On Blogging

Blogs are funny things.  Maybe at first it is an exercise in writing.  Perhaps it is practice for a future writing career.  Maybe it is even therapeutic.  Primarily, so we think at first,  we write them for ourselves, but then things change.  We want to attract readers and comments.  We want to interact, or at the very least be recognized for our contribution.
I have read countless articles on how to attract readers–increase traffic, if I am to use the jargon of the trade.  I have read numerous stories of writers being approached by companies to pitch their products, or at the very least, review them.  I have read blogs by people who seemingly make their living off them.
I don’t mean for this to sound all negative.  Instead, I just want to understand my feelings toward it a little better.  I want this blog to attract readers, but have started to think that it is difficult.  Unlike WordPress (where I write a different blog) there doesn’t seem to be a way to get other bloggers interested in this one.  The “featured blogs” haven’t changed since I started and choosing “next blog” often leads me to blogs written in languages I can’t understand.
The tales of financial independence seem equally distant.  While I appreciate the ability to plug in third person advertising, it hardly seems profitable.  No one has approached me with review jobs and very few comments have indicated where to find this.
The odd thing is, despite all that I have written, I have no intention of giving up on it.  In the end it may not offer financial salvation, nor even any real growth, but I still enjoy putting the words on the screen.  I still enjoy expressing myself.  I guess blogging has become my hobby.
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3 thoughts on “On Blogging

  1. I think that few people make a living out of their blogs without becoming some sort of shill or using it as a medium to other pursuits. The days when people made a lot of money out of blogs died quite some time ago. I had a fair number of readers, but was lucky to make $50 a month off of both of them combined. I was being paid about 10 cents per post depending on the month and the types of post. Revenue wasn't going down as my readership went up, it was going down. The first good year that I had, I made $1200 and I only made $700 the following year despite a growing readership and increased posting. The rates for ads are going down. The only way to make money is sponsored ads, embedded links which kick back some cash to you, or some other sort of means to front for an advertising who will reward you if someone buys from them via linking to you. A lot of other people also “cheat” and find ways to get clicks by using anonymous connections and automated software.

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  2. I remember discussing this with you once before. I was surprised then because I saw how much traffic your blog was getting and I assumed that, while not becoming a rich fat cat, you would at least have gotten some grocery money. I also thought your blog was well written and was certainly interesting, so I just projected success onto it.
    I miss your blog, by the way.
    As for becoming some kind of shill–well I wouldn't mind someone sending me some hobby samples or cycling jerseys to “review”. I don't see that happening any time soon as my readership is rather anemic.
    My blog on WordPress (Today's Perfect Moment-links to the side) has no advertising but seems to attract more reader responses. However, I think that is just how WP is organized.
    In the end, I have to realize that blogging was never about the money, despite my rush to get advertising on my sites. I had some fanciful dreams, but that was quite some time ago.
    Thanks for your honest words, they are quite valuable to me.

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  3. When I say “shill”, I mean obviously promoting something even though you don't personally use it or endorse it, not receiving samples for review. You can get hooked into samples for review via Amazon, but it takes some time and you have to build up some steam. If you buy stuff on Amazon, be sure to fill out your profile and to include a link to your blog and to give your interests. I get e-mail solicitations several times a week for free stuff to review and that comes just from being a prolific reviewer on Amazon. It doesn't relate to my blogging at all. I was even offered hobby items once (some sort of metal puzzles that you put together into 3-D objects). If you want more information/details, you can e-mail me directly. For the record, I have written over 700 reviews on Amazon and hover in 1200-1300 in terms of my ranking. I don't think you have to do that much to get offered free stuff, but you do need to review as much as you can and do that profile. They can't offer you stuff if you don't tell them your e-mail address. 😉

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