In the beginning
In the last ten years blogs and blogging – or web logging as it was originally known – have changed the manner in which we manufacture and consume media. Today anyone can write anything they like and publish it online where it will be accessible to billions of people worldwide. Similarly, many bloggers provide a journalistic service, usurping the once all-encompassing rule of the corporate media and breaking big stories that we may not ever have heard about otherwise.
Of course the serious stuff is all well and good, but blogging can also be a lot of fun. Do you ever wonder if you could be making some money doing something that you really enjoy? Well it’s certainly possible. There are thousands of freelance writers out there doing just that right now. The thing is, the art of blogging has grown into something a lot more than just a type of online diary-writing. It has become big business.
Blogs and money
Unsurprisingly in our modern capitalist world, blogs have been recognized for their potential to make money. Take the Huffington Post for example. Having grown up and flourished from a compendium of talented bloggers, it now rivals and even surpasses some of the biggest names in traditional media when it comes to the traffic that passes through the website each day.
The bottom line is: if the content is good, the readers will come. And when the readers arrive the ad revenue soon follows – that’s the basic blogging business model. This is the point where you come in, the individual blogger that is.
As a blogger, you are the content creator. As a result of the monetization of content, the good news for you is that bigger blogs and websites now have money to pay their contributors, which they are more than willing to do because paid contributors are more likely to provide high quality content than unpaid contributors, and high quality content is what is most important if a blog is to stand out from the crowd – and so the circle of life continues!
Monetize your own blog
If you are a blogger you already have your own blog that you have been maintaining, hopefully having gathered a few regular readers/commenters in the meantime to boost your traffic figures. If so then there are a number of ways you can make some money without every having to write for anyone other than yourself.
Google Adsense is one of the most popular choices for those looking to monetize their own blogs. It’s pretty easy to set it up through the Blogger platform (it being owned by Google) and will automatically add banner advertisements to your blog, in turn making you money for every click those ads get. However it must be noted that a serious amount of page views are required to make any kind of decent money this way, as you only get a few cents per click, and people simply don’t like to click on ads – so if even if you have a few hundred followers you are unlikely to make anything more than lunch money with Adsense.
There are other options too. The Amazon Associates system is similar in principal to Adsense. Read more about it here. After that, you can try to set up some private advertising. For instance, if your content is geared towards an local audience in your area, you can show local companies your traffic figures and they may be interested in paying to post a banner ad on your page.
How to get involved
Getting paid to blog for a third party can be easier than you think, especially if you’re really good at it. First of all you’ll have to find your niche, but that shouldn’t be a big problem – you know what you like to write about, right? So decide what you want to focus on, whether it be fashion or food or finance or… you get the idea.
There are probably some established sites you are familiar with in your niche already, and you’ll be able to find plenty more using a little secret tool of the trade we like to call – make sure nobody is looking at your screen right now – Google! If you’re stuck for ideas, here is a link to some sites that regularly pay their contributors to blog. About.com is a good example, where they pay freelance “guides” to create and moderate their content.
Most sites like the above will have a specific contact page where you will be able to get in touch about contributing. Even some of the bigger sites out there – such as the aforementioned Huff Post for example – will be interested to hear from you if you’ve got what it takes (though that particular site doesn’t have a great reputation for paying well!). And if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Persistence and tenacity are crucial traits for any aspiring writer to possess.
Time + Effort = Success
If you have talent there is no reason to doubt that you have got what it takes to become a professional blogger or freelance writer. But do bear in mind that things won’t happen for you overnight. Also remember that, if you want to be 100 percent freelance, you won’t have the safety net of benefits et al that come with most regular employment. Regardless, if it’s what you want to do then you shouldn’t be deterred.
Developing your own blog is a great way to practice and build a portfolio of content online, even if you aren’t making a whole lot of money at first. If you keep working at it you will find success. There will be ample opportunities for you going forward because new media is where it’s at right now, and it looks like it’s only going to get bigger and bigger from here.
Posted by Bindra at 09:30 AM
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