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You're (Probably) Not Going To Be a Pro Blogger 120

Posted by timothy
from the but-you-could-still-win-valuable-prizes dept.
ThousandStars writes "Contrary to what the specious Wall Street Journal article Early Transition to Blog Pro says, You're Not Going to be a Professional Blogger argues that not that many people can make money through web advertising. The WSJ article 'doesn't discuss how people actually use their blogs to make money, which is by selling ancillary services.'"
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You're (Probably) Not Going To Be a Pro Blogger

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  • Wake me up when.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fictionpuss (1136565) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @03:46PM (#28365321)

    ..web advertising rates have risen to the point where they accurately reflect the value they can provide clients rather than being bogged down by the dinosaur media forms of print and tv commanding increasingly outdated and thus artificially inflated prices.

    Until we wake up to the future, we'll still be uselessly dreaming of the past.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      web advertising rates have risen to the point where they accurately reflect the value they can provide clients rather than being bogged down by the dinosaur media forms of print and tv commanding increasingly outdated and thus artificially inflated prices.

      There's too may ups and downs and the sentence construction is too crap for me to even guess what you're trying to say.

    • by vertinox (846076)

      .web advertising rates have risen to the point where they accurately reflect the value they can provide clients rather than being bogged down by the dinosaur media forms of print and tv commanding increasingly outdated and thus artificially inflated prices.

      That and lack of a decent micropayment solution.

      • That and lack of a decent micropayment solution.

        Oh come on. Seriously - I thought we'd all agreed years ago that micropayments were doomed to failure [typepad.com]?

        The lack of a decent micropayment is the lack of micropayments as a decent solution. [shirky.com]

      • Yes some are comics, deal with it.

        I buy
        Your book, (Schlock Mercenary)
        Your mug (Glow in the dark messiah of the moment)
        Your stupid grin on a signed photo.
        Your MOM
        Signed pictures of your cat (Hi Kyle Cassidy and Roswell!)
        Your T SHIRT! (Yes you Dr. McNinja!)
        Your verbally abusive T- SHIRT! (NUKE THE MOON!)
        Your wordless T SHIRT! (WWWBatmanD)
        Your rather funny T Shirt (Blogger, novelist of Better to Beg Forgiveness) -> BOOMY
        Your hysterical mug if you had a damnable CLUE (Some comic that had a banner ad with a c

    • ... wake you up when the market starts preferring the internet to newspapers or TV?

    • by bconway (63464)

      Things are only worth what people are willing to pay for them. Just because you think your Magic: The Gathering card collection is worth $100K doesn't mean it is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @03:50PM (#28365387)

    Get your blog posted as a Slashdot article and watch the money come in.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Slashdotters will use adblock plus and you won't get any revenue.
      That and your web service will drop out and be unreachable for awhile. ;)

    • That is, if your servers can withstand being slashdotted in the first place.

      503-b Ad Revenue Unavailable

    • Given that Grant Writing Confidential [seliger.com] doesn't sell ads, you must be using Milo Minderbinder's Catch-22 system of capitalism, with me as Yossarian, who says, "I don't understand why you buy eggs for seven cents apiece in Malta and sell them for five cents." Milo responds, "But I make a profit of three and a quarter cents an egg by selling them for four and a quarter cents an egg to the people in Malta I buy them from for seven cents an egg. Of course, I don't make the profit. The syndicate makes the profit.
  • Um, news? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rachel Lucid (964267) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @03:54PM (#28365427) Homepage Journal

    Getting paid to blog is like getting paid to write. You don't just produce stuff and get paid (unless you're a novelist... good luck!), you produce stuff and get hired to MAKE SOMETHING LIKE IT.

    It points out (correctly) that if you wanna make money blogging, you sell something that isn't just your content. Even if you're only a writer, you can still sell frickin' e-books at a few bucks a pop instead of always giving it away. (of course, holding ALL your work behind the golden door doesn't work either. You've got to strike a balance, even if the balance usually leans towards "give away most of it".

    It's stunning how few people realize this.

    • Actually, there is a business model by one author that seems to be working, I would say it is a rare working model and not everyone could pull it off. Sci-Fi author Scott Sigler [scottsigler.com] runs a successful blog. His blog basically started off his writing career. He would blog short sci fi stories, and yes they were free, but he built up a fan base, so when he went to publish his first book it sold very well even though he publish the whole book for free on his blog as well. He has since published several books and a [amazon.com]
      • This isn't that different than what I said before, or even what most webcomic artists do after a year or two in terms of selling dead tree versions of their work.

        Again, he made the blog, then he sold books based on what was on that blog, and used the profits to go from there. He didn't put it up and then "hope" to get enough from ads and amazon referrals or something; he actually produced work that attracted people and got them to buy his other stuff. That some of what people bought was also content already

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        Actually a number of Sci-Fi authors give away their books, or at least some of them. Oddly enough they usually see a jump in the sale of their dead-tree versions.

        Imagine that.

        Anyway, check out Baen's Free Books if you want more info, I'm too lazy to look it up but a quick google will find it for you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WheelDweller (108946)

      I'm with ya, guy; *if* you can provide content, you've got to find that balance that provides a sample for the unitiated to try, while keeping your heavy-mover content protected, more or less. It's a balancing act most don't have the strength or maturity to achieve.

      But long before that...content. Remember the sexually-ambiguous guy screaming "Leave Brittany Alone!"? That's not actually content. Whining, peeing, sleeping, talking about computers while drunk...those are all bodily functions, not entertainment

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      It's interesting that the Wall Street Journal would publish a story trying to discourage individuals from making money on the Internet.

      You would never see an article discouraging corporations from doing the same, however. An individual who writes a blog and tries to have advertising and eke out a living is a "loser" but a corporation that spends millions to start up some cockamamie Web 3.0 nonsense and lasts a year and goes down in flames, losing their investors' money is "visionary" and "too far ahead of

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jgalun (8930)

        This is impressive. Not only didn't you read the RTFA - which doesn't discourage people from blogging, but instead interviews someone who has successfully created a career from blogging - you didn't even RTFS, which is attacking the WSJ for saying that you can make money just from ad-blogging

        Jesus. Forget about engaging brain before posting. Engage eyes before posting!

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jdbausch (1419981)
        There appears to be a this belief on slashdot that all these bloggers are what is putting newspapers out of business. Unless someone can point me at a source for this, I simply cannot believe it. My perception of what is killing newspapers is that people can get vetted news (Reuters and AP for example) stories for FREE in a preferable delivery system (computer, phone, etc). By comparison, paying to get a paper that is already outdated by the time you read it just does not cut it. I understand that many
        • Well, Folks who work in newspaper comics certainly believe that webcomic folks like myself are killing their business... never mind that there's very little stopping them from taking advantage of the exact same channels.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          My perception of what is killing newspapers is that people can get vetted news (Reuters and AP for example) stories for FREE in a preferable delivery system

          It's not the FREE aspect that's killing newspapers, even if people had to pay for Reuters feeds, it wouldn't help newspapers. What's killing the newspapers is DUPLICATION of content. There's simply not enough room in the (even worldwide) market for lots of newspapers which offer 90% identical information.

          The only way they might be able to survive

      • It's interesting that the Wall Street Journal would publish a story trying to discourage individuals from making money on the Internet.

        Not only would they publish such an article, the WSJ actually faces the digital convesrion conundrum [businessinsider.com] under Murdoch.
        What they point out is that in the world of blogging, much like iTunes app store publishing [gamasutra.com] a creator faces perfect competition. Facing an industry with 0 economic profit, differentiation and other services are needed for economic profitability. That's why sel

      • They have an agenda which relies upon them beating the bloggers at their own game. They should absolutely not be trusted in regards to this article.

        I hate to break it to you, but the WSJ article implies that you can make money blogging. My article on Grant Writing Confidential [seliger.com] argues otherwise. You may want to read the articles on which you're commenting with more care.

        (Cue jokes in 3... 2... 1...)

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          Sure, it tells you that you can make money blogging, as long as it's from doing something besides journalism which they believe is solely for "professionals".

          So, "if you want to make money blogging, sell t-shirts".

          I still call shenanigans on WSJ.

  • by arizwebfoot (1228544) * on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @03:54PM (#28365429)

    "The WSJ article 'doesn't discuss how people actually use their blogs to make money, which is by selling ancillary services."

    What ancillary services are we talking about here? 1/2 hour, 1 hour, or 2 hours "donations" for services rendered?

    • Do I have to wear my tin hat while services are rendered?

      BTW, it's now a gold hat with a 0.1 micron filter that advertises for ISP balloons in Africa while blogging.
    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      The primary is advertising, you nitwit. Blogger blogs, gets lots of people to read blog. Blogger then sells ad-space to advertiser, so the people who read the blog also get to see the ad. A small number of people purchase items from advertiser. Blogger, advertiser, and visitors all win.

      Was that simple enough for you?

      Other ancillary services would include merchendise (t-shirts, hats, books, etc), or perhaps an additional service related to the blog (i.e. you blog about organization tips, then offer organ

    • Funny you should say that--Penelope Trunk did write a post called Blog ROI: Consider measuring the success of your blog by if it improves your sex life [penelopetrunk.com]. Alas, that wasn't what I had in mind for the article I wrote...
      • LOL

        Like the AC mentioned, I was simply trying for some light hearted humor. Sometimes I get modded up and sometimes I get trolled.

        Nice article though.
  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @03:58PM (#28365463) Homepage

    I'm not sure many people want to be professional bloggers. I have a blog that has a small number of readers and having more readers is always nice, but blogging to me and to most bloggers is a hobby or a side element. Blogging professionally would involve a tremendous amount of stress as if every post isn't just perfect, readership, and hence profit, will suffer. Blogging would cease to be a relaxing activity. In fact, many so called professional bloggers such as say most of the bloggers at http://scienceblogs.com/ [scienceblogs.com] aren't professionals in the sense that they get large income streams but rather that is a convenience to have a small income stream in addition to their day jobs.

    Also, apparently Firefox includes the word "blog" in its default spellchecker and "blogger" but not "bloggers" although "blogs" is included. Weird.

    • There are always people who are late to the party on trends, and stories like these target those suckers. It convinces them that the right entrepreneurial spirit will lead them to the path of success (one of WSJ's principles...that hard work pays off).

      Nevermind that the sucker needs a time machine to go back to the period when they needed to start their blog to make decent money on it at this point (2000 as the article points out in its example).
    • Blogging professionally is an oxymoron.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        Er, why?

        You do know what the terms "profession" and "professional" mean, right?

        A profession is essentially the task or series of tasks you perform to supply your living. Anything you can do and get people to pay you for qualifies as a profession. Hell, I could be a professional water dumper if I could get someone to pay me to dump water.

        If what you do is blog, and someone pays you for it, that is your profession. It makes you a professional blogger. The opposite of course is the amature blogger (or amat

        • by pxc (938367)

          What you said is not necessarily true. "Blogging professionally" does not necessarily directly equate to "blogging as a profession". It could mean "blogging with professionalism". The grandparent poster could then be criticizing what he perceives to be the unprofessional nature of blogging.

        • You do know what the terms "profession" and "professional" mean, right?

          Indeed I do, and so does the dictonary [merriam-webster.com].

          In other words, you're a moron.

          Perhaps you should read meaning 1 c (2) in the above link: "exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace".

          You can then reflect on the fact that words have more than one meaning, and some people derive amusement from mixing them up.

          Do you work in military intelligence?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CRCulver (715279)

      Blogging professionally would involve a tremendous amount of stress as if every post isn't just perfect, readership, and hence profit, will suffer.

      I'm not sure this is the case. Certainly with a lot of popular political blogs (I'm thinking especially of Little Green Footballs here, but there are many others), the proprietors spent a lot of time expressing their bold individual viewpoint six or seven years ago, but now that they've made it big, they seem to just be phoning it in. In fact, I notice that a lot

    • by Anik315 (585913)
      I wholeheartedly agree with this. I read a lot of blogs, and the best ones are seldom very profitable. If you want to make money from advertising, your best bet is to run around chasing celebrities (TMZ/Perez Hilton), but if you want to make a difference in the world around you, don't expect get rich doing it. I would suggest getting a real job, so that you can afford doing you're passionate about.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mike Buddha (10734)

      I think that people fail to realize that Mark Frauenfelder has been writing in this more casual style (with 'zines then blogs) for more than 20 years now. He was building an audience for more than 12 years by the time he decided to blog. It's not like he was starting out with nothing. This was an evolution in his career, not a catastrophic event.

  • Just wait until I get picked up in the first round of the draft. I'll be living the high life: macbook pro and a thousand twitter followers.
  • Not true (Score:3, Informative)

    by Absolut187 (816431) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:04PM (#28365533) Homepage

    From TFA:

    Google ads pay almost nothing.

    To the contrary: Google ad sense has paid me between $0.30 and $1.00 per ad click.

    Unfortunately, my blog has extremely low visitation so I've only made $2.98 in the last month, but still. Google ads can pay pretty well. It depends on the ad. My ads are primarily from companies that offer LSAT prep classes.

    • by JobyOne (1578377)
      I'm in about the same boat. The ads are really just on my blog as a sort of "just in case." Just in case I ever get Slashdotted or something I might make a little real money. Getting paid only for clicks makes me wish my readers weren't so savvy.

      I need to find some more gullible readers...
    • Re:Not true (Score:5, Funny)

      by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:12PM (#28365623) Homepage Journal

      So basically what you are telling us is that Google ad sense has payed you almost nothing?

      • Basically what I'm telling you is that Google Ads pay up to $1.00 per click.

        OBVIOUSLY, getting the clicks is the hard part.

        • OBVIOUSLY, getting the clicks is the hard part.

          Haven't you been paying attention around here? All you have to do is ??? and you can profit without those pesky clicks.

      • by selven (1556643)
        Almost nothing? So, it's like nothing, but there's not quite enough of it to be called nothing?
    • It depends on what you're offering.

      If your blog talks about education (like yours seems to) or other high-profile niches, there's money in it. If your passion is in something more obscure like knitting in the round, don't expect people to pay you $.30 a click.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by basementman (1475159)

      Google is a shitty way to monetize compared to direct ad sales, ad sales from a large network, or affiliate marketing. You might get $0.30-$1.00 in a high paying niche, but that same high paying niche will do much better with other monetization methods.

      The problem is people think that blogging about their boring lives for a weeo and throwing adsense up there will make you a millionaire. It doesn't work like that.

  • Is that what they are calling armchair journalists these days?

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:10PM (#28365595) Homepage Journal

    I've kicked around the prospects of making mula from blogging before. Generally it's not worth it. Blog for love of the subject, and if it eventually clicks with an audience, THEN consider the mula aspect.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by GMFTatsujin (239569)

      Absolutely seconded.

      I've blogged mostly about gaming -- tabletop D&D a few years back, and old-but-awesome PC games this year. It's a lot of hard work to do it, and I only put out a new show once a month. If that.

      If I were depending on the blog for money, I'd he hanging by my necktie off the balcony rails of my cheap-ass apartment right now. I probably have, like, twelve people in the world I can count as an audience. I don't have any swag to sell and I'm not on the speaking tour circuit.

      I keep comi

    • Which is the rule for all good art. If you always seek to please everyone, you will lose, or create stuff like Britney Spears and Electronic Arts.

      The point is that great leaders give a lead, and make you believe that this is the best thing ever. If you seek to please everyone, you do not lead.

      It's also the same rule that makes the men that know what they want more attractive, and defines the unspoken hierarchy in a group (where a tramp can be above a queen).

    • The problem is that even if you do love the subject, you're still probably not going to make money from blogging--which is part of my point.
      • But if you love the subject, whether or not you make money is irrelevant. I've got a blog, and I've never made a penny from it, nor do I expect to make a penny from it. That doesn't make any difference to whether or not I will continue to blog, which was Tablizer's point.
    • Hear hear. This can be applied to most careers and hobbies.

      I have a blog devoted principally to sharing my experiences of learning Japanese. I do this because

      1. I enjoy writing and sharing my experiences, and wish to improve my delivery, and having a blog is good motivation to push me to write
      2. I want to be able to look back on my experiences, and my writing, and see how I've come on, and
      3. I want my experiences to be of value to others, however unlikely that might be.

      I have all sorts of reasons for writing a b

  • by Jarlsberg (643324) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:13PM (#28365647) Journal

    It's like any business, it takes hard work and time before you see any revenues. I have a blog at http://blog.magicode.org/ [magicode.org] (http://mirror.magicode.org/ [magicode.org] if it goes down, as it's hosted on my server in my home office) and I can tell you this, I'm not making a living on the ad revenues. ;)

    I code for a living. Having a good, professional blog is a way of showing people what you can do, and it inspires confidence, unless you put up pictures of yourself partying down, or post derogatory comments abour your ex-boss (or ex-wife, which is mostly the same thing, hehehe).

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mcgrew (92797)

      or post derogatory comments abour your ex-boss (or ex-wife,

      I don't know, tales of Evil-X a few years ago at K5 gained me lots of fans. No money, but I wasn't after money. Now I mostly blog here at slashdot about hookers and other women, and drinking.

      I've come to realize that hookers are popular among my fellow nerds. And blackjack. Wait, forget the blackjack.

    • Having a good, professional blog is a way of showing people what you can do, and it inspires confidence,

      Indeed, and that's the point of the second half of the original post [seliger.com]: you're not going to make money through selling ads, or whatever. Rather, anything you might make is indirect through signaling your expertise in a way that's exceedingly difficult if not effectively impossible to fake.

    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      The guy behind http://www.netbooknews.de/ [netbooknews.de] seems to be making a living from his blog, if I remember correctly. He was one of the first to write about them, he goes to all the product introductions, and by writing in good quality he could also convince manufacturers to send him pre-production samples, etc. I tried to look up some info, apparently before he worked on a linux OS specialized for the Via EPIA line. That also means that he was probably used to not earn a lot :)
    • It's like any business, it takes hard work and time before you see any revenues. I have a blog at http://blog.magicode.org/ [magicode.org] (http://mirror.magicode.org/ [magicode.org] if it goes down, as it's hosted on my server in my home office) and I can tell you this, I'm not making a living on the ad revenues. ;)

      Well, you can always pick up your revenue stream by inserting subtle endorsements for your blog in popular tech forums...

  • by gubers33 (1302099) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:16PM (#28365673)
    At least I think it is. Writing is like any other talent that millions of people can do, but not all can do well. Those few who can do their talent extremely well get paid for it. It is just like sports. Millions of kids play little league, but only a few thousand play minor league or college ball, and only a smaller few play in the MLB. Compare this to writing blogs, millions do it, a few thousands have blogs with some advertising and a smaller few get paid big bucks to do it professionally.
  • Step 1: Start blog
    Step 2: ???
    Step 3: Profit!

    People who believe they will make their fortune from a blog need to read up on the internet bubble. Eyeballs are not dollars, as investors discovered. A blog is just another kind of website. If you are selling your services, a blog is a great way of showing your expertise. You must make your money by actually doing something, though, not by writing about it. The blog just shows prospective clients what you know.
  • With millions of (mostly inactive) bloggs floating around, I don't know how people expect to stand out writing stories their dog eating a remote. Especially with CPM (cost per 1000 impressions in ad speak) in the pennies. I'm building a website about a far more popular subject and see no way to use advertising as a viable revenue source. I don't think the advertising model is dead, but will only make real money for the Googles of the world.
  • whether you have to spend time researching or just coming up with content that is germane to your audience and it's not simply a paraphrase of someone else's work. I blog for my site but it is primarily to communicate pertinent information and viewpoints to my users. I can't imagine being a professional blogger - not sure there is enough time in the day.
  • [since 1989] the only companies that have really made money from shrinkwrapped software are Microsoft and Adobe

    Yeah, Symantec, Autodesk, et al. are merely figments of our imaginations.

    Learn your history before you write a blog post describing it.

  • 2 cents (Score:1, Interesting)

    by wrencherd (865833)

    1. Including /. and (now) the blog cited here (and the WP article that it refers to), I've been "told" by at least 4 media outlets about how boingboing is one of the most popular blogs in the universe, yet I've never visited it and have no plans to do so at any time in the future. So the blogger could be right--the author is not making very much money--or maybe the WP article is right--he's cleaning up.

    Either way I'm still not going to visit.

    2. It seems like it would be a good thing if blogging is no longe

  • by Alcoholist (160427) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:31PM (#28365861) Homepage

    I'm not sure why people ever thought blogs could make money.

    I've been writing a blog for years but I was never so deluded to assume that millions of people would want to read my rantings and sponsors would want to shower me with money. I just do it because I like it. There may be some people who enjoy what I write, but not nearly enough to warrant an advertiser spending $2000/mo on me.

    Putting some Google Ads on your blog always struck me as sort of desperate looking, like you were imagining yourself as the next Ann Landers or something. And face it, you're not. Even if you are a great writer, part of the problem is there are so many blogs available. Even if we assume only a million of them are properly active and not shit, who in their right mind would think that the world (or in my case, the English speaking world) could possibly support a million little magazines with advertising? Multiply $2000/month by one million and the number that pops out is 24 billion dollars a year. A pretty big price tag for citizen journalism and obviously the advertising market isn't going to pay it.

    • I'm not sure why people ever thought blogs could make money.

      I'm guessing because articles like the WSJ one I linked to stoke the idea. Hence the importance of Penelope Trunk's comments (and, less humbly given the source, mine) as a counterweight.

    • Seeing as there are people who support themselves from their blogs, you are incorrect.
  • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:37PM (#28365925) Journal

    To be a "professional blogger," which is really just a professional writer who publishes on the internet, you have to already be interesting and well known enough to attract readers or start from nothing and prove that you are interesting and talented enough to be worth reading. Then you can either sell ad space/content from your own site or get hired to write for someone else. Both of those scenarios are possible and there are examples of each. Writing is just like any form of artistic expression. The majority of people simply aren't good enough at it to make enough money to survive without also having another source of income. Even many who are talented don't get enough recognition to allow them to quit their day job.

    But I think that is missing the point entirely. I suspect the vast majority of people who blog aren't doing it to make money and they never hope to. Blogging is essentially free, and at that price point there are plenty of voices that are worth checking out that wouldn't be worthwhile at any other price point, and maybe some of those people will even mature into successful writers in the traditional sense.

    So yeah, you probably won't ever be a professional blogger, or novelist, or painter, or musician but that doesn't stop people from enjoying those creative outlets for their own sake.

  • Who would have thunk of that?

    And guess what: This is the case for all websites, which do not sell real products or services that are worth money.

    I also add: http://navid.radiantempire.com/pub/danke_hauptmann.jpg [radiantempire.com]

  • by MrNougat (927651) <ckratsch AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:55PM (#28366115)

    Wouldn't it be in the best interest of someone who makes money at their blog to dissuade people from becoming competition? Perhaps by writing a blog about how difficult it is to make money at blogging, regardless of what the Wall Street Journal says?

  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:58PM (#28366159) Homepage
    Weblogs? Are we still talking about those? What is this, 2003? Honestly that's what I thought when I saw the article summary. MAKE.MONEY.FAST with your blog!
    • by selven (1556643)
      Indeed. Unfortunately, even vlogs, tlogs and n-logs are dead too. What we need is cloud computing, that will save the online journalists (although it might c-log up the internet)
  • at best the web ads would help pay the ISP bill, but doubtful they will make someone a millionaire. Remember that most ISPs that host web sites charge per bandwidth. That means the more people that visit your web site blog, the more bandwidth they will eat up. You have to figure out a formula or use accounting software to figure out if your web ads are bringing in a profit.

    Basically if you are going to blog professionally you have to have a blog about something interesting enough to get a majority of people to visit it, and deliver content on a daily basis that is original and entertaining or interesting enough to keep people coming back to it. Not only that but you have to try and avoid offending people so that you don't lose your audience. Plus it has to be something legal or else your blog can be shut down and you face criminal or civil charges.

    The blogs that have been successful have used affiliate adds that advertise to sell a product from say Amazon.com or Barnes and Nobel or some other company that you link to a book or product that has something to do with what you are blogging on and they pay you back a fraction of the purchase. That means your loyal readers will have to keep purchasing the products you advertise on your blogs in order for you to earn money. Some readers will be annoyed that you have web advertisement and some will use adblock plus on Firefox or adblock pro on Internet Explorer to block out your web ads and you don't earn anything from them.

    Some people claim that the free web is over, and that professional blogs only show most recent blogs and then charge a fee for membership access to look at the archive of blogs. Many newspapers are starting to do this, while others are going with eBook readers like Kindle to sell electronic versions of their newspapers. Basically a professional blog is like a newspaper, because you expect the writer to be more of a journalist that checks facts and cites sources and is more professional than the armature bloggers out there who don't always check facts and cite sources.

    Some professional blogs blog by serving up audio and video files of themselves talking instead of writing text and then insert advertising into the file in order to pay for it. Others only serve up those audio and video files by membership fees.

    Since the problem of people not wanting to pay for a membership or only want access to a few blogs or files, some professional blogs take micropayments in that it costs $1 to $5 per article or file to download it to your computer.

    But the problem comes in that when blogs and other web sites go to membership only, how do you cite a link to their material when only members can access it and you cannot share your account? Sure you cite and link to the web site, but then people who cannot afford membership will refuse to believe you or ask you to cite a "free" web site that says the same thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ThousandStars (556222)
      The blogs that have been successful have used affiliate adds that advertise to sell a product from say Amazon.com or Barnes and Nobel or some other company that you link to a book or product that has something to do with what you are blogging on and they pay you back a fraction of the purchase.

      Even those don't make much. Joel Spolsky has said that referrals from Joel on Software make ~$100 a month. Megan McArdle of The Atlantic [theatlantic.com] says she gets about enough to fund her book habit too. Both are very well-know

  • Having some talent is one thing. But running a good blogging site is also a time-consuming job. Think about how much time it takes to write a quality post that attract a lot of traffic. Another thing is promote that blog. It requires constant attention. Don't reply to comments for a few weeks and you'll see the traffic drops significantly. So I'd argue that people who spend a lot of time blogging and promoting it have a chance to earn some money.

    OutputLogic [outputlogic.com]
  • And I still have not gotten that first $100 check from Google after 18 months. Granted I am niche. A friend who gets 1000's of readers (many returning) a day makes an "insignificant amount" also from click ads.

    It's the way for the future.

  • I make a bit of side $ off websites but unless you plan on doing it 12hours per day every day dont expect it to replace your day job... atleast not for a number of years, For me its turned into more of a hobby like my Optical Illusion [visualfunhouse.com] site which is more for fun.
  • Probably?! Despite years of steadfastly refusing to blog the best you can offer me is probably? I demand certainty! I will not be a professional blogger!

  • hard work (Score:2, Interesting)

    by genius24k (767765)
    I have been running a blog for almost a year now http://www.review-ninja.com/ [review-ninja.com] utmost I have made about $100 dollars a month for the last 4 to 5 months, but it took a lot of time and effort to have it earn something, however I have a co worker that was able to buy a car using what google ads paid him but it took him years to earn much, once you start to focus on what you should earn it gets tiring really fast, so if your planning to do professional blogging it should be about something that you really love b
  • If you're being paid for it, it's not a blog. A blog is where you whine about how uncool your parents are, or what that dick at work did. If you're being paid for it, it's an article... or something still not a blog. If you are writing a daily/weekly article for your job, it's not a fracking blog, even if you use wordpress to write it.

  • The WSJ published an article that didn't contain the word Socialist and the name Obama? Am I dreaming?

  • You're probably not gonna:

    • Be a famous movie star
    • Be a famous rock star
    • Be a famous athlete

    But, if that's the life you want, there's nothing wrong with trying! Just don't assume that, because you work hard, you're going to succeed.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"

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