I was blogging all wrong. The blog had no value. A few years ago, I created a gardening blog that also listed; parks, farmers markets, and farms. To cover the cost of the website (about $100/year) I put up google ads. I thought I could make some money from the advertisements. My traffic was so low that on average I was making $0.01 a month. Google must have pitied me.
There was some traffic. Who was going on my website? Who found it valuable? There was one group of people that value from my site: runners. People stayed on the website the longest were looking for running paths in the parks. The value of the website was saving time. I saved the runners time from finding a route and a few minutes googling. The information was other places on the internet, however, my website organized it a better way. Too bad it didn’t provide enough value to cover the cost of running it. I figured I would try something else.
I have also made youtube videos. My goal was to make videos that people want to watch. I started by making them on word origins. I thought it would be interesting. I discovered few people care about word origins, but the ones that do would watch the videos. I then thought about the gardening blog. I started taking old blog content I wrote and making it into videos. The problem is that if people didn’t value them as a blog, it wouldn’t be significantly more valuable as a video. The people who would value the info is high school students trying to pass AP bio. For the word origin fans, the value I provide is the emotion of learning about something they find interesting and entertaining. For the AP bio student, one of the pieces of value I am providing is saving time by watching a video instead of reading it in the review guide.
Word Origins, strike one. Plant Science videos strike two. Ok, better not strike out…
The Value Question
I spent a while thinking about value. What is value and why should someone care. That lead me to make the value video and my definition of value. With the gardening blog, I was offering saving time. The word origins were entertainment or emotional value. The type of value that is getting more Youtube views is the value of making money. This is helping others make money.
Before I would just write an article or make a video of something I thought was interesting. I still do this on occasion for fun, but what I focus on is value. Before I write or make a video I ask a question. The question I ask is: what is the value of this information? Who will value it? If the answers are: not very valuable or not many people would watch it then I do not spend the time to create it.