The Passionate Blogger

The post Lyle Dennis made about his GM Volt blog was met with a lot of positive comments. However, one comment stood out that I want to touch a bit more on because it’s come up quite often. The comment was made by Nate K and goes as follow.

Not bad, the fact that it takes hard work may be under-emphasized though lol

Now, I can’t answer for Lyle but I can honestly tell you that I do not consider what I do to be hard work. Yet, I hear this time and time again that blogging for money is hard work, that I work like hell to get to where I am today, etc. My personal feeling is many people use the hard work angle as an excuse to not build their blogs.

It’s Not Work If You’re Passionate About Your Topic

Lyle’s passion for the Chevy Volt has translated into 273 posts about a car that is still at least three years from production. Is that hard work? To me, it would be. However, I’m not as passionate about the Volt as Lyle is. For Lyle, finding information about the battery powered Chevy isn’t work, it’s relaxation!

For me, John Chow dot Com isn’t work for. The TechZone isn’t work. TTZ Media isn’t work. This is what I do for fun. The fact that the fun makes a lot of money is just a bonus. When your topic is your passion, then it isn’t work. It’s only hard work when you’re doing it for other reasons, like just blogging about a topic because it could make you money.

I think way too many bloggers are choosing their niche based on how much it can make and not on what they are passionate about. There is absolutely no way Lyle could have racked off 273 posts on the Volt if he wasn’t truly passionate about it.

Passion is very transparent. People can see it and you can’t fake it. Readers are attracted to passionate bloggers because they’re blogging about the topic for love and not money. While passion is transparent, a lack of passion is equally transparent. If the only reason you’re blogging is because of money, then yes, blogging is very hard work.

How do you know when you pick the topic you’re passionate about? The answer simple. You would blog about it whether it makes you $27,240.83 a month or zero.

70 thoughts on “The Passionate Blogger”

  1. vpl says:

    Excellent advice JC! πŸ™‚ None of my websites I consider work either – working for a boss is work because he’s telling you what to do.

    1. Fat Man says:

      I like this post john, i agree with you. I have made sites that felt like hard work because I wasn’t passionate about them. my fat man blog is something i am passionate about, so i know that i will continue to post and work on it no matter what happens.

      1. I think a lot of is has to do with what position you’re looking at it. My sites / blogs took a lot of work and long hours – so yes, it was a lot of work – but it was something that I enjoyed and loved doing so it didn’t seem to be as difficult as someone from the outside.

        There is a lot of work (maybe a better word is time) that goes into a blog, especially one with passion. While I understand the point you’re making, it’s also important to point out that the money you make wasn’t just handed to you – that’s what a lot of people think when they see success. “Oh, that person just got lucky.” That is the farthest thing from the truth as well.

        1. It’s just like what they say to do when choosing a career — go where your passion takes you. Passion can help provide fulfillment at work, and it will enhance the results you produce.

          This idea makes so much sense in conjunction with building web sites and blogging, too. Passion is contagious, and if visitors can share in your passion, they’ll keep coming back. Thanks for the info! πŸ™‚

    2. DeboHobo says:

      Good point, I mean it’s not like were digging ditches here.

      1. ROFL…that cracked me up.

  2. If you aren’t passionate about the topic of your blog you can’t be successful.

    1. I’d rather say, if it doesn’t passionate you a topic you can’t even run a blog, oh well you can, but it will suck big time and the most successful blogs around are those written with passion and not with a second back-end.

      1. I’ve ran successful non-passionate blogs. The work was tedious but I managed to get it done and still make money.

    2. Etienne Teo says:

      I always believe in feeling for what you are doing

  3. Another great post. And my opinion is very similar to yours.
    ~ Dave

  4. Rhys says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

    I spent the last 4 years blogging without making a penny, it’s only since the beginning of this year have I started to make a little bit of income from my blog πŸ™‚

  5. Shaun Carter says:

    I think the same goes for a person’s chosen career. Otherwise why would CEO’s who have all the money they could ever need continue to work well into their 60’s and 70’s? Because they love what they do perhaps?

    The trick is in making what you love to do pay all the bills. In most offline jobs it’s tough.

    1. Rhys says:

      “In most offline jobs it’s tough.”

      Is it though? People keep saying that “Making Money Online” is hard – especially through blogging, and to be honest I doubt that everybody who starts a “Make Money Online” blog isn’t their passion, or else they’d continue for more than a few weeks.

      It’s just having drive and determination to turn a hobby into a success. My gran for example loves car boot sales, and will buy t-shirts/clothes, wrap them in clingfilm, and sell them on for about three times what she paid for. One of my friends makes jewelry, another is an antiques dealer, another works in an independant record store, all of them don’t consider it work, so I guess turning your passion to an offline business or finding a job that you enjoy that pays isn’t that tricky.

      1. I think it’s a little of both. It’s more than just passion, and it’s more than just money. It’s … both. But no matter what, you /have/ to have passion. I hope that makes sense.

  6. Laptop Deals says:

    Way to keep your mojo in the top 5 posts John!

    Thats an important tip in and of itself, anyone NEW to this site, reading the first page and not seeing any mojo, may very well leave. When they see 27k+ a month, they stay. If they didn’t I bet john would have just replied to the comment… and not written an entire new post. Right John? Good stuff btw.

  7. Cool post! It’s very true πŸ™‚

  8. Chris says:

    I’ve been working with lyle the last couple weeks, and while I can’t comment on how hard it is for him running his blog, I can say that he has a crazy passion for it. Just look at how he writes, his interest and devotion ot the topic come through loud and clear.

  9. hts says:

    The most important thing when starting a blog/website is picking the right niche. How do you pick the right niche? Well, it is up to you, but the most important factor is (should be): write about what you like, and the flow of ideas will never stop. You won’t run out of fuel (inspiration, that is), `cause you’re writing about stuff you too, are interested in.

  10. Rodel says:

    you just nail them in the head john! :mrgreen:
    now i have an excuse for not earning thru blogg’n.. i.e passion 😈

    kidd’n aside, actually, my project stemmed out from passion. because i wanted to learn i founded hr egroups and joined some just to learn. passion can really spell the difference.. i may not be earning like some of the guys here.. my site may be flooded with marketing programs (i just wanted to survive since its costly) still its not about making money, it’s about trying to be different with other professionals out there. this is the only means possible that i can have a project of my own. that i can call my own. this is how i become and i enjoy doing it.

  11. Ben Barden says:

    I would actually turn that statement on its head.

    I do a lot of things – I have a full-time programming job, I do web development as a hobby, I write music, and I blog.

    I don’t view what I do as hard work in the sense I don’t find it really difficult to do web development or music composition. It comes naturally to me. However, I do work hard at everything I do, i.e. I do a lot of it.

    Or is it not possible to be passionate about work?

    1. I dont have hard work, but I work hard. I like that a lot. 😎

  12. Neil Duckett says:

    I`d hazard a guess the majority of people saying it`s hard work are jumping on a `make money online` bandwagon and indeed are making very little money. So working for nothing, i guess can translate into thoughts long the lines of `It`s hard work blogging`.

    Maybe those thinking it`s hardwork should jump off the saturated bandwagon and leave it to those who are actually making money blogging or at least give their blog a point of difference rather than just rolling out affiliate deals.

    1. Rhys says:

      Yes, this this and thrice this!

    2. max says:

      Hi Neil,

      Sorry about our last encoumter, it was nothing personal. I like your mama-san post about the latest news with that bar. Anyways, yes, I think you have to “work hard” at anything to make it work. πŸ™‚

  13. Steve! says:

    “Passion is very transparent. People can see it and you can’t fake it. Readers are attracted to passionate bloggers because they’re blogging about the topic for love and not money”

    So true! ❗

  14. Terry Heath says:

    Excellent point. Also, if someone is blogging on a topic which interests them, they’re more likely to have had some experience in that topic. Why should I read a blog by someone who is a noob in their chosen area? There is probably something else that person actually knows something about, they might to well to blog about THAT instead.

  15. Rate me says:

    hardwork pays off . . ❗

  16. Emmanuel says:

    Yeah…Passion is the differentiating factor. If you start blogging because you want to make money, you will definitely stop if the money doesn’t come. This doen’t only apply to blogging but also to the choice of career. People should learn to choose a career which matches their passion and the money will come in later.

  17. Lyle Dennis says:

    First off it has been great to share my experience with, it’s a different venue than my usual outlet.

    I agree with John, although I do put a lot of effort into the site, I truly enjoy it. As I mentioned, in the past I probably spent similar amounts of time surfing around, but now Im putting that same time to productive effort.

    Like anything else, it’s best to find something you love doing and run with it.

    Money and access to the carmaker have been side benefits.

  18. Contest Beat says:

    These comments are true!

  19. David Savage says:

    I think its silly for anyone to say blogging is hard work as well. If you hate writing or hate doing a little research online, go play outside with your kids in your free time. Now, unless you are a professional blogger who spends all day posting on tons of different blogs with tons of different topics, researching things you’re not interested in, no reason to complain :mrgreen: .

    1. There’s a big difference between leisure blogging and blogging to maintain a decent quality of life. Writing your thoughts, moods, and song you’re currently listening to most definitely isn’t hard work. But if your livelihood depends on making money from your blog, you can be damn sure that you’ll be working hard.

  20. If you are passionate about your topic, writing about it makes it all the easier. But there are lots of passionate sports fans that would rather sit around on Sunday and drink beer instead of starting blogs about their favorite teams or sports.

  21. Gary Arndt says:

    Its true.

    I sold my house and left my life behind me just so I could go and pursue my dream and share it with others in the process. My blog is the vehicle for doing that.

    I live out of a bag, sleep in run down buildings and its all worth it because it is what I enjoy doing.

    I have no idea if it will ever pay off, but I get great positive feedback from people and even if nothing ever pans out, I still got to see the world. It really isn’t work.

    1. ismabera says:

      Gary, your blog is great. If you will come to Europe, you must visit Slovenia and Portugal.

    2. Pretty neat site. πŸ™‚

    3. Gary, you are definitely living your passion. Power to ya!

    4. Etienne Teo says:

      You have a great blog.

  22. Gary Arndt says:


    I dropped everything, sold my house, left behind all my friends and family to do just that.

    I have no idea how or if it will pay off, but it doesn’t really matter because I’m doing what I want to do.

    I have yet to run a single ad on my website and I don’t know if I ever will. I really just want to share what I’m doing with people who will never be able to do something like this.

  23. wow says:

    i agree with u.

  24. wow says:

    yes it’s true. i agree with u

  25. Joey says:

    I’m sure if made $0 you would scrap it and stick to being passionate about ttz media and the tech zone, or at least there wouldn’t be as many posts as you do.

  26. That’s true! I try to find all blog contests and sweepstakes running on the Internet. That’s fun for me and if I’m luck I can will $100 bucks or books from JohnChow by making a blog post :mrgreen:

  27. Lyle Dennis says:

    Its great to have the chance to discuss these issues in a venue different than my site, thanks to John for the opportunity

    I agree with John that it doesn’t seem like work when blogging about something I really enjoy and feel passionate about. For me, its time better spent than mindlessly surfing, I’d rather be productive.

    It has require effort and perseverance for me to achieve significant readership and pagerank. Money and access to GM have been side benefits.

  28. good blogging tips, thanks john!

  29. seo audit says:

    You have to passionate and also have some skills in writing.For many is hard to put on paper what they think.

    1. Etienne Teo says:

      If you do not have the passion to blog about something, do not start it.

  30. ismabera says:

    I am trying with something new as I ‘lost’ Agloco. Only now I see that I was with Agloco with passion . In last weeks I made few different blogs , but I just do not like, i feel nothing.
    May passion is folclore, but it seems to me it is not good article to earn some money. Wht do you think , should i try with folclore?

  31. sven says:

    Bloggin or art, it does not matter, it can and must be hard work sometimes, that does not mean it ain’t a passion. You see whatever energy you put into something as you mention. I really think it’s possible to see or feel when someone puts his sweat and blood into something rather than copy or take the easy road.
    It can be called hard work, it can be called passion, the point is, that investing time into something is the most expensive thing you can do, never underestimated the value of your own lifetime. It’s over somewhen and you ain’t got credit for more. At least in this place called earth.

  32. paradise5000 says:

    I love blogging about travel, has a way of reminding folks the great need we have for taking vacations and enjoying some well deserve R & R which not only relieve stress, but it also has a way of rejuvenate our body soul and mind. I am fairly new to blogging
    and I do not consider it hard work because I am having fun sharing
    traveling tips and videos with the world. πŸ™‚

  33. Mike Huang says:

    Interesting post, great read of the day I might say. Keep up the good work!


  34. It is true, you must have some sort of passion for what your doing, if not then it is like having a job and working for someone else. It is amazing how much you make off of what you love John. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a great new year.

  35. ms danielle says:

    i make much closer to zero from my blog and i have no problem with it. getting up in the morning to get to work by 8:00…now that’s hard work…

  36. Sergio says:

    I agree 100%. I had a music blog and I blogged every day. It was awesome and my traffic jumped to 1k uniques per day in no time. I stopped blogging because of other priorities, but I know my future lies within music (my passion).

  37. I love affiliate marketing. πŸ™‚ It’s fun. That’s the main reason why I can work 15 hours in a day and get up the next morning and do it all over again. I dont do that ALL the time, but I’ve had my moments.

  38. Spencer Kam says:

    I enjoy working on my blog way more than I like my actual job. That alone is the difference that keeps me writing away.

    1. Yea, it’s always good to have something in contrast to what you hate. Makes life move along easier.

  39. Rodel says:

    to keep the juice flowing.. how about working smart.. or blogg’n smartly.. exploiting opportunities etc.. for sure that would earn you bucks right.. πŸ˜€

  40. Excellent post. Great advice on it too :mrgreen:

  41. David says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear tonight. I love to blog. I don’t care if I ever make a dime doing it. I don’t need money. I need to create something with intrinsic value. That’s my passion. A beautiful photo. A humorous passage. A meaningful poem. Something that is uplifting. That’s it.

  42. I started my blog 6 months ago with no online marketing experience, and I have gotten up to $100 a month this month on 10,000 uniques, but I am frustrated sometimes when it comes to driving traffic (and money).

    I’m not sure I picked the right niche, sports–it’s a topic I am very interested in, but it is pretty general and as a whole doesn’t have a huge online audience.

    The most frustrating thing is there is really no benchmark to measure yourself up against this early in a blog’s life.

    1. You’re blogging about all things sports? That’s taking on a bit much, don’t you think?

  43. I like your point of view, John. I was trying to decide on a particular niche to make money by blogging too, and ended up back to basic.. blogging! That is, write a story or a blog on what you like/what you are passionate about.

    I write what I want in my blog and yes it only attracts 30-40 people a day, but it’s fun to write them and doesn’t fit into any particular niche ^^

  44. CAR says:

    good post john

  45. I totally agree. I never choose a topic except what I really, really care about. Sometimes this means blogging on obscure philosophy — but the search results keep on coming.

  46. bmunch says:

    One of the best post on John Chow in a while. I think Passion can be translated to everything in real life.

  47. Man, I hear you on this post. I hate work, and let me tell you, blogging ain’t work. It’s freakin’ fun! πŸ˜€

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