The truth about blogging
Is There Money to Be Made Blogging?
by Debra L. Karplus
|Sharing Your Skills|
The concept of a blog, the term for "web log" emerged in the late 1990s as a method of publishing a very public interactive journal. It seemed that everyone had something to say and blogs were the natural next step from the electronic bulletin boards of the early 1990s. In more recent years, the buzz has been that a person can earn money from blogging. The 2009 comedy hit film, Julie and Julia, was the tale based on a true story of a blog about a young writer preparing Julia Child recipes; it gained popularity as a blog first, with numerous followers, to a popular movie. The film motivated many people to get on the blog bandwagon road to fame and fortune.
Indeed, there are some income-producing opportunities for those who desire to blog as a small money-making hobby. But do hang onto your day job, unless you hear of a true-to-life story of a real person who made it big as a blogger. Whether you have your own blog or write blogs for an existing site, you might be able to earn some pocket change.
It's easy to create your own blog.
Websites, such as blogger.com, make it simple even for computer-illiterates to set up their own blog. There are templates, colors, and designs to choose from, and "gadgets" to add, such as links, lists, photos, and more. Even if your blog is super-interesting, it needs traffic. Peruse the blogs of other people to get some ideas of how to design your blog and what type of information to include.
In the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, one of the quotes many people still recite is that "if you build it, he will come." That concept worked well in that film, but seldom plays out in real life. To have a blog that generates income, you must have traffic and attract "followers," which is much easier said than done. Start by telling everyone you know that you have a blog and ask them to spread the word.
But even with a big list of followers, you can't expect income. These followers have to use your blog in specific ways to bring you revenue. Many a business has folded because of a lot of window shoppers but no one spending any money. Blogging is the same way. The income-potential of blogging lies in your ability to sell something, directly or indirectly, via your blog. On blogger.com, and similar blog websites, you have the option to sign up for newsfeeds, advertising, and to become an affiliate or associate for some business. Money will go into your blog account based on how many clicks your followers make on these links, approximately a dollar per click. Do note that you won't see that money until you reach a certain level, such as $100. So if your balance is sitting at $35, for example, don't treat yourself to a nice dinner just yet because you have "earned" that money. It may be a long time, or even forever, before you see any of it.
You might be able to contribute to someone else's blog and earn money.
According to the website freelancewriting.com, short- and long-term jobs exist where someone with some knowledge on a specific subject and/or a better-than-average writer with good research skills, can write for someone else's blog. Most of us don't know anyone who's ever done this. But if you are willing to risk giving away your time and submitting something, there may be a reward. It's probably worth trying at least once. You'll have to do much digging around to find out how much you can earn by blogging for others.
Blogging is a fun and interesting communication technique of our time, but like email, the internet, social media and other modern electronic interaction, don't let it rob you of real face-to-face relationships. The ability to earn a little spending money while comfortably working at home is a dream for many people. Blogging provides the opportunity to earn a little money in this way.
Debra is an occupational therapist, accountant, teacher and freelance writer. She is a writer for Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners. She also writes for Grand Magazine, has some items (fiction and non fiction) selling on Amazon.com (kindle), has written several travel articles for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and several articles for freelancewriting.com and volunteers as a money mentor for the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension money mentoring program. Learn more about her at DebraKarplus.blogspot.com.
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