Creating Opportunities Through Blogging

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Fox Business recently published an article highlighting some of the success stories of some of the big name bloggers out on the net right now such as Perez Hilton, Christian Lander of Stuffwhitepeoplelike fame, and Amit Chatwani to name a few. While reading the article, it was interesting to note the series of events which lead each individual to the spot where they now reside. This is one example:

Jessica Coen is one example of a modern-day, Lana Turner-style blogging success story. While living in Los Angeles after graduating from the University of Michigan, she started writing a personal blog that, through what she calls “the economy of linking,” got picked up by popular New York media blog Gawker.com.

After performing editing duties for Gawker, it landed her positions at Vanity Fair and then New York magazine. If she wouldn’t of started the blog, chances are, she would of never have been discovered and would of ended up on a different path in life.

This article reminded me of how I have achieved a little success. I started to blog seriously back on Jun 2007, where I published my first article on this domain. Because of the blog, I ended up getting a contributing writer position for WeblogToolsCollection.com, one of the largest websites dealing with WordPress. My blog ended up becoming my resume. The resume being updated each time I hit the publish button.

This brings me to my next series of points. There are so many bloggers out there who are reaching the point of wondering why they blog. Lorelle Van Fossen of The BlogHerald does a good job covering this particular problem her post, Why Am I Doing This Blogging Thing? There are so many B-List, C-List, hell, even Z-List bloggers out there writing great content. That content takes time to write, time that in most cases is not being paid for. It was David Peralty of Xfep.com who told me,

No matter what, Bloggers at some point in time are going to want to monetize their site or get paid for their time.

When that time comes, there are a myriad of ways to monetize your site. Let’s go over a few.

  1. Google Adsense/Adwords – For as long as I have been blogging, this has been the primary method to make money. The problem? First off, depending on your niche or subject matter, the ads might not perform well. For example, if your a tech blogger, your audience is probably tech savvy and more likely to have FireFox installed with Ad Block Plus which will disable the ads from being shown. Not exactly the recipe to an income. Secondly, the Payout from Google is 100$. This means you have to make 100$ in Google Adsense Income before they will write and send a check to you. Unless you are receiving a ton of traffic, your chances of getting a check are slim to none.
  2. Affiliate Programs – Affiliate programs allow you to partner with a company or service such as Amazon.com and sell wares through their site. You act as a referrer and for each product someone buys through you, you get a certain percentage of the sale. I’ve heard from other bloggers that affiliate programs have been somewhat successful. These days, it’s hard to find an affiliate program which has a decent payback percentage amount. Bloggers generally have to sign up to multiple affiliate programs to turn a decent profit. Asides from that, you will also need to advertise your affiliates wares to entice folks to purchase them through you. Wouldn’t you rather concentrate on producing great content and not coming up with advertising pitches for your affiliate programs?
  3. Direct Advertising – Pretty popular on WordPress blogs, direct advertising is a way of selling a 125X125 image advertisement on your blog. I’ve seen advertisements as big as 300X300 pixels. The advertising is usually performed by the advertiser paying for an ad image to be displayed for a static price amount per month. This price could be anywhere between 15$ up to 50$ per month. Prices vary depending on the popularity of the site or blog in question.

There are many, many more ways to monetize your blog. Kontera links, sponsored ads, sponsored links, text ads, paid reviews, and ad networks. The problem with all of these is that, you won’t make any decent amount of income unless your site is a powerhouse of traffic. Here are some things I recommend doing if you really want to monetize your site or get paid for your time.

  1. Write For Someone Else – It’s worked for me and it can work for you as well. Use your blog as a personal training grounds. After you have a backlog of posts, what I call references, shoot off a couple emails to blog owners who are managing the big blogs which cover your subject matter. Point them to your most successful posts on your own blog and apply for a contributing writer position on their site. I like this process of being paid the most because I can concentrate on getting the content written and published while knowing that I have a set rate that will be coming into my paypal account at least once a month. I’m not a fan of the paid per post model.
  2. Join A Blogging Network – If your site is concentrating on a particular niche and you are still not over the hump in terms of the next level, consider submitting your blog to a network which covers your subject matter. An excellent example is the Grand Effect blogging network. Grand Effect is a blogging network which has gathered a number of smaller, more concentrated tech bloggers who are writing excellent content yet, they are not busting at the seems with traffic and therefor, can not net those good advertising deals. Being part of a blog network gives you strength in numbers. It also allows the network owner to successfully obtain bigger advertising deals.

To summarize this post, I wanted to vouch for the claims that were presented within the Fox Business article. Although I’m not able to replace my full time job with blogging which I seriously hope to do some day, you can definitely make it through all the noise and make a name for yourself. I’ve also presented ways to make money blogging without necessarily having to dive into all sorts of ad campaigns. As far as I’m concerned, if you concentrate on writing awesome content on your personal site, visitors and the bigger opportunities will come to you. But if the content is not there, then what other reason do I or others have to stop by your site?

Now it’s time for you to sound off. Are you making money from your blog? If not, are you making money writing online at all? Share your tips, strategies, or experiences in the comments.

13 thoughts on “Creating Opportunities Through Blogging

  1. I’ve been putting effort into blogging for two weeks and the results have been pretty interesting. Your article is some very timely food for thought for me, although I doubt I’m going to continue down the blogging path for very much longer. For one thing, I don’t think I’m much of a writer :P

    Foomandoonians last blog post..Build a Robot Slave in Twitter – Pt. 1

  2. @Foomandoonian – Well, you and I are in the same boat in terms of thinking we are not writers. I don’t believe I’m a writer either, but folks who have read my stuff tell me it’s easy to digest and they enjoy reading it. I can’t see what they see so I’ll just take their word for it.

  3. @Michael Soriano – Thanks for stopping by and being part of the conversation. Glad that you enjoyed the post and you are right, the blog is the best self promotion tool an individual could possess.

  4. LS says:

    Speaking up from the Z list here, I will agree that there are tons of ways to make money by blogging. I use all of the methods you mention on most of my various blogs and I do ghostwrite blogs for a per-post fee. But, too many bloggers forget about one of the most important aspects. A blog is a wonderful form of self expression. It doesn’t necessarily have to bring in money, and a person doesn’t have to be a writer to keep one. People get very nervous about their blogs, thinking they aren’t good enough when they should be trying to simply enjoy the experience.

    LSs last blog post..Boring Writing vs. Interesting Writing

  5. @LS – Excellent points. But I thought it was rather interesting how some people have put together a blog in which they were minding there own business, doing their own thing and it turned into quite a good paying job.

  6. Three cheers for the ZListers!!! I have had Blogs where the goal was income creation and these had varying degrees of success though I never made enough to retire on, and usually I just gave up on them because they always seemed hollow to me. Now I just Blog for the fun of it, but I have to commend those who can stick it out long enough to get further up the alphabet scale…

    Wee Sauls last blog post..Sitting on my own not by myself…

  7. Although I have always loved to write (and wanted to write professionally), “blogging” is truly what got me my first paid job as a freelance writer (and for a major publication) — and it wasn’t even direct blogging — it was commenting on a blog! In late 2006, I was a frequent commenter at two of USA Today’s music blogs — one that focussed on music and the industry and general and one that focussed on American Idol (which is my perennial guilty pleasure). The author of the blogs, who is also the music editor for USA Today, contacted me in February 2007 and asked me if I wanted to contribute to the weekly “Idol Coaches” column that ran in the blog and in the print edition of the paper. He didn’t have to ask me twice.

    A year later, I write for three Weblogs, Inc. blogs, do video and podcasting work with them, have my own personal site (I had a personal blog before but this is under my domain and is my resume, just as your site is yours) and have a couple of really exciting professional things in the pipeline (crosses fingers). I seriously doubt any of these things would have happened without blogging.

  8. I’ve seen some good money from adsense in the past. But that was years ago before they changed their setup so advertisers could set different rates for search and content.

    I’ve noticed a few writers who will blog to raise awareness of a product. The product can be totally unrelated to the blog but I know for one I’ve bought a bottle of wine because a blogger I liked promoted it. He didn’t directly promote in the blog per se he just let it be known that he was all about promoting that wine. No hidden agenda. The wine sales have soared.

    There’s a lot of clamor out there. You have to be original not only in your blogging but also in your monetization of it.

    Phil

    Phils last blog post..Belt Buckles on Sale

  9. @Wee Saul – Hey Wee Saul. Sorry to hear that your income blogging venture never paid out handsomely although I’m sure you learned some interesting lessons along the way. How has blogging changed for you since you changed your focus from income, to fun?

    @Claudia – Thanks for the comments

    @Christina Warren – Christina, you are yet another shining example of how you have taken your blog and used it to propel yourself to your career. I think your story is interesting in that you took the commenting approach and because of your comments, you ended up with a paid writing position. Don’t you find it interesting that those who do not even own or operate a blog can end up in a paid writing position?

    @Phil – Thanks for the comments Phil. I’ve thought long and hard about original ways to monetize this domain, but I’ve given up. Getting paid by others to write has allowed me to keep this site going without the need to monetize it. I’m always appreciatable to those who clearly state whether a post is a paid advertisement or not. I think that is just good karma

  10. I started a nursing related blog and a year later I got hired to be the general manager of an online nursing community. Since then I’ve always thought that blogging is a great way to promote yourself to get hired in jobs that you never even thought of doing in the first place.

  11. Howdy back at ya. You don’t have to feel sorry about my capitalistic Blogging venture, it was a good learning experience. I found that for the most part if compensation wasn’t guaranteed, it took me far too long to write anything (money motivates, but only if I know there is a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow). When I could the words would come easier though I always found that I didn’t enjoy it that much – it became a job where my creativity was deadened by the fact that I had to gear all the material toward who was writing the check. Maybe if I had found the ideal opportunity that allowed me more freedom to pick the subject matter things would have been different. Or it could’ve been the fact that maybe I didn’t give the process enough to work. There are always the “what ifs.” But as for my personal Blogs, I just like to sit in front of the keyboard at start typing to see where my brain and fingers take me and sometimes this provides insight into what is actually going on in my cranium – I think that I discover more about myself when I write my Blogs than when I write for someone maybe it’s a form of therapy. But if an opportunity comes along that I couldn’t resist, I’d could easy become income motivated again. This time I’d just keep my personal Blogs personal and not involve them in making an income…

    Wee Sauls last blog post..There’s an iron train a-travelin’ that’s been a-rollin’ through the years…

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