The business of blogging
July 21, 2008 9:35 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a way to earn some money through blogging.

I'm trying to support my self and my family now that they are not able to do so themselves. My dad has been retired from work for the past 15 years and in the interim has been running a stationery for the past decade or so. Now, he has reached the stage where he will soon be selling the shop for my younger sister's marriage and keep whatever money that's left for his and my mom's future. What I would like to do is contribute as much as I can for their financial survival. In this regard I've wanted to start a blog (which I have before, on a couple of occasions) and stick to it (the longest that I have lasted is a couple of months--three or four perhaps) and would like to add advertisements to it. I had tried to do this before, but ran into a couple of difficulties with Google Adsense, telling me that I had to fulfil some conditions. If anyone could help me out with this I will be extremely appreciative. Thanks in advance.
posted by hadjiboy to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Here is the type of stuff that I would like to post on the blog (I can't link to the thread as I don't have access to Metachat from my office, from where I am typing this, which is why I am reposting it here; I hope you don't mind).

Vinay

He's sort of become my best friend from work these days, even though he gets on my nerves sometimes. He's 5' 6, and acts like he's some kind of a wrestler--okay--I'll admit--the guy is really strong for his height--he's got terrific stamina and loads of power in those arms and legs of his (not to mention his torso), but sometimes the guy goes over the edge, and there's nothing I can do about it, because I don't want to beat up on someone who is smaller than I am. And yes--he does beat me--no, it's not like rough-housing--it's like he really wants to fight, and he's punched me hard on a couple of occasions causing my arms to swell up, and I got heavily bruised on my side because we went over the bed this one time (I usually stay over at his place and we watch dvds and talk about life late into the night, while smoking--oh yeah--did I tell you I've taken up smoking!) more on that later, and boy did it hurt. It actually bled and now I have a scab over there, which will give me a neat little scar on the side--cool!

So, anyway, that's what he likes to do, or at least he liked to until yesterday, because the day before, after he had thrown me over the bed and I had bruised my lip, and hurt my side, he jabbed me with his elbow right ontop of my heart, and boy did it pain like a motherfucker. I almost cried out in terror because I didn't know what else to do. Vinay being Vinay, gave me his patent answer in these kinds of situations: oh, come on--it couldn't have hurt that much, and actually tried to see if there was any injury there or not by pressing on where I'd just gotten hit. AAAAAAAAHHHHHH! Came the cry out of my mouth in desperate agony, and that freaked him out a bit. He sat up, because we were both on the floor at that time, and he started feeling around my chest to check if anything was broken. Nothing felt out of place, but the pain was still there, throbbing through my chest, right above my heart, and that's what concerned the both of us. It was like 2 AM in the morning, and there was nothing much we could do about it, so he just tried to make sure that nothing was too wrong with me, and then tried to goad me into coming onto the bed to sleep, but by that time I was too pissed off with him, and I didn't even think I could manage to the bed anyways, so spent the night sleeping on the cool, comfortable floor. (If you haven't tried sleeping on a tiled floor in the middle of an extremely hot night, you should--it's heavenly).



It was only after two days did I realize the impact of that blow that Vinay had landed on me; my chest is paining like it's going to burst any minute; I feel like I can't breathe whenever I'm trying to get up or lie down; and laughing and sneezing is just about killing me right now. I went to the doctor today morning and thankfully he said that it's nothing serious, just a muscle pull, and not the fracture or whatever my mom was imagining, and there was no need to get an X-ray done. But it still hurts man, and I have to take some pills and apply an ointment which will hopefully reduce the sting.

Vinay on the other hand had his own problems to deal with yesterday. (I had invited another one of my good friends by the name of Prasoon for lunch the other day, because we had to stay back after work on Friday, and meet with the HR for some interviews that they were conducting, and since neither Vinay or I had the money to buy anything, Prasoon bought both of us luch--Biryani--and then later treated us to some lovely cold coffee). That was really generous of him, and I thought I'd return the favour by inviting him home for lunch on Saturday because there was a small get-together at my place that my mom had arranged for one of my sister's pals and her mom, and she was cooking her terrific Chicken and potatoes and Koftay and Pineapple cake for dessert.

Prasoon showed up on time. I had asked him to meet me at Hyderabad Central, this mall about a five minute drive from my place, which he knows, so that way I could pick him up and bring him to my house; most of the people working in my batch are from out of town, so they still haven't familiarized themselves perfectly with the local geography. But they're great guys, and I really, really enjoy their company. So, having picked Prasoon up, we headed home. I'd gone over to Vinay's place earlier to tell him to come along and have lunch with me as well, but he seemed kind of different. I asked him what the matter was and he said he just didn't feel well (which is kind of odd because the only other time that I'd seen him like that in the past two months was when his mother was undergoing an operation on one of her breasts to find out if the tumour near her heart was benign or not--it was).

I tried to make an effort to get an answer out of him, but he didn't seem in the mood, and neither was I. I was still kind of pissed at him for damaging my heart, or whatever it was at the time, since I'd still not gotten it checked on Saturday (I'd done this today) and I had Prasoon to pick up too, and since this was the first visit that he was making to my place, I was a little preoccupied with him at the moment. So I left Vinay at his place, telling him to take care, and that I had to go, and would be back later with Prasoon. I asked him what I should do about lunch, since he's a vegetarian, and my mother makes a dish especially for him so that he can eat at our place. He said he was sorry for the inconvenience, and that he hoped my mother would not mind. I said he could come over for dinner and have the food if he wanted to.



I picked up Prasoon from the mall, and by notime we were back at my place. My sister's friend Veronica and her mom had already arrived, and they were sitting in the living room. I took Prasoon into the inner hall (which is separate for the gents whenever there's a situation that the women want to be alone) and that's where we sat down to have our meal. It was sumptuous, and Prasoon ate like a king, as he always does, as I found out--he's known as the Human dishwasher back home, because of the way he cleans his plate. The guy is 6' 2, and built pretty good, at least with his clothes on (we were comparing our love handles and all three of us have a couple of tyres here and there). Prasoon, like most of the guys in my batch, surprisingly, is a great cook. Most of the people are Bachelors so cooking is something that they've had to pick up, and experimenting with it over time has made them quite good at it. We even have an award winning chef in our class, whose come up with a very unique way to cook a dish, by burying it in a small pit in the kitchen, before covering it with glass, so that it gets heated up properly, and tenderizes the meat to such an extent that it just melts in your mouth.

Anyway, back to where I was--so, there we are, eating our lunch, and after completing it I suggested we go and check up on Vinay because I thought I'd noticed something a bit strange with him today. So we both went to his place, which is like a minute or two away, and we found him lying on his bed, half-asleep, not wanting to get up. He finally did when I told him Prasoon had come over, and sat up and told Prasoon to make himself comfortable on the bed, and then went into the bathroom to wash up. I still wasn't sure what was up with him, and I felt that he wasn't ready to tell me yet, so I didn't push him for an answer.

I had called up another friend of mine by the name of Avinash in the meantime, and had asked him if he was at home since he had invited me to his place the other day. He said he was, and I asked him if it would be alright if Prasoon, Vinay and I came down to his place together. He said sure, and I said we'd be there in fifteen twenty minutes. But Vinay was still not in the mood to go anywhere, and I didn't want to leave him alone, and since Prasoon had already started playing the Spiderman 3 dvd, I told both of them to sit tight, that I would meet Avinash, and would be back in an hour or so, since I had already told him that I wouldbe meeting him soon.

Avinahs's place was about a fifteen twenty minute ride from Vinay's, and I found it quite easily even though this was my first time going there. He was waiting for me outside his house, and guided me to it via cell phone. Soon we were inside, and he was showing me the house and the awesome backyard they have where Vijay's (another friend who's living with Avinash, but has gone out of town to visit his parents) cruiser was parked. It looked neat in the evening sunlight. We sat there for a couple of minutes, went to the terrace, then to the shop around the corner from where he purchased some stuff for the house, drank a Thumbsup (Indian version of Coke), smoked a cigarette, even though Avinash is the most vociferous of the group that I'm in right now (all smokers and drinkers) for me to not pick up on the habit--he literally takes the cigarette out of my hand if he sees me smoking, and I've even been warned by the entire group that if I'm caught smoking in front of them, they're going to give me the ass-kicking of my life. I'm not into drinking, so I don't have to worry about that, but I told Avinash that it's not good to smoke alone, and took one of the cigarettes from his hand, and lighted it with him giving me a reluctant smile. I told him I was planning to quit the habit with Vinay (who plans on stopping from August 1st, and he is one guy who I can believe in actually accomplishing the goal).



After about a minute or two, another one of our pals showed up, and all three of us went home and sat in front of Vijay's PC and went through the movie collection that he had stored on it. I finally saw something that I liked and told them that if they're looking for something with a bit of spice to it (which they were) that they should let the movie that was being played out play. I told them to rewind it to the part of the scene in question, and waited for it to come on, because I hadn't seen this particular scene myself before either; it had been deleted from the TV channels over here. (Can you believe it--we even had the bathroom fight from Eastern Promises censored in theatres in my city--and that was like the fucking climax of the movie!). Anyway, so the scene cam on, and I immediately remembered how uncomfortable it was watching it by myself even though all the nude bits were not shown--it's the scene in which Jennifer Connely has to insert a dildo in her ass and fuck another prostitute while a room full of men are shouting out "CUM CUM CUM CUM CUM" at the top of their lungs.

Avinash and Sudhakar (the other guy who had showed up) were curious about the movie, and I gave them a brief outline of what the movie was. The movie in question was Requiem for a Dream of course (if I'm not mistaken, and if I am, then I apologize for the glaring error).

They didn't seem too interested in watching something that was going to be so much of a downer, especially after I had explained the plot to them to the extent that they didn't feel like they had to watch the movie anymore--so we all decided on Meet the Fockers. I spent the next half an hour watching Robert Deniro and Blythe Danner adjusting to Dustin Hoffman's and Barbra Streisand's shenanigans, and enjoying the laughter from Sudhakar and Avinash's mouths.

Prasoon called up soon after and asked me where I was, and I told him that I would be at Vinay's place in another fifteen minutes (the time it would take me to make the journey back). he said fine and soon I was off. I reached Vinay's place but they were not there; they were in the next lane smoking cigs and drinking sprite. I joined them and asked Vinay if he was feeling any better. He was still not his complete one hundred self again but at least he was talking and smiling a bit, so I was happy to see that. We stayed their standing in the slight drizzle for a few minutes after which we went home. I told Vinay that I would be back in about half an hour and then we'd go and drop Prasoon over at his place.

Half an hour later I swung by Vinay's place and we were off to drop off Prasoon, with Prasoon driving, me in the Passenger seat, and Vinay in the back, kind of slumped over the seat. He still seemed to be in a bit of a slump and I wondered when he'd tel me what was going on, but like I said--I didn't want to push it, so just stayed quiet.



After dropping Prasoon off, we stopped at a roadside Paan-dabba (where you can buy smokes from) and Vinay bought himself a cigarette, lighted up, and smoked with the window open and his head lying on the window sill of the car. That sort of got me worried a bit because I was afraid that he might open the door at any time and jump out of a moving car to commit suicide or something, because that was the kind of vibe that I was getting from him.

I slowed the speed of the car down, and made sure that I kept one eye on the road, and the other one on him all the way back. By the time we reached home, he had already told me everything. The Credit Card people who he had been talking to for the past couple of days, and who had said that they'd get in touch with him to give him a couple of option to pay back the outstanding amount that is left to them, had come calling, and had given him an either or scenario. Either you pay 5,100 Rupees by tomorrow (after which you can avail the option of making 36 monthly payments of 2,800 Rupees to clear of the 85,000) or you don't pay by midnight of the next day, in which case you will be black listed, and they will be sending some people to his parents' place.

Now his parents aren't in the best of health at the moment, let alone the financial situation that they're facing, so he was extremely concerned about their health, and how this would effect them. He told me that he didn't know what to do anymore, because he'd been on the phone since morning trying to get the money together, but all the friends who owed him money were themselves in a bit of a crunch at the moment, and the only one who could've transferred the amount from his account to Vinay's was a Citibank card holder too, and they have some stupid rule about that being not allowed for some reason, so Vinay was basically up the creek without a paddle. No wonder he looked so depressed. He said he had thought of killing himself that day. On the way home he had even tried to call up his father to ask him for help but just couldn't managed to do it and threw the phone onto the dashboard in disgust. Now, he was really desperate.

I knew what he was going through all to well. I had been in the similar situation many, many times--depression wise, and I knew how important it was to make him get through the night. So I decided to stay with him. First, I told him that he was not going to accomplish anything by giving up, and that everything has to have a solution, so we would just have to put our heads together and come up with one. And for some reason my cousin brother Khalid popped into my head, who I had just met earlier that evening after a long time and who's the sort of guy who you can get in touch with during such sorts of financial windfalls. So I asked Vinay if he was ready to keep his bike as collateral for the amount that he needed (5,100 Rupees) and then pay back the amount with interest to the guy who'd given him the loan once he'd gotten his salary at the beginning of next month and then get his bike back--his eyes lit up, and for the first time that entire day I could see a glimmer of hope on his face. He said--yes--oh god yes--anything for the 5,100. I said okay, just give me a minute, and made the call. Thankfully Khalid Bhai was still at home and I explained the situation to him. Now, he isn't in the business of lending out money, but he knows people who do, so he said he'd have to make a few calls and find out, and told me that he'd get back to me after about five minutes. That must've been the longest five minutes that Vinay has ever had to go through I think. Five minutes later Khalid Bhai called up with the bad news saying that the guy who deals with taking bikes and giving money in return is out of town at the moment and will only be coming back on Monday, which would be a day too late for us. So we said if there was anyone else who we could get in touch with. Khalid Bhai laughed and said not at 11:30 PM, and I said of course, but if he could do something by tomorrow, so that we can make the payment by afternoon or evening at the latest--that would be great.

He said sure, and told me to call him up after ten in the morning, and he'd have the information ready for me. There was absolutely no way that Vinay and I were going to sleep that night, so I told him that we'd go back to my place and grab a couple of smokes from my dad's stash and then go back and chat at his place. I told him to park the bike outside and wait while I crept back into the house only to realize that my mom was waiting for me there at the front door, asking me if I'd locked the gate. I said yeah, and then acted as if I was locking the door, and then went into the kitchen to have my daily medication, and then as my mom was about to go upstairs she noticed that the door was not locked, and asked me what was going on, and I told her that I had to be with Vinay tonight for his own sake, and that when I was in his place, down in the dumps, I would so wish that I had someone to talk to too, and there was no one there, so I know how troubling that could be. I asked my mom to get me a bottle of cold water from the upstairs fridge, while I slipped into my father's room and took out a fresh pack of cigs, but not before my mother had come downstairs again and seen me with them, and I told her it's just to relieve some of the tension--I told her what had happened with Vinay and she was a little concerned about him too now. I said goodnight to her, kissed her cheek, and was off.

Vinay and I reached his place and started to smoke our cigarettes, and started talking about our various experiences with life and money and suicide. I decided to be entirely open with him, and tell him everything (like I had done to nobody before) because I knew only by talking to him was I going to get through, and bull-shitting would not help. So we talked about that time when we both tried to kill ourselves by stabbing ourselves in the stomach, but couldn't even make the blade go further than an inch or two, or maybe even not that much (a cm sounds more accurate). I told him that the only reason why I hadn't committed suicide was because no.1--I wasn't sure what would happen to my family if I did, and no.2--I didn't want to be undressed during the washing ceremony that all muslim bodies have to go through before they get buried. I was more afraid of someone seeing me naked than I was about dieing. In fact, the thought was so petrifying that I couldn't even imagine committing suicide in my dreams. Vinay found this hilarious and couldn't stop laughing. He told me--idiot--you'd be dead--who cares if you're naked or not--it's not like you would be aware of the fact! And I said--but I'm very much aware of it now--and that's enough for me to put that idea on hold for the moment.



Anyway, to not make this already long story even longer (and for that I apologize as well--sorry!), the good news is that we got the 5,100 Rupees by 1:30 today, went straight to the Bank, and deposited the amount in the ATM that was there by three o'clock. Case closed. Vinay's happy for the moment, he's coming over to my place for dinner, and then we might go over to another friend's house. I've told him that we're going to start looking out for eachother from now on--which means no spending unwanted money or smoking or drinking fucking cokes. He's agreed.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:41 PM on July 21, 2008


Well, according to this guy, you just need traffic.

How to get traffic? That's really the hard part.

Are you a celebrity of sorts? You write well enough, but it's all over the place. I don't want to read about your personal life. What's your angle? What are you interested in or what would you like to know more about that isn't covered.

You have sites that make a couple hundred thousand dollars off lolcats. If you're good at spotting memes and can present a go-to site for it, that's good.

There's also Youtube. The guy behind the Athene clips seems to have an income stream off it.

How much time do you have and how much do you expect to make? You may be better off doing freelance writing/reporting for another media outlet to establish your name. Supposedly it's a growing industry.

I make about $10/month writing product reviews for epinions. It's probably not what you're looking for though. They don't give you products to review.
posted by abdulf at 10:10 PM on July 21, 2008


Unfortunately, writing stories about your life is not going to make you much money.

Instead, you should write posts containing useful information that people NEED. How-to, self-help, personal finance, money making, weight loss, etc. type nonfiction posts. Whatever you are writing about, people need to be interested in paying money for related products or they won't click on your ads.

In addition to putting up contextual ads like Google Adsense, join affiliate programs too. Basically, affiliate programs are where you promote other people's products and services on your blog and if readers click on your affiliate links and buy the product or service you receive a commission on the sale.

Instead of blogging you could try writing content for a content-selling site. I looked into several of these sites recently and Constant Content seems to be the best one. (PM me if you want my affiliate link -- I don't think I'm allowed to post it here.) You write articles, upload them, set your prices for different rights (use, unique, or full rights), and if a webmaster buys them you get 62% of the sale price (35% is Constant Content's commission and 3% for the PayPal fees). Constant Content handles all the marketing, selling, contracts, and payment processing for you and pays you via PayPal. Buyers also post requests so you can write to those to increase your chances of a sale since you already know someone is currently looking for an article on that topic.

You could actually combine blogging with Constant Content by uploading all your blog posts to Constant Content as well and listing them for sale for use rights only. Then in addition to whatever advertising or affiliate income you're building on your own site, you also have the possibility of making additional money selling copies of your posts to other webmasters who need content.

If you can get your hands on it, Moonlighting on the Internet by Yanik Silver is a good book. It explains 5 internet businesses you can start very cheaply -- selling information products (e-books, video courses, etc.), eBay, affiliate marketing, e-commerce stores, and blogging. I'm reading it now and it's giving me lots of ideas for part-time money-making businesses I can do while I'm in school.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:30 PM on July 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


I second what Jacqueline says - you will not make money by writing about your personal life. At least not easily. The only way to do that is to be famous. Otherwise the traffic just won't be enough to make any significant money with advertising.

You want to create content that is useful to readers - whether that's how-to articles on photography, tips for saving money, or celebrity gossip is up to you. Look at Digg.com's homepage - the things that are linked are often "10 ways to do this" or "5 ways to save money doing that." Personal writing, no matter how good it is, doesn't get links easily.

More importantly, writing for money is only as good as the advertisements you get. The key to making money with AdSense is that someone should be buying ads based on the topics you write about, so the readers you attract are the same ones who will click on ads.

It's cynical, but if you write about gadgets or travel or prescriptions or celebrities, you will get ads that pay well. If you write about yourself, you won't.

If you have a strong desire to write, do it, and write whatever you're inspired to write, but be aware that it's going to take a long time to make money. If you write about yourself, you can expect maybe $30 a month after six months to a year of daily posting. If you write about something useful to readers and attractive to advertisers, you'll make more faster. But it will still take a few months and lots of posts before the money starts trickling in.
posted by mmoncur at 12:17 AM on July 22, 2008


Thank you for the great answers so far, but I should've pointed out that the blog isn't going to be post after post about me per say, but rather about life in India in general. Hopefully, about all the different kinds of people that we have living here, their religions, their culture, and the kind of differences that exist between the West and the East.

I would also like to write about various other things, like the movies that are released over here (Hollywood and Bollywood of course), the political situation that our country is in right now (although I'm not sure if I'm up to date enough to comment on that) and anything and everything that interests me about India.

In short, this blog that I plan to write will be a blog about India, with posts about my family and friends as well, and my work (which deals with outsourcing--so I would love to give you guys a bird's eye view of what goes on here on the other side of things) and also hopefully enlighten you about how much we have advanced as a country in some areas in the past few years, and still managed to have lagged far, far behind in a lot of other places yet.

This is the conundrum that I would like to highlight, along with the kind of culture shock that I first experienced after coming over here, and finding it extremely hard to adjust to the surrounding environment in which I was supposed to live. After having made my peace with it at last--I can now look back on it with some ease and reflect on the kinds of things which had been going through my mind at that time, which eventually led me into a depression, and caused me to quit school, stay locked up in my room for the next ten years, and then eventually fight back to rebuild my life.

I am now on medication for a minor case of Bipolar disorder called Cyclothymia, and am looking forward to what life has to offer me finally. And I would like to chronicle all of this in a blog so that I can share it with as many people as I can, and even hopefully support myself with whatever little money there is to be made out of it. At first I was extremely averse to doing this because I felt that it would be compromising on my principles by selling my writing, but now after seeing the financial situation that my parents are in--I have no other choice.

So if anyone out there can help me out with whatever Ad site would be best suitable for the kind of blog that I have mentioned above, or anything else that is related to India in any way that I can put up on my blog--I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks again.
posted by hadjiboy at 1:25 AM on July 22, 2008


Best suggestion I have for you is to just start. Stop worrying about the details and get something up. Don't put any ads on it to begin with. Post every day, post 10 times a day. If you're passionate about this people will be able to tell. If you're not, people will be able to tell. Once you've got ~3-6 months of work behind you posting all the time about everything under the sun you will notice traffic start to increase (either through word of mouth, google search results landing on your pages, etc). That's the time to slowly start rolling out ads here and there. If you clutter your site up with advertisements, people are less likely to want to continue going to your site. I always like Google Adsense for this reason because they are unintrusive, however the best way to make money from ads early on with your site (and trust me, anything less than 2 years is EARLY ON) is finding 2-3 websites or companies that will sponsor you month to month for a well-placed ad on the site. Income from Adsense is based on traffic and people clicking your ads which isn't going to happen with very little traffic, but it's not a far stretch to find a few good people willing to support you in the beginning if you can offer original content and the promise of future exclusive advertising as you get bigger. And the guaranteed $X/mo will be much more beneficial than anything that is based on traffic in these early months/years.

But above all, make money the least of the reasons you do this or it's gonna show. Make it about your passion. And don't forget to throw the final result in Metafilter Projects so we can all enjoy it.
posted by genial at 6:13 AM on July 22, 2008


Wouldn't this link from one of today's FPP's be an example of someone who has found a way to publish what they like and find interesting and at the same time to generate a little income? Hadjiboy, don't you do photography for fun? I would think a photo blog of India would be fascinating and might attract an audience. Sorry, I have no information to offer about Ad sites.
posted by jvilter at 6:19 AM on July 22, 2008


Content is all well and good, but what are the specific mechanisms of driving traffic to your site? Tags? Trackbacks? Word of mouth? How does that work?

Personally, hadjiboy, I think your faith journey has been really interesting too, and is very topical. I know absolutely nothing about the specifics of generating traffic to a site, as you can see, but this might be something meaningful to you, about which you can contribute, which might also be interesting for others to explore.
posted by nax at 7:20 AM on July 22, 2008


There's no guaranteed way to make money from blogging, and, if that's what you're after, you might be quite disappointed. But blogging is worth doing because you can write whatever the hell you want, and, if you connect with enough people, and build a big enough audience, who knows? Maybe you'll be able to pull in a bit of scratch.

The best experiences in my life have come as a result of blogging. But I've made very little money doing it, and my audience still trickles in, growing slowly but steadily. That's pretty typical, and any time you go into any venture, you should expect to experience what everyone else does, rather than hope to be the rare and marginal percentage that experiences fame or wealth from it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:48 AM on July 22, 2008


No one is going to read posts that long. And they're certainly not going to click on ads or buy products if they're reading a short novel on your site. You need to keep your posts to a couple of hundred words or less.

Think about who your potential audience is going to be and how they're going to find you. If you're hoping to capture people who want to know about Indian outsourcing, you need to write lots of posts that say in the first sentence, "Hey, this is about Indian outsourcing!" If you want to write about cultural differences, your opening paragraph should say, explicitly, "If you are interested in learning more about Indian culture, look no further."

You have a lot of interesting tidbits, but they're buried in a huge wad of details. I couldn't get through your post. It was wordy and, quite frankly, a little boring. Don't bury the lede. Cut about 90 percent of the details.
posted by decathecting at 8:45 AM on July 22, 2008


I agree with short and compact with more pictures. More non-fiction on things people can actually use. Hate to say it but I skipped over the entire story because it was too long.
posted by radsqd at 12:51 PM on July 22, 2008


Of the topics you list, the one that seems most suited to making money is the movies stuff. Because you can affiliate link to amazon and amazon-like DVD sites, gets ads about upcoming movies, etc.

All the other stuff just isn't an obvious moneymaker. The perspective of Joe Random Guy on the differences between India and the West might make for interesting reading (though, like many others, I skipped your sample post on the grounds of tl;dr) but as it doesn't tie out to a market in anything, it's not the sort of thing you're going to be able to monetize easily.

Gather a massive, general audience and you might be able to make some small amount of money above and beyond your hosting costs, but not nearly as much as you'd manage by finding a much smaller audience for a site with commercial value.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:25 PM on July 22, 2008


Very few bloggers make money blogging.

Those that do spend an insane amount of time at it--Dooce, for example, spends 10 to 12 hours a day working on her blog, fine-tuning and perfecting (straight from her mouth last Sunday at BlogHer08).

In addition, most ad companies will not let you run ads unless your blog has been going for about three months, with at least a couple posts a week on average.

Also, certain types of blogs are just inherently more successful financially than others, and if you don't write what the people want, no matter how good it is, you won't make any money from your blog.

If you do have what the people want, content is king, but beyond that you need an excellent blog design (which costs money) to keep people coming, and great ad placement with lots of traffic. You can do it all on your own, of course, but it is NOT easy OR quick. Remember that even with Metafilter it took YEARS before Matt felt confident enough to give up his job and just run Metafilter for a living.

There are so many ways to make money, and I understand your wanting to do this. I blog, lots of people blog, some of us make a little money at it, but you really have to devote yourself to it and even then there's no guarantees.

I can't help thinking there may be better ways for you to make money this summer!
posted by misha at 5:50 PM on July 22, 2008


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