9 years ago entrepreneurship226Jake

Don’t Make Money Blogging

Do you sometimes get bored by the “blogosphere”? No matter what is the topic you read blogs on, most of them are all saying the same: Tips on how to do X and Y (tips that you know for years), “news” that you can read everywhere, contests, and same old talk. I don’t mean to offend you if you are a blogger – certainly there are some interesting reads and some very creative bloggers. But they are the minority.

Make money blogging image
Photo by jimw at Flickr

It wouldn’t be boring if all people who write blogs had something to say

Most bloggers don’t blog because they have something to say. They blog because they think they must blog – usually because they want to make money.

What does it take to make money blogging? Most recipes say: blog every day, publish a lot of how-to articles, lists, controversial stuff, interact with other bloggers, get linked, get RSS subscribers, get on Digg, and so on. What the recipe writers miss to tell you is that’s this is a damn hard and inefficient way to make money (online or not). It’s hard unless you are a genius or at least very creative – but then you will have something to say to the world and would not blog primary for money.

Blogging for the money leads to several crappy outcomes that you notice every day in your feed reader:

  • Many boring blogs
  • How-to stuff that you know
  • X reasons that… that you don’t care about
  • Mindless interviews
  • Pointless contests
  • Biased product reviews
  • Rehashed stuff that you have read many times

Look at your own blog and honestly say how many of the above paddings you post on regular basics. If there are more than 3, chances are you are blogging for money and your blog is boring.

And how much do you make from it?

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There are better ways to make money online and offline

Honestly I don’t know where that idea about “make money blogging” come from. My bet is that some of those boring “make money online” gurus has come with it. And he has really made money from his blog on “how to make money blogging”, because few million newbies subscribed to his feed, clicked on his ads and bought the recommended e-books.

Since most bloggers make less money in a month that they would do for a day by cleaning windows, it comes to my mind that there are much better ways to make money (like cleaning windows for example). If you are so freaking fiery on making the money online*, there are much better ways to do it. Just look at the list and if interested, search Google for more info:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • PPC marketing
  • Selling on Ebay
  • E-commerce
  • Freelancing and consulting
  • Telecommuting
  • Making niche sites and earning from ads
  • Keyword sniping, spamming, scamming, black hat, porn, warez (all the gray stuff)
  • Creating membership services
  • Writing e-books and selling them

I came up with this list in just 5 minutes. Certainly there are more. I have not tried all the methods, but all of the several ones I have tried make more money easier than blogging.

Once again, think if you are writing your blog because you have something to say or you are writing it because you hope to make money. If it is the latter, stop blogging today and try something else. Well, except your idea about making money from the blogs goes behind direct monetization. Read below what I mean.

Blogging as a business

I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying to make some money from your blog. There are few ads on this one as well (and they are making money for few burgers as you can expect).

But the main reason to run a blog should never be ads. If you blog for business reasons, so be it – use the blog to profit because of it and not directly from it. What do I mean? Blogs are good social marketing tools. Your blog is efficient for showing your expertise, for networking with other people, for building a subscribers list and for receiving genuine feedback.

When you have a successful blog with a good number of subscribers and regular readers, you are ready to establish and promote your paid products and services. It sounds like using the blog for advertising, but it is not. It’s the authority of your blog that will help you build a business around it – it’s not only the number of readers that can directly receive the message.

Said in other way, if a popular blogger goes to another blogger and asks for a joint venture deal for his new product or service, chances are the deal will happen (unless the offer is crap). If “Mr. Noone” goes to let’s say Lifehacker blog and offer them a deal, his offer probably won’t get any attention.

* As I am in the software field and software is easily distributed online, it comes natural for me to look for ways to make money without leaving my desk. “Online” fits that well. But I will never understand why wouldn’t someone who knows best how to fix cars open they own offline car fixing service instead of trying to write a blog about fixing cars? If I drove a car I would prefer a good professional to fix it for me instead of reading how to fix my car on his blog. He will make $0.05 from my visit to his blog, I will lose my time reading it and trying to fix my car myself. And finally I’ll end up paying to another professional to fix the stupid car. Me and the blogger are both fooled because he wants to make money online. Seriously, WTH?

Jake