Jul 25, 2008

Trading A Stethoscope For A Blog

Want an inspiring story about a blogger who entertained so much success he recently quit his M.D. practice to blog full-time?

This is a story first published on July 21, 2008 in the New York Times about Dr. Arnold Kim, the founder of MacRumors, a leading gossip and technology rumor site about Apple, indicating he hung up his stethoscope to focus on growing his blog's success. What blog is it? MacRumors.com.

MacRumors is not an ordinary blog:

By the numbers:

Traffic: 4.4 Million visitors per month (source: Quantcast.com)
Page Views: 40 Million Page views per month (source: Quantcast.com)
Value: Over $25 Million.

(Note: Quantcast tends to estimate traffic numbers LOWER than actual real numbers I've witnessed. Therefore, as of this posting, MacRumors probably has well over 5 Million visitors, making it high enough traffic to easily justify over $10K a month in ADS ALONE!)

According to the NY Times article about Dr. Kim leaving his medical profession to focus on MacRumors:

"The site placed MacRumors No. 2 on a list of the “25 most valuable blogs,” right behind Gawker Media and ahead of The Huffington Post, PerezHilton.com, and TechCrunch. Two of the other tech-oriented blogs on its list, Ars Technica and PaidContent, were sold earlier this year, reportedly for sums in excess of $25 million."

Get this: MacRumors has more traffic than either Ars Technica and PaidContent combined, therefore making worth easily more than $25 million in possible value!

Dr. Kim's secret? TRAFFIC.

On his personal blog, last month he posted this answer to how his blog makes money:

“It boiled down to one simple accomplishment: building traffic. That’s it. If you have a site that attracts a lot of visitors, you will be able to make money. On the Internet, traffic equals power, which subsequently equals money.”

So, if you're wondering how to do this yourself, I'd suggest the following:

1. Find a topic many people will care about. Rumors about Apple, a private company that guards secrets with a loyal following in the millions, clearly is one of those topics.

2. Write well. MacRumors articles are extremely well-written..

3. Write often. MacRumors posts 2 - 4 articles PER DAY. His articles use the short, couple of paragraphs-type format, which makes it easier to post more often.

4. Stay with it. MacRumors started in 2000. That's about the same time I started AspireNow.com. I think if I'd posted as much content to AspireNow as Dr. Kim posted to MacRumors, I'd have a website worth a lot, too.

5. Build a solid website structure. MacRumors is logical, and covers a WIDE variety of sub-topics related to the core - everything from iPhone to MacAir, from WebCam to Earnings Releases.

6. Cultivate a following. MacRumors has an active comment section: some articles get hundreds of comments within just a month or two.

7. Post ads in logical places. MacRumors posts a banner ad across the top of the blog. Another set of Google image ads run smack dab in the middle of his articles. I counted two block image ads that also take a lot of space up. He places Amazon and MacMall ads as his "Mall" in the upper right sidebar - a prime spot on his page. He's gone pro: more than that, MacRumors' advertising is now professionally managed.

Considering Dr. Kim invested over $200,000 in his education and enjoyed practicing medicine, clearly he had to have a lot of success with the blog to justify that switch.

What other ideas do you have for building a website or blog into such a huge success that you can leave your professional job behind?

Comment below to share your thoughts!

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