Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blogging For Profit?

This morning I was flipping through Website Magazine, intrigued by the cover story "Blog: Carving Out A Plan For Profit" (page 26). I get to the story and the first sentence stopped me in my tracks:
"Web professionals should be using blogs for one purpose--to make money."

Excuse me?

The article goes on to instruct the reader: "And throughout this article, when you see the term "readers," think "customers. Because really, they are one and the same."

Am I the only one who finds this absolutely distasteful? As in, disgusting? Depressing? Crazy? Or am I the stupid one because I am losing out because I'm not properly monetizing my blog?

In the past I did actually try some of the things the article suggests: Google AdSense and Amazon Associates. The problem is that, in order to make money with those things, you actually have to have more than 2 digits worth of readers. I don't. You also have to see blogging as one big advertisement cleverly disguised as prose. I don't.

The article highlights a "successful" blogger: Shreve Stockton, author of She doesn't say how much income she earns from the blog, but I'm assuming it has to be some relatively decent amount or they wouldn't be featuring her as the poster child for making money blogging. No offense to Shreve Stockton, but I have a hard time referring to DailyCoyote as a blog; it's actually a photo gallery updated daily...but a "five month lag behind real-time." If you want to receive the photos in real-time, you can pay $5 a month to have current and "never-before-seen" photographs delivered to your inbox daily. You can also buy prints, calendars and T-shirts.

Oh, and she also has a book deal. I will grant you that I'm jealous of the book deal part--book deal is, in my mind, the holy grail of accidental success. Granted, when I hear the words "book deal" I take it to mean a six-figure advance to just do what you're already doing for free. My romanticized book deal concept looks like Diane Keaton's house and life in Something's Go to Give. Namely, being rich and being able to spend your days writing what you want to write about.

But I digress...back to my original point. The idea of blogging just for the sake of making money is kind of like charging your husband to have sex with you. As in, if you're just in it for the money that's kind of depressing--not to mention just weird. Not to be a hater or anything, of course--if that's your thing that's your business. I guess the reason I use that particular analogy is because to me, blogging is about pleasure--I blog because I love writing. If people read it, fine; if not, whatever--I'm still doing it.

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