Hi there, 2004. You’re looking nice today.
Remember when blogging was the biggest thing ever to hit the web, maybe circa 2004? People scrambled to find ways to legitimize the activity and cash in on it. I’m late to the party. I was in college then and I knew it sounded like a huge opportunity, but I was more interested in parties and socializing than business ventures—especially those which would have required me to publish my own thoughts and feelings for all to see. I was interested in parties, you see.
So I’m like 9 years late to the party. But here I am, guys. I’m finally trying to become a professional blogger. Will it be my only source of income? I doubt it. But I hope it will be a source of income.
Pay Per Post Paid Blogging
On this blog — tjkelly.com — I don’t think I’ll find anyone to sponsor my blog or make me a “professional” blogger (full time, salary, benefits, etc.). As far as I can see, the best I can do here is solicit pay per post sponsors. As of this writing, I’ve done that twice (1, 2) and it’s worked out pretty well.
As I understand it, the FTC actually has restrictions about paid blogging, online advertising, sponsorship, and affiliate links, and they’ve been updated recently. Based on those requirements, I went back to my sponsored posts and added disclosure.
Disclosing in a post that I was compensated for it doesn’t bother me. Honesty is obviously the best policy there. And the sponsors I’ve dealt with so far (a) require the disclosure and (b) compensate authors just for publishing the post, not for sending traffic anywhere in particular. Therefore, I don’t care if you click on the link or use the service. I get paid anyway :)
Now what does that mean for the ethics of promoting said services? Well that’s another conversation entirely. I’m not one of those “anyone that pays me” sort of publishers. If you look sketchy or something, I’m not going to help promote you. But in general, if your product/service looks alright, sure I’ll help spread the word.
Paid Blogging Services
So far, I’ve only experimented with a few services/marketplaces for blog sponsorship, primarily Pay Per Post. I know PPP has had their ups and downs and may not be the most respected company in the world, but their model is good fit for me right now. A quick search will reveal plenty of options to choose from. Honkiat.com has two good lists of potential sponsors/paid blogging services. The first list is mainly about those who pay to write on your blog. The second lists sites which pay you to contribute to their sites.
My sense of the matter is that it’s a lot of work for not a lot of payout. I don’t think it would (easily, anyway) make a good career. The real money is probably in operating the services themselves. Talk about a scalable model. See also: eBay, Amazon, etc., etc., etc..