In chapter six, Rettberg discusses the economics of professional bloggers.
In some cases, successful bloggers choose to pursue a career centered around their blogs. They’ll quit their traditional jobs and work full time towards gathering a steady paycheck around their blog. But how do these bloggers go about making that money? Is that type of job sustainable?
Professional bloggers have a few options when it comes to the attempt to make money off their site.
1) Advertisements: A blogger can make anywhere from a little to a lot off of advertisements. Bloggers can use tools such as Adsense from Google. These tools will create ads that are appropriate with the blogger’s topic. If I blog about cars, there will most likely be an auto part company or automobile company advertising at the bottom of the screen.
2) Donations: Bloggers can always accept donations from their loyal readers who are willing to pay for their unique insights on the subject they are covering. It might work early on but it will most likely be sufficient enough to last. Rettberg mentioned a blogger named Jason Kottke who tried to live solely off of the donations he received from his readers.
3) Corporate Partnership: A blogger can also promote certain brands and in return, those brands will help pay the blogger’s salary. For example, if I were blogging about my favorite ingredients to cook with, certain food companies would pursue my services if my blog was popular enough.
No matter what, it’s important for bloggers to not over-commercialize their site. If they do that, they might lose credibility and alienate their readers. When I see my favorite writers do this, I call them “sell-outs”.
There is nothing wrong with a writer being paid for his or her hard work but they must remember that a lot of readers love reading blogs because they aren’t focused on selling something. Readers want something real, not a 300-word advertisement or PR release.
1. How would you retain your credibility as a writer while gathering a paycheck?
2. Are there any other ways to bring in revenue for your blog?