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Making a Living

  1. I am a stay-at-home dad and I was thinking about starting a blog as a way to earn a little extra income so my wife doesn't have to work so much overtime to keep us afloat. From what I'm gathering from the information about WordPress.com, the only way to make money with a blog is to pay a large amount of money for someone else to host it and run it from WordPress.org. With WordPress.com, I can blog all I want but won't make a dime unless I pay a bunch of fees. Am I reading this right? Or am I missing something? I know you can't ever get anything for free. It takes money to make money. But with us being so strapped right now, spending a couple hundred dollars to use WordPress.org is going to be really tough. Is there anyone out there that can clear this up for me please?

  2. It is virtually impossible to make money on a wordpress.com blog since we cannot advertise or anything like that.

    WordPress does have the new wordads program, but you have to have your own domain name ($$) and then have to have a certain level of traffic and have to be reviewed and approved. Not everyone will qualify.

    You would have to self-host in most cases if you want to monetize a site.

    One thing to keep in mind though is that very few bloggers actually even pay their expenses with ad revenue. At best they break even. Of course that also depends on your audience. Some types of people are far more likely to click on ads than others.

  3. So my best bet is to go to Blogger.com since they do allow ads?

  4. If you want something for free, then yes, but do note that the same thing still applies. Don't expect to make much money. My experience with adsense on client sites is all bad.

    Not trying to discourage you since from your post, this is a noble goal, but you do need to know what you are up against.

  5. First off, thank you so much for taking the time to assist me with this. If money wasn't an issue, what is your recommendation as to the best way to make a living (even just a modest one) by blogging?

  6. @raincoaster could best answer that as she makes a living blogging, but from what she has said, it isn't a "good" living. She now has a full-time job and I don't know if it is blogging, or whether it is doing something else.

    I do web design, but that is feast for famine and if that was all I had to rely on, there are months I would go hungry or not be able to pay rent.

    It's tough right now.

    Give blogging and advertising a shot over at blogger. It will probably take a year before you will know how it is going to work out as it will take that long to build up enough search engine ranking and enough traffic to see what is going to happen.

  7. My advice, as someone who's made a living blogging for the past several years: become a writer. A damn good writer. Then apply for blogging jobs via the listings at Mediabistro.com, Problogger.com, etc.

    When you are blogging for money you are doing one of two things: you are either renting your audience to your advertisers, in which case you've got to start with a sizeable audience of at least a thousand a day, or you are working for someone else. In order to work for someone else, you've got to beat out the competition, and you do that by writing well.

    Believe me, I spend the first fifteen minutes of every class shattering people's dreams. A lot think they can put up any old cat picture, surround it with Adsense, and be on the beach in Acapulco in six weeks. The online advertising industry is growing, but it's growing by paying more people less money. Our ad network has dropped what they pay us by 75% over the past two years.

  8. Of course, you can find out what you do best, blog about that, and use your blog as a portfolio to get hired. I've done that for years with my workshops and social media consulting.

    I've got a part-time job as a contributing writer at the DailyDot.com at the absolute top range of blogging income, and that pays $20 an hour. Most blog posts sell for $5 apiece, and aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

    Blogging isn't an appropriate field to enter to make money. I don't even know why people still think it is. Perez Hilton had to spend a year or more on welfare before his site took off; are you as funny as him, and are you willing to live on welfare for a year while starting your blog?

    If you're a stay at home parent you have LOTS of more lucrative, easier options to make money, daycare being one of them. I've done that, and I made more money than blogging.

  9. Our ad network has dropped what they pay us by 75% over the past two years.

    Ah, the good old corptocracy and 1%ers. They squeeze us poor turnips till they can't squeeze anymore. What are they going to do when they can't squeeze anymore juice out of us? Start squeezing each other? (I'll pay to watch that if I have anything left.)

  10. Cage match: Kissinger vs Soros. Five bucks on Soros.

  11. Tickets... I need to buy tickets.

  12. Well that certainly gives me a lot to think about. I've essentially been "blogging" for a few years on Facebook. I write stories in my 'Notes' section and then share them on my wall and I have had countless numbers of people tell me I need to write a book. I was telling my wife tonight that, as long as I'm going to be writing all these stories on Facebook, I might as well create a blog and try producing a little income for what I've already been doing for a few years anyway.

    I appreciate your candor raincoaster, it's refreshing to have someone finally lay things out with roots based in reality instead of the sales pitch you usually receive when asking questions of this nature.

    You mentioned that there are many lucrative options for a stay-at-home dad like me. Aside from daycare, what are some of the other options you spoke of? Afriend wants me to get into World Ventures, but I am a little nervous about taking a risk on an MLM prospect like that.

  13. Well, writing a book is also a business that doesn't pay as well as it used to, but if you have the materials already, I suggest you look into ebooks or even print on demand, like Lulu.com.

    RUN FROM MLM AS FAST AS YOU CAN. And my condolences on having friends who try to get you into that sort of thing. If the products were any good, wouldn't the company make money by selling the product, not by getting new recruits?

    Essentially, your options for income are the same as a single parents' options. Daycare is not to be sneezed at for income. Doggy daycare actually pays more by the hour than human daycare. House-sitting is also an option, or plant-watering and drop-by security services. Tutoring or private lessons in whatever you're good at are something loads of parents do. Your area may even have a government agency that helps people find what they can do to bring in income.

    Former small business columnist speaking: Do not, under any circumstances, enter into any business that charges you a fee. Some are legit, but by your own admission you haven't got a few hundred kicking around. I see so many people paying fees or "inventory charges" and then they're stuck with nothing because the business itself wasn't solid.

  14. I like the tutoring/private lessons idea. My mother was an English teacher and believe me, she taught me very well. As a matter of fact, when she went back to school for her Masters degree, she had me proofread and edit all her term papers for her. She graduated with a 4.0.

    Anyone who knows me knows that I am always on the prowl for grammatical errors. What drives me crazy the most is when I find them in news articles, business brochures, and other print that is supposed to be "professional". Technology is steadily robbing our society of it's knowledge in regards to the written word and it truly breaks my heart. I receive numerous criticisms about the fact that I refuse to abbreviate anything, including text messages. And I refuse to respond to anyone that sends a message telling me how "gr8 their nite was." If your message isn't important enough to type it out properly, then it isn't important enough for me to respond to.

    Don't get me wrong, I make mistakes occasionally like anyone else. I'm not perfect. But if I can inspire just one child or teenager to rise above the technology-inspired stupidity that is spreading throughout our society like a raging disease, then perhaps it will ease the sorrow I feel every time I read how "Mike n me is goin to str8 tear it up 4 the reals, lmfao". Sigh.

  15. Just judging from your forum writing I'd say that tutoring could be a really good outlet for you. BUT, also remember the expression "horses for courses." Part of the reason abbreviations came in was that back in the day it was difficult for people to type out full words on their phones. Now it's easier, but the vernacular of the platform has been established. You can berate them for using the vernacular on an inappropriate platform, but Facebook? That's what it was INVENTED for.

    Well, that and making fun of your friends. "OMG U LOST UR VOWELS!"

  16. promissorynote
    Member

    "First off, thank you so much for taking the time to assist me with this. If money wasn't an issue, what is your recommendation as to the best way to make a living (even just a modest one) by blogging?"

    Buddy, slow it down! You gotta have an audience before people will start paying you to put their ads on your blog. Being able to make a living as a blogger would be a dream life indeed but it's like becoming an actor or a famous author - you have to be good and you have to get lucky.

  17. Down killer, I was just researching aspects of the whole process that I was a little unsure of. I never once said anything about beginning a blog tomorrow and getting a million dollar check on Friday.

    And if you had read the entire thread, you'd know that I DO have quite a large following on Facebook (as odd as that sounds) and that they're the ones pushing me to take this to the next level.

    But unlike most people in today's society, I don't just jump in the pool without seeing if there's water in it first. I'm going to do my research, ask questions, and gather facts before I decide and that's all I was doing here.

    And F.Y.I., I am good. And if you're good enough at something, there's no luck involved whatsoever. ;)

  18. Personally, if I had better health and lots of energy, I'd get income from selling on ebay or similar: people seem to make money from that. And I'd use a blog (but not on WordPress.com) to write about it.

    @thesacredpath, apropos what you said here: "It is virtually impossible to make money on a wordpress.com blog since we cannot advertise or anything like that." This isn't strictly true. We might not be able to advertise (well, I know we can't) but with some creativity it's possible to get people interested in other things. For instance, my previous blog, Absurd Old Bird brought me in some money from sales of my art prints - if it hadn't been for my posts in AOB blog, they'd never have known about them. And, generally, artists, writers, craftspeople, etc - in other words, creative people - are able to sell by using WordPress.com blogs.

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