ON MAKING MONEY BLOGGING

My history with blogging is almost as long as my history writing paid content on the various blogs I’ve owned. My original motivation wasn’t to make money or even become part of a community. I simply wanted a place to “journal” as a writing exercise. It was 2006. MySpace was the popular social network and I began blogging there. Around the same time, I saw a magazine article about Ted Murphy‘s wild idea: PayPerPost.

PayPerPost succeeded, eventually evolving into one service of many offered by social media marketing company Izea. Anyone interested in monetizing a blog would do well to start with Izea, but I am not here to write about how to make money blogging. For one thing, I am no expert.

I have come a long way since that first MySpace blog. Nerdbliss is the third home of my personal blog. I used to have a blog about “internet, blogging and tech” stuff. I just recently began seriously blogging again after a long dry spell and have launched OgleFood.

What I tell those non-bloggers in my life who ask, I’ve never made enough money blogging to make it worth doing if I wouldn’t do it for free. It’s true. I’d always said, my only goal was to make enough to pay for hosting. For a while I made a steady if modest sum. The assignments kept me going because it made me feel like blogging was important. And, hey, money helps.

Since killing my last blog, I haven’t made a dime. I’d hardly blogged. I thought about canceling my hosting plan, giving up once and for all. Instead, I waited out my writer’s block and appear to have found my blogging mojo. I’m blogging for the reasons I am most motivated by: saying my piece, having a “home” on the web, and getting feedback on my writing.

Astute readers may have noticed the beginning of some sponsored content appearing. I’m thrilled. I do, however, worry about the “lack of integrity” argument I’ve seen over the years from some bloggers who would not accept sponsorship or even products to review. I read plenty of those bloggers and respect their choice. Most of those concerns are covered in my disclosure policy, but I do feel it necessary to talk about why I do what I do.

The investment of time in blogging, not just writing but updating technical do-dads and networking to build readership, is substantial. I hope to provide something of value. I want to not just write, but be read. In order to continue investing, I do feel treating my blogging as a business is the best option. It’s like a weirdly egotistical magazine which revolves around me and publishes my writing almost exclusively. No one balks at print or digital magazines and newspapers having ads. Others may be motivated in other ways, but for me, it’s the dream I had as long as I can remember to be a “real” writer which keeps me going. I may never be published in a physical format and am unlikely to ever be able to quit my day job. Still, I’m happy with knowing I’m putting myself out there in a creative way. The return on investment sweetens the pot.

I worry a little that readers and friends will be put off by sponsored content. I don’t care for banner ads and visual clutter, so I’ll try to keep that kind of thing to a minimum. Inserting links with keywords or writing about a product or website is my preference. I try to keep it interesting and as much like my “regular” content as possible.

I hope anyone reading this post sticks with me as I attempted to keep my mojo trucking along.

Author: Tina Louise

Nerd. Geek. Dork.

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