Blog-Republic.com/ has an interesting article by Darren about what should be considered as Realistic milestones of professional blogging success. It’s setting (or asserting) what you, the serious blogger, should expect in order to reach more and more serious levels of blogging.
I agree completely with the figures (for example, 1000-5000$ of annual earnings as a reachable spot). However, I am not so sure about what he describes as the way to reach these spots.
To make my point clearer, the 1000-5000$ spot (quite a sensitive spot for most sarting bloggers) is associated with “post […] once daily”. There, I am not sure that we are in line with the reality. More than the volume of daily posts, it seems to me that it is more important to have both a good content for search engines and a good marketing effort in terms of bringing regular visitors.
The first issue is to be sure that there is enough material to be bringing a regular flow of random visitors through in-depth articles that are very well recognized by the search engine (papers with 1 to 3 pages of really useful and detailled text information). In the beginning (let’s say the first year), it is critical to have this random shot at passers-by because it means that the search engines will do the marketing ploy for you. I don’t mean optimizing specifically FOR the seach engines, but creating content that is both visitors-friendly and SE-friendly.
The second issue is that it becomes quickly important to bring very targetted visitors (and repeat visitors) right to your site. For this, you need to attract interested people (and to find them wherever they are). I find that it is quite important to connect to other blog sites and forums (more important than writing). This is creating a steady flow of interested people. Even if the content is not overwhelming (may be not even daily updates), you will start grabbing eyes and visits.
At this point, things are going to pop to the 1000-5000$ annual level if your content is not too bad. but keep reading all the articles about what to do and what not. And keep being interested in what you blog about.