I’ll prefix this post with a warning. I’ve never done any paid blogging myself, so this is based on emails I’ve received from people requesting me to write for them and from comments I’ve heard from others. With that in mind…
Apart from having adverts on your blog or selling books, there are other ways to earn money from writing. You will have to decide if they suit you.
Paid Articles. Some websites, blogs and magazines pay for articles. I’m not sure what the going rate is these days, but I seem to remember a couple of well known sites suggesting I could earn up to $1500 USD per article. I’m not sure if that was bullshit or not because I didn’t pursue it. I guess this can have a number of benefits in addition to the cash. If the website or publication is prestigious, it could help raise your profile and the profile of your blog, but I’m guessing they are only asking people who already have a good profile anyway. 🙂 Getting a regular column in a magazine could be a nice little earner if you like doing it. It’s never really appealed to me. I like writing a certain style of article. I don’t think that style translates well to what most publishers are looking for. Added to that, I like to hit the “Publish” button when I’m happy with something, not wait for other people to edit it beyond all recognition. It’s the control freak in me. 🙂
Ghost Writing. Some companies want a professional blog that is regularly updated with content, but don’t have the time or skills to really accomplish that. Those companies make a point of hiring ghost writers to do the work for them. I guess I’m a little naive, but I was blissfully unaware of this until recently when a colleague mentioned his friend was a professional blogger. I asked what he blogged about and the answer was essentially anything. He has his own, “how to make money from blogging”, blog 🙂 and ghost writes for other people. I guess this is just like being a journalist or doing the paid articles thing, except that your name is not associated with the work, so it’s not going to do anything for your profile, but if it pays the bills, do you care?
Infomercials. Some people get paid to write about products or services on their own blogs. I don’t really have a problem with this provided you make it abundantly clear that the post is an informercial. I’m not sure about the legalities in other regions, but in Europe you are breaking the law if you don’t make this clear. From a moral perspective, I do have a problem with it if you don’t actually believe what you are saying. I guess each person has to make this choice for themselves. I’ve been a vegetarian for about 30 years, but next week I’m starting a series of posts sponsored by Wallmart about my favourite ways to cook steak… 🙂
I’ve been asked to write infomercial type posts a number of times, sometimes for products I really believe in, but I’ve always said no. I’m not motivated by money, so it’s not necessary for me to go down that road. The only advice I would give is to be careful you limit the amount of this type of content. If people start to believe you are just an opinion for hire, you may start losing the respect of your readers.
If you are blogging as a potential money earner, then this stuff may be of interest to you. Just be careful you don’t compromise yourself!
Check out the rest of the series here.