Blogging for Dough, Does it pay?


Writing something!
Hard at work at my new job!

I first started blogging back in 2010. One tiny blogpost and then nothing for an entire year. I restarted in ernest in 2011 but never got any colossal views on the Blogger site. I added Tumblr to my little blog verse and, again, didn’t really set the world on fire. It wasn’t until I made the move in April last year to WordPress.com  that my views, readership (aka followers) and interest picked up.

I have been doing this for roughly a year and three months and I’m only now getting a solid blog set up, with a lot of help from my “real job” working for the Las Vegas Guardian Express.

I had written an earlier blog about the likelihood of gaining employment from writing your blog. It is possible to make money from it. If you’re an author, it is an excellent springboard for advertising your wares and increasing your fan base, which in turn, will increase book sales.  There are ways to advertise on your blog, but my trips down that particular avenue have not been very profitable.

In truth, they’ve been practically non-existent.

I was approached by a company when my views started going up. I was pleased to think that my ramblings could earn me cash. Then reality hit. The money that they offered me was laughably low. It amounted to around $100 for a year of letting them advertise on my blog.  I also took so long to respond that I missed that particular window of, limited, opportunity.

I then tried the “Adsense” route, or the WordPress version of it anyway. I never heard back. Presumably my little blog is too little to count. I then attempted to branch out and go the freelance route. While my first attempt got positive feedback, the finished product didn’t meet their “expectations” and I was left penniless at the end of the day.

The only income from my writing has been as an entertainment journalist/editor for the Guardian.

I would like to say that my blog was instrumental in getting me this nicely paid job.

It wasn’t.

I got the job almost by accident. I had gone to another newspaper, owned by the same organisation, with the idea of posting some of my short stories on the site. While I busily built my profile, I noticed another advert on the site that was looking for writers. It was the Guardian Express.

I applied.Thumbs up!

To cut a long story short, I received training and tips from the owner/founder of the paper, DiMarkco Chandler. I already knew how to write, so that part was easy. What I didn’t know was how to write for the internet world of news. I’d had journalism a million years ago and remembered all the things you must do in an article.

What I didn’t know was how to utilise those rules in an internet format to ensure that people read my articles.

But it was more than the training that got me swept up in the excitement of writing for a newspaper at my advanced age. It was the chance to work for an organisation  that, not only paid handsomely for my work, but one that believed in dreams. Everyones dreams. That, plus a group of likeminded folks, make this a “dream” job!

So, if I was asked by anyone, does blogging for money, pay? I’d have to answer, “Yes and no.” I’ve not earned one red cent from my blog. But writing it and posting several articles a day, brushed the cobwebs out of my very rusty writing skills and helped me to start to develop a singular style.

It was blogging for fun that got me started on this venture and while it never reached the “blogging for dough” stage (well not very much dough was offered at any rate) it hasn’t paid me one thin dime.

But it was blogging that inadvertently and in a very roundabout way led me to my current position. I still think that blogging is an excellent way to polish your writing and a great way to meet likeminded folks who also enjoy writing their creative, and sometimes personal, thoughts and sharing them with the amazing blogging community.

I’ve made some real friends via WordPress and at least one helped realise that I could still act and was instrumental in making me realise that no dream, even one that had been given up on years ago, was beyond my reach.

So blogging for dough, does it pay? Not really. Not for me, at least. But the recompense in making friends, building a following, and interacting with a wonderful community is much more satisfying than making money. Although you can’t pay bills with that sort of recompense.  But I’ve only been doing this for a short time, I may yet make some “real dough” for my labours!

Michael SmithIMG_0229

United Kingdom

23 July 2013

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

20 thoughts on “Blogging for Dough, Does it pay?”

  1. I don’t blog to earn money but have said yes to a couple of link ads in some articles. Although it didn’t make me a big sum of money it is a nice little extra.

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  2. Nice piece Mike and good to hear the job is going well. I’ve never thought about my actual blog making me money directly through ads or anything but I’d love it if it somehow secured me a job writing about movies or whatever, although chances of that are pretty slim, I know!

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    1. I’ve met quite a few folks who think blogging equals money, and in some cases it can, but certainly not enough to live off of! LOL But we keep doing it regardless. Thanks mate!! 😀

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  3. Hi Mike, I do read and enjoy your Guardian articles but miss your daily input on WordPress.
    Congrats on your life going so well.
    You have earned it and deserve it.

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  4. Interesting Mike, and something I had really been wondering about. I believe I was too worried to check it out because I wanted it to say, “Oh YES, you can make great money blogging”, LOL! And in my heart and shallow mind I already knew that was just not so. Too easy for something you love to do. So, now I know. Still, I can get going and enjoy it, just not depend on it for support, right? Now, just have to get Word Press all straight in my mind, LOL! KEITH

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    1. Well put, it is about enjoying what you do! I got incredibly lucky with my job at the Guardian, writing is one of those jobs that I’d would do for nothing, and in the case of my blog, I do! LOL Cheers Keith!!

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  5. Congrats on the guardian gig, I don’t know if I ever told you. I enjoy your little corner of the blogosphere over here.
    I don’t think you can’t write with the sole intention of getting paid for it. You have to write because you love it and getting paid is only a side effect…that’s my take on it anyway.
    : )

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  6. Nice post man. It’s hard to make a quick buck in this world, but hey, we’re all hear to get our stuff out there for the rest of the world to see. In my mind, money should come second and despite it being a must, for me: it’s there if I need it or really want it so badly that I cannot sit still.

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  7. Depends how you blog I guess,
    My reason behind changing my blog recently was that I wanted to practice my professional writing..I’ve no interest in writing about anything other than what i’m passionate about because I just know that if I was writing about the things a lot of newspapers and news sites want (don’t get me wrong, it’s brilliant that you’re writing for money for a newspaper and what you do write is equally good) I would do a shitty job and I wouldn’t enjoy it. Hence putting more effort into making my film reviews professional and losing the ‘bloggy’ habits (it was something I learned from my editor at planet ivy, my writing had got too bloggy which doesn’t fly professionally!)
    Practice is ALWAYS necessary to be successful, so in that sense I think personally that my blog is paramount to me being a successful writer, of course not quite as important as my work as a writer for the other two websites, being as they’re of better professional standing than my little blog haha 😛
    I never want to blog as a living, I want to write articles about film, and other subjects I’m passionate about, and film reviews, so it doesn’t phase me that I won’t get money out of my blog, it’s just damn good fun doing it 😀 and good practice of course xD

    Great post 🙂

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    1. Yeah, WordPress definitely has a problem with your comments at the moment! Found this in my spam folder. WTF WordPress!! Thanks! Your comment was well put and I agree completely with the points you raised. Especially the profession vs blog style, which I definitely have problems with. LOL

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      1. WordPress is actually screwing with me I swear…I can’t actually get on my blog 9 times out of 10, and when I can I try to reply to a comment and it fails…I just get that damn error screen as if I’m not connected to the internet -_- (which I am, stupid wordpress)
        haha I struggle with the same problem, I use too many exclamation marks and get too chatty haha so hard to break the habit xD

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