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November 9, 2009

How Things Change: Going from Fun to Pro

I’ve been very fortunate over the past three years or so to be able to make a living off of my blog. Though it has never been directly from the site itself, always from consulting and other services related to it, it is clear that my site has always played a critical role in my income.

However, the site didn’t start out that way. When I started Plagiarism Today I was just a guy passionate about a topic who wanted to write on it. When I first set up the site, it was meant as an experiment, not as a means of making my living. In fact, income was never part of the plan at all, just something that happened.

But while I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to earn a living from my site and am glad to have had the chances I have had, it is clear that things do change as one’s site goes from being a hobby to being a part of their income. Since this is an active goal for many bloggers, its important to make sure that one is ready for that before they begin to take their checks.

After all, many find that blogging may seem to be a great way to make a living, that is, until they do so and blogging becomes much more serious in nature. read more

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September 4, 2008

Darren Rowse on making money via affiliate programs

Filed as Features with 6 comments

Over at Problogger, Darren Rowse has an excellent two-part series on how to make money with affiliate programs.

Part One:

1. Relevancy between Audience, Product and Content

One key to high conversion when promoting affiliate products is to align as much as possible the needs of your audience, with the product that you are promoting and the content being produced on your blog.

Part Two:

2. Track What Your Readers Respond to

Yesterday I mentioned that instead of just promoting an affiliate product once that it can be worth running a series of different types of posts to promote it over time. The beauty in doing this is that you begin to see what your readership responds to. You might find that few people sign up for a product when you first announce it but when you write a review that sales increase. Alternatively you might find that when you offer a bonus they sign up more or even that they respond to you doing an interview with the person behind the product. The key is to try different things but then to watch how they convert.

Excellent advice all around…

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August 24, 2008

Speedlinking Posts

Filed as Features with 4 comments

Many bloggers take some time at the end of their day and clean out their “pipeline” with a Speedlinking post highlighting some of the better items that they read throughout the day – but simply ran out of time to post.

Here’s a great example of a Speedlinking post from Problogger’s Darren Rowse.

Darren’s post covers 11 different topics that he discovered through reading feeds, skimming Twitter and looking at other websites & news sources. Having looked at all 11 topics in Darren’s post, I’d say that 7-8 of them were great reads that I enjoyed and learned some new knowledge from.

I remember back in the hey-day of Blog Network Watch, we would often have so much incoming news that it was difficult to post it all with an appropriate level of commentary. We’d end the day with a “Remnant” post covering the news that we simply couldn’t get to — it was our own form of speedlinking.

Do you speedlink at your blog?

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August 20, 2008

Want a blogger job? Take it seriously

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Over at Problogger, Darren Rowse writes on the topic of blogger jobs in a post entitled “Applying for a blogger job? Take it seriously!”:

Ultimately my main advice to bloggers wanting to get a blogging job is to take the application process seriously. Treat it as though you are applying for any job.

Advertisers are not advertising on the Job Boards simply for fun or looking for sub par bloggers. They are businesses looking to hire professionals. Present yourself this way and you’ll stand out from the crowd and give yourself every chance of landing yourself a blogging job.

In his post, Darren also references a earlier post of his from 2006 on how to apply for a blog job. Great advice all around from Darren.

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July 15, 2008

Blogging Jobs: How Much Are Bloggers Paid to Blog?

Blogging Jobs by Lorelle VanFossenAs we continue with this series on blogging jobs, it’s time to look at the income a blogger can make by blogging for pay.

The skills and qualities a company or blog owner is looking for from a blogger are extensive, far beyond just writing abilities. As with any freelance job, determining how to put a value on the time it really takes, and the costs associated with the time and production, is really hard when the real cost is in time, not materials. Bloggers should be paid for the time as well as their expertise and abilities. Are they? This is a problem that has been around for a very long time. How much is your time worth?

For many decades, professional editorial writers found a compromise on the time/value issue with payment by the word with a restriction on word count. I often was told, “We’ll pay you a dollar a word up to 1,000 words maximum.”

This meant the magazine, newspaper, newsletter, or other print publication had space for one thousand words that needed to be filled. Going over meant changing their magazine or newspaper design structure. Giving them less meant I’d be paid less, but somewhere in the middle was a compromise for both of us, usually in the form of me setting a minimum fee I was to be paid, no matter the word count, such as “I want $500 minimum for 700 words and a dollar a word thereafter.” If the article came it at 400 words, I would still be paid my minimum. If it crossed the 700 word mark, at which point I should have been paid $700 for a dollar a word, that’s when they have to start paying me the dollar a word rate. It wasn’t the best, but the companies felt like they were getting a deal and for the most part, I covered the minimum I needed to pay my rent and eat.

Here is a chart for the various traditional writer’s pay scale based upon a dollar amount per word. The more experience and expertise, the higher the fee per word.
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July 11, 2008

Blogger Jobs: How to Apply For a Blogger Job?

Blogging Jobs by Lorelle VanFossenIs applying for a job as a blogger the same as applying for any job? Yes…and no.

Blogging is about writing, however, as we found out in Blogger Jobs: What Are They Looking For?, working as a blogger is so much more.

Let’s look at where to find blogging jobs and how to apply for one.

Where to Look for Jobs for Bloggers

The following are some of the most useful and easy to access sites for blogger jobs, with most of these specifically for bloggers only.
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July 10, 2008

Blogger Jobs: What Are They Looking For?

In What is Your Ideal Dream Blog Job?, I listed some of the blogging jobs I found on the different blogger job sites, including:
Blogging Jobs by Lorelle VanFossen

  • Advertising Expert Blogger
  • Alternative Health Blogger
  • Car and Phone Tech Blogger
  • Cell Phone Blogger
  • Children Issues Blogger
  • Cosmetics Blogger
  • Musicians Blogger
  • Online Games Blogger
  • Science Blogger
  • Women’s Issues Blogger
  • Work from Home Blogger

Many people want to turn their blogging hobby into a job, and many professional writers are finding their writing jobs drying up in the shrinking and changing economy. Finding work as a blogger is a way to make your passion for writing pay off.

Digging through the blogger job news, I realized that while the job description for these jobs is much the same as for a professional writer, there are some distinctions that put blogging in a special job category. The number one different? The art of conversation. Blogs aren’t just about writing. They are about networking and socializing.
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April 28, 2008

Darren Rowse’s Speed Posting: Great Reader Interaction or Lazy Content Pushing?

I’m intrigued by Darren Rowse’s 3 minute blog posts, dubbed speed posting. The idea is that he’s answering a reader question in 3 minutes and then pitches the question to his readers, interaction in the comments is awarded with the chance to win one of three ProBlogger Books.

I’m intrigued because I can’t decide whether it’s a nice touch and something that really benefits the readers, or a PR stunt for the book as well as a way to push out easy updates on the blog. I like to believe the former, but am having problems forgetting about the fact that more in-depth answers from Darren would be a lot more interesting to read.

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April 8, 2008

Determining the Worth of the Top Bloggers

The 24-7 Wall Street blog analyzed what makes a blog valuable and came up with The Twenty-Five Most Valuable Blogs, offering some insights into how to value your own blog.

I’ve written on the topic of selling your blog in Selling Your Blog: What Are Buyers Looking For, Selling Your Blog: What Goes Into the Selling Price, Can You Sell Your Blog?, and How to Buy or Sell a Blog, and my research came up with a list of things buyers look for when considering buying a blog. It’s also a good list of things you should be aware of and doing with your blog to maximize profitability.

However, the biggest challenge in determining how much a blog is worth is putting an economic and investment value on blog elements and marketing techniques. Douglas A. McIntyre admitted the same challenges, saying:
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April 7, 2008

Business School for Bloggers: How to Make Money With Your Blog

I am frequently asked about how to make money on the web, especially how to make money with your blog. I find a wide variety of answers around the web, some of them get rich quick schemes, PageRank games, and SEO illusions, but there is only one answer that I want to shout to the roofs, but few people listen.

Blogging as a business is business. It takes business training and skills to make money with your blog.

That’s it. That’s the secret. John Chow, Guy Kawawasaki, Darren Rowse, Seth Godin, these princes of blogging didn’t get rich with their blogs by just having blogs. They used their business sense and know how to make their blogs work for them. They understood that a blog is just another tool in the business arsenal, a business card and resume all wrapped up in one, offering a business a powerful communications tool. In order to make your blog work for you, you have to understand how business works.

To have a “successful” blog and to make your blog work for you, you have to have skills and training in advertising, marketing, economics, finance, writing ability and language skills, public relations, networking, everything any business needs. These are the skills you bring it to your blog to make it a success, earning the money you deserve.
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