Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Penelope Trunk Takes the Pressure Off

Yesterday, OK day before yesterday, Penelope Trunk had a post on Reality check: You're not going to make money from your blog in Blogging, Journalism. I don't follow anyone with twitter-like devotion, but I find a good deal of useful insight reading Penelope.

Almost everyone should forget about making money directly from blogging. It's so unlikely that it's a total waste of your time trying. I am actually shocked at how ubiquitous the idea is that blogging is a get-rich-quick scheme. Or even a get-rich-slowly scheme. It's not. Blogging is a great career tool for creating opportunities for yourself. But here are eight reasons you should stop thinking about money from blogging:

Personally, I am glad she is taking the pressure off. Besides, this blog was never right for making money. I follow pathways that interest me, not the market. I am inconsistent in doing posts and I do more re-editing and reformatting than actual writing since I am basically passing along information I found interesting. Below in bullet points are her reasons and why I agree.

1. Big bloggers come from big media.
Most big bloggers today have a strong background writing for print.

I do try to make my writing at least passable, even it mean coming back again after a few days to make corrections, but I do not consider myself a professional writer. The fact that I get visitors through the Paradigm Online Writing Assistant (links now repaired at left hand column) helps me to pay more attention than I might otherwise.

2. Sure, there are exceptions. But you're probably not one of them.

If we desire that blogs and networks become part of the democratic infrastructure, does it make sense that only the exceptions participate? There are easily over 5 million sites and blogs out there, but 5 million works nicely because it means the first million are the top 20%. According to there are a number of blogs, this one included, between the 1,000,000 mark and the 500,000 mark. They may not have the impact of the top 1% like Google and Techcrunch individually, but in aggregate I believe that they can have an impact with venues such as Bloggers Unite For Hunger And Hope or Blog Action Day.

3. Even if you can do it, supporting yourself with a blog is crazy hard.
Blogging to support yourself is a complete full-time job.

When my life gets complicated blogging is the first thing to go, well maybe not the first, but it drops way down the list. I started this two days ago. Recently I have had thoughts as to how this could work for local communities, but I am hesitant knowing the commitment needed to make it work.

4. You probably have to be controversial to make money blogging.
And if you are making good money from your blog, you'll have hundreds of people telling you how you're an idiot. Do you want that? Really?

I find online arguments, unless done by professionals in the field, tedious. I am not interested in proving any point. I would much rather find some new avenue of inquiry to pursue.

5. You can make more money flipping burgers.

I don't flip burgers and I make far more than I could blogging. Even if I made it a component of my work life it would not add to my bottom line. It does have value both for myself and I believe, in aggregate with others in the blogosphere, for the world.

6. Please shut up about your book deal.

OK, would you believe movie deal, how about cable?

7. Blog for better reasons than money.
In the book, Blog Blazers: 40 Top Bloggers Share Their Secrets, Stephane Grenier asked forty bloggers what their definition of blogging success is.

Penelope also tells us about gaining the other benefits of blogging for your career. I am becoming to believe more in the idea of small voice blogs of which I am one.

8. Banner advertising is the mafia.

I actually pretty well suck at this monetize stuff , maybe from lack of really trying, but I have other objectives when I do this.

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