As someone who’s routinely offered an embarrassingly low dollar amount to write blogs for people, I have to roll my eyes whenever I see headlines like “How my blog made me a millionaire” or “Blogging your way to success!” So my reaction was the same when I ran into an article entitled “6 Ways to Make Money with Your Blog” at SFGate.com. The article also reminded me that I had saved a similar link from The New York Times back in May. See, as a professional blogger, I know that it is possible to actually make money while writing for other people; but snake oil salesmen who push non-writers into thinking their blogs can be the next big thing have always turned me off. For some reason, though, I read both articles — and it turns out I was wrong. Blogging and blogging for business can be profitable and good for your brand.
First off, this is in no way a testimonial about how you can make $4,000 dollars a day in your bathrobe. It’s more of a revelation that the two articles help me have. As pointed out in the Times piece, blogging is essentially creating your own publication, which requires creativity and drive and daily updating. The success stories in the piece are all bloggers who have worked hard and turned their love of blogging into tangible careers. Publishing deals, speaking engagements and paychecks are a few of the rewards successful bloggers can bring in.
So here’s where my revelation happens: Whether you’re doing a blog to push yourself as a brand or you’re blogging about a brand, the blog itself is a business. It requires the regular hours, brainstorming, planning and analysis of a normal businesses. Unlike other businesses, however, the revenue from your blog might come from unexpected places. Ad dollars, as mentioned in both pieces, are one thing — but when you’re blog writing for your company, the money might come rolling in a variety of ways, like readers who turn into paying clients, gigs scored because of a well-written blog, free publicity on another blogger’s site, etc.
But in the end, the focus isn’t solely on the money. The SF Gate article closes with the good advice to “think strategically and have fun.” And if you’re having fun and loving what you’re doing, the money will naturally show up to the party.