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The question seems to come up fairly often. Can you really make money blogging? The answers come back all across the board. Everything from “Look at John Chow or Shoemoney, they’re raking in the cash!” to “I’ve got great content, I write for my readers and I spend the time it takes to write a well thought out, spell checked post, and I am still not making a dime!”
As well as writing for my own blogs, I also like writing for HubPages. I have a few hubs over there, and when I am not writing I like to read the forums. The forums are full of very good writers complaining that they are not making any money. They spend hours on their hubs, get hundreds of readers, dozens of comments, and don’t make any money. Others throw a hub together in just a few minutes, have a few dozen readers, and get a check from Google every month. It just doesn’t seem fair!
What some writers don’t seem to understand, is that to make money you have to sell what people are buying. The best ice cream in the world doesn’t sell well in the dead of winter! Your blog post on the Russian Revolution might be incredibly well written, gather lots of comments, and even win you an award, but it probably won’t make you any money. There just aren’t that many buyers (or advertisers) for the topic. On the other hand, an article on a diet that actually works, or a review on the latest tech gadget, those posts are going to attract people who are looking to buy. Buyers might not comment, but they will click on ads.
Some complain that they don’t want to “sell out”. They don’t want to write just for the money. That is fine, but then it doesn’t make sense to complain that you aren’t making money. I know that you have been told to write great content, spell check your work, and writer for your reader. That is all true. However, if you don’t also write for buyers, people who are looking to buy something, then you will have trouble making money blogging. Let’s face it, the market isn’t always fair and the most deserving don’t necessarily make the most money.
For me, I mix it up a bit. Sometimes I am write for the pleasure of writing. I pick a topic I am intersted in and write just to put my ideas out on the World Wide Web. Othertimes, I am writing with a specific market in mind. I am writing just to make money.
The results have been OK. For the amount of effort I put into my blogs I make a reasonable amount of money. I am not about to quit my dayjob, but I earn enough to pay for my hosting and my domains and to have a little left over. I am sure that if I spent more time I could make more money.
How about you, are you really blogging to make money?
If you want to make money writing for blogs on the internet it pays to sign up with a few blogging networks. They can provide a steady stream of work that can tide you over if your own blogs are lagging. They are also good when you want to write on a topic that just doesn’t “fit” any of your own blogs. The trick can be picking the right blog network to write for. I have had a good amount of success writing for HubPages, but I am also searching for new networks that pay well and have interesting assignments. The Problogger job board alone has almost 20 new job listings for blog networks this month, and we are only half way through the month! The trick is to find a blog network that has enough assignments for all their writers, has a reputation for high quality content, and who pays their writers on time and consistently.
Demand Studios is a blog network that connects freelance writers and filmmakers with publishers who need content. They claim to be the largest provider of videos to YouTube, and they provide content to may popular sites like Trails.com and AOL.
Like most higher quality blog networks Demand Studios requires an application process that includes providing a resume and a writing sample. Once you are accepted into the network you can choose from a list of assignments and claim those that best suit your writing topics and style. Once you have claimed an assignment you have seven days to complete the article. After you submit you article it is subject to an editorial process where it will be either accepted, sent back for revision, or rejected. Once you article is accepted you are paid within one week via PayPal. The article is then optimized for the web before it is published.
Demand Studios provides two types of article assignments. Flat fee and revenue share. You know what type of article you are writing when you accept the assignment. For flat fee articles you are paid the fee one time, with revenue share you are paid a percentage of the generated revenue for an indefinite period of time. There is a $10 minimum to receive payment. If you don’t reach the minimum it is carried over to the next pay period.
Like most blog networks, once your article has been accepted, Demand Studios owns all the rights. However, they do allow a bio box that can include links back to your own blogs. If your article is published on a popular site this alone could be worth the effort to write the article!
I found it interesting that many of the publishers are also blog networks like eHow. I wonder if you might be better off writing directly for the network, rather than sharing the revenue with two networks. On the flip side, if you are more of a writer that an SEO expert, you might actually make more money on a revenue share with Demand Studio optimizing your content, than you would on your own.
In addition to writing jobs, Demand Studios also offers jobs for editors, filmmakers and transcribers.
It is always difficult to find legitimate work from home jobs, but I have found that Craigslist can be a good source. However, it does take a bit of work to find the good telecommute jobs amongst the “regular’ jobs and the scammers. To make the job easier, I have come up with these tips to finding a good work from home job on Craigslist.
1. Don’t limit your searches to cities near you. When you work from home your boss could be half away across the world from you, location really doesn’t matter. Start with the larger cities and work your way through the whole list of Craigslist. One thing I would like to see with Craigslist is a search feature that includes all cities. As far as I know you can’t do that right now. So for now you need to do your searches city by city.
2. Start your search with cities where employers have to pay to place an ad. Not all Craigslist ads are free. In some of the larger cities, employers are required to pay to place an ad. Scammers don’t like to pay for ads, so this weeds out a lot of scam artists. San Francisco and New York are two cities that you need to pay to place a help wanted job on Craigslist.
3. When you work from home, it really doesn’t matter what location your employer is at. So don’t limit yourself to only searching cities near you.
4. Look at all job categories, not just the field you want to work in. Not everyone classifies things the same way. For example, I have found bookkeeping jobs in almost every category, including general labor and manufacturing. Some employers will classify by the type of business they have, as opposed to the type of job. So, if a manufacturer needs a bookkeeper, they put the ad under manufacturing.
5. Use the search box! Don’t spend your time scrolling down lists. Most jobs posted will not be telecommute or work at home jobs. Use search terms such as “work from home”, “telecommute”, “work remote”, etc. Make sure to use the quotation marks to precisely define your search and weed out the results you don’t want.
6. Watch out for the scammers. No matter where you look, there will always be scammers. Be sure to read up on how to spot a work from home scam, and know that with few exceptions, you should never have to pay to get a job.
With these tips and a little work you should be able to find a number of opportunities for legitimate work from home jobs. Good Luck!