We’re Not Doing It For The Money… We’re Doing It For A Shit Load Of Money!!!

by Christopher Paul on April 17, 2007

Sorry about the long title but it’s needed.

See, I was strolling through some older posts at Lifehack.org on my newly Mac-ified Google Reader when I came across an article on how to start a blog and make $100 in the first month.  Suddenly it dawned on me… Most blogs are in it for the money.

No kidding!

I know, I know… the realization shouldn’t be so surprising but for me it is.   I guess in this day of social media/collaboration and open source software, I figured blogging – or creating a blog would be an extension of that.  I also feel that its different for companies because they invest heavily in IP, infrastructure, and the production of media/content and they need some justification.  Besides, that’s what businesses do… do something to make money.

But people… are they that hell bent on making money that they do what lifehack.org is suggesting they do to make an extra $100 a month?  I know I’m not.  Of course, I’m lucky enough to be comfortable in life – I’m not living in a Park Avenue penthouse or anything but I’m not in the slums either.  The prospect of even $500 a month doesn’t appeal to me.  I guess that’s my prerogative but what about everyone else?  How much money would you have to make on your blog before you thought it would be worth it?

Its a hard question to answer and its not as simple as some dollar amount.  It can’t be (in my mind) the same amount of money one would make in their “day job.” You could find that you might take less money if it was less work.  But if the point of having a blog was to make more more money, you can’t quit your job.  And if you do it part time, you can’t create much content to generate views, hits, and clicks.

But being creative and keeping people reading and clicking on ads can’t be easy; talk about pressure to perform all the time.  If you don’t write something meaningful a few times a day or so, you loose your audience and the ad revenue they bring.  Even if you regurgitate someone else’s content as many do, is still hard to do it day after day.  If there is anything people like about their music, movies, TV, and books its new content.  They don’t like the same style of beats, etc. to keep them entertained.  And because we tend to be fickle in what is hot and then not, it makes keeping audiences “tuned” to your blog even harder.

I suppose you can be sneaky about things and write a bunch of words in there that will gather lots of attention.  Words like, porn, fuck, adult entertainment, beer, and cars plastered all over every post might garner you some hits but is it really all you want to do get people to like your site?  Faking hits is fraud.  Hiding meta data is also a no-no.  None of those things, I think, will really get you the money that would make investing in a blog worth it.

Not that its really expensive.  Figure $7 for a domain – some are free with hosting plans.  Hosting plans average around $7 a month with many much less than that.  Ads could be costly but you’ve got to spend money to make money, right?  But what about the time?  Is your time valuable?  If so, you might not want to spend it earning $5 an hour.  If you already earn $5/hr, then it might be worth making that extra $100 but now you are talking about a heavy investment ($7 a month is 1.5 hours of your month and 7% of your expenses before ads you buy).

So why not do it for the experience?  Share your thoughts with the world and not care if it nets you a Ben Franklin.  I mean, that’s why I do it… to tell you what I am thinking as if you care and like what I have to say.   I mean, normally its a gift to hear what I have to say, anyway so…  The way I see it, you are all winners here.


Qrystal November 29, 2007 at 11:56 PM

Ahhhh, I love Spaceballs!! Great quote.

I also appreciate your refreshing take on the “moneymaking side” of blogging. I’ll admit that I’ve gotten a bit glassy-eyed at the notion that I, too, could possibly make money by writing about something I love. But I’m not investigating it in order to get rich quick, I’m investigating it as a way to do something I love and hope it can sustain me, at least partly. Fingers crossed… (but I’m not at the advertising phase yet, so I’m linking to my personal blog instead).

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