Can you make money blogging? Can you make a career from blogging? If the answer is yes - how?
Simple questions. And the short answers are – Yes, Yes, and it depends. So, you can either stop reading now you have the answers or read on……
First question first. Yes, you can make money blogging. There are several ways of doing so. As far as I am able to tell, most of the people making money blogging, are either making money blogging about how much money they make blogging, or selling books about how to make money blogging (no affiliate). I know that’s a generalization, but these two are good examples and seem completely above-board.
There are an awful lot of bloggers out there, and I refuse to believe that all of them are making money. In fact, I doubt more than about 1% of them are making much more than pocket money. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, and there are plenty of other reasons to write a blog other than to make money. You will see that there are no apparent money–making possibilities on this blog.
So what other options are open to you to make money blogging? These are a few ways:
I have started with this one because I think this is probably the most well-known and well-used way, and I have done it myself. It’s simple – set up a blog, get some traffic, sign up for google adsense, add a few lines of code and wait for the clicks……
But. Any time you interact with google, it is very much a one-way street. In this case, they decide how much traffic to send you (I know there are other sources of traffic, but most will agree that well-targeted search engine traffic converts well). They decide how to rank your pages and how well up the search rankings you will appear for a particular search term. They decide which advertisements will appear on your pages, and how much those click values are.
And they will not tell you how they arrive at these decisions. On top of that – break the rules and you are gone from the program. Ciao…..
Which is actually fair enough, and I do not blame then from keeping this a closely guarded secret. Judging from what I read on the internet on this subject, most bloggers spend more time and energy trying to work out how to “game” this system than they do on their blogs. I have never bothered. I write it, post it and trust that one day, google will get their algorithm perfect and I will garner the respect and traffic volumes I deserve. Image pinched from Garry Conn who asks, Does Google Adsense Still Work?
Boy, there are a lot of affiliate marketing programs out there. I am even a member of a couple hundred. As with everything in life, there are affiliate marketing programs and there are affiliate marketing programs. I also write over at hubpages, and there was an interesting forum discussion on the Water 4 Gas scam. And that is what it is - A Scam. There are any number of bloggers, websites and goodness knows what else trying to sell you on the idea that you can save money by running your car on water. My personal code of ethics does not allow me to make money from a program such as this, but I know of several who are successful with this, and other similar types of program as well as the more ethical programs. As far as running your car on water, I have this to say:
The day you can run your car on water is the day you discover that all the water is owned by the governments and the corporations and now costs $100 a bottle.
Writing other people’s blogs
This is where I have chosen to make most of my money blogging. I have written for a number of blogs in the past, many of them under another name because the owner of the blog did not want it widely known that his blog was being written by some one else. Which was fine with me, as long as I was being paid a decent wage. I could still use the blog as a reference, so no worries.
As with the affiliate marketing, there are employers, and there are scum sucking parasites who think a blogger is one step up from a copy machine, and should work for the same page rate or less. If you are interested in some entertaining/offensive job offers, pay the craigslist curmudgeon a visit. He spends his life (or at least his blogging life) collecting advertisements from craigslist for freelance writers by "employers" who think you should come and work for them for free. I have written before about wasting time applying for jobs that don’t exist, but I do have a personal favorite of my own, and this is it.
Cornetta enterprises were looking for bloggers. Their ad was reasonably worded, they seemed serious, and after the usual to-ing and fro-ing, checking my references, asking for samples etc, I received this email:
Due to the overwhelming response for people wanting to blog for our company we are going to send out an email to all of you at once. I need to reiterate that there is no monetary compensation for this position. We will be offering opportunities to meet porn stars, discounts at our stores and various other perks or forms of compensation.
Anyone that is still interested please get back in touch. I will be considering different levels of admins, moderators, and bloggers.
An opportunity to meet porn stars? Call me old-fashioned if you will, but I have no particular desire to meet porn stars. I know where they have been….. To say I was pissed would be an understatement, especially as this was the first mention of NO MONETARY COMPENSATION – not a reiteration.
You live and learn and I have also written more on this – Making money online.
There are, of course, other ways to make money blogging, but these are the ones I am most familiar with. Which bring me to the next question:
Can you make a career from blogging?
Yes. Corporate blogs will be one of the next big things in marketing. And I don’t mean the usual sort of corporate blog that has been springing up lately. You know the ones.
Some minor marketing department minion chimes up to the C.E.O in their weekly meeting:
What we need is a corporate blog, sir. Blogging is taking off in a big way. It’s the way forward.
John Johnson, minor marketing exec, Important Corporation Inc.
And the C.E.O. responds:
Johnson, you are bang on for once. What this company needs is a corporate blog. Thank you for reminding me I said that last week. Make it so. I expect the corporate blog up and running by Friday.
C.E.O, Important Corporation Inc.
Which seems to result in this sort of blog – The General Motors Corporate Blog. This is an example:
Our gains in quality are real and we’re doing more than just hoping they continue. For instance, on the new Chevy Malibu we drove 500 test vehicles a total of 3 million miles before a customer could drive it even one mile. Every day during this time, we used OnStar to do an on-board diagnostic test, which is similar to a daily check-up, to make sure that when customers get behind the wheel of the Malibu, they are completely satisfied with quality of this car.
GM Vice President, Quality
Now, I don’t expect that General Motors ask the copywriter to check the wheel alignments on the cars as they come off the production line, so I am not sure why they expect the Vice-President of Quality to do the copywriting. But that is what this is. So, either a copywriter is writing this, or the poor schmuck now has to come up with something witty and clever to write on the Corporate blog once a week -and is failing dismally. I bet that wasn't part of his initial employment contract. I don’t know how much money General Motors have in the bank, but I would think they could come up with something better than this.
So, if you are planning on making a career out of blogging, the first thing you will need is a visionary employer prepared to put their money where their mouth is.
Currently, these are few and far between, but I am proud to say I have found one. Or rather, we have found each other. Luxury Property is where I have chosen to continue my career in blogging. For a number of reasons. One, they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. But also, they understand what a blog should be about and have given me free rein to write it, manage it, and promote it as I see fit. I don’t have a script to follow à la General Motors.
I have also written and released my first press release in honor of the occasion. This is an excerpt:
Luxury Property.com Breaks New Ground in Online Real Estate Marketing
It can be hard to find objective information about real estate amongst the welter of self-serving advertorial being dished up by real estate companies. One company has taken the innovative approach of employing a professional real estate blogger to provide a breath of fresh air to its corporate web site: The Luxury Property Blog.
(PRWEB) May 22, 2008 -- Responding to the market trends of growing internet usage and a decline in the consumption of traditional media, Luxury Property.com have taken the unprecedented step of hiring an independent professional blogger to drive their new media marketing strategy, the Luxury Property Blog - Mark Knowles
Corporate blogs have historically been dull and self-promotional, perhaps because producing content has been left to traditional marketing departments. Effective blogs, which attract thousands of readers daily, require a completely different skill set from traditional marketing, but attract a demographic which is very difficult to reach through mainstream media.
Internet usage continues to increase and now rivals TV in the media consumption stakes. According to a study by The European Interactive Advertising Association, " 57% of Europeans now regularly access the internet each week. That equates to 169 million people now frequently online across the ten European markets surveyed in the study." The internet is rapidly becoming a hub for all media with internet users increasingly consuming media such as magazines, newspapers, radio and TV digitally. Advertising.com states: "The majority (62%) of consumers are viewing video online."
This applies to the wealthy consumer also, and, according to the Luxury Institute, "wealthy-consumer participation in online social networks is on the rise. Whilst Unity Marketing, a luxury market research firm, states that the internet is playing an increasingly larger role in influencing luxury consumers.
Michael D Murphy, CEO of Luxury Property.com said, "Building, maintaining, and promoting a corporate blog is part of our strategy to usher in an era of advanced online marketing for the luxury real estate industry."
According to homestomper.com, 77% of home buyers begin their research process online.
The term "Blog," is short for "Web log," a specialized site that allows an individual or group of individuals to share a running log of events and personal insights with online audiences. Bloggers tend to be highly-opinionated mavericks and the term "Executive Blogger," almost seems like an oxymoron. When asked if the corporate environment would stifle Mark's creative thought process, Mr. Murphy responded:
"Absolutely not. Mark is a professional and an expert, and he has to be able to call it like he sees it, or the blog loses all its value to the readers. We think he had a fair point when he criticized our failure to properly launch the Luxury Property main site within our projected time frame. Unfortunately that was outside our control due to a poor choice of contractor for the site's construction. We have since moved these operations in-house and will be re-launching this summer."
The full release is available here:
Of course, writing a press release is a whole new experience for me - another post on that.