You know what – don’t play dumb – the thing that often unbalances even the most grounded of us: the new idea.
The idea that my blog could actually generate cash, and therefore allow me some free time to do other things. Someone is actually offering to pay me (why me?) to host posts and links (see where this is going?) for which they would pay a sum not yet mentioned.
I am such a novice in this field, that I actually needed to google some of the terms so I could understand them. I researched and read more related articles in the last half day – to the detriment of my work (sorry, James. I’ll make it up to you.) – than I had in the last year or so. The short of it is as follows:
- there are organisations that search for ‘high goodwill’ blogs – who would have thought it? They need these blogs for placement of all kinds of advertising and links, or they may simply wish to buy the whole site from you, simply because of its goodwill. See, when you go over the top with back links and such, people like google sometimes de-rank your site, which means you don’t get into search results anymore, or you’re so far down the list you may as well pack your toys and go home. Or start a new site. Or buy one from the likes of you and me.
- the newer you are, the more desirable. This one seemed illogical, because I would have expected a more established site to be of more interest. Actually, it appears it is easier to change the use/theme/call-it-what-you-may of a site when it’s in its infancy. And it’s cheaper to buy, because of several overlapping factors. The owner is probably hungry for a quick buck, inexperienced and unlikely to spend the time I just spent looking at this deal from all angles (this one could be a bad habit I picked up living in the UK, but I can’t blame this country entirely for my disproportionate level of mistrust and cynicism). The low number of followers can be used as a tool to lower the price paid (lack of bargaining skills is another one of those things inexperienced people are well known for). In fact, the number of followers a site has is unimportant, as long as the ranking of the site is good.
Did you know there is a way to check your site’s rank? Here it is. Mine is 2 out of 10. For a nine-month old site, it’s not bad. Certainly better than zero, which is what I would get if I introduced these back links I was telling you about. It doesn’t matter if they’re in old posts, or on pages other than the home page. They count. Google finds them. I lose.
- there are other ways to make a buck – honestly – if you are a good writer and you are prepared to put in the work. If you start reviewing washing machines instead of books, all of a sudden, what do you think is likely to happen? You’ll lose your readership (though you may acquire a different one in time, that’s true!), your friends are going to start wondering if you’ve changed your medication or drop you altogether for a less crazy alternative, and as soon as your rankings fall, you and your site become undesirable. Your income dies. You have a site which is worth nothing and a pile of sh** to wade through as you’re struggling to re-build it and your lost friendships.
If you really are thinking of earning a living through blogging, look here for an example. But please, please, be aware that it will not be a walk in the park. I read a lot about it. You’ll be under contract, against deadlines, and you’ll be lucky to keep your head above the water. You’ll be paid according to the quality of your writing, so you can’t cut corners just because you’re not writing a book. Payment usually follows after 30 days, if your post/article/review is approved by the client. Yes, you can make money out of blogging once you’ve built a track record and a decent client list. But you do the same as a writer. You’d be swapping like for like, and one dream for… well, another. The choice is yours.
In conclusion, life goes on as usual on this blog. ‘Think about what you do’ is the moral of this little story. Just because it’s not labelled ‘spam’, it doesn’t mean it isn’t. It’s tempting, of course it is. Just promise me you’ll think first.
If you have any ideas or experiences of blogging for cash, good or bad, or selling advertising space – articles, links, whatever else – leave a comment. I am interested in what you have to say.