Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Can you Really Make Money from Blogging?

It's been real flattering to discover that this blog has been mentioned on several other blogs and forums, however the surrounding comments have contained some skepticism on whether one can really make money from blogging.

Can you make money from Blogging?

Can you make money from creating a great website that offers content or news appealing to a niche audience?

Does Blogging make it easier to build and promote such a website?

For the remaining skeptics, here are some sites that are making substantial money from advertising on their blogs: paidcontent, pvrblog (as mentioned in my previous post) and IWantMedia.
There are several others making money by using their Blog as a launch-pad for selling their books or publications: Marketing Wonk, blogroots, MarketingProfs.com, winningbackamerica.com, michaelmoore.com, Mark Stevens and Seth Godin to name but a few.
What do all these blogs have in common? Good quality and regularly updated content that stays true to a particular theme. Yes, these blogs were planned to be of a certain type, not just a dumping ground for ones thoughts. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against weblogs of a personal nature, I am just pointing out that these blogs are not money-making and there is no simple method of just starting a blog, putting ads on the site and getting rich overnight. Creating a good commercial blog is all about planning and finding a community to plug into that is appealing to advertisers or would be willing to buy your products. In the long term you need to build sustainable revenue from advertising, and that comes from long-term advertising agreements or sponsorships - none of which are possible unless the partner is uncertain about what content will appear adjacent to their advertising messages.

There is however another kind of blog that can be used for commercial gain, albeit indirectly, and this is what I term the complimentary blog - a blog that exists as part of a larger site. These are blogs that help to promote or provide freshness for an existing commercial site, which will result in attracting new users or increasing traffic who are either drawn by an interest in the blog's content or are able to find the blog easily through the search engines. Examples of these are: Dan Gillmor, The NBA's Blog Squad, Gary Stein and Guardian Unlimited.
Some complimentary blogs do not have an associated website, and are complimentary instead to one's PR efforts. Politicians and writers fall into this category and have a lot to gain from blogging. Both types of people have to invest large amounts of time and money to garner support or interest in their work. Blogging enables them to get their message out and their name known without going further than the desk in their home. Good examples of these are: rogerlsimon.com, white screen of despair, Tom Watson, Clive Soley, Howard Dean and Wesley Clark.

Can you make money from blogging?
In some cases, yes.

Can blogging help your marketing/PR plan?


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