blogging for dollars.

24 05 2010

after the big week with the wordpress deluge and just the general positive growth of my little blog egg over the last year, a friend recently posed the question: why aren’t you monetizing? first of all, i hate the word monetize. it’s like one of those jargony crap words that everyone throws around when they’re talking about “important internet stuff”. second of all, i hate advertising cluttering up my favorite blogs. it’s ugly and distracting. on the other hand… i do like money. i do need money. as a writer of a blog with the word “broke” in the title, don’t i have a personal responsibility to scrape every penny off the sidewalk that i can?

well, when i first started this project, i promised myself that i wasn’t going to try any funny business like paying for a domain name, or advertising, or trying to make money until i had been successfully operational for at least one year. i have a bad track record with blogs (and a lot of other things)… i get so excited about things for a minute, and then someone jangles some keys in front of my face, and i’m off and running in the opposite direction. the internet is a virtual (pun intended) graveyard of my abandoned writing projects, and i wanted to make sure that this wasn’t just another one night stand before i made any big (potentially expensive) moves. well, i’m not quite at the 1 year finish line yet, but it’s looking good. in short, the patient is still alive, and it’s time to start thinking about what comes next.

but you know what, i have no fucking clue what comes next. how exactly do you take a blog to “the next level”, if you’re not ever sure what the next level is? i’m still really down on the idea of sidebar ads (primarily for aesthetic reasons) and according to copyblogger (one of the best blog resources out there), i probably wouldn’t make any money doing it anyway. so then what direction? do i try to figure out what the hell affiliate ads are (who wants to affiliate themselves with my financially inept ass)? do i try to sell ebooks where i speak in depth on the profundities of my financial ineptitude? do i try to get famous and get talking gigs where i can tell other people how they too can be profoundly financially inept? but seriously, at the end of the day, do i actually have anything worth monetizing?

whether i do or not, i feel like dream of making a living off of blogging is roughly akin to wanting to grow up to be a rockstar or an astronaut. sure, somebody gets to have that job… but the odds are less than stellar for big time success. the truth is that i love this. i don’t think i’d get so little sleep for something i was kind of meh about, and i’m scared about the possibility of losing that love in the process of trying to spin straw into gold. what happens if i try and make money and it doesn’t work? would that failure suck the joy out of the writing, and ruin the whole affair?

for now, i think i’m going to hold off with the blogging for cash schemes. although i can’t promise that there won’t be a few subtle surprise changes headed your way this summer. but if any of my seasoned blog peeps out there have some light to shed on the subject, it would be most sincerely appreciated. i have much to learn, and i’m just going to sit quietly right here until i’m well educated enough not to tear the whole system down in the process.


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7 responses

25 05 2010
Corey Templeton

It is almost impossible to make money with google adsense and programs similar to that unless you routinely have thousands of visitors a day and 10% of them click on the ads routinely. Where you are a financial-type blog, I’m sure there are some clever ways to get some extra cash. Maybe offer yourself as a consultant, write a book, write for a magazine, or something. Looking forward to seeing your plans.

25 05 2010
bessmarvin

that’s what i’ve heard (and what the copyblogger article confirmed), which actually makes me feel a lot better. i really hate the idea of cluttering up the landscape with ads … although i also hate the idea of throwing away free money. i’m considering writing a book, although who isn’t these days. as for consulting… i’m not sure that i have anything to offer in that department. i see that you have a smattering of low key ads (which i never even noticed until i went to look just now), have you had luck with any other monetizing strategies?

28 05 2010
Corey Templeton

The couple of adsense ads on my blog make (at the most) a dollar a week. The only other way I’ve tried monetizing is by selling my prints of my photos, which I presumed would work well with the photographic theme of my blog. I don’t have an official photography site up and running where you can just click on any photo of mine and buy it, so I set up a ship on Etsy but it’s limiting in that I don’t want to pay the listing fee to put up all my photos. I tried with a couple different photos and got one sale. So I gave up on the Etsy thing. Good thing I’m not in it too make money!

28 05 2010
bessmarvin

hey, that’s still $52 dollars you didn’t have before! although it doesn’t exactly pay the bills. etsy is tough, have you considered a site like imagekind (or i’m sure there are a million others exactly like it)? i’m not sure how the quality is… but they let you set up a shop that might be easier to interface with your blog than etsy. or maybe i’m completely full of crap. it would also be nice if there was a “buy this photo” link at the bottom of the pix you’re trying to sell. i do love an impulse purchase (i am particularly enamored of this guy right now) but you should just feel fortunate that at least you have a product to sell. i got nothin!

26 05 2010
kate

did you see that someone in that copyblogger article was making 1,000 a month and said, see? no money! (unless i read that wrong). uh $1,000 a month is a lot to me! i guess not if it’s full time, but it would still pay better than americorps does!

29 05 2010
bessmarvin

dude. $1000 a month would vastly improve my whole life. maybe i couldn’t quit working entirely, but maybe i could go part time and spend more time blogging. either way, extra income (especially doing something that i love)= good news. i checked out blogaboutbeer.com, good stuff! and you’re right about the ads being unobtrusive. maybe i’ll see if i can pick his brain sometime. i’m actually working on putting together a monthly work group for maine bloggers to talk about things like monetizing and advertising and page views and all that jazz. maybe i could get him to come and talk about it.

26 05 2010
kate

oh and luke @ blogaboutbeer.com is really into social media and web stuff. he has ads on his blog, but has worked hard to make them unobtrusive, visually appealing and relevent. he’d probably have some good advice for you.

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