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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blogging My Keep

Blogging My Keep

I've just read an interesting article on the very topic I was bouncing around earlier: Can Blogging provide monetary support?

Trent Hamm publishes a website called "Simple Dollar" (http://www.thesimpledollar.com). I subscribe to his RSS feed and today's column helps me see the issues much clearer. Here are some of my reactions to his article (Some Notes on Do-It-Yourself Self-Employment):

Trent started his website simply because he loved to write and he felt like his main interest was something other people could relate to. His website, in the beginning, brought in NO income...he wrote because he enjoyed it.

This fits me. I've spent the last two days recuperating from a strained knee, and most of it was spent writing for the internet...none of it earning a dime. I do have a few ads placed on a couple of my sites, but Trent and I both know that they will not pay anything until I get a few thousand faithful readers. But I simply enjoy it. I easily imagine an audience of like-minded thinkers who enjoy reading my words...but at this point they are all imaginary (except my two Twitter followers...THANK YOU!)

But that's how Trent started. Just a few friends and family members. But he's a good writer, with an interesting, timely, necessary topic (financial advice), and his readership grew.

When he had thousands of readers and needed to spend huge amounts of time in writing, researching, and moderating his website, he realized he'd have to go fulltime, and that meant making his website a paying proposition. He chose to do that through advertising.

He contracts with an "advertising broker" to post ads in exchange for money. Every time one of his pages is viewed over the internet, he gets paid for an "ad view". The pay is very small per view, just a fraction of a cent, but with thousands of readers, opening his website daily, his ad view count climbs into the millions. His column today stated that his monthly income from advertising is somewhere around the $1800 level...he can't be specific because of contractual requirements with the advertisement broker.

The caveat is that it's not easy. He emphasizes the need for consistent, well-written content that focuses on a topic that lots of people want to understand.

This is where it gets tough for me...the website I spend most of my time on, this one, is just a collection of rambling, random, sometimes rough essays and notes...nothing organized, nothing focused. Trent points at my kind of column as being patently unsuccessful, money-wise.

Trent says I must write about something people care about, and I must write daily, and I must write well. That's the only way to draw readership, and that's the only way to make money from advertising.

I'll end with the paragraph that he used to finish today's article:

"Yes, you can earn money from blogging, but it’s not as easy as just logging onto the internet and voicing whatever is on your mind. It takes patience, focus, passion for your topic, and some “short order” writing skill."

Read the entire article: Some Notes on Do-It-Yourself Self-Employment