This morning, I was getting for the day when I came to a realization…
I hate blogging about blogging.
What started off as trying to help people has turned into the vicious cycling that I had dreaded from day one.
So what exactly happens?
The more I post useful tips that actually work…the more people just want another list post about “how to get more comments” or “how to make more money” that they can tweet without reading or use on their own “make money online talking about making money online” blog. It is less and less about building a business out of something unique and more about copying the success of others in the hope that money can be made off of the same blueprint.
As this cycle continued to show itself…I was finding myself thinking about creating training course, more eBooks and other related materials that would basically just become more of the noise. I wasn’t happy about it and I was dreading every second of it.
Why I Initially Got Into Blogging
I got into blogging to connect and help other people in the biking industry with Bike198. Luckily, that site is still doing that. However, when I tried to apply that same theory to Blogging Labs, I was getting stuck in the rut that most blogs about blogging head in…and it is time to stop the madness.
I want to connect with people again and I do not care if that costs me money in the long run. That is not why I started writing about online publishing in the first place…but that is what it turned into. Bike198 is still doing incredibly well on the income side of things without having to sacrifice the connection and sharing within the industry. That audience could care less about the blogging and make money online world…all they want to do is share their passion online.
If I have to take an income hit to get back that connect here…it is worth the tradeoff to not be another “blog about blogging” or “make money online by talking about making money online” place on the web. There are enough people doing that already and 99.9% of them are all saying the same thing. Saying that, there are very few (ie. DavidRisley.com and some others) that are still publishing content that I will even read.
So things are going to change rapidly. I am going to get back to connecting with people by publishing everything here on RobbSutton.com and I am completely dropping Blogging Labs. The old content will stay live, but now you are going to be connecting with me…not some brand…not what the industry wants…just me. The about pages, categories and other items will shift into the direction that I want this site to take.
I have a lot going on now that I do believe can help people and I want to share, but I do not want it to be list posts about rehashed crap in an attempt for pageviews. If you want to connect with me…the guy behind the scenes…then you will love this change. If you want more list posts and how to posts that will “get you 100 more subscribers today”, you are not on the right site anymore.
It’s time for a change.
To start…I am going to give everything I used to charge for away for free. Ramped Blogging and Ramped Reviews are now yours to have whether or not you subscribe to a newsletter or purchase them. Here are the download links…
They will continue to be free for anyone who wants to download them. If you sign up for the newsletter or rss feed…great! I am glad to have you as a part of the site. But…I will no longer be offering a free incentive on this site as part of the signup process as the blogging about blogging world is full of people that purely signup for the free stuff and aren’t interested in staying connected. They are just interested in that next “magic bullet”.
Blogging needs to get back to its roots…
I have this fundamental belief that blogging needs to get back to its roots. What started off as making that one on one connection has now become almost solely focused on money and becoming another “get rich quick” scheme. What many people fail to realize is that the money came after the connection…not before. It is only when these connections got in such high numbers that bloggers began to gain respect for the amount of income they were producing that was a byproduct of the connections…it wasn’t the initial goal.
So here is RobbSutton.com…it will be about me. My successes, failures and life laid out in the attempt to connect with people on the other side of the screen. I am going to keep this site as far away from MMO as possible and focus my life, what I enjoy and the principles that create successful ventures.
a powerful statement…! thanks for giving your resources for free!
Sure thing John. Hopefully they can still help out people.
Right on, man. 🙂 You and I had talked about this awhile back, so I can’t say it is a surprise. But, I also agree with you about the scene in general. On my end, it is an interesting line to keep walking. But, I am careful not to step onto the hamster wheel with it. And, I’ve all but decided to stick with my name as the domain name… for the same reasons you specify. 🙂
Thanks man. At least you walk that line in a way that is respectable and actually helps. You are one of the few that is able to rise above the noise. And I switched back to my name as the domain for those reasons. 😉
Best of luck Robb…admirable change.
Right on, Robb. Blogging Labs has been a great source of quality info, but I’m really looking forward to whats ahead. Oh, and thanks for the downloads of Ramped Reviews and Ramped Blogging. Sweet stuff.
Thanks Todd! I am looking forward to it too.
thank you for all the knowledge you shared with us about blogging and I can’t wait to read more about whatever you will write here 🙂
You’re welcome! It should be interesting to get things rolling…
Sadly, there are many audiences out there that are not interested in posts on how you actually have to do some hard work, create something valuable, and actually engage with others before you will see results. Even then, they expect it to happen certain ways (like they’ll make all their money on auto-pilot with affiliate links or advertisers) and they don’t open their mind to other avenues. You either have to tap into the audience that does care about those things or you lose the desire to share those strategies.
Kristi…you are completely correct. It is hard (at least for me) to find those audiences these days. Hopefully this shift in goals will bring that back.
Robb, Kristi is spot on. I have a hunch that The Big Time Marketers also know this, and don’t really care. I’ve talked about it with friends, and my conclusion is that if I wanted to “shear the sheep” I’d be a farmer, not a blogger.
Good for you, Robb! Focus on your passion and don’t worry about what readers expect from you. You have a good thing with Bike198, so I am glad that it will get more of your attention going forward.
Thanks James!! I need to get back up there and do a ride with you once my back gets better.
Great to hear you say those things as I recently stopped listening to any of those blogging sites (including yours) because it was hard to tell who was authentic. I will start reading again and I still enjoy the Bike198 site. I paid for the Ramped Reviews and felt it was worth the money (as an FYI). Good luck and also congrats on your little guy!
Jen…exactly why I am doing this. Everything eventually turns into more of the same thing. D is doing great! Thanks for the good luck…we’ll need it. 😉
You are right on the money about the sites in the MMO niche being mostly recycled stuff and I wish you the best of luck with your change in direction. You need to do what makes you feel happy and let the rest take care of itself. I’ve always liked your no nonsense approach and will continue to read your stuff.
Thanks Jason. I try to keep it as real as possible. Anything else is a waste of my time and yours. I’ll definitely keep the no nonsense going…
More power to you, man.
I just spent the past week soaking in a group of people who are working hard to change the world, little by little, using the technology and know-how they’ve got. Profit isn’t the goal, it’s the tool they’re using to get to what they really want to do.
Sounds a lot like “getting back to the roots” you’re talking about to me.
Any story we have to tell can change someone’s life for the better. That chance is all the greater when it’s an honest story we’re happy to tell.
Kier. That sounds like it was really interesting. Might have to bend your ear on that one.
Very powerful and well done.
As a fellow blogger and long time mtn biker, I’ve been reading you for over a year and wanted to connect for a while but just haven’t. Totally understand what you are saying about the blogging and make $$$ online world and you are dead right – most people would rather make money by telling you how to do something bc they never have. With that said, Blogging Labs and Ramped Blogging did have some GREAT content that I used very successfully so thanks a lot for that. Looking forward to seeing what direction you head. Thanks again and let’s ride sometime. Cheers, Ridlon
Thanks Ridlon! Glad I was able to help another rider. You know I am always up for a ride…
Congratulations on making this change and good luck on whatever lies ahead!
Excellent to hear. I think most bloggers care about their topic first – they may want to make money from it but don’t care first about making money.
Much kudos to you.
Thanks Evan. Everything starts off pure for the most part (unless people are just trying to scam) but it can be amazing to see what happens over time. Sometimes a re-evaluation and shift is necessary.
Hey Robb, I’ve been a ‘quiet’ follower for a while now, occasionally reading your tweets and articles when you posted.
I think it’s a brave move and one which will truly capture your heart and passion for writing again. Best of luck with it! Oh and if our paths cross one day, let’s go out for a ride!
Thanks Andrew. We’ll have to ride for sure!
My greatest successes have come from bold moves. We’ll see how this one goes. At the very least…I will enjoy what I am doing and be proud of what I put out there.
Great decision. Thank you for all of the quality work you’ve given us. I’ve enjoyed Ramped Reviews and Ramped Blogging a great deal.
For a while there I was all, “Robb’s an MMO gamer??” Then the awkward “duh” moment when I realized it was make money online. hahaha
I really respect your decision. Although I thought Blogging Labs was better than other MMO blogs, I can see how you came to your conclusion. I wish you the best on refocusing your blogging efforts. I’m confident you’ll be a big success.
haha! Yeah no MMO here. Barely have enough time to get what I need done as it is.
Thanks for the compliments on Blogging Labs. Good luck to you too!
Hey Robb! Congrats on the big realization for yourself, I have a feeling it will lead to a breakthrough. I’m always happy to hear someone pursuing what they really believe in. Cheers and I wish you the best with the new direction.
Thanks Corbett! Great to hear from you…it’s been awhile.
Breakthroughs typically come from changes like this. Looking forward to it…
This is refreshing.
I hardly find the time to blog about anything these days, and to read about a guy (and fellow MTBer) who wants to not bow down to the almighty god of money is awesome.
Did anyone else notice that every single comment received a response from Rob?
Thanks Leon. The ironic thing is that when you don’t focus on the money…it usually ends up being a by product because there is passion and intensity behind what you do.
Can you say ‘Jerry Maguire’…?!!! Mission statement, baby.
Congrats on ‘finding yourself’, Robb. You are a TOP BLOKE, as we say in London, and I thoroughly wish you all the best with this new direction you’re going.
I believe it is the right one for you, because YOU believe its the right one for you.
Kind of feels like that doesn’t it? I didn’t even think of it that way! 😉
Thanks Chris! You’re a cool dude as we say in the US.
WOW! AWESOME POST ROBB!!!!
Your blog has helped me tremendously and I am very grateful!
Congrats to you for focusing, I know from experience it’s easier said than done.
Often the hardest things to do have the greatest rewards. I am looking forward to it.
About damn time! Remember, oh say a year or so ago when I asked, “where the hell is Robb?” Glad to see you come full circle.
Wait for it…wait for it…
Where is the “I told you so”?!
A big step…a big change.
But you know what…I think you are going to be far more successful.
Thanks Andrew. I have that same feeling.
It’s kind of sad that you are leaving the mmo niche, because yours was still one of the few blogs that I was following.But then again, I am glad that you decided not to repeat yourself and end up being one of those bloggers who keep updating their blogs with stuff they already said…a couple of hundred times before that.
When I first started blogging, it seemed there was so much information for all levels of experience- but then I realized that once you reach a certain level of knowledge and practice, there are hardly many sites that can still help you develop yourself. Did I rant? Sorry about that. Just wanted to say that I also noticed the problem, and it is annoying me. And no, I am not in the mmo niche:)
Thanks for the downloads, I really appreciate them. Good luck with everything, and I am still signed up to the newsletter.
Pinar, I noticed the same thing which is reason for the change. Rant? No…just reality of the space we all work in.
Follow your bliss…the rest will take care of itself. Thanks, Robb. Keep rockin and rollin!
Sounds like you’re making the right decision. The blogging about blogging niche is so over saturated and largely pointless (again I agree there are some exceptions).
The biggest reason why I don’t bother reading these blogs is because these people aren’t interested in building businesses.
I write a blog about how I make money online, but it’s done from the perspective of what I’ve found works well to help me grow my business. (i.e. this year I set a goal to buy 100k worth of websites to take and grow their income / traffic – I used the money from a blog I sold in a deal worth six figures last year to help fund my acquisitions)
Unless you truly embrace the internet marketing douchebagery it’s much easier to make more money simply spending the time you are talking about blogging actually blogging in a niche that isn’t blogging about blogging (rather than trying to convince people your advice is worth listening to.)
Now I’ll take my own advice and stop this lengthy comment and get back to work fixing up a website I bought for the upcoming Black Friday shopping season…
Sounds like an interesting project Chris! I am going to have to check that one out. Unique perspective for sure.
Well done, I know well where you are coming from and this is inspiring me to craft a post to my community about what I will and won’t be posting about. It is way overdue to put the fun and connection back, the passion and the purpose.
Love to catch up sometime soon . . .
Absolutely! Let me know when!
That’s what it’s all about…Moving ahead, letting go of what isn’t right for you and always seeking new, innovative ideas that excite and motivate. You will be the winner.
Robb, I had a talk with Pat Flynn a couple of weeks ago, I’m in the same place as you, hating the blogging about making money and crap. I started doing blog niche site about stuff I like instead, like boudoir photography. I know you are into photography as well and I also do my own photography, google darkmans darkroom, you’ll find me. I wanted to ask, as I think You’re in San Diego as well and do photography, if you’d like to go for a walk up cowles mtn sometime and chat. maybe not even about blogging. I’m always up for connecting with others, I’ve been trying to get Pat Flynn to come too. What do you say?
Man I would love to! But it is a long trip from Atlanta! 😉
I thought you were in San Diego?
Nope. Just north of Atlanta. I do love San Diego though.
Hey, was thinking about you today as I was building out a site and was thinking back at the talk we gave last year.
Then saw this post and was amazed at how we end up at the same place. This blogging thing of ours has changed, as has social media, and that is probably all for the good as it is an organic medium.
But, for many of us, it is also time to get back to our roots and remind those who are new to the game how good it was, and when done right, how good it can be.
If you get a chance, get in touch with me. I would love to catch up.
Robb…you rock man. I have been saying this for awhile now – – the entire bubble has burst with this MMO from blogging stuff. I totally admire you for going the direction of what you truly want to do and what makes you happy…and because of that your work will make others happy….rock on
Thanks Shane! I totally agree with you on the bubble (obviously). I hope everything is going well on your end!
First time I’ve ever commented here. I’ve always admired your bike198 blog but never got much into following Blogging Labs, and pretty much for the reasons you listed. The passion behind bike198 was easy for me to see and earned my trust quickly. But when it comes to blogging about blogging, I just automatically feel it is for money and never know who to trust as there’s so much out there.
I really enjoyed your post. Whether this decision works well for you financially or not, it sounds like the right decision. In the last couple years I also had to drop things that just weren’t my interest, and focus on making work the things that were. When I’m not starving, I find just making money provides very little motivation to get up in the morning and the dreading of work sets in. Where as if I could choose work that I really enjoyed, I can work ten times harder at it and look for ways to evolve the work much more easier. Ultimately, it made me happier.
Again, really loved your post. Looking forward to reading your blog in the future.
Thanks Sam. That feeling/atmosphere of Bike198 is what I am looking to bring back to this side of things. Like you…I feel like that was lost with Blogging Labs.
Robb, that was excellent. Not too often do I feel like i HAVE to leave a comment but I really admire the statement you made here. Thanks for being a “true blogger” that’s so awesome to know that there are still real people behind words on the internet!
Yes, do what give you pleasure. I love to see people make changes that fit their lives. Where did come from that we have to stick to one thing or keep going in the same direction?
Not really sure actually…but a lot of people think that is the way to do things…
Wow bro, I was wondering what happened to BL (BloggingLabs) and I see you found the same thing I did, after several “attempts” in the blogging about blogging, what I realize is is have a story, that is what people want, it’s your testimony. Mine is about how I created a fence business from nothing to $50k per month in sales using only a blog and social media, yours is the success over at Bike198, thats the sh*t people want to read about. How you did it, how you’ve succeeded, how you’ve failed, all that.
Just subscribed here, looking forward to keeping up……