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

Blogging for Dough?

The all new blogging for dollars will be up next.

Call me cynical but it seems to me that the blogging world has become the last bastion of the entrepreneurial individual who is scrambling to make a success of his or her new business.

I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

Just look at Twitter — another haven for the entrepreneur — just look at how many tweets are dedicated to “making more money with your blog” and “how to drive more customers to your blog-site. Go ahead, I’ll wait. I want to see if I’m exaggerating or not.

Back so soon?

You’ll have noticed, that Twitter is full of these helpful tweets. I know I noticed and it made me question why folks blog.

I know why I do.

I think I know why a lot of folks whose blogs I follow do. But you only have to look at your spam list to see that there are a lot of folks in the blogging verse who are trying to make money.

I don’t blame them. I was interested when I first started blogging, that on the blogger.com site that I first used, I saw that you could put adverts on your blog and get some pennies from the advertisers. I even tried to monetize my site.

Unfortunately, unless you live within the shores of the US continent, you cannot monetize your account. I was a bit nonplussed.  It did not (and still doesn’t) seem very fair. Most of my blogging audience reside in the US. I have a great spread over the rest of the world, but the good ol’ USA always comes first in terms of “readership.”

I suppose I am a little bitter about not being able to make a little change off my blogging. Not enough to really complain though. Just a little grousing to let the world know how I feel about it.

And of course that’s the crux of the matter.  I blog so I can let the world know how I feel about things.

Oh yay! Oh Yay! Stay tuned for my thoughts on world peace!

Whether it’s about the latest film I’ve seen or the horror of the Dark Knight shootings. I want to get my two penneth worth out there for folks to see. Not because I think I’m clever enough or sage enough to make a difference one way or the other, but because I can.

I’ve always been able to put two words together in a sentence and not sound too idiotic. This makes me a communicator. Not necessarily a great one, but a communicator nonetheless.

Because I have this ability, I like to communicate. Of course it helps the whole process when someone comments on something you’ve written. Even if it’s to (intelligently) disagree. I’m also pleased if someone takes a split-second to ‘like’ what I’ve written.

This all makes it seem more like communication. Without feedback for your real (or imagined) audience your blog starts to feel a little like you’re standing on a street corner wearing a placard that says “The end is nigh” and you are shouting to a unlistening, uncaring public.

So while I’m not blogging for monetary recompense aka dough, I am blogging for reward of a different nature.

The reward of knowing that somebody out there is listening and I can leave my placard at home.

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