Pro Blogging for the Not So Rich and Famous

76 Comments

Last Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal Paygrade column profiled the career of blogging. Here’s what they said about the pay and hours:

THE PAY: Most self-employed bloggers take in between $2,000 and $10,000 a month from ad sales, says Henry Copeland, founder of BlogAds.com, a Web advertising concern based in Carrboro, N.C. The few that have huge audiences make significantly more, he adds. During election time, for example, a political blogger can bring in $20,000 to $30,000 a month, says Ken Layne, West Coast bureau chief for Wonkette.com, a political gossip blog owned by Gawker Media. Some bloggers are employed by companies, but they are often part of the marketing department, and blogging is usually only a small part of their duties.

THE HOURS: Self-employed bloggers set their own schedules. Writers of breaking-news blogs say 40- to 60-hour workweeks are the norm. To scoop his competitors, Mario Lavandeira, author of the celebrity-gossip blog PerezHilton.com, says he averages 19-hour workdays that start at 5:15 a.m.

$10,000 a month sounds pretty good–but that’s for more than a full-time job. Want to earn a bit of cash and renown without the 19-hour workdays? Try a blog network like GigaOM, which includes Web Worker Daily, NewTeeVee, and GigaGamez. Though we’ve hired a couple great new bloggers for WWD–welcome to Mike Gunderloy and Matthew Reinbold–we are still looking for web workers who write well to occasionally review software, services, and gear.

If you are interested, post a review on your own blog showing how you can smartly critique any of the tools–software, hardware, or otherwise–that make virtual work fun and profitable. For extra credit, include tips and tricks for boosting productivity using those tools. Add a short bio at the end so we can see how you’re putting your own twist on the web worker life. Link back to this post and we’ll be sure to see it.

Questions? Ask them in the comments.

76 Comments

dexter

I’m completely new to this but I want to learn all I can. I’m looking for information on the most efficient ways to make extra money writing without being scammed. My biggest handicap is that I don’t know who to trust. I have the ideas and the edge to get a reader’s attention but what is the best route to find work?
I write about things that might not be considered “appropriate” to an all ages audience but I’m not referring to anything pornographic. I write about my life of chaos, debauchery, and self indulgence. I release my memory through words and phrases. I relate to people because of my honesty. I’m 25 years old and I’ve experienced enough to be twice that. I’d love to hear any suggestions… This seems like a great community. Thank you all for your thoughts!

Rose

-Blog is based on Technology and Finance Standpoint.

-Has addicting games(Super Mario and in the process of putting more up) and music.

-Ways to make money online through survey companies etc.

-Currently in the process of making an HTPC system and integrating a home office design into it.I will be posting pictures of it in the next few weeks.

Sarah Kashyap

I was positively amazed to know the prospects for blogers these days. But its all the more exemplary to know that one can earn pretty good amount of dough too, by doing a task that others might consider menial – BLOGGING !

Mircea

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Link back to this post and we’ll be sure to see it.
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Shooting two rabbits with one blow :): getting links back to this post (improving the pagerank and getting visitors) and maybe discovering new talents outhere which can help grow the blog.

Congrats! ;)

ace

It may become more difficult to tell the difference between a blog and a traditional website as time goes by. What is the defining characteristic of a blog? Is it the format, or the fact that new content is available at a certain frequency (for example: at least once a week), or that the content is autobiographical or non-fiction in nature, or that there are no ads on it? I think that we can all agree that a website that is formatted as a blog (eg: with WordPress templates), and that has no ads on it has a better chance of fitting the definition correctly. If a “blog” is for direct monetary gain (eg: has ads on it that profit the writer when clicked on), how different can it really be from traditional journalism or an online magazine? Ah, semantics . . .

julie

can u really get paied what everyone says u can/ the numbers are kind og high. besides how do u make a living out of it?

Vincent

What is the best way to start up. I mean how to get noticed. I have political site but I need to attract people to post.?

Jeremy Epstein

So I am taking a few risks here, but if that’s what I’ve got to do to get you guys to put me on the team, so be it.

1. a pro-Microsoft-based view of the WebWorker world
2. written by an MS employee but critical of MS branding/positioning
3. using Blogger
4. Bio at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jer979

check it out at: http://jer979.blogspot.com/2007/03/microsoft-hand-luke-problem.html

And no, I wasn’t afraid to post this on my Microsoft blog either: http://blogs.msdn.com/maamktg/archive/2007/03/22/microsoft-s-quot-cool-hand-luke-quot-problem.aspx

As you’ll see from my widgets, I get 2.0 and the story here is just the tip of the iceberg…ask me how I can control the lights in my house using X-10 from anywhere on the planet :-)

Hope you enjoy.

And, if you are interested, here are my other posts on the Web2.0/tech lifestyle
http://jer979.blogspot.com/search/label/technology?max-results=100

Rebecca Hogg

I am trying my hand at blogging. I have heard success and failure stories so I want to find what works and what doesn’t. Since blogging I have learned about the amazing mass of useful opportunities online and the ones that appear to be useful but are actually a scam. My page is about my life and seeking to be direct with others so both the readers and I benefit! Thanks for the advice and info.

Sonya

Interesting article. Like some others, I use my blog and some freelance assignments to supplment my income but who couldn’t use more money for what we’re already doing?

Dave B

Here’s a link to an article that mentions a Washington Post story from last year about people who were making a lot of money ($40,000 a year, in one case) from Adsense. Some were blogging about their hobbies; others were blogging on business issues not covered by other people.

As the WaPo article makes clear, though, the folks making good money are working hard for it; to get a lot of visitors and click-throughs, you need to be constantly adding new content and giving readers a reason to come back.

EelKat

Hi, I just found your blog… love all these articles about blogging for pay… that’s what I am hoping to do, I’m a writer by trade, but I’ve only just started blogging, so I’m looking for ways in which I can make an income from my blog… subcribing to your blog, so I can get the latest posts from you

Osama A.

Anne,

Do the lot of you writing in the Om Network use some shared tools for research or industry news behind the stories? E.g. from what you mentioned about taxes or Ajax pages, do you guys tap into each others’ notes to get the most info collaboratively before writing the story?

If it’s not a big secret, it would be good to hear a little bit more about the workflow you guys use — at the OM network is there a central place to put in story ideas, have someone choose to take the lead on one; tap into a shared research / industry news pool and then send drafts for editing? How do you guys set up timelines in these?

Thanks. I have been a productivity consultant particularly focused on outsourced work (travel between the opposite ends of Earth constantly) and this open call sounds interesting…

Anne Zelenka

Dave: I spend quite a lot of time blogging because it’s at the center of my career as an industry analyst and web technologist. I also enjoy it. It’s not a hobby to me, it really is professional work. Doesn’t pay as well as other things I could do.

I think you could probably do it from a laptop in a waiting room. I find it hard to do it while I have other things going on, but different people are more or less distractible.

On picking topics and keeping it fresh: that’s not the hard part. I have tons of ideas for things I want to write on. The hard part is that for me, writing is hard and gathering good content is hard. If I’m going to write about–for example–taxes, I want to have good accurate information. It takes time to gather and confirm it. If I’m going to write about Ajax start pages, I don’t want to write about them superficially–I want to try them out and understand the landscape of that category.

But like I said, I find it very enjoyable. I’d do it even if I didn’t get paid–and I did for two years before ever getting paid.

raincoaster

What they don’t mention is that most advertising-supported blogs bring in less than fifty dollars a month; those people may dream of living off their blogs, but until their big breakthrough (“Techmeme sez: UNMISSABLE!!!” etc) they still have to flip burgers or process paperwork.

Dave Good

Anne;

Do you spend a lot of time at it? Or, would you consider it more like a hobby that occasionally pays for itself? With two kids, one who is special needs, and the other in private school, a job that could be done from a laptop in a waiting room would be a good idea.

The other thing is; how do you select topics to write about, and what do you do to keep it fresh?

Anne Zelenka

Dave – I don’t know, those figures they threw out sounded awfully high to me. But I’ve never run ads on my own blog and also never put in the kind of time they’re talking about.

Is it a good career? I find it a good way of supplementing my income and also building my professional reputation. I personally wouldn’t want to solely blog for my work–but I think it suits many people well.

Dave Good

Blogging in and of itself is just an extention of the trade of journalism, INHO. I believe that the reason it has become so “hip” is that it is more closely tied into the 24/7/365 media stream. When something breaks within the news cycle, the blogoshpere is abuzz almost immediately, whereas the more traditional wire and print services are just spooling up to handle the “info-crisis”. The blogosphere is also able to include so much more than your regular news services. You get broader interpritations of events, both the trivial and the earth-shattering.

I don’t know if it is a good career though? Is anybody really bringing home the “manteca” this way, aside from those in the article? What is the job like? I am curious? Maybe this is a good way to put my English degree to practical use?

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