While trawling through my many news feeds, I came across an article entitled Internet Home Business Ideas For Those Without Any Money: Blogging.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I’ve been on the Internet for long enough to become a little skeptical (perhaps cynical) when I read anything to do with “Internet Home Business”, despite the fact that I believed for a long time that I would earn a living primarily through the Internet, and in fact am now doing so.
So what set the alarm bells off here?
The article doesn’t tell any lies, although it’s a very short article so is quite simplistic in nature.
What’s more worrying is that it could be read by someone who is already looking for a potentially easy way to make money online, who is then lulled into a false sense of hope that blogging is the end to their money woes – and best of all, it’s free.
Diep Tran, the author’s concluding paragraph includes the sentence:
“In conclusion, blogging is an effective method to make money online”
As I said, he hasn’t lied. Blogging can be an effective method of making money online. Though he hasn’t said it’s an easy method, I worry that many will read it in this way.
I’ve been blogging for three years, and blogging full time for one year, and I’m still earning less than I was in a regular 9-5 job, working longer hours, and without the automatic ‘perks’ of full-time employment (sorry if I’ve shattered anyone’s illusion after posts about making it as a problogger!)
Of course, I’m enjoying it a lot more because it’s what I love doing, and I can see new opportunities ahead.
Yes, it’s possible to start a blog without any money (assuming you are already paying for your Internet connection), but before long, if you want to make it as a professional blogger (or at least, one who makes money) you’ll need to spend money on at least domain names and hosting. Lorelle has already asked when is it time to leave a free blog? and that’s a very important point to consider.
Tran briefly describes a few methods that bloggers can use to earn revenue from their site. Of course, AdSense is one, but he also mentions affiliate networking. Now, I know there are a number of marketers that excel at affiliate programs. I’m certainly not one of them, and even the pros like Darren Rowse are only just starting to see the fruit of years of persistent link building.
Given that his concluding paragraph also states that blogging:
should be considered by some one who is new in internet marketing and by who have been in internet marketing for a significant period to improve the business from their websites.
I’d be concerned for anyone new to online marketing who considered that income from affiliate programs is easy. I’d suggest for a large proportion of bloggers, it’s not.
Another of Darren’s recent articles — Pressures of Blogging and is there an EASY way? — is also well worth a read.
OK, so the article is a far cry from the spam emails and web sites that promise riches for little work with “genuine home based online business opportunities”, and I’m not suggesting that Tran is deliberately trying to mislead people. However, in such a short article, the picture painted is a little too rosy for my liking.
I’m all for encouraging bloggers who have a passion for writing about subjects they love, can commit to the long haul, and would do it even money were no issue, but it has to be emphasised that, except in exceptional circumstances, even modest sustained financial success from blogging comes from dogged determination and persistence.