And interesting post on Techmeme started my day this morning called Time To Hang Up the Pyjamas. It was an article by Daniel Lyons who had set up a highly-trafficed blog called The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs a couple of years ago. The gist of the article is that he put loads of effort into monitising the blog, but failed to generate anything that would surpass what he could earn holding down a normal job. Here’s a poignant part of his article:
My first epiphany occurred in August 2007, when The New York Times ran a story revealing my identity, which until then I’d kept secret. On that day more than 500,000 people hit my siteâ€”by far the biggest day I’d ever hadâ€”and through Google’s AdSense program I earned about a hundred bucks. Over the course of that entire month, in which my site was visited by 1.5 million people, I earned a whopping total of $1,039.81
A number of other blogs were quite quick to point out that the blog resulted in his rise to relative fame, a book deal and his new job at NewsWeek, but millions of bloggers around the world will never earn as much from AdSense as he did. What he DID DO, however, was raise his profile so that his net worth was much higher than it would have been otherwise.
Articles like this always help put blogging in perspective and help people focus on the why they blog. Using a blog to earn money isn’t impossible, there are a number of companies out there who will pay a blogger for their efforts, but it’s no different to being paid for dropping leaflets in someone’s mailbox. The amount you can earn is constrained by the time you have available and the moment you pull back you’ll see your earnings dry up. Selling advertising space on blogs is another money-earner, but without fresh, compelling content and the traffic it brings, well, that’s another non-starter. In my humble opinion, the worst reason to start a blog is to generate enough income to quit your day job.
On the other hand, a blog can do wonders for your profile, image and self-esteem. It can serve as an outlet for you to talk about your passion, to meet like-minded individuals, to show off your strengths and seek opportunities. A blog can help you build online relationships which will benefit you in the long term in many diverse ways. Monetary benefits are a possibility, but they’re always much harder work than you originally imagined when you decided to set down the blogging path.
photo credit: Dan4th