (Though this means I now understand what Robert Scoble used to say about full-text feeds.)

    By Raj Dash on May 1, 2007 8:28 pm

  3. Oh, and Robert Scoble isn’t in the diagram above because as far as I know, he gets paid a salary and shares at present, so doesn’t quite fit in above. I’m unsure about Jason Calacanis, who is involved in a number of projects, some non-blog.

    By Raj Dash on May 1, 2007 8:30 pm

  4. [...] a sucker for a diagram – here’s one that Raj Dash put together on a 901am post on personal branding and how bloggers are making a living from blogging and other related activities (click to [...]

    By Personal Branding and the True Potential of Blogs on May 1, 2007 9:59 pm

  5. [...] a sucker for a diagram.  Raj Dash has put one together over at 901am explaining the 5 areas of potential [...]

    By Savvy Affiliate » Blog Archive » Personal Branding - 5 Ways To Make Money on May 2, 2007 12:53 am

  6. Great blog my friend. First time I bump in and you deserve my bookmark. :)

    About your graph. I can see that still nobody has hit the total middle of the graph which would be in the likes of Godly A-lister.

    As for me I will return reading on, still not on the graph ;)

    Have a nice day.

    By Frank on May 2, 2007 2:57 am

  7. [...] 901am » You’re Brand One? Earning sources and potential for blogs (tags: seo) [...]

    By Jeff McNeill » Blog Archive » links for 2007-05-02 on May 2, 2007 8:19 am

  8. Too cool for school, as they say.. You’ve offered a new angle for what I’ve been calling “virtual identity” to a company abusing their position as my former webhost.. “Branding” is a much more professional term befitting the concept I was conveying to them with why what they are doing is ethically, along with surely should be illegally, a no-no..

    Thank you for an incredibly timely post.. ;)

    By Cindy Sue Causey on May 2, 2007 8:36 am

  9. Hmmm… Interesting. I think there’s even more potential you’re missing here. But more importantly, why are all the bloggers you plotted men?

    By Elaine Vigneault on May 2, 2007 9:22 am

  10. [...] pointed me in the direction of 901 am to see this image of bloggers’ income [...]

    By Blogger Income Sources | Elaine Vigneault on May 2, 2007 10:26 am

  11. @Elaine: The bloggers listed in the diagram were mentioned in Valleywag’s post. That’s the only, reason pure and simple. No chauvinism intended.

    @anyone: Follow Elaine’s link to see how she’s added a few A-list female bloggers into the Venn diagram. Good work, Elaine, and thanks.

    By Raj Dash on May 2, 2007 10:27 am

  12. [...] With millions of websites/weblogs, aren’t strong personalities required to win out? Name a few A-list bloggers that do not have “strong” (i.e., self-promoting) personalities. Okay, maybe Darren Rowse and Steve Pavlina. These two earn most of their income from revenue-producing websites (or just one in Steve’s case). The others above mostly earn their income from offline activities. [...]

    By Direct vs Indirect Blogging Income | Andy Wibbels on May 3, 2007 9:24 am

  13. Raj, it’s interesting that you bring this up, because I was just thinking that there are some bloggers that I am drawn to reading who I wouldn’t want to have lunch with or meet in person. The personality they convey on their blog is too over-the-top for an in-person experience, but absolutely pays off in terms of getting attention on a blog.

    One thing that’s kind of interesting is that, at least from my experience, some of the most in-your-face, aggressive bloggers are quite sweet and shy in real life. The face they show on their blog is an extreme exaggeration of one facet of their personality and is (thank God) not what they’re really like.

    But I think you’re right–Attention grabbing seems to be a huge part of blogging success, and an easy way to do that is to stir up stong emotions in the reader, either of intense love or hate.

    By Sharon Sarmiento on May 4, 2007 10:49 am

  14. Well, put Sharon. I think I even know some of the bloggers you’re referring to. Or at least I can guess. How else do you stand out amongst 70 million blogs? Or is it 15 million now :)

    By Raj Dash on May 4, 2007 10:54 am

  15. [...] that a blogger needs to build a brand. But in light of the response that the infographic on the You’re Brand One? post received, it’s evident that branding is important for some bloggers. That is, if you [...]

    By Blogger, Name Thyself | 901am on May 4, 2007 2:41 pm

  16. [...] bloggers make money. It started when Raj Dash posted how big name bloggers use their blogs to earn money. The diagram below lists various sources of income including consulting, speaking gigs, workshops, [...]

    By » How Bloggers Make Money | Blogging 101 for small businesses on May 7, 2007 11:47 am

  17. [...] is Making Blogging Bucks and How? Darren Rowse of Problogger points to an article by Roj Dash on personal branding and the chart Dash created which shows the various sources of income top bloggers reply [...]

    By Who is Making Blogging Bucks and How? « Lorelle on WordPress on May 18, 2007 8:02 am

  18. [...] 901AM’s “You’re Brand One?” coverage of who is making money how from their blogs or because of their blogs, from my post, Who is Making Blogging Bucks and How?, is getting a lot of attention. The idea that blogs aren’t about making money but as a device which generates money outside of the blog is a new concept to many and one that I believe will change the way people think about blogs as income. [...]

    By Weekly Digest: SOBCon Conference, My New Book, and Other Odds and Ends « Lorelle on WordPress on May 18, 2007 11:04 pm

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