This article is a response to a piece on the Web In Travel website where Siew Hoon talks to a guy who wants to make money from his blog.
Wow! What a question – “how can I make money from my
I'm surprised at this question – I think people who ask this
question are asking the wrong question.
But I suppose I should clarify exactly what I mean.
Bluntly put, I think people who write blogs to make money
are going against what, for me, is the underlying ‘giving’ notion of what
blogging is. A quick look on
dictionary.com yields the definition: ‘an online diary; a personal
chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page;’
People who used to (and still do I suppose) write diaries
and log their thoughts on paper never, for one minute, expected to make any
money from it. It was a very personal and
private endeavor in almost all cases.
However, the internet has, of course, provided those
people with the possibility to link with thousands of readers and, in turn,
encouraged those who may never have dreamed about keeping a diary or a log, to
begin to write driven by the idea that it might not simply be a solitary
activity given the possibility that thousands may end up reading their thoughts
and musings. (There are countless examples of fame and notoriety of course from
the most unlikely of sources through blogs and other forms of User Generated
So, basically put, I don’t think people should make money
from blogging. Blogging should be an altruistic
and non- commercial activity. I’m
encouraged to see how many companies now are using their own blogs to keep
their customers abreast of product development, new releases and other company activities. I like this idea of a blog – it’s a platform
for engaging with customers in a fairly personal and accessible way – kind of,
this is what we’re up to, thought you might like to know and, by the way, there’s
a place where you can let us know what you think.
But, let me be clear, I think attaching some advertising to
one’s blog is fine – a few banners here and there of course and some Google paid
stuff. Covering one’s costs or even
making a small amount of revenue in a pretty stealth kind of way is fine. This indeed may have been the approach of
Siew Hoon’s friend in the article – I do hope so.
Anyone who blogs to make money doesn’t deserve to make
money. If you want to make money, then
come up with a commercially viable on-line application or service and sell it
but don’t jump on the wholesome notion of blogging and look to make a quick