September 6th, 2005Techie tips 0 Comments

Are you a blogger?

Are you a pro-blogger?

At first you may think twice about the idea of “professional” blogging. But since the popularity of blogging took off several years ago, coupled with the popularity of various e-commerce models, the concept of earning from blogs has gained hold in the economics of cyberspace.


As I write this, there are three clear models on how one can earn from blogging, and I will discuss each briefly:

  • Advertising
  • Subscriptions / Donations
  • Blogger P.R. programs

Advertising

Advertising is the bread and butter of mainstream media outfits. Whether you run a TV network, a radio station, or a newspaper, ads are usually the primary means of earning an honest income (does this imply there are sources other than honest ones?).

This can be the same, too, with blogs. Since the advent of Google’s AdSense and other affiliate-type advertising schemes, bloggers have taken advantage of micro-paying, context-aware advertising. Considering blogs mostly have niche audiences, enterprising bloggers have gone into creating focus blogs that cater to specific (and interesting) topics.

Since pay-outs are on a per-click basis, earnings from this type of scheme cannot be assured unless the blog already has a considerable readership, hence gripes from some new bloggers. An average click-rate of less than 1% is not unheard of, and is probably the rate at which the highest-paid pro-bloggers are getting. But with patience, perseverance, and a good topic and readership, it may not be too difficult to reach that hundred-dollar threshold Google had set for AdSense on a regular basis.

Of course, it may take some time to master the art to get to the level of pro-blogger Darren Rowse, who claims to earn upwards of US$ 14,000.00 per month on his blogs.

Bloggers can always try selling ad space to local companies. After all, blog readers are a niche market. So it’s like a sniper-type of approach as opposed to the shotgun-approach you get when advertising in mass media.

Subscriptions

The subscription model stems from the fact that (1) people are willing to regularly pay for content that’s good, and (2) micro-payment methods now abound.

Just like subscribing to a weekly e-magazine, subscribing to a blog is now possible with various e-payment schemes. And if you’re confident that your readers are willing to pay to access your content (whether they be text, graphics, music, etc.), you can surely earn your share in this this ever-innovating e- and m-commerce world.

For instance, my company’s very own i.PH service has recently launched its pay4access service, which lets anyone sell content online on a subscription-basis. Setup is a breeze and we take care of receiving payments through PayPal and G-Cash, and remittances thru either these two or a local ATM.

The donation model is pretty much the same, but without an author’s restricting access only to the paying readers. This was adopted by Jason Kottke who quit work and got a fair amount (about half of his annual income with his regular job) in donations, because people wanted him to keep blogging. This is also the model adopted by Leo Laporte for his This Week in Tech podcast, which gets upwards of US$ 2,000.00 per month in donations.

Blogger Programs

Then there are P.R. programs. Blogging is now considered a very powerful public relations tool, and companies are now willing to pay people to blog about them. Blogs are very good at attracting the search engines for keywords. Blogs also serve as companies’ human faces in cyberspace in what used to be a stone-cold corporate world.

Blog aggregators like Weblogs, Inc. pay authors to contribute to focus blogs. Marqui started a “blogosphere program” where they paid bloggers to write about them–at full disclosure! In fact, we’re planning on doing this in the near future (contact me if you’re interested).

My little summary

There are, I believe, a multitude of other ways to earn from blogging–both directly and indirectly. If you haven’t cashed in from your blogging yet, I’d say the three models I described may be worth exploring.

There’s gold in blogging! Who knows, you may be the first millionaire pro-blogger.

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