Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Money from blogging (and your kicks for free)


I found  this thought-provoking post on Zen Habits, a blog I 

follow from time to time.  Leo Babauta writes about how he 

conducts his business, which is geared towards helping people 

improve their lives as well as advice on how to start and run on-

line businesses.  This quote gave me pause for consideration:

When you start doing affiliate marketing, even if you think it would help the reader, if it would make them question your motives (is he trying to help me or make some money here?), it erodes their trust, a little at a time. That’s not worth the money.

I agree.

You've probably noticed that some (many) blogs have advertisement on them.   How to reduce belly fat, save on fashion from various companies, change to a certain credit card or buy stocks from this investment firm.   The annoying ones flash or blink to get your attention.  The ads often have little or nothing to do with the blog topic and I'm suspicious that they have more to do with me.   After I made a purchase from L.L. Bean for the first time in years, it seemed I was hounded everywhere I went on the internet by L.L. Bean ads.   Creepy! 

Another option to make blogging pay, Leo Babauta describes, is affiliate marketing.  If you mention a product or even better review it anyone who clicks on the product you named in your article will be giving a portion of the company's profit to the blogger.   Many bloggers will state at some location  on their blog--some more visible than others--that they receive a percentage when you click through and purchase.   Often it is stated that they only recommend what they love.

I've read on some blogs that their advertising is to offset the cost of the blog.   Other than a modest cost ($1.00) for some of the pictures that accompany the text, I don't have any costs to write on this blog.  It may be that some people purchase domain names and there is a cost associated with that.  I put a picture of most of the books I have published at the top of my blog on a Shelfari but you'd have to go elsewhere to purchase a copy of one of them.

I've seen social media buttons on many sites and even buttons you can click on to make a donation that take you to Paypal so you can make a donation to the presumably impoverished blogger.

At the end of his blog post, Leo Babauta thinks it is best to 'do what feels right.'     That would be a version of one of my favourite sayings, "To thine own self be true."

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