Why Blogging For Money Sucks

Posted by on Dec 19, 2007 in Blogging advice

Why Blogging For Money Sucks

Instead of including a few introductory paragraphs I’ll just go straight to the point and use Darren Rowse’s poll to show you why blogging for money sucks.

Here’s a quick summary of Darren’s poll “How Much Did You Earn In October 2007 From Blogging?”:

a) There were 3054 responses which, in my opinion, is a big enough number to allow us to rely on the results as being very accurate.

b) There are actually some good earners who blog for money:
9% earn over $15,000 per month
7% earn between $2,500 and $15,000 per month

This leaves 84% of bloggers earning less than $2,500 per month from blogging for money.

If you want to go one step lower, then 81% of bloggers earn less than $1,500 per month from blogging.

Although $1,500 per month may be a nice extra income for you (that’s close to the average monthly salary here in Slovenia, which is around $1800 (€1,259)) it’s still not an amount that would guarantee financial freedom.

So if you are looking to become financially independent by blogging for money, first think about this:

1. 81% of bloggers earn less than $1,500 per month. I predict with 81% probability that you will also fall into this category. 😉

Now ask yourself this question, and be brutally honest when you answer it: Is all the effort you are putting into your blog really worth LESS than $1,500 per month?

I am saddened to see so many hard working people writing useful posts every day and getting paid almost nothing for it.

Here’s why…

2. When you blog, you rarely optimize your post for a certain keyword. In the long term, this doesn’t bring you any real targeted traffic from search engines.

Think about targeted traffic as people who are looking to buy something or spend money in some way.

Your goal is, of course, to get a share of the money they spend, either through affiliate commissions, ad clicks or other ways of monetization.

This post is actually one of the few on my blog that I’m trying to squeeze a few “blogging for money” keywords into, which, according to Wordtracker, is a somewhat popular phrase.

But even if I get some traffic for the blogging for money keyword, I most likely won’t make much money from these visitors unless someone really gets my message and buys a Site Build It package through my affiliate link (which they will NEVER regret!).

But back to the point – you invest so much time and effort into your posts which, in the long term, will bring almost no visitors to your site because they are not keyword optimized, and your blog most likely won’t have a pagerank of 7 to rank high enough for all those long tail keywords (like Problogger does, for example).

3. You blog for bloggers and they are looking for free information.

No blogger has made a cent from my visits in the past six months unless he gets paid for impressions from some of his advertisers.

I am totally ad blind to Adsense, I am totally ad blind to all those ads in the sidebar and I totally don’t care about buying or selling links for money.

I assume that many bloggers are like me in this regard.

In fact, my blog also falls into this category. Here’s a screenshot of my visitor stats since I started it in August 2007:

Traffic stats

My blog has had over 12,400 visitors so far, and I haven’t earned even a dollar from it. 😉

Then why I am doing it?

• I can afford to do it because I earn, from my static HTML websites, over $9000 per month while doing very little about them.
• I like to help people do better online and make myself useful.
• I promote the Site Build It package most of the time, which I fully trust and which pays lifetime commissions.

This means that if you buy though my affiliate link, I get a commission from your yearly renewal of SBI every year as you renew. So even though I may make very few sales, they continue to pay me as long as you stick with SBI.

And because most bloggers earn less than $1,500 per month, they cannot really afford to write just for fun and to help people if they are really interested in earning money from blogging.

Unfortunately, most bloggers still do that and hope that eventually some miracle will happen and the cash will start rolling in.

The above three logical reasons will hopefully get you thinking for a few minutes about whether this blogging for money game is really worth the effort it takes.

Although I see many non-monetary benefits of blogging, I think you’ll get much better monetary rewards if you build one or more big content websites where every page is keyword optimized and brings targeted traffic day after day through search engines.

That targeted traffic is then converted into money through clicks and affiliate commissions, and your income grows almost on autopilot.

But hey, I am open to your ideas about blogging for money, and to hearing whether you can achieve financial freedom with it, so go ahead and say something…

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    8 Comments

  1. I agree.
    It is almost pointless to try and blog for money. (especially if you’re blogging about how to make money while blogging and you’re not Darren Rowse)

    Like you, I am virtually blind to ads.
    However, I will occasionally look at AdSense ads on small blogs that I particularly like for the sole purpose of making those bloggers happy. (I’ve actually stumbled across one great resource that way)
    And I’ll occasionally look at 125×125 ads on high-quality sites. But I won’t ever purchase anything from them. I’m only keeping an eye out for free stuff. I’m good on just about everything right now.

    I personally blog because I enjoy it and I want to gain knowledge. I’ve found that I’ll retain knowledge better if I write about it and then discuss it with the few commentators I have.
    Although, I do hope to find some web design jobs through my blog (which I plan on giving a custom design). I’ve actually obtained one job so far through my blog.
    😀

    [Reply]

    Tomaz Reply:

    Brian,

    Yes, blogging for money and targeting bloggers as your main visitors is really tough game. Although one could make some blogs targeting completely different type of visitors.

    For example blogs about celebrities and gossip do really well since the visitors are teenagers who are very happy to click on everything what they see. 😉

    [Reply]

  2. Hi Tomaz,

    I’m not an advocate for “blogging for money”. It reminds me of some of the people I’ve known along the way who wanted “to be a rock star”. They were involved with music (in our case, blogging), but they seemed focused on the fame (in our case, the money).

    And, what information is “behind the numbers” in Darren’s post anyway? So far in 2007, 28% don’t earn money because they don’t even try to…or just fail at it. 49% earned less than $100. Why? Of those that are trying, are their blogs or actions lacking in one or more significant ways? Are the sites really just spammy AdSense sites? I’d be interested in knowing the niches and moves being made by those who are successful in earning money with their blogs compared to those who are not as successful, but are at least trying.

    I’ll click on an ad, or affiliated commission link, at a blog under the following circumstances: Let’s say that one way or another, I’ve come to a blog to read a review article/post about a product I’m looking for information on. If the review seems well written, thorough, and my “takeaway” from the article/post is favorable (pluses & minuses weighed), I’ll likely click an ad/link to move to the next step of the sales funnel.

    Example of a “good move” and a “bad move” in a blog posting from yesterday: I’m keen on acquiring a sturdy, yet somewhat stylish case/holster solution for an iPhone. I came across a blog posting of an amateur YouTube video review of a nice iPhone case/holster solution…and, I was ready to buy at the end of the review. I wanted to buy it so that the blog’s author would receive the commission for the value he provided me (the “good move”). But, there were no embedded affiliate links in the text associated with the video review…and, the affiliated list of product links in the sidebar did =not= have an associated product link either (the “bad move”). Lastly, there were no related Chitika or AdSense ads. He lost a sale as I moved on.

    I “get” the gist of your post…and agree with what appears to be the observation about the mindset of blogging for money. But, I do think that making the right moves can ultimately lead to a nice level of money rolling in from blogging. What are the right moves? The list probably goes on and on, but the items must include the things you’ve already suggested…informative & scannable content, link-building/traffic generation, affiliations, your own products/services, intuitive navigation, understanding what the blog is about, pleasant design, etc.

    I predict that your FreedomIdeas blog will likely translate nicely into on-going affiliated sales (e.g., SBI!). Why? Because you appear to be making the right moves on a number of fronts with your blog…not the least of which is providing content, to me, that is informative, and more importantly “strategic” in nature. I, and likely others, will reward you for this.

    Regards, DR

    PS. I believe, too, that keyword optimized/themed pages with informative content are important. In fact, I find most of the information I seek via the organic side of Googles SERPs (the 1st & maybe the 2nd page). Once I get to an article, having targeted links and/or ads encourages me to click-thru.

    [Reply]

    Tomaz Reply:

    DR,

    I appreciate your point of view on this topic. One part where I wasn’t maybe clear enough is that there are two ways to blog:
    – just write for fun, in general about your topic (financial freedom, making money online, Google Adsense, …), follow the latest trends
    – or create a blog in the same way as you would a typical website – based on keyword research

    In the second case you could of course build a successful blog too.

    [Reply]

  3. Well, I don’t really know what to say. I totally agree with you that ordinary blogging won’t bring the big rewards.

    But on the other hand I am running a few sites (build as blogs) but with the primary focus of getting high ranks for low comp. keyword phrases. I’m using wordpress as my free CMS and it works perfectly. One of the things that I really like about building a site in blog format is that I’m able to get spidered almost instantly.

    [Reply]

    Tomaz Reply:

    Mikael,

    Good points and yes, blogs targeting “low hanging” fruit work well too.

    [Reply]

  4. What I am reading here is that 16% of people who are blogging for money make more than $2500 monthly. That is 16 out of 100 people. That is so doable especially if you’re a fast reader, a quick thinker, and prolific writer. If you’re a writer, the odds of blogging for money are way better than the odds of getting a book published. Plus, blogging for money give you better residual income. So many friends (the lucky ones) of mine get a $10,000 advance for a book only to make a measly couple of hundred a YEAR (if anything) for writing an entire book. For laypeople, blogging for money may be an unsuccessful endeavor, but for a writer them’s bettin’ odds, brother. Woo-hoo. Blog on!

    [Reply]

    Tomaz Reply:

    Great to hear this enthusiasm, Christy!

    I’m sure with this positive approach you’ll end up in those 16%. (if you are not there already 😉 )

    [Reply]

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