The Richard Branson Guide to
Making Money With Blogs

Richard Branson

I wanted to be an editor or a journalist… but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going. ~Richard Branson

You’re not a writer.

You’re not a content producer.

You’re not a blogger.

You’re an entrepreneur.

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  1. Simple and to the point – and definitely true. There are things we will all specialize in online, but when it comes down to it, we are all entrepreneurs who need to think creatively and be able to run a successful business.

    Now this comment is longer than your post. :P

  2. Wow, I guess I’m an entreprenuer in more ways than one!

    Jay
    DatMoney.com

  3. I’m not sure if I find that depressing or encouraging(!) That said, that part of his autobiography is a great read, especially the way he got his initial advertisers and the way he created a professional image while only having a phone box at his disposal.

  4. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t label yourself.

  5. Damn right!

    A blog is like a billboard if a billboard were an encyclopedia full of octopi.

    It seems like the majority of people who want to get serious about blogging want to be writers, and end up having to learn all of the social marketing and SEO and everything else to serve that desire–to get their words into other people’s brains. But blogging also has an incredible power to advance business interests in other areas.

    For example, I write about psychology. Do I do this because I believe I can make a living on psychology-related PPC ads? Absolutely not. I do it mostly in order to market a very prominent private practice that will not exist for another 4 years. I do it to create a visibility and authority around the things I actually want to do so that I can do them instead of having to kiss asses for the majority of my career as a therapist. And, of course, I do it because it’s a lot of fun to talk about the things I think about all day anyway.

  6. I’m an entrepreneur. So maybe I need to become a writer so I too can own a tropical island. Mmmmm coconut…

  7. A successful artist once offered some advice I’ve found very helpful. He said it’s great making your paintings and stuff – in other words, yes, be an artist – but if you come up with an idea for the world’s greatest shower curtain, go for it.

  8. WDOC: You’re missing a few intermediate stages! You need to become a writer, start a magazine, then start a record store, commit tax fraud when importing records, start a record company, have a giant hit with someone like Mike Oldfield, then branch into the airline business, before floating your record company on the stock exchange. THEN you can have your tropical island! :)

  9. This is my new favorite post ever.

    Simple.

  10. “Focus”, she says. ” He is usually right.” She looks at her tiny efforts and back to the screen. Just has to keep that bar raised doesn’t he? :)
    All best, Jan

  11. Yeah, that’s the way I think of it. Then, it makes my business seem a lot more legitimate to others around me.

    Not that I care what they think…

  12. That innovative spirit is what engages readers. It’s what differentiates a mediocre post into a post that is dugg or stumbled upon. Bloggers are so many things, but entrepreneurs probably tops the list.

  13. There is no secret about it: everyone would be glad to be an entrepreneur / leader / boss / guru. Even if you are a writer, you would like to explain to others how to write, would you not?

  14. I read Richard Branson’s autobiography (reviewed it on my blog a while back), it’s a great read. And this post is quite aligned with what he writes in there (but he needs more words!).

    What struck me, was that no matter what business he got himself into, he got into trouble with that business. Cash flow problems, and his strategy for solving his cash flow problems was getting more revenue…FAST!

    Yeah, that’s the entrepreneurial spirit :)

  15. Simple points… that’s true.

    It follows the Pareto’s Principle of 80 / 20. Educated People (80%)earn degrees and Entrepreneur (20%)make money.

  16. @Santosh: That’s not quite the way the Pareto principle works… It defines a relationship between effort and result. Like 80% of your work accounts for 20% of the results (which is the wrong 80% to focus on obviously).

    And the same relationship goes for the entrepreneurs too. Like 20% of the entrepreneurs account for 80% of total profit earned ;) It’s not like they all make money.

  17. Super great reality check!
    Sharing with all my colleagues!

    Thanks!
    Maria :-)

  18. Great quote from Richard Branson! I am just beginning to realise that to succed as a writer you have to know a bit about marketing too … huge new learning curve.

    Brian, I’ve been meaning to thank you for all your fantastic advice since recently signing up to your RSS feed. Inspired by Darren’s lovely post, today seems a good day!

    Sorry the day is nearly over, hope you had an excellent start to the week!

    :o)

  19. @Moondreamer – exactly. What went through my mind as I finished reading this post was this:

    . . . and entrepreneurs are all marketers.

    An entrepreneur is the essence of marketing. The even market themselves. I call it “The Entrepreneurial Learning Curve.” Sounds like that’s what you’re going through right now.

  20. On the one hand, we’re supposed to do what we love.

    Me: write.

    So doing what I love might pay someday. It’s not even close now. Not even in the neighborhood. But…

    I’m not a writer. I’m a content producer?

    I don’t want to be a content producer. I want to write.

    Mixed messages?

  21. Brady, I think you may have misread the post. You’re not a content producer if you want to make money writing online, you’re an entrepreneur. That’s how you need to think for the money to come.

  22. charles Bayer :

    I must already be an entreneur because none reads my blog!

  23. I think the ultimate lesson all of should take away from Richard’s post is that he was able to say, with 41 words, what would have taken the rest of us pages to say.

    Live From Las Vegas
    The Masked Millionaire

  24. Am i? ahahah

  25. Yeah, I was so not trying to be an entrepreneur. Thanks Mr Branson

  26. gotta love branson

  27. I agree

  28. Ah, now Brian’s subscribing to “The Seth Godin Model” of blogging–but with pictures.

    Interesting, the power of concise authority.

    30 comments and how many links now?

  29. Got to love that guy. He’s not much of a writer though. Guess that why he’s The Entrepreneur.

  30. This is, by far, my favorite post on Copyblogger to date. So, so, so, so true.

  31. Sharp and to the point.

    This morning I just got 200 pcs of Name Cards for my blog printed and delivered.

    Reaching my target niche (readers) aside, I focus primarily on giving them what they come for in the first place – fun, inspirational content.

    Cheers! :-)

  32. Great comment. Very relevant to the times. I was a salesman, who became a journalist, then a publicist, followed by media analyst, internet publisher and blogger, and now I’m a social and community entrepreneur, who covers many things to help pay the bills, including the life and times of Virgin, Richard Branson, and the business of blogging. Does this strike a chord?

  33. In the past, writing to me was very tedious, however I always felt a lot of respect for all writers, until I decided to express with my own words my own histories. Today, it has become less complex to write and I can even tell it like it is. However I am still learning. Thanks

  34. “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
    I see why so many people come here on regular basis. Great stuff and I will make sure we subscribe to rss. My Family the unstoppable family are on 3 year trip around the world we update with all types of crazy things every so often come check us out.

    Unstoppable Family
    Brian and Rhonda Swan

  35. Ha! Simple message but true. Once I realized that yes, I am a photographer but I am more than a photographer with a blog but a person who is an entrepreneur who happens to love art, I started changing how I do things and view things. I’m looking forward to what is next in life in 2011.

    Great blog post.

  36. it becomes my best slogan, well i’m a writer only not an enterpreneur but look forward to become an enterpreneur