Wednesday, December 15, 2010

From Media Post Publications: It's Tough to Make Money Blogging

By Maryanne Conlin Wednesday, December 15, 2010
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Moms Who Blog Versus Blogger Moms

Much has been written about reaching out to moms through a variety of tactics, some of the best outlined by Maria Bailey in her "Twelve Days of Christmas ... With A Twist" post earlier this month. We marketers all scramble to keep up with the latest new ways to reach out to our core audience, moms.
Much of this seems to involve new technologies -- social media software, Facebook and mobile apps and the latest new algorithm to analyze success. So, we spend oodles of time weeding through the various offerings. This, of course, leaves less time to sit down with a cup of tea (or glass of wine) to stare blankly into space and think about how social media moms are changing, in their behavior, in their thoughts about how they use social media, in the ways that they think about what they contribute to the information stream on the web ... and why.
Yes, we can get much of this information, and we do, from research reports that are readily available from dedicated firms and top experts. But time to synthesize these reports is lacking. So, I'm going to try to do a little bit of that here in my next few columns.
This week, I'd like to tackle the changing world of moms who blog. Over the past few years we've seen an explosion in the number of moms blogging and some changes in how and why bloggers blog. The secret is now out and readily recognized -- it's tough to make money from blogging.
Most bloggers who have been around awhile have tried, or know someone who has tried: affiliate ads; ad network ads; company ads; pay per post; paid product reviews; pay to tweet, and a whole variety of other ways to make money with their blogs. What they have found out is that ... a blog is a marketing tool, not an income-generating tool. That is, bloggers who make money tend to make it from books, speaking, consulting and, in some cases, movie deals.
That is starting to divide the blogging world into hobbyists and entrepreneurs. Hobbyists blog on topics about which they are passionate. Entrepreneurs use some mixture of content, ads, paid and free, and other tactics to create an income stream for themselves from their blog.
To a large extent, both hobbyists and entrepreneurs started their blogs as an online diary of sorts ... because they love to write about a topic. But, as many former hobbyists find that they like to be paid for their time and effort, they are joined by brand new bloggers who enter the blogging world with the specific goal of making money!
This all makes it a bit difficult for brands to, well, sort out who is who. And as is typical in social media, the landscape keeps shifting. As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, keeping an eye on that moving target is going to require more information and more time to absorb it.

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