How I Make Money Blogging

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[twitter]For me, blogging is my book. It’s not the thing that makes money, but it’s the thing that helps me to make money.

Any author will tell you that having a book doesn’t make them rich (unless you’re a bona fide best-seller), but it does legitimize their ideas and gets them more acceptance on the speaking tour.

Steve Jones, the author of Brand Like a Rock Star, says, “the blog (or book) doesn’t make you rich, but it is absolutely a currency of credibility. And a valuable one at that.”

My blogs do that for me. I say blogs because I have a number of them.

I have been writing about technology and wired culture online since 1996. In that time I have penned columns for newspapers (Vancouver Sun, 24hrs), and major websites (like Yahoo! and the Future Shop Tech Blog). I have also spun that digital experience into segment hosts for television programs like Breakfast Television, Urban Rush, and a new series of columns for Global Calgary’s Sunday Morning News.

In the fall of 2009 I started a parenting blog called DadCAMP. The first weekend I published I was invited to be a guest on Global BC to talk about the daddy blogging initiative. The practice of writing about my kids landed me a guest blogging gig with Man of The House for a number of months, and most recently my content is syndicated to Yummy Mummy Club.

The best way I make money on my actual blogs is running . TLA is a keyword purchasing service that puts paid links in your menu bars. Doing this can lower your Google Page Rank, but I find the return to be enough that I’m willing to sacrifice, and I post them mostly at cyberbuzz, my lowest traffic site.

I’ve been running since April 2008 and have made nearly $1900. That’s about $40 a month.

I also run Google AdSense across my 3 main sites (cyberbuzz, DadCAMP, The Blog According To Buzz) and have made $1500 since September 2004. That’s about $14 a month. If you’re a blogger like John Chow, you’ll scoff at my numbers. With nearly 800 000 all time page views, my conversion should be much higher than that.

All in all, I make about $50-$60 a month running ads on my blogs. But remember, my blog is not to make money off itself, but rather to help me make money in other places.

I was paid for my submissions to Man of The House. I get a cut of revenue from Yummy Mummy Club. I was paid for my Yahoo! work, and was asked to go on their behalf to cover the Junos in 2008. I was paid to write my newspaper columns, and do my tv segments. I am paid to write and review gadgets for Future Shop.

I see many people wondering how to monetize their blog. I see some Mom Bloggers with half the traffic and followers charging $150 for sponsored posts. That’s great cash if you can get it, but eventually the brands will see past your lack of influence and it won’t be a long term gig.

I write my blog for me. It’s a hobby. A place where I can work out my opinions and theories on news, parenting, culture, and technology. It’s a place where I can share my experiences discovering my city and inspire others to get out and do the same.

I opened a US dollar savings account a few years ago and I just dump my cheques into that account each month. Now, when I go to CES each January, I can blow a couple hundred on roulette and not blink. Now, in the summer, my family can bolt down to Montana and have a great week for free.

The real money I make from blogging comes from the other opportunities my writing opens for me. You may choose to monetize your blog from here to next week and collect every single penny and CPM you can, but perhaps you should just focus on the content.

Instead of worrying about monetization, maybe you should just use your blog as a home base to network and share experiences. Instead of using your blog as the business, use your blog as a place to legitimize your ability to reach out and help someone else’s business.

I works for me.

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