OK, I am a relatively new blogger … I obviously don’t do it for the money [AJC: no advertising, affiliate links, or product sales here!], but many do … or aspire to.
And, as Alex recently commented on this post, there’s nothing wrong with blogging for money:
If people like Guy Kawasaki, Dilbert’s author, and other wealthy people all put ads on their site to make money, then there’s no reason why we should not. John Chow is making $30,000 month off his main blog so there is always an opportunity to make money through your blog.
It is these Mega-Bloggers who are paving the way to [apparent] riches for the rest of the blogging community …
… but, as far back as 2006 there were already 50,000,000 blogs [holy sh*t!], growing by a mere 17,500 new blogs a day!
So, how is Joe Average Blogger actually doing? Check out this chart:
Problogger does a regular survey of their readers to see what they earn; now, this isn’t a scientific survey by any means but it does seem to give a useful indication of Blogging Earning Potential.
For example, 28% of respondents don’t earn ANY money from their blogs with another 18% earning only a pittance!
A quarter of those who earn something make less than 0.33 cents per day. If that’s not a reality check then I don’t know what is.
Of course, we will categorize these bloggers not as losers, but as new bloggers who are steadily winding their way up to the giddy heights of those who earn $100 – $499 per month … and, maybe even beyond 😉
Even so, this doesn’t mean that blogging is a futile exercise in self-indulgence … right?!
Of course not … it just means that you need to seriously assess exactly why you want to be in blogging:
1. Is it for strictly non-financial reasons?
ReadWriteWeb said in a recent post:
There are many different motivations for blogging and some do not involve money. Some people have a cause they are passionate about – they want to help change the world and a blog is a marvellous way to get attention for that cause. Others don’t even want to change the world or get noticed, they are just passionate about something and enjoy writing about it – attention is a by-product.
These bloggers may have Adsense ads and Amazon affiliate links. Who wants to turn away “no effort” money, however small? Just don’t judge them by their revenue, it is a by-product
2. Is it mainly for financial reasons?
I have some advice for those bloggers who do have at least some serious financial motivation:
Blogging – if pursued mainly for its potential monetary rewards – is a business, and a pretty competitive and limited one, from a strictly financial standpoint, at that.
Like any other business, it takes: commitment, planning, execution …. and, more than a little luck!
The very few guys who do make it Blogging Big (if you call $150k – $250k p.a. earned income ‘big’) probably started early in the game, and put serious effort into growing their business.
This COULD be you … but, here is my suggestion, just in case the odds don’t favor you:
i) Blog because you want to – look at the monetary reward as a bonus
ii) Blog as a form of networking – use it to build an audience for a future product or venture (e.g. a book)
iii) Blog to build content – ‘package’ your posts into an e-book or information product that you can sell
iv) Blog to provide a little extra fuel for your investment strategy – even if you are earning just a few extra dollars a week, doing something that you enjoy, put at least 50% towards your investment strategy and compounding will take care of the rest.
v) Blog because you want to combine all of these strategies … that’s the best way to get benefit from such a usually low-dollar-per-hour-invested activity.
To me, blogging is probably a bad ‘business’ in strict return-on-time-invested terms – I would never pursue it as a business; so many other activities have the potential to return much more and scale much better … and, who the hell are you going to sell it to, anyway?
But, the ‘financial’ value of blogging (if that is the path that you are pursuing) is that you may be able you use it to eventually drive higher-dollar-per-hour outputs, elsewhere.
For the guys pursuing the blogging-to-earn-money angle, that makes blogging a great marketing tool, pure and simple!
A great example is Jason, who also left a comment on that same post:
I am using my blog to make money, but not in the way you may think. I am using it to establish the fact that I am an expert in specific areas….then when I talk to my investors I can show them the articles I wrote and how it all works. Basically to give credibility.
Next I also use the blog to sometimes promote my computer company. I have not received any sales. but it is a hope … the main thing I use it for is motivation, so that I keep going on my path to being wealthy.
So, what about me?
I may accept advertising on my blog one day … I may also write a book … but, like blogging, that is a relatively low-expected-value activity.
In the meantime, I will keep blogging simply because I enjoy sharing what I have learned in the Financial School of Hard Knocks … I have important information stored up inside me that is simply better out than in!
What about you?
Good stuff. I’m enjoying your blog.
@ – Jones. Thanks!
Thanks for the mention and the link. It is a great article.
Pingback: This rather long-winded video says something important … « I’m about to find out if you can make money online!