Blog | Jan 25, 2011 | 9 Comments

[does blogging pay?]

[if not, then why do it?]

Yesterday, a good friend told me that she loves my blog and she hopes it makes me a lot of money. When I finally finished laughing, I decided that maybe some explanation was in order. Because on the face of it, doing all this work for free doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I don’t blog for money.

I set up my blog site because I needed a simple website. A blog site is easier and cheaper to set up and maintain than a custom website, and it works just as well for me. Also, I was intensely curious about social media and driven by the fear of becoming obsolete as more communication moves to the web. In early 2010, blogging was considered the cornerstone of a social media presence, so I decided to learn by doing.

Here’s all I need from my blog.

I get all of my business from personal networking and referrals, so this blog is a way to learn more about me once we’ve met or someone has given you my name as a writer-for-hire. I need you to understand my areas of expertise, so in addition to occasional entries about the types of projects I write, I have an About page and a Portfolio page. I also want you to get the impression that I’m a good writer, that I understand marketing and social media concepts, that I’m thoughtful and creative, and that I would probably be good to work with. The Testimonials page really helps with this, too.

And that’s it–for now, at least.

There are many other reasons to blog professionally.

There are thousands of articles about the benefits of blogging, but’s “Why Should You Start a Blog for Your Business?” is a decent overview. Basically, it comes down to marketing: “Blogs give businesses the opportunity to discuss products, share upcoming product or company news and hype just about anything the business wants.” However, although this article makes a number of good points, it leaves out the fact that blogs improve a website’s search engine results through fresh content, and that blogging is a good way to become known as an expert or “thought leaders” in your industry.

So, how do people make money on a blog?

The primary way of making money is “affiliate marketing.” A blog owner agrees to display an ad for another website on her blog, thus becoming an affiliate of the advertised blog. She gets compensated based on the traffic her blog generates for the advertised website (the number of people who click on her ad and/or buy from the advertised website). As I understand it, compensation formulas can be tricky. Bloggers can also be compensated for promoting products in their actual blog entries. I wrote a bit about that in a previous post, [truth in blogging].

However, unless you have a huge audience, it’s hard to make a good living from just a blog. Most bloggers are also consultants like me.  And an increasing number of them are publishing and selling books, which are largely targeted to other bloggers and marketers, of course!

Do you blog? Why? Share your reasons and results here.

Enhanced by ZemantaPhoto credit: Mexicanwave on flickr. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.


This subject tends to be one I deal with more often than not on first dates. I sometimes don’t have the strength to explain the concept of lead generation, multiple revenue streams & the new emerging economy.

My blogging netted me $3.27 yesterday & that was a good day.

Often difficult to explain the depth of connections made when running a blog.


Claire Wagner Reply:

In a world where everything is about money, sometimes this is hard to understand. I love what you call “the depth of connections.” Blogging has certainly had that benefit for me. It’s not easy to quantify but very important.




[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kathryn Siranosian and Claire Wagner, Claire Wagner. Claire Wagner said: New blog post: [does blogging pay?] […]

I get into this conversation all the time. If I were to go down this road, I would have to operate about ten different blogs for ten different parts of my existence. I just don’t see the point. I’m already stretched too thin and going broke. Adding a blog is not going to accomplish anything.


Claire Wagner Reply:

Yep, I did forget to mention that a lot of “pro bloggers” have multiple blogs. They sometimes start niche blogs where they can sell actual products. But you can only make small amounts of $ at a time. I think of my blog-related time and costs as an advertising expense. I blog, I manage a Facebook page, and I network with colleagues at several events a year. The word is getting out more and I’m satisfied. Thanks for commenting!


Gary Singh


I get into this conversation all the time. I would probably have to operate ten different blogs for ten different parts of my existence. There would be no way to pigeonhole everything I want to say into one particular blog about one particular subject. It wouldn’t work. Not for me, at least.


Gary Singh


I blog to make people laugh and think. I work in social media, and I love what I do, even some of it (mostly Facebook) is absolutely crazy.

I’m starting my attempt to make money blogging by selling t-shirts with my cartoons I draw. I have no idea if it will work to make any significant money, but if I even made $10 a month, that’s $10 more than I make blogging now.


Claire Wagner Reply:

Jay, thanks for commenting. I really enjoy your blog, including the great cartoons, and I need one of those t-shirts!


Jay Dolan


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