For those of you who are dreaming of becoming a professional blogger, this article will dash your dream. In my previous article, “Is blogging a dead way of making money?”, I made the case that if blogging is the strategy of your business, then your business is in trouble. To give you a better appreciation of why this is the case, I’ll give you some numbers for today’s articles.
But before I go into that, let me explain how blogs make money:
- Advertising—This is the most popular form of generating revenue. The easiest way to get advertising revenue is to use Google AdSense (by the way, if you intend to build a long-term brand for your Internet Business, using AdSense to earn revenue is a very bad idea). AdSense is a mode of advertising called Pay-Per-Click (PPC), where you are paid a miniscule sum of money per click on the auto-generated advertisements. Other ways of advertising modes include selling ad space to brokers, who in turn sells them to advertisers. Some websites sell advertisements directly to advertisers, cutting out the middle-men. To be able to do that, your website must have substantial clout and you need to have some negotiation skills.
- Paid Content—You are paid a sum of money by the advertiser to write specifically on a topic or product. This is like word-of-mouth marketing, except that you are paid to do so. The biggest issue with this type of revenue stream is that there is a conflict of interest on the blogger’s part. I can tell you, if you do not handle this issue transparently, you will lose the trust of your readers.
- Affiliate Marketing—Bloggers incorporate links on their content to their advertisers’ websites and are paid according to what happens over there (e.g. subscriptions, purchase, leads).
- Donation—Readers are asked to voluntarily donate to the blog.
I can tell you, if you want to be able to make a living writing blogs (or producing free content like music, photos, and illustrations for that matter), you need a colossal amount of traffic for that to happen. To show you how colossal, I’ll give you a couple of real examples of undisclosed bloggers:
- One ex-blogger had half a million page views per month, resulting in only $500 of AdSense revenue.
- Another blogger has one million views per month. When she wrote a book review (affiliate marketing), she helped Amazon sold 1,000 copies of that book. Assuming that the commission rate is 4%, that translated to $640 of revenue.
If you are setting up an e-commerce store, the numbers are not pretty either. Someone I know has an e-commerce website that has “millions of visitors” per month. Guess how much profit he earns per month? Around $12,000!
So, if you dream of becoming a professional blogger (or some other creator of free content), my advice to you is to snap out of that dream. There is a much better way. And I will talk about that tomorrow.